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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda Howard

    Mongolias great.

    Mongolia has been recommended to me by various travelers over the years, also to include the Nadaam Festival....they were right. If you are looking for something different....this is it. The vastness and the ever changing terrain in the Gobi is fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing sand dunes in the Gobi desert in the rain! The desert was fascinating, different to others I have seen. The opening ceremony of the Nadaam festival was superb, it was so well done, it was worthy of an Olympic opening ceremony. The kids racing the horses..wow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very good, he took his job seriously, occasional language misunderstandings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Apart from not getting our suitcases twice, maybe flights with a longer transit time between them, if possible, it was a mad panic for us to make it so was not surprising the luggage didn’t.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Amanda Hayes

    Spectacular scenery and costumes

    A very well planned and varied itinerary that takes you up to the high altitude gradually. A lot of travelling but the spectacular scenery takes your mind off the long journeys. Good attention to health and safety throughout. The Inti Raymi festival events are a modern interpretation of the traditional Inca rituals but nonetheless wonderful to witness. The costumes and the infectious energy of the local people enjoying the festival in Cusco the day before was a great experience. It was a wonderful 'trip of a lifetime' experience and I am pleased to recommend it to other travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many moments were deeply memorable: the first sight of Machu Picchu is as breathtaking as the pictures. Our guides were delighted that the sun shone but a bit of misty cloud would have been my ideal atmospheric visual experience. The site is pristine thanks to llamas that graze and keep the grass neat and it was not over-crowded with visitors. Out homestay was a delight in so many ways: local food and traditions and a really warm and honest welcome to the family home. The Inti Raymi festivities as already mentioned. The sites that presented the Inca agricultural innovations - some of these were optional as part of the Sacred Valley tour: salt pans and agricultural laboratory terracing and I strongly recommend this additional trip. On the last morning we went to the Larco Museum. It is not included in the trip, but I think that all of the group got taxis there. It is an excellent museum with fascinating objects, well displayed and described in Spanish and English. It also has a good restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very well organised and took great care with health and safety. Unlike some other Exodus trips that I have been on there were a lot of additional guides. It may be a Government tourism policy to employ local people but their skills and knowledge was variable from excellent at the Santa Catolina convent, to charming but poor at Machu Picchu. The number of additional people who were part of the planned programme (not the optional ones) also added to the cost of tips etc. which was well above the Exodus suggested kitty so maybe Exodus should review their estimate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Trip Notes are for all the Exodus Peru trips so read with care and do your own research about what to take e.g. we did not have porters but I gave the children's clothes I had brought with me to the family on Amantani island, which was fine. There are a number of extra, optional activities to suit different interests. We were pleased with the choices we made but some people who did other things reported that they were disappointed because the description of what they were going to see did not match the reality. I recommend reading up in advance or with a non-listed option ensure that you get details so as to minimise the chance of disappointment. The tipping kitty only went to the male porters and not to the female chambermaids.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Lucinda Francis

    This trip had everything

    We loved Mongolia! This was our first holiday as part of a guided group trip, and it really worked for us. We found the itinerary to be just right, long days with lots to see and do, interspersed with just enough downtime to recharge our batteries. The accommodation in hotels and gers was of a high standard. We were very well fed with meals ranging from traditional Mongolian to modern European and Asian cuisine at the accommodations and local restaurants in UB. Box lunches were provided for the long days crossing the Gobi and for the Naadam Festival. All the Mongolian people we met made us feel very welcome to their country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is so hard to pick a single most inspirational moment. Every day was full of things to see and do, from vast desert landscapes, mountains, cliffs and valleys, to monasteries, temples, monuments and statues. Highlights for us were the visits to nomadic families, the amazing Nadaam Festival Horse Racing, the Morin Tolgoi Horse Memorial and the Chinngis Khaan Statue.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Odka really made the trip. Her English was very good enabling her to pass on her immense knowledge of and passion for Mongolia, and answer all our questions. She was very good at managing the group’s expectations, keeping everyone happy and taking a democratic approach to decisions. Nothing was too much trouble for her, and she went the extra mile to ensure that everyone in the group had a great holiday, including juggling the itinerary when rain was forecast. She was also brilliant company. Our four drivers were also amazing, working through the night to repair one of the cars. They were all number one drivers to us!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Very few ger camps have wifi, so maybe consider buying a local sim card if you need to keep in touch. Hot water availability was an issue at some ger camps, the trick is to avoid showering at busy times. Take a seat belt pad to protect your neck and ladies consider wearing a sports bra forthose long bumpy car rides across the Gobi!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rose Langley

    Amazing Mongolia

    We saw only a small portion of such a huge country , within days we’d seen Steppe, desert ,mountains and cliffs , perfect sunrises and sunsets and the never ending stars in the sky.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The vast nothingness , looking for miles ahead and seeing nothing but scenery with the odd Ger. 2 whole days driving the Gobi and seeing only the odd goat farmer, no other tourists or cars. Visiting the camel and horse breeders and seeing the nomad way of life and of course the Genghis Khan statue .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Odka was great , she kept us informed of all the plans for the day ahead and has so much knowledge about the amazing history of Mongolia. Her English was very good and nothing was too much trouble for her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Ger camps were very comfortable but be prepared for no phone signal or WiFi for most of them perfect for switching off completely (bliss) There is a lot of travelling on a few days but stops were around every 1.5 to 2 hrs ,on our trip the cars were comfortable with air-conditioning and 4 people to a 6 seater so roomy enough too. I went for vegetarian meals as I’m not a big meat eater and it’s a very meat heavy country mostly mutton and chicken , my meals were lovely ,rice,pasta,vegetables and fruit so a perfect choice for me.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is perfect for a taste of Mongolia it has a good itinerary and with Naadam included it was a real insight into the Country and the Mongolian way of life, Bayarlalaa Mongolia
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Justina Mclaughlin

    A magical trip

    A comprehensive cultural tour that also incorporated the different landcapes of Peru. The Inti Raymi Festival was spectacular and whilst the trip notes don't specify, we were seated in premium seats with great views at Sacsayhuaman. Its worth the extra cost to experience Inti Raymi!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Its difficult to choose just one as each day revealed some new place or aspect of Peruvian culture. Machu Pichu really is stunning and as magical as it looks in the photos. I personally found travelling through the Andes very inspirational. I hate long journeys by road (I suffer from motion sickness) and I was dreading the road journey but the scenery of the Andes really is breathtaking. So glad we traveled overland instead of flying straight to Cusco. Its inspired me to consider further overland journeys.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuliano was an excellent tour leader. He ensured all our transfers, arrivals, hotel check ins and local guided tours were well co-ordinated. He was knowledgeable on local places and history, he was also very responsive to requests from members of the group to do additional activities, vary the itinerary. As a tour leader who has previous experience of gourmet food tours he also gave us some great recommendations for eateries.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The pace of the trip is full on and everybody suffered a little with altitude. Some were very tired, others developed sinus problems, others had upset stomachs or felt nauseous. Only one encountered breathing problems and was immediately put on oxygen and handled expertly by our tour leader. I personally opted to take Diamox for altitude and had no problems breathing at altitude but I did still experience slow digestion and on occasion had an upset stomach. Fortunately I had a big bag of medical remedies from home and my advice would be to bring these with you. I recommend bringing hydration salts and over the counter remedies for an upset tummy/indigestion. I bought a ticket to hike Montana Machu Pichu 3 months in advance, for the morning of the 2nd day in Machu Pichu, . Since there are only 400 available a day, mountain hiking tickets sell out months in advance, if this is something you want to do email Exodus and they will advise you the date you need to purchase the ticket and details of timing. Be aware you have to be very fit and get up early (5am) and be back at the hotel by 2pm. Practical suggestions of things you should bring for the trip - A stash of tissues, antibacterial wipes (essential), small overnight bag/daypack and a good supply of cash. Opportunities to use credit cards are limited to the more expensive shops and restaurants. Also whilst ATMS are available, they are not always on the doorstep as you often stay in remoter locations.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The age demographic of the group took me by surprise. I was the only person there under 50, everyone else was at least over 60 and there were 17 of us. Whilst my travel companions were all good fun and young at heart I did, at times, feel like an outsider. Useful info to have: Luggage allowance on the internal flight to Lima is 23kg and you are permitted an 8kg bag in the cabin. Tipping Kitty was $83, it would have been good to know if Exodus had advised us of this in advance. It is worth having the tipping kitty as there are a lot of places where carrying our own bags could become a chore. Fortunately the bell boys and drivers did this for us and were tipped from the kitty. Shopping for artisan items is better when travelling in the Andes. If you see it and like it, grab it as you go, I found less unique items available and those that were ended up more expensive in Lima.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    george tarbuck

    Adventure of a lifetime

    The trip is excellent, coach journeys over the Andes, moonscapes and volcanoes with snow on the peaks. Machu Picchu is stunning. The condors were happy to come out and play. The hotels were good. The homestay on the island was charming and the people genuinely hospitable without being pushy. The food served to us on the homestay was the best meal I ate in Peru, simple and tasty.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the condors.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guiliano was the best tour leader. Always on hand to help, sorted every situation flawlessly and with a sense of calm, even when assisting one of the group with oxygen when they were unwell at altitude. What stood out was the forward planning and anticipation that Guiliano showed. We could get on with enjoying the holiday whilst knowing that everything was under control.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take American Dollars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this trip.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Christine Burnell

    Authentic Andalucia ADH190615

    Overall a fabulous experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Rhonda. This should be part of the itinerary not just an optional extra.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Micheal Newcomb was an outstanding group leader / guide. His passion for the region and his knowledge was outstanding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is quite a bit of walking involved. So a reasonable level of fitness is recommended.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Everything was perfect. Thank you.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Leslie Polidoro

    Love Sri Lanka!

    Hotels, meals all very good. You can tell the country is still developing their tourism business, but they are doing a great job. Unfortunately the bombings will have put a stop on travel there, however I have fallen in love with this country and will be quick to recommend it. Excursions and tours were excellent, I felt like I had a good overall visit to Sri Lanka, yet not enough so I am keen to return.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lion Rock Fortress

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very knowledgeable, however I found that he tended to poke "fun" at certain people a little more than was necessary. I felt a bit more history and explanations of sites could have been provided "on-site". Most tours were a bit rushed, fine for those in excellent physical condition, difficult for those who were not. I would have rather it was a bit more leisurely when out on site.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a battery pack/charger -- you will want to take alot of pictures and sometimes your camera/phone will not make it through the day. Tip well to all those that help with your journey.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Janet C

    Temples and Tigers

    A very interesting trip covering the highlights of Rajasthan. Some very long travel days and a lot of time on the bus, but the sites were worth it. There were a lot of temples including the Taj Mahal and we were incredibly lucky to see 7 tigers at Ranthambore; including a mum and her cubs very close by.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Playing Holi in Jaipur and being covered from head to foot in paint.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gaj was a great guide, he added a lot to the trip with the additional information he shared with us about life in India. Gaj made it possible for us to stay longer in Jaipur where we could play Holi with the locals which for many of us was one of the highlight of the trip. Gaj organised a trip to see a Bollywood Movie one evening for those who wanted to go; definitely worth it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I traveled on the last trip of the season (March) when the temperatures start of rise and it was very hot some days especially at Pushkar. I had read about the increased risks of being ill when travelling at the end of the season but was fine, however the vast number of people on the trip were ill at some point which impacted the whole trip overall. There is a LOT of time on the bus and it can be very tiring with the bumpy roads, continuous road works and a group of sick travelers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Gaj recommended a couple of additional stops for some of the very long traveling days; the advised stops were interesting and broke up the days. There is not much free time on this trip and where we did have time it seemed to be at the wrong places. The bus driver and his assistant were amazing and worked so hard. They had some long days especially if they drove us out to a restaurant for dinner in the evening.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Condon Corbett

    Amazing Sri Lanka!

    From the private pick up at the airport in Colombo to drop off at the airport things could not have gone more smoothly. The pace of the tour was excellent given its short duration. Accommodations were very good-clean, comfortable and well located. Sri Lanka is a stunning country with friendly people, beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of Lion Rock (Sigiriya) to view the remnants of the ruined palace and the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from 200 metres above. Magical!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Suresh was excellent. Very well organised, knowledgeable of his home country, it's history and different cultures which he imparted to us in an interesting and fun manner. I appreciated his somewhat sarcastic sense of humor as well. Schedules were well kept and adjusted as necessary based on the group consensus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take part in all of the included sightseeing and activities, especially the bike tour through the villages where you will be warmly greeted by the local children as you cycle by.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a trip of a lifetime!
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