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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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.

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Reviews

Tough but highly enjoyable trek

Blessed with bright sunshine and little wind we were able to laze at the summit enjoying the amazing views. Up is hard, especially with minimal time to get used to the altitude….but down is a LONG way on often-skiddy paths, and we were very happy to get to our lovely hotel at the end of the descent.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Ismail did a great job - was very patient with us as we pottered gently up and down

Advice for Potential Travellers

Refuge isn't as basic as you might fear. Guides provided bottled water so we didn't need to gather it from streams or other uncertain sources. Bring a really good head torch for the ascent - you'll be in the dark for at least an hour. Do some work on knee strength to aid confidence on the long descent.

Suggestions

We had a great group; a good time was had by all.

mt toubkal short trip

Great trip with a bunch of lovely fellow travellers. The weather could not have been better. Organisation was spot on.

Most Inspirational Moment

Definitely making it to the summit 20 mins before sunrise.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Lachen was terrific. Always a smile of his face but always looking after us and making sure everything was ok. His pace management on the last 1000 metres in the dark getting to the summit was very good and allowed everyone (range of fitness levels) to make it to the summit. Terrific guy.

What an experience!

If you are short on time but love adventure, this is a great trip. The trek is challenging, you will need decent boots, and beware of the slippery scree but well worth the hard work. The night in the Refuge was quite the experience, a 16man bunk bed and breakfast at 2.20am so we could get to the top for sunrise. Hussain (our guide) and Lassan (the support guide) were great. I had a nasty bout of altitude sickness at the Refuge and Hussain took me higher to try and conquer it and feel better. The mountains are beautiful, the chef kept us well fed and time for a whiz round Marrakech too. Highly recommended.

Most Inspirational Moment

The care and support to get everyone safely to the top and down again.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our group leader was great, hard working, friendly, shared good advice and looked after us really well.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Wear decent hiking boots, pack for four seasons in a day, take large capacity water bottles. Change money in the airport or at Hotel Ali in the main square. Argana in Marrakech has lovely icecream and wifi and Les Jardins Majorelles are beautiful.

Suggestions

The walking pace is slow to support the altitude and very necessary. The second day is full on with 15 hours from setting out to getting to the bottom of the mountain.

Intense, fun, camaraderie, breathtaking

First trip to mountains post Covid. Marrakech was sweltering, mountains were sunny and windy, summit was chilly and bright. Really fun and interesting and supportive group with a wide age range and great guides. We had a shared endeavour and though it involved two very long days of walking, and not a lot of sleep, it was a great feeling of satisfaction to have made it to the top and back again, all of us. I chose the “long weekend” due to shortage of leave from work. For me, it was a bit too short and I would have liked to spend longer there to take in the spectacle and watch the High Atlas mountain light.

Most Inspirational Moment

A couple of moments: firstly the feeling of elation when we got to the summit and had that incredible 360 degrees view. The sun was shining and we could see all the way we had come. Second, was sitting with sore legs early the following morning on the terrace of the guesthouse looking up towards the summit in the far distance way above the treeline, and thinking, "well, this time yesterday morning, I was right up there!" and knowing I had done it and could now relax and enjoy the sun coming up and warming the valley.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Youssef, our main guide, was brilliant. Very patient with lots of positive psychology. Excellent English. Fab sense of humour. Also very knowledgeable about the birds. Felt very safe with him leading the group. Lahsen was our second guide and also excellent. He worked seamlessly with Youssef to make sure we all went up and down safely and in good spirits. Both Youssef and Lahsen knew the mountain extremely well and were very adaptable to our needs, as well as kind and fun to be with.

Advice for Potential Travellers

It depends when you do the trip, but in May, it was definitely worth having warm gloves and a hat for the early morning climb to the summit and layers to remove down to lighter clothes for the descent into the valley. The temperature range was staggering. Marrakech was 40+ and the top of Toubkal was freezing. I'd also really recommend poles if you have them as there is a lot of 'down' on summit day. Drink lots of water. It was quite windy for us, so secure your hat or scarf. And take spare batteries for your head torch. Oh and enjoy the orange juice.

Suggestions

It's quite physically challenging, particularly considering the number of hours walking up and down. Make sure you train beforehand and wear comfy boots. If you can't train as much as you'd like, don't plan anything too strenuous for the following week. ;-)

Great trip if limited amount of time

Great trip to do with a limited amount of time, but due to limited amount of time you have a pretty gruelling day on day 2 of the walk

Most Inspirational Moment

Reaching the summit of course

Thoughts on Group Leader

He was nice and informative, perhaps a little serious, I love a bit of banter but a great guide all the same

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you can do the longer Toubkal trip I would. Day 2 of the walk was really long and tiring, coming down is hard work with the loose scree and as we came in July due to a milestone birthday,it was absolutly baking hot

Suggestions

We had the airport transfers in with the trip but our return transfer did not turn up, we had parted ways with the group and guide that morning as they were all on earlier flights. Ended up having to get a taxi which we had to pay for arriving at Marrakech airport (notorious for how hectic it is) a little later than planned. I have contacted exodus about this a couple of times but they have yet to reply to me.

Amazing

My daughter asked me to join her on this trip in preparation for her trek to Everest Base Camp.
It was hard but amazing in equal measure and I’m so glad I did it!
Keeping positive and being part of a great team are key to completing the trek.

Most Inspirational Moment

The sense of pride at reaching the summit was immense. Having not had much sleep the previous few nights and then the unexpected heavy snow made the achievement even more worthwhile. If you are lucky to get a clear sky at the top, like we were, the views are breathtaking.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Lahcen was fantastic - patient and kind and we felt completely safe with him. We had a 2nd guide, Mohammed, at the back of our team of 8 on the summit day who was equally great.

Advice for Potential Travellers

It took us 6hrs (with breaks) on the 1st day to get to the Refuge. It felt like we would never get there! Due to the unexpected snow we were given crampons at the Refuge but thankfully it wasn’t icy so we didn’t need them. The timings of the summit day were longer than the itinerary suggested so I began to have doubts but dug deep and made it! We got up at 3am, left at 4 and reached the summit at 8. Magnificent 🎉 We spent about 45mins at the top taking pictures, snacking and taking in the scenery. It took 3.5hrs to get back down to the Refuge for a hearty lunch then a further 3.5hrs to make the final descent to the gite for the night. This last bit was draining but you know you are on the final stretch. Bring snacks but there are lots of places to stop en route to the Refuge. Our group did not have any problems with altitude sickness. The guides walk at a gentle pace which helps you acclimatise.

Suggestions

A head torch and warm clothes needed for the Refuge which is very basic with limited lighting and heating only in the communal room.

Mount Toubkal 2018

The trip was well organised and everything went to plan. The travel and trek information and description was informative and correct. There were no unpleasant surprises.
I would personally rate the trek a 6 in difficulty due to the 8 hour trek on the first day and the 13 hour trek on summit day as well as the snow we encountered 700metres from the summit.
I would also like to say just how good our tour guide Larchen was. He was very friendly and extremely helpful and professional in every way. This really helped the actual trek run smoothly and made it so enjoyable

Most Inspirational Moment

Reaching the summit, a magical moment.

Thoughts on Group Leader

As stated above, Very very good.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Yes. Be prepared for very changeable weather, hot weather at the foot of the mountain, heavy rain and cold and snow on route to the summit during September. The Refuge will be very very basic, with no heating and limited power for lighting

Suggestions

No

Mount Toubaki

We love this experience, it was challenging however so insightful to be immersed into another culture and to experience a trek through the Atlas Mountains.

Most Inspirational Moment

Making it to base camp

Thoughts on Group Leader

Fantastic

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for night time climbing

Amazing trip in an incredible country

Had never been to Morocco before and I must admit it took me by surprise. I’m not sure what I expected really but it was so much more than my expectations; I’ll certainly be back. I arrived in Marrakech the evening before the normal arrival day, Exodus booking me into the arrival hotel and arranged transfer from the airport which simplified things.

Climbing Mount Toubkal itself is a fear challenge in such a short time and I was worried about my fitness. Abdul, our guide, though insisted we all took it slowly; which we did, and we made it. It’s tough, but entirely doable. Loved the stay on the mountain in the mountain hut, though didn’t sleep much, which meant the 3am rise was actually a relief. Heading off in the darkness, with just the small patch of light created by your head torch is an amazing experience, only beaten by standing at the summit.

The quality o food on the trip was amazing, given we were on the side of a mountain. Lovely, fresh food and lots of it; believe me you will need it on summit day. After the long descent we’d have eaten most out of house and home, but there was more than enough to satisfy us all.

Most Inspirational Moment

Setting off in the darkness, in my own little bubble of my head torch light.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Abdul was incredible. Always smiling, chatty and proud of his country. He talked to us about his country and its customs, his life but was also interested in ours. He couldn't do enough for us all throughout the trip. Dinner in Marrakech on the final evening was amazing and he's a pretty good singer.

Advice for Potential Travellers

A water bladder is very useful; I actually had a bladder and a water bottle, the bottle I regularly topped up whenever possible. Head torch is essential for the early morning climb. A wide brimmed sunhat, or something which covers your neck, and suncream also. I would also recommend walking poles.

Suggestions

A great first experience with Exodus, it won't be my last. Very smooth and using local guides really gives a feel for the country, which in my view will always make it a better experience.

Brilliant weekend

A brilliant adventure, and all in a weekend!

Most Inspirational Moment

Obviously getting to the top, but the walk through villages, drinking tea in small hostels along the way, and the views.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Hesham was a great leader, tolerant and friendly who would go that extra mile for us.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Exodus as usual took care of everything, so much to pack in to a short space of time. I wondered if the tour of Marrakesh would prove too much but was really interesting, again so much to see but makes me want to go back!