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
    Jean Pollard

    Magical and crazy in equal measure!

    This trip is not for the faint hearted and although it is classed as 'leisurely' there is a bit of walking in high temperature and lots of steps, especially at the train stations. Most mornings were 05.30 start with many hours transferring between places either by air con. mini bus or sleeper train. The hotels ranged from ok to wonderful. The sights were beautiful and historically interesting. Our guide was excellent and very proud of his country and his religion. All the cities are traffic heavy specially with local tuk tuks, the noise is deafening from all the horns hooting, it is very dusty and sometimes smelly. Tuk tuk rides are exhilirating and frightening but glad we did it! If you don't like curry (I tried really hard) food that is available in the places the guide takes you to is limited but ok e.g. a few pasta and noodle dishes. The only meat you will find is chicken, often still on the bone but hidden in the rice and also mutton. At times this was a hard trip but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The part I had wanted to do the most was visit Varanasi. We went at sunrise and sunset and the experience was magical and different both times. The funeral pyres on the ghats was very moving as was the boat trip and the evening ceremony that takes place at the edge of the Ganges every evening. The sights and sounds will stay with me for ever. The Taj Mahal is incredible and strangely familiar, again we went at sunrise. On the last day in Delhi we took ourselves to the Sikh temple at the suggestion of our guide and it was so welcoming and amazingly beautiful. Our family group of 5 were given a tour by a sikh lady volunteer who took photos and selfies as well as told us some of the history. Lovely memories. Seeing a tiger on safari. Everything in between.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronit our leader was exceptional. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. He happily answered all of our questions and explained what we saw and the history behind them very well. He looked after us when out and about and gave us hints and tips of what to do and not to do when being approached by people wanting to sell you something. There are a lot of street vendors at the different sites. I had 'Delhi belly' and he was very concerned and helpful. Ronit was happy to tell us a liitle about himself and his life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The overnight train is tough. The bunks are hard but you are given clean sheets, pillow and blanket. The second time we put the folded blanket underneath us to give a bit more thickness. We also took a small inflatable pillow and used this as well. It can get cold in the air con. especially on the side top bunk. It was better to be with other people from our party but this wasn't possible on the first trip. At one side of the carriage there are 2 squat toilets and on the other 1 squat and 1 more conventional. Take toilet paper and wipes and lots of hand sanitiser. We took a bike chain as suggested but didn't feel the need to use it. The trip from Varanasi to Delhi is 12 hours and there is often delays. Our train broke down in the middle of the night and our journey took 16 hours! Change your money at the airport as although some hotels offer the service the tight time schedule didn't allow for much free time. Take diarrhoea tablets and sunscreen. The dress code for women is more relaxed than described on the website unless visiting temples or mosques etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to see some upsetting things. Very poor people living on the streets. Beggars knocking on the bus window. Disabled people struggling. Lots and lots of cows absolutely everywhere. Lots of dogs in a poor condition. It can be very dusty you might like to take a mask. The country is full of surprises and there is never a dull moment. Your senses will be overloaded. Go with an open mind. Dont be frightened to haggle but be kind as the majority are trying to make a few rupees to make life more bearable. Smile and say 'Namaste' and enjoy every minute.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Nicole Walker

    Words aren't sufficient

    ...to describe or explain the wonderful experience and memories this tour provides. The itinerary is arranged to provide Visits around the culture, religion, history and wildlife of the country but the experience includes so much more- noise, smell, bright colour, chaos, food- be open to everything and you will not be disappointed . The tour is necessarily "full on" but the sights and experiences outweigh the pace.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whilst the Taj Mahal was an obvious highlight the additional activities arranged by our Leader Nabin Gurung were the highlights specifically visiting the children in a rural primary school as well as the sunset boat trip on the Ganges to experience prayers at night- a vision which will be a life long memory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nabin was so knowledgable teaching us many things, answering all our questions at our beck and call no matter what time of day or night, no request too big or small. He arranged additional activities instead of down time to ensure we maximised our visit . It was clear he really cared about our experience and his professional and super organised approach to everything made the tour perfect. He was personable and got to know each of the group and our sense of humour and needs personally. He made sure all of our experiences were equal especially whilst viewing the tiger at rathembore. Nabin was an excellent leader providing the highest level of customer service.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for an almost non stop tour but don't be put off by that - book this tour now!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Pam Bell

    Highlights Indeed!

    As a first timer to India, this trip provided a memorable experience of colour, noise, marvellous historic architecture and lovely friendly people. Plus a totally amazing sighting of a tiger.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger in its natural habitat was beyond any experience had so far. A close second was the magnificent Taj Mahal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayank was outstanding. Calm, professional, friendly and always aware of all our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some very long road journeys. Arrange at least an extra day for your own sight seeing in Delhi, at the end of the trip. The train back from Varanasi can arrive very late, curtailing the chances of seeing much before the flight home.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Elisa Tarr

    Fast paced amazing tour of northern India

    A great way to see lots of places in the 'golden triangle' in a safe well organised way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Buying a 'flying' carpet from co-operative in Jaipur Experiencing Holi festival Watching the sunset over the Ganges

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very smiley, friendly, knowledgable and helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    At the train stations spending 100rupies to have porter carry larger bag is very helpful Don't be afraid to ask any questions of the guides & group leader

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect delays when travelling by train
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Lorraine Matic

    Highlights of Northern India

    India is not everyones choice of trip but it’s been mine for awhile . Not wanting to travel alone Exodus was recommended by a friend . From my first phone call till the end of my tour date. I have been guided informed and surprised by the quick responses and information given, even the trip notes have been carefully thought through. Yes I was apprehensive of sharing the trip with 15 other travellers which was quashed after the first day .. We all shared a common interest and became friends .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My goal on the trip was to visit the Taj Mahal which is totally majestic . Each day held a surprise and inspired I expected to find Varanasi hectic and crazy yet I found it strangely peaceful and quite emotional . The Sikh temple in Delhi is a true inspiration and their work is very humbling

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayank is a true ambassador for Exodus .. he took care of every single detail that was possible . I felt secure to the point of feeling quite lazy as a backpacker as he took care of every qualm . Intelligent organised and witty !!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read your trip notes .. relax and enjoy !!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you ❤️
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Alison Bone

    Amazing trip

    Just returned from an amazing trip - Highlights of Northern India. As I expected in was very fast paced and involved a lot of travelling either by minibus or train. But it was worth it, got to see so many iconic sights and beautiful scenery - from Jaipur, Ranthombore Tiger reserve, the Taj Mahal and Varanasi. Learnt so much about the history of India and it's culture from our fantastic tour guide Manoj and the local guides that joined us. Shame about the delayed train ride into Delhi so missed seeing the city tour but couldn't be helped as due to fog/smog. A 'must do' trip that I'd recommend

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one but if I had to it would be Varanasi, which was a true 'assault on all my senses' and evoked many emotions from amazement to shock

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manoj was fantastic. He was passionate and is enthusiasm was infectious. He shared his love of India, it's history and culture with the group. He made a great trip - amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some loo roll with you and plenty of wet wipes & hand sanitiser, some of the local facilities were quite shocking - Fortunately the hotels were of a good standard (better than I thought they would be)
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Nuala Reidy

    Incredible India!

    A very fast paced tour combining the highlights of this region of India with Indian culture and history. Starting in Jaipur - the iconic Pink City and driving across to Agra via Ranthamborne National Park. Some very early mornings but all worth it when we got to see the famous elusive tiger on our morning game driver and the Taj Mahal at sunrise. We travelled by sleeper train to Varanasi (Indian Railways are a wonderful experience) where you can really embrace the history and culture of India. We did an evening and an early morning boat ride on the Ganges as well as Tuk Tuk rides and drinking fresh watermelon juice from the street market. We saw the beginning of Diwali celebrations in Varanasi. The trip ended in Delhi which has some really great and iconic landmarks. The group were a fantastic and diverse bunch from all walks of life and we had many laughs together. Our tour leader really enhanced the experience with his extensive knowledge and personal experience of India and his constant up beat approach to everything! I would recommend this trip to anyone looking for a fun, fast paced taste of India!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Diwali Celebrations were amazing! We did Diwali shopping, purchasing coloured powder and sparklers. The Bollywood Film was also an amazing experience! However, seeing the elusive tiger just two or three metres away from us was absolutely breath-taking as well as the Taj Mahal at sunrise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manoj was absolutely amazing. Showed such positive enthusiasm towards all aspect of the trip and all of his guests. He showed care for each individual on the tour and sought to solve any issues – no matter how big or small. Gave us such great historical and cultural knowledge of India as well as his own personal stories of growing up in India and life there for him! He also shared jokes with us and my favourite quote of his was "This is incredible India - you never know what good things might come on the way!" A true asset to the Exodus name.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you read the trip notes carefully for this trip before booking it as it is quite an intense tour. I would recommend this tour as long as you are physically fit and able. It is fast paced and there can be long, hot, uphill walks from parking places to the actual sites of interest which for some people would make the tour difficult to enjoy. There is not much down time – you won’t have much time to lounge around or have a lie in but there is so much to see in India and with this amount to see in the time frame it will naturally be quite full on! Other than that I would recommend this trip is for those who are physically fit and able and want to embrace India for what it is which is an amazing country exploding with culture, colour and good things!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Bernadette McCann

    A fast paced incredible trip to North India

    A fast paced journey through Northern India. Your feet barely touch the ground and you are whisked off to the beautiful pink city of Jaipur - transported to Ranthanbore National park - Game drives, early mornings - Worth it, we saw the tiger on our early morning game drive! Drive to Agra - early morning start to witness sunrise over the Taj Mahal - stunning! Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri - overnight train to Varanasi. Lucky enough to be in Varanasi for Diwali - intense, amazing Varanasi! Evening and very early morning boat rides, magical & spiritual, walks by the temples. Overnight train to Delhi - As i did the land only Exodus tour - we had visited Delhi independently before the Exodus tour began - many wonderful sights to see in Delhi. Overall, a fabulous experience with a wonderful diverse group of people, lots of laughs, early mornings, late nights - long drives - two overnight trains - an amazing tour leader - some great hotels, some not so - an explosion of noise and color, sensory overload in many good and bad ways - all part of the experience. Incredible India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say - there were many! Goosebumps when the tiger walked so close to us in the jungle - the stunning beauty of the Taj Mahal - the spiritual feeling of city of Varanasi and witnessing the early morning bathing in the Ganges and the evening prayer ceremonies..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manoj is one of the most inspirational, kind, patient and enthusiastic person i have ever met. He managed our group, mixed ages, nationalities and abilities with kindness and went above and beyond to help in any way he could with every single group member. Manoj made our trip incredible - gave me and understanding of the complexities of Indian history and life - his knowledge is deep and he is a credit to Exodus as a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a fast paced trip. Read the trip notes carefully to decide if its the trip for you. Understand in order to keep to this schedule, you need to be flexible, reasonably fit as there is walking around monuments while sightseeing - some uphill and some under the midday sun. It was hot, long days - early mornings - long drives - which is the only way to keep up with the itinerary. You will not be laying around pools, enjoying spas, you will be packing, unpacking, preparing for the next days travel. Its fast- paced and exciting and you will see and do a lot in a short time. However, every bit of the moving around is worth the incredible sights you see during this short trip - its a dynamic, exciting, tiring trip.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Pierangela Lunghi

    Northern India

    A great way to see all the must see highlights Northern India with like-minded people. Quite a whistle stop tour f the major sights with quite a lt of travelling between places. Transport covers bus, taxi, tuk tuk and train so you really do get to see the changing landscapes between the tourist hot spots as well as being in the midst of of all the multisensory chaos as you jostle cheek by jowl among local inhabitants both human and animal.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is a hard fought contest between seeing the spiritual craziness of Varanasi where heaven and earth are said to touch, the jawdropping beauty of the Taj Mahal slowly turning through the colours as dawn rises or seeing at close quarters not one but two elusive tigers in Rathambore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was great fun, very professional and knowledgeable. He took great care of us and was always mindful of our safety and comfort.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for lots of travelling between sites.Take good walking shoes, binoculars and warm clothes for early morning starts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We stayed in a variety of different types of accommodation- modern, traditional and colonial, some with pools so take swimming gear. you can, combine this trip with some time to relax.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Simon Gillingham

    Excellent Guide

    This is an amazing introduction to India. A fairly short trip which packs everything in. Krishna Kumar our guide was amazing, knowledgeable, likeable and worked really hard to make this a fantastic holiday. Thanks Krishna ! I'll be back as they say.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our guide
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