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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

Amazing landscapes and lots of balloons

The landscape is amazing, the walks mainly involved going down valleys and along the bottom. Descents were tricky as the terrain is rock or scree. Our leader helped the less sure.footed. Take poles. The hotel was great and the food excellent especially breakfast. Lunches involved local restaurants or big buffets, The latter were full of tourists but the food was Turkish with plenty of variety The area is a tourist trap but most come for the balloon rides, very few were on the walks. One of the best walking holidays I have done
Most Inspirational Moment

The Red Valley, stunning rock formations

Thoughts on Group Leader

Haydi was excellent and looked out for everyone. He also organised extra trips including a whirling dervish performance. Our driver was excellent.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take jumpers! It was 25 plus in the daytime but cold at night, I travelled the first half of September . Take cash, card machines were erratic. Drinks and snacks are pricey as it is a tourist area

Beautiful landscapes

This was a very good trip. The landscapes of Cappadocia are truly otherworldly and like nothing I’ve ever seen. Our guide, Aykut, was very good. We had a group of 16 and while some found the walks more challenging than others, everyone seemed happy. Good pacing both on the walks and in the structure of each day. Some notes: – I am not the most surefooted walker but I was fine without hiking poles. There are some steep descents at the beginning of a few valleys but nothing very challenging after that. Some valleys are muddy so consider bringing a mud brush. – The food, though all fine, was not what I had hoped for. The lunches alternate between picnics/barbecues (which I preferred) and stops at enormous lunch buffets designed for big tour groups. There was more variety at the latter but the ambiance was not the local, authentic Turkish experience I had hoped for. Dinners alternate between restaurants and the hotel. The food consists almost invariably of cheese, bell peppers, sausage or kebabs, eggplant, mushrooms, lentil soup, and beans. While I appreciated the abundance of vegetables, everything was repetitive and a bit bland. – I didn’t take out any cash and regretted it. You need cash for some bathrooms and juice stands (try the orange and pomegranate mix). You don’t need cash for drinks at meals; they accepted cards at restaurants and in all the stores we went to. – The balloon ride was a highlight because of the views but the prices do seem to go up frequently. We were charged 300 euros, which is more than Exodus had indicated. There are 24 people crammed into a single balloon in compartments of 4 each. If you happen to arrive after the other people in your compartment, you may end up in the back with an obstructed view. The “champagne” afterward turned out to be some kind of sugary thing that looked like it would glow in the dark. – The valleys do tend to blur together a bit after day 2. If you skip a day I would recommend the one with Pancarlik Valley, Mastafapasa and Gomeda Valley. That day started with a 2-mile walk on very flat main road. – I would have felt safer if we had been given the guide’s phone number for emergencies. There is no cell service at some spots in the occasional valley but it seemed pretty good overall. – The hotel, while spacious and very clean, is obviously still working out a few kinks. Our wet towels were folded up instead of being left hanging to dry (or perhaps we were given new but not dry towels) and the breakfast buffet was seriously depleted by the time we got there if another group staying had been there earlier. The coffee was borderline undrinkable. The hotel is owned by the local company Exodus contracts (Sobek Travel) so I’m not sure how much motivation they have to improve. – And, though this is obviously beyond Exodus’ control, my final note is that, to judge from the experience of our group, Turkish Airlines flights are rarely on time. Leave a lot of time for connecting flights. I was supposed to have six hours in Istanbul and it turned out to be more like an hour.

Most Inspirational Moment

Views from the balloon and Göreme Open Air Museum (where I would have liked to have a bit more time).

A Good Trip although you must be a keen walker

6 days of walking. After the first 3 valleys they start to look the same (how many pigeon holes do you need to see?) but the group was great, and the guide was enthusiastic and patient, managing the fast walkers at the front, and the ones at the back who took lots of photos. He was very good at finding different places to eat, and it was great that food was all included so you just paid for extra drinks. Water was always available on the minibus so plastic waste much reduced. If you are vegetarian expect a lot of vegetable stew and eggplant! There are some lovely churches to visit in the rocks (as in small places of worship with the remains of old frescoes dating back several hundred years, not churches as tend to be build here)

Most Inspirational Moment

The churches I visited in the Ilhara valley, and the cathedral we visited on the final day (not one building, again a collection of beautifully decorated rock spaces with Christian wall paintings)

Thoughts on Group Leader

The group leader was patient, with a good sense of humour. He occasionally cam across as a little impatient and on one walk I rarely saw him as I was at the back taking photos and he stayed at the front. Every time I was nearing to catch up he set off again. He was probably on a time schedule and was frustrated. He was very good at sorting out everyone's requirements - ATM visits, people wanting to stop at pharmacies, tracking down the lost luggage of one of the group, and keeping us all informed (often having to repeat the same information 3 or 4 times) and answering all our questions.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be sure you want to walk for 6 days (or you can always miss a day and relax by the pool at the hotel!). Be prepared to get dusty. Do the balloon flight!

Review Centre
Reply from Exodus

We are grateful that Yolanda has taken the time to leave a review and are glad she had a good holiday, although we’re sorry that the star rating she has given does not reflect the usual positive experience our customers have on this trip. We’re confident that the information we give in the trip notes makes it clear that this is a dedicated walking trip, and believe that the stunning and unique scenery of Cappadocia, which we hope we show off in the ‘Gallery’ page for this trip, is one of the main draws of hiking here. However, there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and to engage with local Turkish culture; and as Yolanda says, our clients are welcome to take a day off to relax by the pool if they’d like.

Vivien Urban, Product Manager

Walking in Cappadocia

All in all, an enjoyable trip with a very friendly group. Really interesting place to visit from a historical and geological point of view. As expected, the scenery is amazing.

Most Inspirational Moment

The hot air balloon ride.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Very knowledgeable about the area (particularly history, geography, restaurants) and well able to adapt the walks to fit with the different weather conditions and fitness levels of the group. Only two minor criticisms: 1) Unlike on previous trips, we were not given the leader's mobile number, which could have posed difficulties for those who were unable to join the day's walk for any reason and needed assistance. 2) The leader tended to walk a long way out in front of the rest of the group on walks during the trip. This was occasionally problematic given the difficulty that less able members of the group faced with some of the descents in this area (i.e steep sections with loose gravel and sand).

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for how exhausting the heat can be when walking in Cappadocia. Walks are not particularly long but there are some tricky descents. Also due to the heat there are no packed lunches on this trip so watch out for the tourist lunch buffets - two of the group suffered bad gastric bugs.

Suggestions

The Stone Sobek Hotel was excellent - beautiful rooms, friendly staff and good food. Turkish Airlines, with whom I have flown previously, maintained their very high standard. The new Istanbul Airport is amazing, if rather distant from the city. This was the first Exodus trip that I have done with full board. I can understand that it is difficult to provide packed lunches for walks due to the heat, but there was an excess of food provided at lunchtimes. The tourist lunch buffets (we had two during the week) are in my view to be avoided. I booked the hot air balloon ride in Goreme but was disappointed to hear on arrival that the cost per person (in a 26 + 2 person capacity balloon) was €230 (or £200) instead of the €175 mentioned in the brochure. The leader explained that this was due to high demand from Latin American visitors at the moment. However, my son who is visiting Goreme independently next month has been told by his hotel to expect to pay around £130 to £150 for a balloon ride.

Excellent guide, fascinating trip

Loved the daily walks that we did as we covered some fascinating history and saw a unique part of Turkey that’s off the beaten track of the standard beach holidays that people do when they think of Turkey. The guide Ikut was one of the best guides I’ve seen, and I’ve done lots of this kind of trip. He was kind, attentive, diplomatic and very cheerful. The walking was pretty relaxed and we went at a slow pace and it was all quite easy. The main point of our walks was to see the beautiful landscapes and hidden, painted rock churches. The food was plentiful and delicious and we were well looked after. The only bad points are the hotel Ciner, which wasn’t great (days without hot water, no bar to hang out in at night, and repetitive food at breakfast) but it was close to the town centre and adequate for our needs. Also the communication from Exodus prior to the trip wasn’t good. But the locals in Goreme, including our guide, worked hard to look after us and it’s a really beautiful part of Turkey to experience. The walking routes were dry, dusty and exposed so hats, sunglasses and water are recommended.

Most Inspirational Moment

Just being able to walk at a leisurely pace so that we could fully take in the magnificent landscape and awesome rock formations.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent in every way! He dealt with a tricky situation diplomatically when we had a challenging member of the group.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Proper walking boots are a must for the rocky, dusty paths.

A good trip

Trip started badly as I was unwell and spent the first day recovering. The course leader (Alkan) was helpful and arranged for the bus to take me to meet up with the other members of the group. I was coughing a lot when I started but this got better and i was alright by the end of the walk. Another “patient” was helped in the same way. The group was 17 strong and this took all his resources.

Most Inspirational Moment

The chance to see the underground city.

Thoughts on Group Leader

He was always good humoured full of knowledge of all the sites. He was always prepared to come with us to see us ready to take on the system of shopping and other sightseeing. as well as available on the walks and meal times to give the instructions.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take plenty of tea and coffee with you - the local stuff is undrinkable. Remember to buy some alcohol before the meal times!

Suggestions

No.

Very good week walking

We really enjoyed the trip with excellent local guide Alcan. Great scenery well balanced walks and good variety of restaurants the balloon flight is a must all in all 5 stars. Well organised trip from start to end .Nice simple hotel ideal as a base . Good transport with excellent driver . Nothing to much trouble for our guide or driver 👍

Most Inspirational Moment

The balloon flight spectacular 120 balloons in air at once .

Thoughts on Group Leader

Alcan great friendly nothing to much trouble

Advice for Potential Travellers

Try this trip well worth a week of your life

Suggestions

This an ideal trip for those that like a steady but slightly challenging walk mainly a walk in the park with a few tricky bits but take a waterproof coat it can rain

Great trip!

This is a great trip and we had a lovely group. I travelled from the end of April to early May. The weather was great. Although rain and storms were forecasted while I was there, we had beautiful sunshine with some picturesque white clouds (look great on my pictures) and it was quite hot so make sure you take your sunscreen and a sunhat. Mornings were a bit chillier but not too cold and the weather warmed up quickly during the day. If you are considering the ballooning, take some warmer clothes too.
The walks were lovely and all quite different. We saw some interesting rock formations on the way, not to mention the stunning landscapes. Some of the walks are flat while others are quite steep and slippery so good walking boots and walking poles come handy. Don’t underestimate a moderate trip. Water from a big water container was provided on the bus as well as in the hotel. Make sure you have your own bottle so you can keep refilling it. If you have a hiking hydration bladder bag, that is the best to take. We also stopped at little local cafes during our walks. My favourite was the freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juice (mixed). Make sure you try that!
Our leader was a character, entertaining, knowledgeable and helpful. The locals are friendly.
The hotel was 3 star, a bit tired but for only 10 minutes walk from the town so it was convenient, we could easily walk there for some souvenir shopping in our free time.
All meals were included on my tour and the portions were generous… Lucky we did all that walking!!
If you are considering doing this trip, I recommend budgeting in the balloon ride. It is such an amazing experience. I am afraid of heights and I was a bit worried but it is so relaxing up there with such a wonderful view that I even forgot about feeling scared.

Most Inspirational Moment

The hot balloon ride definitely. Cappadocia is the place to do it. Love Valley was a highlight too.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Alkan has a great knowledge of the area and looked after the group well. He was funny and engaged with us. Also offered to take us to places that were not part of the original itinerary. He has a real passion for his country and he wanted to share that with us.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Make sure you take a water bottle and your walking poles.

Suggestions

This trip is great value for money. My group flight was through Istanbul so I did a stopover on the way back. It is worth doing.

Walking in Cappadocia

From the moment I started having information sent back to me in 2016 I have been impressed with all aspects of the trip. The walks were all different and well organised. Our driver (Reg) was excellent at no time did I have any concern for our safety. Sensible routes and breaks made the trip a really harmonious event. I can only encourage people to take holidays in Turkey as they need our support .

Most Inspirational Moment

The first walk with the "fairy towers" landscope was a revelation. The balloon ride was breathtaking and well worth two false starts.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Firat Solak was excellent. He was both informative and humourous. His pace on the walks was just right for the various members. His checks on the state of the members showed a good understanding of what was going on during the day. The places we ate during the day and evening was a hit with everyone.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Go as soon as possible.

Suggestions

The roof area of the hotel was slightly tired but the helpfullness of people, the food and the position of the hotel was excellent.

walking in cappadocia may/june 2017 sid

A very enjoyable week in a unique area,local people were welcoming and all the food provided varied and tasty. Five of the walks were 5*, day 3 Kavac to Bahceli had to much road walking though the first rest stop and final village were worth visiting,manageable walks for first timers like ourselves.A good mixed group.The only small disappointment was the accommodation not as described,we stayed at Goreme, hotel Matiasos ,it was clean,good staff,good breakfast but no bar or public area to chill out, also bathroom to small to dry yourself with towel.

Most Inspirational Moment

The balloon trip,worth getting up at 4am.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Fred was a star,looked after us 24/7

Advice for Potential Travellers

Possibly take a little more spends 100 sterling would be a bit tight for drinks and tips,150 each more like it.All prices are in turkish or euros,balloon trip was 150 euros or 130 sterling each

Suggestions

Just do it