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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.

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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Reviews

A fabulous mountain adventure

I went with limited expectations, and had only seen a few Google photos and some YouTube videos. I knew it would rugged and mountainous, and quite probably wet. The forecast was 7 days rain, and we had a wet welcome. However, Uriel, the local sun god, smiled on us and we had a mostly dry week with some pretty wet moments. The walking is spectacular. There is predictably a lot of going up and coming down, and a fair bit requires poles and some attention as toy where you place them. It is green, and rugged rock. We were tested in terms of what we could do but I was lucky and we had a group of 7 who were pretty similar in our capabilities. Louis the guide is local, knowledgeable, professional and friendly, an absolute star. The hotel was basic but provided all our needs, lots of hot water, a drying room and excellent food. The views from your door are amazing.

Most Inspirational Moment

I simply can’t pick one, each day provided a new peak. The Carres gorge is pretty amazing

Thoughts on Group Leader

Louis was excellent, see above

Advice for Potential Travellers

You need poles, sensible walking gear, multiple layers ( at the worst point, at the peak of one mountain I had 5 on, but needed to strip them as we descended.) Be prepared for all weathers. Personally, I’d take a hydration bladder.

Suggestions

Go!

A very enjoyable week walking the Picos

A very enjoyable trip. The Hotel Torrecerrado is a pleasant hotel just a few minutes walk from Arenas De Cabrales. The rooms were basic but comfortable, there is a well stocked bar with a terrace that offers incredible views of the mountains. The staff are friendly and helpful. The evening meals were of exceptional quality, I really wasn’t expecting food to be so good. Lewis our guide was super friendly and took us on some very enjoyable walks. The Picos area is huge, we only scratched the surface of what’s on offer. Honestly, I had never even heard of the Picos de Europa before seeing it on the Exodus website, it’s an absolute gem that offers huge potential.

Most Inspirational Moment

Our guide showed us round his family home, a renovated farm building in an abandoned village, that was really special and unexpected.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Lewis is a really nice chap. He is hugely knowledgeable about the area, not just the walking trails but also the history, flora and fauna. He's also a very considerate and safe guide who ensured we had an enjoyable time. 10/10 for Lewis!

Advice for Potential Travellers

We were lucky with the weather, sun all week (end September). However the area is prone to rain so bring suitable gear. The walking was tougher than I had expected, some member of the group struggled a bit.

Suggestions

I think this trip represents good value.

Fabulous Trip!

One of the best Exodus holidays I have been on! The hotel was excellent, with the best view ever, very friendly and helpful owners and staff, and the food was the best I’ve ever had on any of your trips! Our guide Luis was an exceptional young man, with the most amazing knowledge of the area, historically, geographically and flora and fauna-wise! He is a gem and Exodus should keep him as a treasure in their chest! The scenery in the Picos way surpassed my expectations, and the Cares Gorge walk, although 7.5miles each way is one of the wonders of the World and well worth it!

Most Inspirational Moment

Summiting 2 of the 3 peaks that we were led up by Luis, felt very proud! The 3rd one on the last day I did get to within 75 metres pf the top but then vertigo prevented me from going any further. Luis was very supportive throughout and was pleased that we knew our limitations.

Thoughts on Group Leader

As I have said previously, he was THE BEST!!

Advice for Potential Travellers

You need to be quite fit for this trip, and walking poles are really needed for some of the steeper ascents and descents. Do not worry if you are a mild vertigo sufferer as it is really only the last peak on the last day that will really challenge you, and Luis always provides a nice comfortable area in a col to wait while the braver ones attempt the climb.

Suggestions

The day off trip to the coast is well worth it! The walk that Jim (Hotel owner) points out on a map he gives to one of the people going, is absolutely wonderful! The stunning bays and cliff coastline, with the mountains framing it all is well worth it. For those who do not wish to do that walk, they are dropped in Llanes where we all meet up at 4pm after a wonderful day at the seaside. You can swim in the bay at Llanes and there are lots of little restuarants in which to have/buy lunch.

Exactly that

Better than walking in the Dolomites. Great variety and three climates in one mid-May week including snow. Hotel Torrecerredo is an ideal walkers hotel, clean, easy going, relaxed and good varied menu.

Most Inspirational Moment

Visiting our guide Luis's home and sampling local cider and wine.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Luis the leader was terrific, friendly, patient but confident at all times. Full of knowledge about the plants and local area.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Some of the walks graded moderate although straight forward and easy would be rated strenuous in UK.

Picos de Europa,Spain

Lovely week walking in the Picos with our great guide Luis.Very friendly family run hotel.Great food.

Most Inspirational Moment

The second day,warm and sunny with fantastic views from a summit for miles around

Thoughts on Group Leader

Great leader,young,very enthusiastic,extremely knowledgeable about nature- all the flowers,trees,birds etc .Very unassuming and mature for his age

Advice for Potential Travellers

Even in early may take warm coat,gloves,hat etc as one day in the mountains it was almost a blizzard and 3 degrees

Suggestions

We have enjoyed 7 Exodus trips and this was one of our best

Beautiful Picos

A great trip – fantastic scenery and a great little village with an even better hotel. Wonderful guide and ten fantastic walking partners made this trip quite memorable. Several days of rain tampered the mood but that’s what walking is all about.

Most Inspirational Moment

The last day was perfect. Weather was amazing following three days of rain. Climbed two peaks - Mancandiu and San Carlos - with breathtaking views. Just great walking with a fabulous group and leader.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Nacho (Ignacio) was wonderful. Great sense of humor and very organized. A pleasure to walk with and I always felt like he had things in control.

Advice for Potential Travellers

I did the level 5 departure, and having done several of these, I felt this one to be less strenuous. I felt like these were level 3 walks with some extra mileage added. Although the scenery was fabulous, only on the last day did it feel like it was challenging due to some exposure and scrambling. If you're going for the scenery and to see the Picos, by all means do it. If you're specifically looking for some challenging walking, other level 5 trips may be more appropriate.

Suggestions

The hotel's owners Jim and Pilar, and their staff really made this trip memorable. Obviously well accustomed to lodging walkers, they are very knowledgable regarding everything in the area. The food was top notch and I probably haven't eaten better on any trip I've done. Our guide Nacho was top notch. The village of Arena de Cabrales is also very enchanting and not too tourist laden. I spent the free day touring the village and some cheese caves and never felt for lack of things to do.

Spectacular Picos de Europa- 11th - 18th June 2022

Based in Arenas de Cabrales, known as the gateway to the Picos de Europa, a group of 15 explored the region which offered a varied terrain through forests, shepherds paths, green valleys, a gorge, river paths as well as being among limestone peaks. There was beautiful wild flowers such as orchids and blue thistle as well as wildlife where we spotted griffon vultures, chamois, brightly coloured butterflies as well as cows with their bells clanging around their necks.

The Hotel Torrecerredo was our base for all our days walking. It’s a small family run hotel with staff that went above and beyond to make our stay a welcoming and memorable one. The restaurant served delicious traditional 4-course meals and the bar stocked all our post walk requirements at very affordable prices.

Five minutes from the hotel is the village Arena de Cabrales. This is a picturesque village which offers many bars and restaurants offering tasty meals and a few souvenir and outdoor shops as well as local produce shops selling their famous Cabrales cheese.

Most Inspirational Moment

Walking the 12km Cares Gorge. This engineered path, built in the 1940's, is part of a hydroelectric scheme. It wasn't too crowded and you could walk on your own taking in the surrounding peaks that rise over two thousand metres above the path. I was lucky enough to film two vultures flying quite low. At Cains, the village where we had lunch, rather than walking back 12km along the gorge some of us booked an off road jeep that would explore hard to reach places and return us back late to our hotel - shaken but not stirred.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Nacho was our leader. He was very patient and informative. He was passionate about the culture, flora and fauna of the region and imparted his knowledge in an enthusiastic way. He also had a good sense of humour. The temperatures on some of days reached 38 degree, which was unprecedented even for North Spain, so Nacho had to alter the itinerary to make the walking more bearable. One day he started walking an hour earlier and another day incorporated a forest and river walk where we had opportunities of cooling down in the river pools.

Traditional Asturias

So pleased I was able to join this trip last minute as it exceeded my expectations.
A stunningly beautiful traditional mountainous part of Spain. Great hotel staff and location.
Food outstanding.
Our walking group was good company and fun to be with.

Most Inspirational Moment

The whole area was inspirational, but the extensive wild flowers and views of snow on mountain tops were highlights.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Ignacio was very knowledgeable and passionate about this area. He was supportive and motivational on the walks.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for all weathers. It was already quite hot in June. Some places require a good head for heights and encounters with cattle and goats on narrow paths.

Suggestions

Bilbao is a manageable airport to arrive and be transferred to this rural area mostly frequented by Spanish tourists.

A Fab Choice

A trip planned for 2020 finally came about. The location, trail routes, accommodation, group leader (Silvia), hotel staff (Jim and Pilar) and other hotel support staff were just amazing. I did not think I could manage my usual level 3 hikes post Covid (caught this a couple of months before) and managed to participate 3 out of 5 hiking days. My favourite trek was Cares Gorge – views were stunning, do not forget to look back (shodows cast by the mountains along the gorge by the morning sun). During our free day I went to Llanes, a lovely seaside village/town, and a nearby beach with a few members of the group. We had a great day out.

Most Inspirational Moment

The Arenas de Cabrales cheese goes very well with the local cider - total Zen experience!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Silvia was great - informative, attentive and helpful. She was easy to get on with and has a great personality.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for rain - bring your waterproof gears - and watch out for ticks post hike. Bring insect repellent (DEET and Picaridine effective).

Suggestions

Amazing dinners cooked by Jim and Pilar - I always look forward to dinner time!

Trip and group leader review

Absolutely wonderful trek with stunning scenery each day. The whole trek was very well organised. The accommodation was good and the staff were really amazing, always ready to help with a smile on their face. The food that Jim, Pilar and the team served was delicious! Had not expected to be served 4 course dinner everyday ! Saw plenty of vultures, mountain goats,horses and of course the cows with cowbells! Would definitely recommend the trip.

Most Inspirational Moment

There were so many !

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our group leader Nacho was the best group leader amongst all the treks I have done with Exodus. Nacho had excellent knowledge of the local area, and had fantastic organisational skills. I would definitely vote for him for the star Leader award !