Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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62 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Awesome trip, feel close to nature

    Whenever I think about to travel, every time I think about South zone because of their diversity, culture, beauty and nature. Finally I decided to visit South Zone and trust me nothing can be better than this. You can get everything here like colonial hill stations, beautiful temples, relaxed lifestyle, extra-ordinary scenery and the best food in India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Houseboat trip is the one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing
  • Reviewed March 2020

    A highly informative trip that covers three states in south Inddiaa

    The trip covers a significant part of south India; our bus covered 2,800 km. At times, the trip seems rather rushed with only one night stays in some locations. This said, our leader Santo certainly got the best for us. Street food, a variety of hotels, different languages, beautiful green countyside, fresh fruits and vegetables, food not too spicy when requested, fantastic elements of the trip spent on boats etc. Exodus, as always, had all angles covered and we were able to enjoy ourselves, especially the walks and boat trips with interesting wildlife to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The houseboat trip was the highlight for me, sadly only one night on the boat, could have extended this!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was excellent. I have never had a better tour leader. He is so well-informed and is great company. Without him, the trip could not have beeen so enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do cover all angles as far as power connectors are concerned. The variety of sockets in hotels is nothing short of mind boggling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thr trip could benefit from one less location so that single night hotel stays are limited/avoided. The chances of catching sight of tiger are very slim indeed! The option to travel on the Miniature Blue Mountain railway was not offered. But, we did travel on a 1 metre guage railway.
  • Reviewed December 2019

    Mind Blowing Trip

    A completely enjoyable excursion which worked out as expected. We went out the way where we can see all the little "incidentals" which make the excursion, for example, tile making, rubber tapping, rice and spice plantations. The quality of the lodgings was amazing. On the off chance that you have three weeks to spare and need to see the highlights of South India, this is the excursion for you. Far reaching inclusion of the primary temples, royal residences, hill stations and different attractions of the area. Despite the fact that the excursion packs in every one of the sights, it didn't feel hurried and there is sufficient time left allowed to investigate without anyone else. South India appears to be substantially less frantic than the north and the food is astonishing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Backwaters in Alleppey.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was very nice and friendly.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Vicky Campbell

    Our outstanding tour leader made this trip special

    This was our first visit to India. The itinerary is excellent and provides a varied experience as shown in other reviews. Each day brought new sights, sounds and encounters, some of which will stay with us for ever. Although this is classed as a leisurely trip it is quite “full on” and tiring at times but the long travel days and early starts are necessary in order to cover the ground. Most of the hotels were good with helpful staff and safe, comfortable accommodation. All were well- located. We enjoyed the food ( some evening meals were eaten in the hotels, others in local restaurants).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many of the places we visited obviously left a lasting impression. However, in terms of being inspirational, I think our encounters with local people were exactly that. We were privileged to have a number of opportunities to share some time with people who live very different lives, surely one of the reasons for travelling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is absolutely first class. He is experienced and professional and from day one, showed that he genuinely wants everyone to gain from this trip. His love for the people of the country and his desire to show us as much as possible made the whole trip very special. Every day brought something extra which was not in the itinerary, nor could it be. Suresh was always on the look out for anything which would enable us to experience the real India. He would stop the bus, quickly check something out and usually would urge us to get off the bus. Our stop at a village where rope is made and our wedding encounter are examples of such diversions. Suresh is knowledgable and readily explained any issues raised by the group, some based on what we saw and at other times, historical matters. Most days, he would talk about where we were going whilst travelling on the bus so we were always prepared for the day. The bus driver, Mohan, was excellent. He was safe and confident and we were able to relax with him at the wheel. The assistant, Manu was also excellent and we were very well looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our “ bus” was comfortable. Some people did use their neck cushions on the longer travel days. There is a constant supply of drinking water on board so you can refill your bottle whenever you want to.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We enjoyed the company of our fellow travellers. The camaraderie was well established quite early on, partly due to the time spent together on the bus. In retrospect, we think this trip represents great value for money. We feel that by doing this trip, we have made useful contributions to local communities ; much of this is down to the positive way that Exodus operates but Suresh facilitated so much more.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ruth Durbano

    Wonderful trip

    A wonderful experience, very varied with a generally good standard of hotels. Excellent guide, bus driver and helper.Fantastic places visited, which combined historic places,temples,Ashram,caves and nature reserves where we saw lots of birds and animals. Also had a little time free to soak up the feeling of the areas and of course some retail therapy, ending up at a beautiful seaside resort to relax for the final day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beauty and tranquillity of the stay on the fabulous houseboat in the backwaters in Kerala, would have liked another night ! Also the whole experience of Mahabalipuram.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukose was amazing, very knowledgeable, very helpful and always looking out for everyone.He went the extra mile on so many occasions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a full on trip with amazing sights,food and nature full of wildlife.Quite a few hotels don't have fridges,hairdryers or safe boxes in the rooms.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wasn't over impressed with cookery demonstration. I could have done with a little more free time,but overall an absolutely brilliant holiday and experience.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    robert lacey

    south india

    Well i preferred the South generally to the north, but I felt there where to many Temples etc, and I would have preferred more time visiting farming families and being involved with the land more. This was my 1st coach holiday,and I found that quite tiring. Kerala waterways was lovely.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kerala waterways. And the people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good guide, cound'nt do enough for you to make you comfortable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a soft cushion. and be prepared for some long journeys.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I found the south more pleasing then the north, and although the trips where spread out it was a good way to see such a large area.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Geoffrey Leigh

    Chaos, colour and cacophony

    A full-on three weeks, travelling around 3,000km by road, rail and water in the three southern most states in India. The trip took in contrasting landscapes, languages, culture, religion, wildlife, history, heritage and daily life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think inspirational maybe a little too OTT. There were many times we were brought face to face with the complexity and seeming timelessness of many aspects of India - the way religion is part of the daily life of so many with temples, mosques and churches everywhere and well attended. The enormous gap between rich and poor. The hard work so many people carried out to earn a living and the number of people it took to perform a simple task, each one earning a small amount for a small task. Whereas we would have one person multi-tasking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    PK was fun and well organised. His English was sometimes confusing but not seriously so. He never became frayed even tho' there were times he was under pressure. and in the beginning dealing with a difficult situation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do your homework beforehand! Look at the itinerary, buy a decent map and do some reading. Be prepared for seeing abject poverty. Try to keep an open mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly enjoyable three weeks. A really fun group we were with.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Joanna Birt

    Brilliant experience of Southern India

    Our first experience of India, what an unforgettable trip. Such a wide mix of history, culture & wildlife. A very busy 2 weeks, very little spare time, but so worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On exiting Chennai airport the atmosphere hits you, the sights, the sounds & the aromas! (Of course the heat) So much poverty, the women bathing, & washing in the river was so moving but I felt like an intruder. At the other end of the spectrum Mysore Palace was amazing. Bandipur Tiger reserve was a brilliant experience despite no tiger making an experience, witnessing the wild life both at dawn & dusk. See elephants in the wild. Eating with the locals, trying local dishes, I loved it. The back water of Kerala just stunning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was a very good leader, excellent English, very knowledgable. He had a good sense of humour, was very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! Read the itinerary, & the trip notes. It is a full on tour, with a few very early starts & long days, but it’s all worth it. Not much time for relaxing. Timings our only a guide & are flexible
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Anne-Marie Robinson

    Fascinating trip

    This trip has an interesting and varied itinerary, with plenty of excellent cultural visits. There is quite a lot of travel involved, as stated in the trip notes, but it's a big country and there's loads to see....palaces, temples, nature reserves, tea plantations, markets, backwaters and beaches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the whole trip, but the highlight was the day and night spent on the backwaters in Alleppey. Just wonderful!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was outstanding. He was brilliantly organised, totally efficient, thoughtful, and charming. He made the trip a real pleasure to be on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of travel between places. If you don't like temples, don't do this trip!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Romaine and David Byers

    South India Explored

    A thoroughly enjoyable trip which went according to plan with excellent leader Sam Benjamin and with excellent safe driver. Sam went out of his way to show us all the little "incidentals" which make the trip, such as tile making , rubber tapping, rice plantation and spice plantations. The quality of the hotels was excellent. The only real problem we all faced was the slow service at restaurants, whether at hotels or elsewhere, where some people had finished their meal before others had even been served - but realise that this is a problem outside anyone's control.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The train trips were thoroughly enjoyable and sociable. Engaging manner of local people with our group. The beautiful Hindu temples - too numerous to mention. The houseboat stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was very knowledgeable, engaging and ensured the group was always satisfied, and happy and attentive to our needs. We would thoroughly recommend him as a group leader and it was interesting that he was prepared to learn from us as well as us from him. He was prepared to engage in topics on the bus when we asked him if these were of general interest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Water - there was plenty of water to drink on the bus from a water cooler. Hotels supplied bottled but we tried to limit using these because of plastic disposal. We were advised that cleaning teeth with tap water was OK. Food - we found the food a little too spicy and found we had to ask for less spice when this was possible.