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 June 2019

    The Inca Trail in Comfort 30 May departure & Lake Titicaca Extension

    This was a brilliant trip. The Inca Trail in Comfort was well organised & a good mix of trekking and sightseeing. Our guide, Mike, was great & the camping porter team were inspiring. The camp chef provided excellent meals. The hotels were comfortable & the camping was as good as camping gets. The group gelled well together. The Lake Titicaca Extension is also well worth doing and good value. We were very happy with all aspects of the trip & would recommend it to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the whole trek: highlights included the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, the spectacled bear we saw from the trail, reaching the top of dead Woman's Pass, the view from our camp site on the last morning, rowing a reed boat on Lake Titicaca ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was a brilliant leader. He is extremely knowledgeable and was keen to share with us. He is friendly to all and certainly helped the group to gel. He is considerate of the needs of the group and provided help when appropriate to those who needed it. He organised the trek well and kept the group together. He organised a variety of restaurants for lunch & dinner, all good, and even booked us a restaurant in Puno (Titicaca extension) which was an excellent recommendation. He is considerate of health and safety, the environment and the local community. Mike was great and we were very lucky to have him as our group leader. Davis and the camp team were also very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a brilliant trip - book it as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness and enjoy walking, (and don't have bad knees - there are a lot of steps). Bring good walking boots, well worn in. Use poles (you can hire locally, or buy in UK for similar price - must be telescopic / adjustable with rubber ends.) If leave is not a concern, consider arriving a day early in Cuzco to acclimatise. Bring a good head torch. We didn't go to the hot springs so no need to carry swimming costume / large towel / flip flops on trek. Hotel Casa Andina (Aguas Calientes) provided shampoo so no need to carry on trek. We could have left some stuff in Hotel Pakaripampu (Ollantaytamo) before the trek, to collect after Machu Picchu on way back to Cuzco. Minimise the weight in your ruck sack. If leave is not a concern - the Lake Titicaca extension is excellent value. Don't be put off by the drive - it's in a comfortable coach & includes 4 stops & lunch. Don't under estimate the amount you need for tipping. Although the exchange rate is better in Cuzco it's convenient to arrive with a little local money. The exchange rate was approximately the same changing pounds into dollars in UK then changing the dollars into sols in Cuzco as it was to change pounds directly into sols in Cuzco. However all the exchange outlets would exchange dollars (including very near hotel San Agustin Plaza) but they didn't all exchange pounds. Western Union in Main Square exchanges pounds. We spent approx 1450 sols per person for 11 nights (incl 1 night in Cuzco pre tour & Titicaca extension). If you do the Titicaca extension, include the reed boat ride, and book the Balcons de Puna restaurant for dinner & floorshow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was great. Thanks to Mike for excellent organisation & guiding. Thanks also for organising extra night in Aguas Calientes due to train strike.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Martin Atkin

    Inca Trail In Comfort - 30th May Departure

    This was a challenging but most rewarding of adventures on the Inca Trail. A group of individuals of varying ages, abilities and backgrounds became a team over the 4 day trek. Our guide and leader, Mike, was inspirational giving of his knowledge, experience and friendship throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    While Machu Picchu was the end of the trek it was camp on the third night together with the sunrise on the fourth day that will be my standout memory. Waking to a glorious sunrise on that last day with the clouds filling the valleys below was an awesome sight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was a fantastic guide and leader. Whether it was recommendations on places to visit in Cuzco, his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Peru and Inca or his care for those having difficulty at the higher altitude his energy and enthusiasm exceeded all expectations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure your fitness levels are as good as possible. This will ensure you maximise your enjoyment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will certainly be looking for further opportunities to travel with Exodus.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Scott Semple

    Spectacular trek with the best trek leader

    The trek to Machu Picchu in Comfort is very much a trek worth taking. Machu Picchu is very impressive as you might imagine, but somewhat overshadowed by the majesty of the Peruvian mountainside that you trek through to reach it. I was blown away by the views along the treks, particularly from Dead Woman’s Pass and our final campsite at 4000m. I do not normally write reviews and the thing that makes me want to is to highlight just how amazing our tour leader Cesar Smith (“Smithy”) was. I have never encountered a more friendly, informative and inspiring trek leader in all of my travels. Easily the best tour guide I have ever encountered. Smithy’s passion for his country, mountains and knowledge of historical contact are impressive enough, but his support for the entire group was outstanding. A few in the group struggled with some altitude effects and fitness. These members were sensitively supported by Smithy, whilst he also facilitated those of us wanting to trek faster to do so. Friendly and informative with a contagious passion for the trek, I cannot say enough good things about Smithy, our tour leader. If you have options of choosing dates with his involvement, he comes with my highest recommendation. In terms of the trip, there are parts that are physically challenging, so I would advise reading the training guide. My wife and I trained for the trip and were very glad we did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up over Dead Woman’s pass and the last campsite and 4000m offered breath-taking views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot say enough good things about our group leader. Easily the best guide I have ever experienced. Friendly, informative without being overbearing. His passion for the mountains and the country of Peru is inspirational. His relationship with our porters one of mutual respect. Amazing knowledge and I genuinely warmed to the man to a degree which surprised me. One of the big highlights of our tour was the tour leader. Cesar Smith (“Smithy”) comes with my biggest recommendation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. Read the training guide. Those that had not did struggle with some the challenging sections of the trip. Dead Woman’s Pass is a challenge for most people, so do the training for the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed with the porter tea. Our chef Luciano demands specific praise. The food was excellent, and varied. The lead porter Alejandro, ran a tight ship, and each of the porters were constantly busy, supporting the entire group. A really inspirational bunch of lads. They had clear respect for our tour leader, who again, I simply cannot say enough good things about. If you have any choice in the matter, try to book a tour with Smithy as your tour leader.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Anne Scott

    Don’t miss the Inca trail with Smithy

    My husband and I travelled to Peru and walked the Inca trail. In over 20 years of travel (and having walked the trail before some 15 years ago) I have never before felt moved to provide a review. Of course the Inca trail and Machu Picchu were, as expected, amazing. The stand out factor was our guide, Cesar Smith aka Smithy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the hard work of the porters and kitchen staff as they all but ran up and down the mountainside with heavy packs as we struggled for breath with day packs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cesar Smith aka Smithy led the tour brilliantly. He provided support and attention for those who needed it, and freedom for those who didn’t. Smithy shared his passion for Peru, his pride in his heritage, and his love for the mountains in the most authentic way. And always with a good dose of understated humour. Easily the best tour leader I’ve had in over 20 years of travel. It would be worth changing the dates of your travel to be sure you get him as a guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alison McGregor

    Inspirational Challenge

    Joining the group as a solo traveler is often intimidating but the people, the guide and the team have made this a memorable and fantastic experience. Our guide embraced us all with our different abilities backgrounds and personalities and created a fantastic group and team. Between us we had an adventure of a lifetime supported by the most fabulous trekking crew.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of the Andes from our campsite on the 3rd night. Beautiful inspiring and simply amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was excellent, he went out of his way to ensure everyone managed to the trail and more than that enjoyed it. A mix of ages and abilities but he made it work. People smiled in the rain and beamed at the views, his knowledge and Peru. Nothing was too much trouble people felt important and special and look after. His knowledge and theories on the inca's were great and his local experiences brilliant. THANK YOU!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just to it - it is challenging but not as hard as you think, the comfort part of the trip is exceptional and makes it that bit more special and is worth the extra cost. Catering was just way beyond what you would ever expect

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes the porters were simply amazing always smiling always encouraging and so efficient. A big thank you also to both Wilbert Gozzegos and Alesondro Usca our 2 cooks. I am gluten free and cannot eat red meat, but eat day they achieved some simply delicious and amazing food and could not have been more helpful. I don't think I have ever experienced such good gluten free cooking on a holiday - normally i survive on all the food I take with me but this time I didn't need any of it. They are the best.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Well worth the long journey and as the guide says it won't feel like 10 hours. Guide was excellent and lunch stop was great. The Incan site in the afternoon was really stunning and a great way to end the adventure.

    Would really recommend this extra trip. Only negative was the hotel which was not the one in the trip notes and was far from the standard of the other hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the views from the Incan burial site and the feeling of isolation and how far removed from every day life this place was. A rainbow appeared which made it super special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Easy to understand and good knowledge of area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a long way home , 3 flights so be prepared. Also make sure you allow for all the tipping!! It's a big addition to the cost of the holiday.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Worth doing the inca trail in comfort. Hotels are nice and having the extra weight makes a big difference.

    Excellent trip, you need to be fit as the trek is not easy but it is well worth it when you get to Machu Pichu. You learn a lot on the way from the guides and their support is genuine. Food was really good and overall the trip was fantastic and you get to see some amazing places. The tents could do with an update. You need poles but those who didn't have them were able to hire which is great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top on day 2 and making an offering to the gods was really special especially as I really struggled with the altitude . So it was great that our group leader had waited and didn't rush us and allowed us to have this special moment. Obviously being in Machu pichu was very special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was really lovely and his partner Xavier was an absolute star. He was so patient when I struggled with the altitude. Only comment I would add is as we were slow we sometimes missed out on the commentary but his knowledge was incredible and so passionate about his country and its wonderful historical sites.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you follow the fitness guide and bring warm clothes.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Worth doing the inca trail in comfort. Hotels are nice and having the extra weight makes a big difference.

    Excellent trip, you need to be fit as the trek is not easy but it is well worth it when you get to Machu Pichu. You learn a lot on the way from the guides and their support is genuine. Food was really good and overall the trip was fantastic and you get to see some amazing places. The tents could do with an update. You need poles but those who didn't have them were able to hire which is great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top on day 2 and making an offering to the gods was really special especially as I really struggled with the altitude . So it was great that our group leader had waited and didn't rush us and allowed us to have this special moment. Obviously being in Machu pichu was very special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was really lovely and his partner Xavier was an absolute star. He was so patient when I struggled with the altitude. Only comment I would add is as we were slow we sometimes missed out on the commentary but his knowledge was incredible and so passionate about his country and its wonderful historical sites.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you follow the fitness guide and bring warm clothes.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Shanahan

    Excellent trip

    Our guide, Wilmer, was extremely knowledgeable, interesting and helpful. Chef provided excellent food, hotels were comfortable. There were some magical moments such as watching the stars and moon at night and the sunrise in the morning over the mountains. I would recommend the trip although recommend getting to Cusco a couple of days early to acclimatise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Inca trail and enjoying the views of the mountains. Climbing up to the Sun gate and suddenly seeing Machu Pichu below - magical..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilmer was excellent. Couldn't have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get to Cusco a couple of days early to acclimatise
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Susan Fuller

    The trip of a lifetime

    What a fabulous experience, amazing views, great walking, excellent catering and accommodation, a truly memorable trip and you get to visit Machu Picchu! Brilliant, we thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this trip, outstanding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The journey through the cloud forest and along the Inca trail was stunning but when we arrived at sun gate and the mist lifted to reveal Machu Pichu, wow, that was a very emotional experience for me, a sight I have wanted to see for more than 10 years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Raul, was superb, such a lovely man, extremely knowledgeable and accommodating, we couldn’t fault him, he was truly committed to ensuring we had a great trip and experienced all his country has to offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To avoid altitude sickness take it easy for the first couple of days, drink lots of water and avoid heavy meals and alcohol. Make sure you read the trip notes, there are a lot of steps, which you need to be prepared for. Get booking and enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were 12 amazing porters including the cook that provided everything we could possibly need in the middle of nowhere. They work extremely hard, can’t do enough for you and are always cheerful, Thanks to them all.
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