Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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68 Reviews

  • Reviewed April 2016
    JIll Marquis

    Amazing - I loved the desert

    What an experience - trekking in the desert is like nothing I have ever done before. I loved the space, the quiet and the rhythm of the actual walking. The stars at night were unbelievable. The food for us veggies was excellent and really varied and tasty. I felt that I had grown by this whole experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved it all - but the actual walking in the desert was really the highlight for me - I didn't want to leave the desert on day five! Burdah Bridge was fun ( when I had struggled to get to the top). Petra is huge and awe-inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a very knowledgeable group leader who was passionate about his country. At Petra he was an excellent guide with all the historical facts at his fingertips. He also had a wicked sense of humour at times!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a large hat, suntan lotion, walking trousers with legs that can unzip, a good camera, numerous changes of clothes and a sense of adventure.
  • Reviewed March 2016

    What a great trip

    This was such a brilliant trip and exceeded my expectations. We had perfect weather with blue skies and sunshine but it wasn't too hot for trekking. The desert scenery is simply stunning and takes your breath away - it really is spectacular. Petra is amazing but for me trekking in the desert and sleeping out under the stars was the highlight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I've got so many highlights from this trip. Sleeping out under the stars (who needs a tent) and getting up early to watch the sunrise was so much fun and I loved sitting around the campfire of an evening. Spending 4 days and nights in the desert is just an amazing experience and i really enjoyed every minute of it. The 800 step climb up to the monastery at Petra is well worth it for the views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Zohair, was very passionate about his country, its people and culture and this came through in all his stories. He was a good leader and even treated us to a guided tour around Little Petra even though this wasn't part of the itinerary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    They've underestimated what you need for tips and meals and things so I'd take more money with you than what's been recommended - or you can use the ATMs at the airport or at Petra. A visit to the cave bar in Petra is well worth it - try the local Petra beer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Petra by night event is overpriced for what it is.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Jonathan Bergwerk

    Great place, wrong time of year

    Petra is fantastic. A must see and awe inspiring sight. Wadi Rum at the end of May was too hot. It was in the high 30s and low 40s which meant we had to spend hours resting in the shade and much of the walking felt like a route march at times - something to be endured and survived rather than enjoyed. People were exhausted. No other tour company was trekking at the end of May. So go, but go earlier in the year.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was experienced and personable. He worked hard. Very individualistic. He told stories rather than was a typical tour guide. He was very pushy when it came to asking for tips for the driver and beduins

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The prices quoted in the Exodus material are misleading. You are taken to places to eat which are a lot more expensive than we expected. Think £20 for a basic lunch. Also the tips are more like a tax than being voluntary. The culture is such that they expect a tip regardless of the level of service. It got quite unpleasant when some people didn't feel this was appropriate. The total tips expected was about £60. The desert camping is very basic. No washing water is provided. The camps are well used so with the lack of toilet facilities there are is considerable mess which takes away from the enjoyment of the experience. I think having 1 or 2 nights in the desert would have been sufficient. Four nights was a slog. The walking we did each day varied considerably and did not follow the notes. Its worthwhile walking around the back of Petra on the way back rather than going in and out the same way.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Thidara Udomritkul

    Petra and Wadi Rum Trek

    A fantastic experience! I felt that we were able to fully appreciate the desert scenery that Wadi Rum had to offer. The wild camping was in excellent locations including on top of sand dunes and between sandstone mountains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Burdah Bridge. There are scenic views throughout and it was the first time I've climbed a rock bridge. The support from the local Bedouin people whilst climbing was excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair was a very experienced and enthusiastic tour leader. I felt that he went above and beyond to make the trip memorable for us and the pacing of the walks on each day was well set.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a head torch whilst wild camping as it is easier to eat dinner in the desert without holding a torch. Have small denominations in Jordanian dinar on the trip where possible

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A really unique trip and a fantastic experience, I would highly recommend this trip for fully embracing the desert experience away from the usual tourist sites. We did not encounter any other travellers wild camping in the desert during our trek!
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Dan Bachmann

    trip of a lifetime

    Without this trip, my wife and I would not have wandered for 4 days in a desert, climbed rock bridges or had a stress free time of worrying about a campsite, food and water. Having a support vehicle for sleeping bags, tent, food and water aren't cheating when it comes to desert travel - camels would have been used for the desert trekkers even before Biblical times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing my wife bravely reach the top of Burdah Bridge. Her sense of adventure is growing that she even agreed to come on a trekking trip!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A perfect leader and a true diplomat to Jordan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring some form of first aid kit for a potential blister. Also, there are ATM machines before and after immigration at the airport so you can get dinars for the 40 dinar visa fee. There is no (10 dinar) exit fee from the airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan is a safe country in a difficult area. As tourists, we felt as welcome guests where the locals were pleased that we enjoyed their unique landscapes, history and culture so much.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Richard Carter

    Great views and great fun

    A great well thought through trip with great adventure and amazing views. The desert trek is outstanding, the challenge of walking on sand in hot temperatures coupled with the fantastic camp sites was a real highlight. The scrambling on day 2 of the trek is great fun with the high land bridge well worth the climb, it is safe but isn't for the feint hearted. Petra is also inspiring with the first view of the treasure house a great awe inspiring moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I could mention, Petra, the high land bridge, the Bedouin camp. But for me it was the sunset at Fox camp. The view over the mountain and the camp site on the sand dunes is a real highlight. The camp fire conversation was also a real highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair is excellent. A knowledgeable, enlightened, humorous leader who really wanted his trekkers (adopted tribe) to love his country and the Trek as much as he does. He made the trip with his unfussy, educational and relaxed style. Thanks Zuhair!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own sleeping bag, the local ones are only OK. It gets very cold especially on the clear nights and you need to invest in a 4 season sleeping bag, I didn't bring mine and on a couple of nights it was bitter and if it wasn't for the fact that the trip was brilliant it could have been a bit miserable. The food was brilliant but it is worth packing a few little snacks for the end of the trekking day, my favourite is a few jelly snakes, these are the only snakes we saw by the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is a great trek with good variety and great views. The middle East is a troubled place but we didn't sense any issues at all and outside of the very friendly Bedouin you may encounter we didn't see anybody else during the day. We had a great group of Trek mates which also made the trip, thanks to each and everyone of you for making the fireside conversation enjoyable and above all interesting.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Petra & Wadi Rum trek Nov 2014

    A well balanced visit to Jordan with some interesting and impressive sights. The Wadi Rum was more varied than I expected although this was mostly on the second and third days. I found we had a good hour or two at the end of the day's walk where we still had good light so if you aren't tired a short wander of your own is well worth it to feel like you've gotten the most from your time there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the view from the Um Fourth rock bridge - I hadn't expected the Wadi Rum to be quite as rocky and narrow at certain points (not a negative) so the two hour climb was a fantastic opportunity to look back down and over some of the terrain we had covered. I'd strongly suggest anyone on this trip take that optional climb. Although I have little experience with scrambling on the whole I found it easier than expected and the small use of ropes shouldn't concern you. The guides and assistance they offered was excellent and I felt safe at all times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salah was amusing and easy going and I felt struck up a good rapport with us quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whilst you may as well do the Petra by Night excursion seeing as you are going all that way, it's really not very good for the amount it costs. It's fairly short with little in the way of worthwhile content and borders of slightly cheesy at some points. The one thing I read in multiple reviews was that you should bring gaiters to keep sand out of your boots. They are fairly cheap so it can't hurt however I found that pulling my trousers over the tops of my boots worked just as well.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Consider extending the trip a day or two to take in the dead sea as well, that would really round out the trip to Jordan. Everyone I told I was going to Jordan reacted the same way; "is that safe?" Ultimately I had absolutely no issues and see no reason why (at time of writing) you should avoid this trip due to that sort of concern.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    When your guide says jump you ask how high

    Trekked in Wadi Rum in October. What an amazing and special place to be. The weather was unseasonably hot most days over 35 degrees. Nights were not much cooler, which meant we couldn’t sleep under the stars (reptiles and scorpions were active). The desert is an extremely quite and peaceful place to be. If you are thinking about this trip, (don’t think), just do it you won’t be disappointed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The climb up onto the Burdah Rock Bridge was a fantastic experience. The views were stunning. A small effort for big rewards. Perhaps the most inspirational moment was watching the sunset at Fox Camp (named by our guide Salah). The changing light caused the colours of the desert to slowly change from yellow to pink slowly through to an opaque grey and into night. whilst in the foreground the campfire flickered and danced.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salah was a great guide, very knowledgeable and informative, and going the extra mile to ensure we got as much from our trip as we possibly could.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Ella Meumann

    Wadi Rum Trek

    A great introduction to the Middle East. The desert was stunning and Petra was fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exploring Petra.
  • Reviewed June 2014
    Irene Murray

    Loved this Trek

    We went in March and had the most fabulous weather which added to the joy of this trip. The Wadi Rum is just magical. We found the walks quite leisurely and spent the days gawping at the scenery and chatting to others in the group. The guided trip to the arch of Burdah was more challenging but we had a lot of help and reassurance from our guide, policeman and local staff and there was no pressure to do more than you wanted. The food was good and the tents were basic but comfortable enough. The last day of the trek started with an optional camel ride followed by a short trek then the bus to Petra for a wash and then Petra by night. Petra was a great contrast to the trek and a lovely way to end the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery during the days and the stars at night on the trek were spectacular, so it is difficult to pick a moment of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very welcoming from the start. We learned a lot from him about life in Jordan and had some good stories from him at night around the camp fire. He was very attentive and patient and I felt that he really wanted us to enjoy our trip and appreciate his country. He also had a good sense of humour and got the know the foibles of the group pretty quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We found the evenings in March pretty cool, so take some layers, especially for sitting gazing at the stars after dinner. Take plenty of baby wipes, a head torch, something to read and a good first aid bag in case of tummy upsets, blisters etc. It's good to have some open toed sandals for the camp site to give your feet a breather after a long day's trekking. Do the camel ride and the hamman if you can, both were a great giggle. Do your shopping the evening you arrive in Petra town, the shops near the hotel are good and you won't have much time after that unless you miss out a bit of the tour of Petra the next day. It is also worth considering adding a trip of your own to the week to see a bit more of Jordan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first shot at any kind of camping so I was a bit apprehensive and couldn't imagine how I could cope with the lack of toilets and no running water. Don't let this put you off if it's your first time too, it's not the best part of the trip but the rest more that makes up for a couple of yucky moments. It's worth it!