Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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.

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jerry Dawson

    Comprehensive exploration of the sights of South India

    If you have three weeks to spare and want to see the highlights of South India, this is the trip for you. Comprehensive coverage of the main temples, palaces, hill stations and other attractions of the region. Although the trip packs in all the sights, it did not feel rushed and there is enough time left free to explore on your own. South India seems much less frenetic than the north and the food is amazing! There is a lot of driving but the bus is air conditioned and spacious and from time to time the group travels by train, which is a fascinating experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of sights, the highlights for me were driving through the tea plantations near Ooty and Periyar, exploring the streets of former French colony Pondicherry, having lunch during a small cyclone in the "Rick Stein" beachfront restaurant in Mahabalipuram, exploring the various flower and vegetable markets, the waterfront at Kovalam, and the overnight houseboat trip in the Kerala Backwaters near Alleppey. The real highlight for me, however, was the food - Indian food all day from breakfast (puris and iddlys) through to dinner - including the several stops at roadside restaurants for thalis at lunchtime, the wonderful seafood in Mahabalipuram and Kovalam, and the cooking demonstration (with active participation) in Thekkady/ Periyar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh P.K. did a great job. He had a kind and caring personality and was very open with information about India and its customs, religions and culture. All the trip logistics worked out well - which is quite an achievement for India!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some very long journeys on the bus so do bring a book to read. Although western food is available at all the hotels and most restaurants, it will add greatly to the enjoyment of the trip if you throw caution to the wind and eat the local food - lot of amazing veg and non-veg options! If you want a cold beer with dinner, call ahead to the restaurant to make sure there are beers in the fridge (many restaurants seem to serve beer at room temperature!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked more time in Pondicherry with a more comprehensive city walking tour to include information about life during the 300 years of French occupation; and also time to see the main sights in Chennai.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Mindy Grantham

    Great trip! Covered a lot of ground

    I was already traveling in India and made a fairly last minute decision to join this tour. I’m very glad I did. We had a small group which made it easy to move around, see things, hear the guides, and have a more personal experience. The guide (Santo) was great! He’s very personable, knowledgeable, and tries to make sure that we have a local experience to the extent possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being at Periyar and having the guide start telling our group to be quiet and move quickly as we started running through the forest in order to get to the place where an elephant was spotted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was wonderful. He’s super nice (all of the time even when there’s a difficult member of the group), he explains things well so we all understand in advance what to expect, he makes sure the trip is seamless for us (even though I’m sure there’s always issues) and he tries to give us local experiences too, which really makes the difference. I highly recommend him! I’d do another trip of his.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Mindy Grantham

    Great trip! Covered a lot of ground

    I was already traveling in India and made a fairly last minute decision to join this tour. I’m very glad I did. We had a small group which made it easy to move around, see things, hear the guides, and have a more personal experience. The guide (Santo) was great! He’s very personable, knowledgeable, and tries to make sure that we have a local experience to the extent possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being at Periyar and having the guide start telling our group to be quiet and move quickly as we started running through the forest in order to get to the place where an elephant was spotted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was wonderful. He’s super nice (all of the time even when there’s a difficult member of the group), he explains things well so we all understand in advance what to expect, he makes sure the trip is seamless for us (even though I’m sure there’s always issues) and he tries to give us local experiences too, which really makes the difference. I highly recommend him! I’d do another trip of his.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Stephen Sinnhuber

    Another interesting trip but a bit too much bus riding!

    This was our 6th Exodus trip and we have always really enjoyed them. Travelling with like-minded people. The trip involves some very interesting sights. Of course, it is the usual temples and palaces but the world heritage temples are incredible. The backwaters overnight trip is a highlight and relaxing after the rigours of bus journeys. Normally I give Exodus trips 5 stars as they have always been excellent. This one I give 3 stars simply because there is just too much bus riding. There are several 5 hour plus rides that always seem to take even longer. It was exhausting despite the fact we are just sitting in a bus! All the trips we have done have involved long bus rides but this one seemed to have even more or maybe its because it was 3 weeks. So looked forward to incredible temples and palaces but be prepared for long bus rides to get to them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the World Heritage temples. They are truly a marvel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Lukose Thomas, was excellent. He took great care of us and always ensured things were running smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take music, headphones, podcasts etc for the bus journeys. It helps pass the time. I even started to learn Spanish using an app, we spent so much time on a bus! The bus journeys are necessary in order to get to the different sights but they are long and numerous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very interesting trip in terms of the sights you see. Just be ready for the bus rides in between. I think they could be broken up a bit more to at least see some local culture on the way. This did happen on some of the later rides towards eth end of the trip and really helped break up the journey. More nature could be added as well as the trip is very urban. If you haven't been to India at all we also did the Exodus Rajasthan trip 4 years ago and of the two trips, I would recommend that over this one as a first India experience.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mandy and John Tory

    South India Explored

    A busy and very interesting trip. Great company, well organised and good itinerary. We loved southern India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...... Little train to Ooty. Lunch stops at roadside cafes. Overnight train to Chennai. Bird sanctuary at Vedantangal. Walking near elephants in Periyar National Park, and the boat trip on the same lake. Cooking evening with Sheril, in Periyar. The huge number and variety of temples. The houseboat in the backwaters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh was a good leader. Very well organised, friendly to all of the group with fascinating insights into local life and customs, with little held back. He embellished the trip with additions to the itinerary which were well received. He and his crew managed to break up the long drives with well planned stops - for chai and toilet purposes - as well as to observe local life and to try local produce.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack fairly light but you will not have to do much suitcase carrying. Have appropriate clothes for temple visits but more casual wear is better for the beach side stops. Swimwear! We had little problem with the change in diet but stuck to bottled water. Take your own drinking bottle to refill on the bus and reduce plastic waste. Learn to like beer as there may not be much choice! If female, practise squatting!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go with an open mind and a generous spirit.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Caroline Bradley

    Explore Southern India

    A fantastic opportunity to see the many different sides to India by travelling through 3 states and seeing the landscape, architecture, having the history explained and tasting the food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The architecture, culture and devotion of the Indian people to their religious beliefs & practices.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader made the long coach trips fun and interesting by getting us all involved in various topics we wanted to discuss and explore about India culture and history. He was frank, open and honest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a full on trip, the weather is hot and the humidity is high! So it can be exhausting, therefore you need to be "really up for it" to get the most out of the trip. Drink plenty of fluids, if you are not use to eating spicy food daily, then don't do it on the trip! There are plenty of alternatives Wear plenty of sun cream and DEET. Take things in your stride, keep your expectations low and you will be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. Go with a child's mind and heart; full of wonder, interest and excitement, don't prejudge and always look on the bright side and make the most of everything and you should enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Eric Aldridge

    South India trip

    As described in the trip notes the pace is leisurely. For us there was little walking and activity with some 2000+ miles in the bus albeit with plenty of fascinating traffic and sights to see. The people, as always, very friendly. The food interesting and every variation of curry. Highlights were walking and boat trip in Periyar NP together with the houseboat and waterways. Plenty of different temples and palaces to explore and the local guides clarified the details in carvings and exhibits. Our group was only 5 so there was plenty of space on the bus, organisation and communication was 'easy' with no delays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing was inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Everything went to plan and apart from one small communication error with the transfer bus at Bangalore all events and timings work well. With a small group it was relatively easy to 'control', communicate and I think we all enjoyed each others companionship. Everyone arrived on time and there were no delays. Our guide often gave insight Into India's developing culture, politics and history. He responded well to any questions. In general he was humourous though some days he was quiet and less communicative. He was very good to those who were not feeling so well and ensured they had all the necessary medication and care to recover as quickly as possible. Overall he was a very good guide and kept the group interest by unscheduled stops to view village life, brick making works, and various workshops. He was aided in this by our driver who was always looking for unexpected events at the roadside. Any changes to the itinerary were discussed/agreed with the group beforehand.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect the unexpected. Be ready at the agreed time to avoid delays and frustrating the rest of the group. Read the trip notes. Generally these are okay. (NB Hairdryers are not provided at hotels). India has an anti-plastic policy and now have 'plastic police' checking the number of carrier bags and bottles carried on the bus. Our driver was fined for too many plastic bags. It may be better to bring your own water bottle rather than refilling flimsy plastic bottles. Bottles were filled from the supplies issued from bulk supplies on the bus or complementary hotel bottles and never a problem. Although Kerala and south India is cleaner than the north expect to see plenty of litter (including on the beach at Mahabalipuram-awful) and this is a cultural. challenge and hence the plastic policy. The suggested walk from Dodabetta Peak to the botanical garden is along a busy road and I would not recommend it. Generally walking in towns is difficult as there are rarely footpaths and pedestrians mingle with traffic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have enjoyed more walking and we really enjoyed the opportunities in the botanical garden, Periyar, bird sanctuary and Kovalam. The houseboat gave another opportunity to wander along the waterside paths. In the towns there wasn't. much pleasure strolling with the traffic except we enjoyed the banter with the stallholders/shops. Our guide arranged a few 'strolls' through villages, festival areas but generally we travelled by bus for dinner if we didn't use the hotel.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Alexander Renwick

    Exodus South India Experience

    This was my first experience of visiting south India and after a very successful Exodus holiday to Venezuela many years ago, decided to give them another try. The three week tour was very well organised by them and especially our tour leader Mr Sam G Benjamin who really made it special right from the start.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to pin it down really because there were so many. Mysore palace at night, Ooty and the train journey were both very special, overnight train experience, houseboat in Kerala, even our last day at Kovalum was just lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Sam was very attentive, professional and always there when needed but not at all intrusive. In my opinion Sam made the holiday for us so special and interesting too, so top marks for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think because it all worked so well for me/us with some great people on the tour. A truly great team leading us safely and in comfort on our little bus including driver and his helper which made it special.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All I would say is if you want to see a very interesting, true southern India, you have go do this trip. But don't forget, you have to hit the ground running and it's Great!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Sylvia Holliman

    South India Explored

    An incredibly varied trip, packed with lots of wonderful moments. I loved all of the temples and palaces, particularly Shore Temple and associated monuments. The tea plantation and spice garden were both lovely, and the bird sanctuary was simply amazing! It was great to be there when various festivals were happening, and there was a real party feel to many of the places we visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a family of otters swimming in the lake when on our boat trip in Periyar National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Navin was drafted in at very short notice from his usual area in North India, and did a very good job in the circumstances. He was always ready to answer questions, and made sure that we all stayed healthy and safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take loo paper and antiseptic hand gel! There are some long journeys, and meal times can be a bit flexible, so you may want to consider taking some snack food (or buy when there).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Indian people are very friendly and welcoming. I recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Tim and Lesley Elgood

    The Magic Bus from Exodus

    We have not undertaken any tours previously so were apprehensive but this was unfounded. Our fellow travellers proved great fun and enhanced the tour and it was an amazing and varied trip with a great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday included something that was inspirational. Incredible India is the strap line and it really is the most amazing country . We have now been travelling 4 months through Asia and India remains in our memory as the most beautiful country. The towns and cities, the Temples , Palaces , the architecture through all the colonial periods of history, the friendly people so welcoming , the beautiful countryside the lakes , rivers and agriculture , teeming with wildlife and birds. The tranquility of the bird sanctuary stands out.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam George Benjamin was a great guide. He was very conscientious and extremely thorough , everything ran very smoothly. He went the extra mile to make sure everyone needs were met and was very inclusive. He was happy to answer our many questions about India during the long drives which kept us all entertained .He found some varied places to eat and introduced us to lots of delicious meals that we would not have tried without his guidance . He was also enormous fun and a great asset to exodus Tours. He sums up what a good guide should be as he made it seen easy , but we acknowledge how hard he worked to achieve this result. He was assisted by an excellent driver and co driver and excellent local guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our guide had a phrase this is India my friends remember lower your expectations. We would say remain flexible open minded and enjoy the moment , India is very humbling exciting inspirational and memorable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are undecided whether to travel to India, a tour is a good way to undertake this as you learn so much about the culture and customs and any confusions anxieties are soon ironed out by the guide.
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