Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed April 2018
    Thomas Kelly

    Cycling in wonderful Colombia

    Colombia is a fascinating country and we experienced it all from bustling Bogota with its 8 million population to the lived in non touristy Cartago and the locally very popular Salento. When cycling, one is struck by the lush green cultivated hills rising up on both sides of you. it could be sugar cane, plantain, bananas, papaya or the distinctive coffee plants, all stunning and all tended by hard working locals. Colombians are really beautiful people and welcoming. We visited over Easter and observed the locals attending in large numbers the various religious services in beautiful churches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many magic moments but conquering the climb to the hilltop town of Anserma probably stands out. A long steady climb to a bustling little town like no other. My madeira cake in a little bakery near the mini bus hub was most welcome that afternoon. Our visit to the amazingly beautiful Finca La Romelia on our last day of cycling will also live long in the memory. I would also have to mention the king of the mountains and drum playing Australian from Wales who supports Liverpool and cycled with a sombrero attached to his helmet and a poncho in Colombian colours, he inspired me too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andres our group leader was an absolute gentleman with a great sense of humour. I also found him to be extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of his country. While soft spoken he was a very competent leader of an outstanding team who delivered time and again when they were called upon. Whenever you needed information, help or just encouragement one of the team would appear as if by magic. We could not have asked for more from this special team of people who worked non stop every day to make our visit to their country so memorable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is classified as challenging and it was, so come prepared. Expect some rain during your trip, it really is inevitable but does not take away from the enjoyment. Doing the Ciclovia in Bogota on the same morning as you arrive in Colombia is probably not a good idea, consider arriving earlier if you can. Carry insect repellent on the cycles as there are lots of stops at coffee plantations etc. We received an excellent booklet covering each days cycle on our first night. It is a good idea to bring this to each briefing and note down the coffee and lunch stop points for the next day, this helps in pacing yourself. Some of the roads cycled are very busy and on occasions diesel emitting trucks on uphill sections are also challenging.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    María Martínez

    Cycling Colombia’s coffee region

    Beautiful landscapes

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The coffee region so green and lush and the beautiful green mountains

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Found the leading guide Andres a bit arrogant and failing sometimes to convey information. Oscar, another guide, was amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Climbs are tough but very rewarding. Just need to get your rhythm. No need for snacks as they were provided. Insect repellent and sunscreen absolutely necessary.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Colombia is an amazing country every bit worth a visit. Lovely people, beautiful landscapes, a lot of history and delicious fruits!
  • Reviewed January 2018
    John O,Donnell

    Cycling Colombia

    Really brilliant country really brilliant staff.Weather very changeable and cycling was challenging with in everyones abilities[im 70 and another cyclist 76]Felt safe at all times and really enjoyed the scenery which was amazing I think vegetarians may need to be aware of limited options at some of the remote hotels as you cycle point to point on most days.Suggest more use is made of supermarkets during the day so as to supplement any needs.Didnt worry me but it can be difficult for some.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ready to throw in towel on a massive climb to our finishing town TEMP was 38c down to last couple of gears then saw a small child struggling up the mountain leg in plaster using a zimmer frame following her dad to get to where ever they were going .Got up the rest of the climb in a bigger gear and pigged out on cakes and juice at the local supermarket.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The whole crew were amazing and worked as a team Impressed with respect they all showed to the mechanic[Hose] who they referred to as Don Hose.Brilliant to see and we all were delived safely to the trips conclusion.No mean feat

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make use of the Supermarkets as you may not eat a given hotel meal eg Fish as one rider didnt Was the only option.I ate everything but did buy up a few extras from time to time All good fun loved it even if things went pear shaped from time to time[things of my own doing eg Bumping into a car riding off at the wrong time] Just stick to your own ability and pace When I felt ok I went hard if not took it slowly and looked at the incredible scenery

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will go back to see the rest of Colombia it was simply the biggest but best surprise packet of all my travels I have ever been on
  • Reviewed January 2018
    John O,Donnell

    Cycling Colombia

    Really brilliant country really brilliant staff.Weather very changeable and cycling was challenging with in everyones abilities[im 70 and another cyclist 76]Felt safe at all times and really enjoyed the scenery which was amazing I think vegetarians may need to be aware of limited options at some of the remote hotels as you cycle point to point on most days.Suggest more use is made of supermarkets during the day so as to supplement any needs.Didnt worry me but it can be difficult for some.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ready to throw in towel on a massive climb to our finishing town TEMP was 38c down to last couple of gears then saw a small child struggling up the mountain leg in plaster using a zimmer frame following her dad to get to where ever they were going .Got up the rest of the climb in a bigger gear and pigged out on cakes and juice at the local supermarket.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The whole crew were amazing and worked as a team Impressed with respect they all showed to the mechanic[Hose] who they referred to as Don Hose.Brilliant to see and we all were delived safely to the trips conclusion.No mean feat

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make use of the Supermarkets as you may not eat a given hotel meal eg Fish as one rider didnt Was the only option.I ate everything but did buy up a few extras from time to time All good fun loved it even if things went pear shaped from time to time[things of my own doing eg Bumping into a car riding off at the wrong time] Just stick to your own ability and pace When I felt ok I went hard if not took it slowly and looked at the incredible scenery

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will go back to see the rest of Colombia it was simply the biggest but best surprise packet of all my travels I have ever been on
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Ania Sroka

    cycling columbia - the ups with the downs

    I absolutely loved this holiday. Have a group of like-minded people all sweating around me and puffing and panting, made for a very cathartic experience. At times I thought that I was going to collapse, but I also knew (or hoped) that all the other people in our party were feeling the same way. I would not have gone as fast or as far just off my own steam.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing or rather hearing other cyclists behind me passing me which urging me on. Sharing moments with other exodus travellers and guides. Delighting in the wonderful array of fruits and fruit juices offered inbetween our cycling efforts. Knowing that no matter how slow we were (or rather I was), that there would always be a guide behind urging me on). The list goes on and is too numerous to put down on paper.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabriel was an inspiration with his 'universal' helmet and helpful insights into the history, politics and culture of the towns and departments we cycled through. Axel was a great help making sure that nobody was left behind and always made sure we were ok. Oscar, words cannot describe how much I enjoyed his company, always showing more concern for us than himself. Jonathan was the quiet one but always there and an inspiration. Cesar was such a support making sure we all had enough drinks and snacks whenever the van stopped for a break.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate your ability even though everyone else 'seems' to look fitter, faster and stronger. No matter how slow you might be, everyone pulled together and supported those of us that struggled. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know a beautiful area of the world which added to the enjoyment sometimes helped alleviate the sore 'saddle'.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am always impressed by the enthusiasm and effort that is put in to these holidays. All the staff regardless of roles seem to really pull their weight and by the time the holiday was at its end, it felt as though we were one great big family where it felt to me as if so much had been shared and learned.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Peter Long

    Cycling Colombia - quite a challenge.

    Described as challenging, this is a not a trip for the faint-hearted. Plenty of hills but with magnificent views once you make it to the top. Rather a lot of riding on busy roads, but may be it was because of the Easter holiday that there was so much traffic. Excellent accommodation and support.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the patios hill climb in Bogota, after thinking I was going to die due to the altitude!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The support team were excellent. Gabriel at the front, Oscar in the middle and Axel at the back, all provided encouragement.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit and don't be afraid of getting wet!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A very good group of fellow travellers.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    John Edwards

    A Great Trip

    Columbia is a huge and varied country. This was a great trip that gave our party a terrific view of part of Columbia in a short space of time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling was through a wonderful hilly landscape so the views achieved through the climbs had to be the highlight of the trip. There were many 'made it' moments rewarded by the fabulous landscape.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabriel was a novice leader who did a great job. He had a nice light touch and was fun to be with. Potentially he could have been more definitive with what the days cycling would involve but was always happy to answer individual questions. In addition, we were provided with a booklet of the exact profile of each days ride (a great innovation which I have not experienced on other trips) so questions were more to do with reassurance than lack of information.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the climbs are quite long and some short and steep. All of our party had done some preparation or were already cyclists therefore no one found the challenges too hard. My advice is prepare as much as you can. For some of us who are not cyclists spin classes really helped get the legs in gear.The team were great at accompanying the group which was all ages up to nearly 70.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think the local operator, Pure Columbia, had put a lot of thought into making the best out of the local conditions. Most of the hotels were above my expectations and where they were more simple I was confident that given we were experiencing non tourist areas they were as good as they could possibly be. The same went for the roads, yes there were some stretches of highway but these were kept to a minimum and a means to get us to long stretches of beautiful country sections. Also we did the Cartagena extension and Pure Columbia did a great job on the organisation. If you can do it do so, the Caribbean coast is a fantastic contrast to the interior. We loved the boutique hotel in Cartagena's old town. The guided tour was great and they made available a trip to nearby islands for a bit of real Caribbean swimming.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Paula Paskell

    Disappointed given the previous rave reviews.

    Returned from Colombia feeling we needed a holiday. With the notable exception of some lovely downhill much of the route is on very busy roads with heavy commercial traffic. If you enjoy diesel fumes and fruit juice then this is the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Filandia descent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Charming, knowledgeable and hard working but too inexperienced to manage the group aspects of cycling.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Routine and pace of riding was rigorous although hills achievable for the average cyclist. Don't expect too many quiet backroads, haute cuisine or premium hotels. Unnecessary large lunches appeared to determine the rather rushed itinerary. Hence during the rides little time for appreciating the scenery or taking photographs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was unlike any other Exodus cycling trip we have done and not one that I would recommend.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Steve Mallon

    Cycle colombia

    I have done many trips with exodus but this rates as probably the best cycle trip I have ever been on so well organized the fantastic scenery the people the food the cycling was just amazing although the group was ok there were 2 people on the trip that did make me feel quite uncomfortable at times .Colombia is just a great country and it deserves more western visitors go now before it becomes to overcrowded with tourists.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Well what can I say Oscar a fantastic guy leader person nothing was to much trouble for this amazing man also having Gabriel and Andreas plus a great man Axel who stayed with me pulling me up the climbs and how can I forget Adelmo the mechanic also a former pro cyclist and of cause Augustus and Cesar the driver supplying us with endless water which was very welcome.These men all where a credit to the country one word EXCELLENT

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the best I have ever had

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Allison Lindsay

    Brilliant cycle trip to Colombia

    Fantastic trip. 100% recommend it. Point to point cycling in beautiful scenery with great staff.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being part of the Bogota Ciclovia - Sunday riding through the closed streets of Bogota with thousands of other people. Some amazing downhills I really liked the side trip to the salt cathedral - the main chapel was stunning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tatiana is great. Very warm and friendly. She really took the time to look after us, and share her enthusiasm for Colombia. I'd really like to give the whole brilliant staff team, Oscar, Cesar and Jonathan, a mention as well as it was all of them coming together to look after us that made for such a great trip. Whether it was Oscar pointing out glaciers and sharing his boundless enthusiasm for cycling, Cesar filling up our water bottles without even being asked, or Jonathan sorting out the bikes and helping carry our luggage, we were thoughtfully looked after at every point. It really felt like nothing was too much trouble and they were all very keen to show us the best of their beautiful country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We came out a day early (Friday night) and it was worth having the extra time to look around Bogota. It was also good to have an extra day to get used to the time difference before heading off for the Sunday cycling - otherwise you land at 4am and then head out for a steep hill ride on just a few hours sleep. Make the most of all the juices - many like Loulo and Guanabana are really delicious. We really enjoyed trying them at the different rest stops. Recommend organising a kitty approach for lunch and rest stops. It makes it much easier than everyone trying to find small amounts of money at each stop. If you want to visit Coffee Theme Park at Pueblo Tapao be aware the last entry is at 4pm. Do the Sunday hill ride - it really boosts your confidence and it's brilliant to be cycling with so many other riders who are all having a lot of fun! A totally unique experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip had the best bikes of any Exodus trip I have been on. The staff were great, really friendly and organised so everything went very smoothly but you never got the feeling that you were 'being organised'. I much preferred being able to cycle point to point - the bus transfers on other trips I have done can feel a bit disruptive to the cycling. I'd also say that doing the Sunday hill ride in Bogota is a real confidence booster and although there are some long uphill rides in the rest of the trip, the support from the staff means that they are doable and the downhills afterwards are amazing. We added on some days at the end (to go to Cartagena and Tayrona National Park - highly recommend both) and felt completely safe at all times. The people of Colombia are really friendly and welcoming and it is them that make the trip as much as the scenery.
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