Turtle, Ecuador

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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
    Gary Cox

    A fantastic iconic adventure.

    Did i enjoy this trip,you bet.From the start to the end this trip was a revelation,everyday was an highlight.Back home after 3 days,and iam still buzzing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Peru is so much more than Machu Picchu,which of course is fantastic.For me,the homestay on Lake Titicaca,the local market next to San Pedro market in Cusco were truly memorable.I could go on,and on,everyday was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was probably my adventure of a lifetime,and Daniel,our group leader,made this happen.His organisation skills,his patience,his passion for Peru were exceptional.Through his leadership we experienced a magical Peruvian adventure, many, many thanks Daniel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of spending money(you will need it)and enjoy Peru.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't just read these reviews,go,go,go to Peru!!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Georgina Shanks

    Good

    A fascinating country, exceeded expectations.S

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Condors in the Colca cannon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An experienced leader, who had lost his love of the job. Daniel was very wrapped up in his family’s, yes two of them. He kept information to himself, and only informed the tour at the last minute. He treated us like children, and obviously liked the men, he was very hostile to the women at times. He dumped the group as quickly and as often as he could. Very little information was given on long journeys, so I feel we did not learn as much about Peru as we could have. The specialist guides were much better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are a lot of extras to pay for, not listed in the trip notes. museums, cathedrals etc. ,
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Christine Harrison

    Essential Peru

    This was an excellent tour. Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa were very interesting and lively cities to explore, each containing many palaces, cathedrals, convents, crypts and so much more. The Inka Museum and Sacsayhuaman site in Cuzco should not be missed nor the Planetarium and ancient burial grounds at Nazca. The flora and fauna were also amazing and plentiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most amazing sights were the Ballestas Islands, the Nazca Lines and, of course, Machu Picchu. The second visit to Machu Picchu gave me the chance to explore it all over again at my leisure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found the easiest way to cope with extremes of altitude (ie warmth and coldness) was to dress in layers. Also to have plenty of snacks handy for the long, long drives.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Richard Wightman

    This trip has everything

    This has to be the trip of a lifetime. Of course you visit Machu Picchu, but so much more. To start with the seabird colony at Ballestros island including penguinsand peleicans. Then the impressive Nasca Lines before heading to the hills and across the plateau to Cusco visiting other Inca sites on the way. Machu Picchu is amazing - everything I expected and more. We visited at 1200 noon and it wasn't too crowded, even better we had a free morning the second day so went again and saw more of it - went a further 950 feet up to the Sun gate ( the entrance to the site from the Inca trail) also the Inca bridge. Then back to Cusco and long drive to Lake Titticata and delightful home-stay with local people...an amazing insight into how the island communities live day to day. Then across the lake to see the floating islands, meet the people and have a trip on a reed boat. Next to Colka Canyon to see condors - I would not have missed this as one of the highlights of the trip - we saw 12 and got some great pics. Finally to Arequipa before return to Lima. It really feels like I have been on 3 holidays all rolled into one - I struggle to think how I can better this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    see above

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - nothing was too much trouble and always looking after welfare of all the group. A local Peruvian leader employed by Intrepid who 'leads' for several different holiday 'brands'

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lots of long drives 8-9 hours and early starts leaving hotel at 7.00am. Note that you need to be fairly fit and active and in good health - just about everyone was affected by altitude but only to the extent of breathlessness - nobody suffered AMS.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Helen Bouchami

    Wonderfully varied trip

    Loved Peru. Land of contrasts and dramatic scenery, from the soaring peaks of the Andes to the world's second deepest canyon and the highest navigable lake, from the simple lifestyle of the Titicaca islands to the sophistication of Miraflores in Lima. The surprise of a desert oasis with towering sandunes. Basking seals among rows of pelicans and boobies on the offshore islands, majestic condors in the canyon, and cute alpacas and even cuter vicunas. Impressive Incan structures - from Machu Pichu to terraced mountainsides, and the elegant colonial architecture of the Spanish. The trip notes mention the early starts and long hours on the bus - this is true, but the spectacular scenery provides an excellent distraction. The bus itself was large, and although it lacked a little of the camaraderie I've experienced on smaller mini-buses with Exodus in the past, the space to spread out and the on-board loo were appreciated. My attitude is that the hours of travel are the price you pay for seeing so much, and those are the memories that remain. I loved the variety of scenery and activities on this trip. I thought it was very well put together, including allowing for a gradual adjustment to altitude.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Machu Pichu lived up to expectations, a highlight of not just this trip The condors were a wonder. Some came really close, but so quickly that I had no time to adjust my zoom. The home stay, whilst not the most comfortable experience, was fascinating - the weather there was cold and rainy, but our hosts, the mamatis, were a delight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuliano was an excellent organiser and very personable. So hard working, he was constantly checking ahead to ensure that everything ran smoothly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes say no walking poles are allowed in Machu Pichu, so I had left mine at home. On our first, guided visit I found many people, even the young and fit, using them, so I bought one for the next day (c£10) and found it much easier to move around the site which has steep steps, uneven surfaces and few handrails. . It is definitely worth the second optional entry. RE. gifts for the homestay hosts, food from the San Pedro market in Cusco, fruit, cheese etc. was very acceptable if you can't fit anything from home into your case. Don't be overly concerned about altitude. Most people felt some effect, but a little breathlessness is not altitude sickness. Take the advice re. hydration and not overdoing it. It was curious - I climbed up to the Sun Gate with no problem, but found myself (as did others) gulping air occasionally when lying down, or bending to put on shoes - mainly on the Lake as this was our highest overnight stay. BTW I am in my seventies

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I just wanted to add my appreciation of the drivers used on the trip. Mountain roads with their many bends, and lots of lorry traffic, don't make for easy driving. They waited patiently for a safe place to overtake, which allowed the group to relax and enjoy the scenery.
  • Reviewed May 2019

    Not Leisurely

    We chose to arrive in Lima a few days early which were glad about because there is a very early start on day after the scheduled arrival day. Also some people had connecting flight problems which meant they were late joining the group. I honestly it is misleading of Exodus to indicate that this holiday is leisurely. It may not be physically demanding, but long travelling days, early starts and a packed itinerary make this a full on tour. Don't be put off because great rewards await but do be aware of what is entailed. The same holiday over 3 weeks would be leisurely but 2 weeks is pretty crammed. We were a little concerned about the altitude before we went but only one person on the trip had any (minor) problems. So rest assured most people cope well and those that don't are usually put right with a little oxygen, which is carried on the tour bus and available in most hotels. Peru has a lot to offer and this trip gets to much of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The peace of Machu Picchu after the crowds had gone.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hardworking, well organised, very caring. You will be in good hands with Edwind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read a little about elongated skulls, Nazca lines and Inca stonework before you go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We did the flight over the Nazca lines in the afternoon and the flight was fairly bumpy. The main downside was trying to hold the camera steady to get any decent shots.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    steven cliffe

    superb introduction to everything Peru

    a whirlwind ride across some of the most spectacular and diverse scenery on the planet coupled with breathtaking archeological sites. The experience of this trip will last a lifetime

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    flight across Nazca lines one of the most mysterious places on earth Machu Picchu.....so wow of a spectacle it brought me to tears

    What did you think of your group leader?

    awesome facilitator and organizer making everything happen for a full on trip seamless

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    certainly a trip worthy to a top of the bucket list destination

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus are fantastic at their expertise You are in good hands for sure Can't wait for my next trip with them
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Marie Gale

    Fabulous trip in every way!

    What an absolutely amazing trip! The itinerary was full on, early starts and some long days, as the trip notes indicated, but this is necessary as there is so much to enjoy in this huge country. Peru is a wonderfully varied country and has so much to offer, interest and intrigue it's visitors. Exodus has excelled again with this itinerary, the group leader, hotels and transport and even got the timing spot on to see the condors! Small things, such as having a coach with a loo on-board, plus charging ports on the day we were heading to the homestay, make the trip more pleasurable and Exodus the excellent trip organizer it is.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Aside from Machu Pichu, seeing the condors soaring over the Colca Canyon was truly awe-inspiring. Our tour leaders timed it perfectly and we had a wonderful view for the time they remained there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edwind was phenomenonal! Nothing was too much trouble for him and his organisational and communication skills were excellent. He was always prepared to go 'above and beyond' the call of duty. He was sensitive to the mood of the group and was very attentive to those who were feeling a bit 'under the weather'/struggling with the altitude. Small gestures go a long way, such as arranging for every group member to have a burger courtesy of Exodus when we were advised not to eat the quinoa as it had been left on a warm bus. No one objected to this, but of his own volition he organized this for us all. He was patience personified! And he smiled throughout. I noticed on our last day that the tour leaders of the next two trips had left written instructions for their groups on their first evening and were not due to meet their groups until the next morning. Edwind however, met us at the airport, which was great after a long and tiring flight. His warm greeting was very welcome and this gesture typified him throughout this trip and what makes him the exceptional leader he is.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes! Pack accordingly and be prepared for some early starts and long days as this is a full-on itinerary but the trip is definitely worth it. Try not to fall asleep on the bus as you will miss so much - amazing scenery, flora and fauna, culture, geology and history. Don't hesitate to take up the optional second visit to Machu Pichu. I was uncertain about whether to go for it but I'm so pleased I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus has excelled again. Thank you for a wonderful trip!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Caroline Grainger

    Excellent

    I really recommend this trip. Peru was an amazing experience. There was so much to see and the scenery and the wildlife were amazing. Yes there are some early starts and long drives but I found I didn't mind with the help of a few downloads on my tablet and the amazing scenery. There was plenty of (free) water provided and ample toilet/food stops and we were mostly on a large comfortable coach. I highly recommend the Nasca lines plane trip (don't eat beforehand) and Machu Piccu lived up to the hype. I worried about altitude sickness but for most people it's not a big issue. Walking is more tiring and you may well get a headache but paracetamol should fix that. In terms of things I wish I'd known beforehand -you will use a lot of cash. Credit cards are not accepted everywhere -even the expensive plane trip had to be paid in cash (although it seemed like Exodus used the only operator that didn't take cards). ATMs are plentiful and will issue US$ and local currency but you will need soles for restaurants and entrance fees. I also hadn't appreciated that you need an overnight bag for the island trip. We would have liked Exodus to provide more information about optional trips beforehand. Our guide didn't sell them which although a blessing in some ways meant that we would have missed out on the Rainbow mountain trip if our fellow travellers hadn't recommended it. For my sons this was a real highlight. (Bring gloves and a hat in winter it gets cold). You do need to be fairly fit for this trip but the horse option helps. I would skip the sacred valley tour which is largely a lengthy shopping trip. The hot springs however were really enjoyable and we had time for swim in one hotel so bring swimwear but towels were provided. We went in August (winter) which seemed like an excellent time to go. It was mostly pretty warm although cold at night in Cuzco and on the island and I was glad it wasn't any warmer in Machu Piccu with all the steps. In terms of ages our group ranged from 19-70. Exodus suggested the average age wiuld be around 40 which seemed about right. This was the first time i had been on a group tour and I was worried about whether my sons (19-24) would enjoy. They did -there is so much to see I think you would struggle to fit so much in if you self organised - you don't need to be super fit but as well as a lot of sitting down there is a fair amount of walking and a lot of steps. The hotels were fine (3 star clean comfortable with mostly decent wifi) and food was generally good or excellent. We ate in groups (sometimes there was really only one place to eat but otherwise optional) but everyone paid individually (I imagine that's usual but I hadn't done a group tour before). Our guide Armando was really nice and helpful and Exodus seemed pretty organised. If you think you would enjoy this trip you probably will.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many amazing moments but MP is inspirational. (Also in particular the Nasca lines the mountain scenery and condor viewing in the Colca Canyon. I didn't go to Rainbow mountain but my sons raved about it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Knowledgeable helpful and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cash -i would suggest £600 per person minimum excluding shopping. Check out the optional trips beforehand as you won't be given detailed descriptions. I forgot to bring a sun hat -even in winter it would have been useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    alfred cronin

    PERU

    It started with my late flight into Lima,I had to find my taxi ride to the hotel amongst a lot of other signs.The car driving in Lima was crazy.Up early that same morning,onboard a coach to southern coastal Peru.It was very much like this the whole trip,but you get used to it.The tour guide Fernando was exceptional,filling in the dots of questions we had of Peruvian culture.The photos I have of Peru just does not do justice of the kind people and scenery of Peru.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had brought with us teaching supplies,oranges,dog food and good hearts to the people of the highlands,just meeting these Peruvians in their homes,it meant a lot to them,it came with a lot of tears from us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fernando was exceptional,he has a lot heart for his people and Peru.He has a lot of energy,fore planning,and utilizes time wisely.He answered all our questions on Peru,advised us on water,altitude,clothing to wear,food acceptable to eat,I could to ask more of the man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read up on Peru,is walking part of your life everyday,you will need this and more for Peru.Get your shots,get a medical screening.I say this because if you are not fairly fit,Peru is mountainous,lots of stair climbing,altitude adjustments.Pick a tour that is in your age group,is realistic to your fitness level and comfort level.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Peruvian people are very warm and open people,try learning a good bit of Spanish before you go,and get to know them more.
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