Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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’!

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  • Reviewed April 2018
    Ian Baker

    A safe country with a lot of history and a great guide

    Well organised by Exodus and our local guide "Eddie". Full and active days with no wasted time; be prepared for early starts to get to sites before other groups. We had decent hotels with hot water in all locations, except of course the desert camp. We covered the whole of the western side of Jordan and the desert loop around Amman. The east is mainly just sand. We travelled to the Golan Heights then via the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba visiting a sequence of forts on the way. Lunch and Dinner venues were a mix of quick snacks and full meals, including My Mom's Recipe Restaurant in Petra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The obvious "most inspirational moment" would have to be Petra and the way our guide first revealed it to us, but there was also a recurring issue throughout the trip of how long the history of this whole region is and how different civilizations have come through and built on or developed the cities of their predecessors. We spent 3 nights and 2 full days in Petra - any less would have meant missing key parts. Our hotel was only a very short walk from the Petra Visitors' Centre. Jordan clearly forms a peaceful oasis in the middle of a very troubled region; we never felt at risk or in danger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Probably the best tour guide I have had. Knowledgeable with the practice of knowing how much information to impart before we suffered information overload. Eddie had a good sense of humour and his running funny stories about Asus added a balance to the historical facts. Eddie also made himself available at all times should anyone need him and although there was no doubt that he kept a close eye on the group to make sure he had not 'lost' anyone we did not feel we were being controlled or herded as a school group might be. I must emphasise how good his English was, it made the trip so much more relaxed than it would have been otherwise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother doing Petra by Night. It is a good concept and may have had good nights in the past but the night we were there it was a clear case of over selling of tickets and people being pushed into the front, with nothing to sit on, blocking those of us who were seated in what should have been the front. Beer is expensive - 500ml costs £9 in a bar and £3 in a Liquor Store. Best to go to the store and buy a few cans to take back to a room, don't forget your duty free on the way out. The night before the desert camp, and before the beach at Aqaba, make sure that you have packed a separate small bag with the essentials as it makes life a lot easier.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were a group of 16, all experienced travellers, and no one was ever late for the bus, but I would not want to see a group any larger than that. My only negative for this trip was that the bus was uncomfortably full with no spare seats and insufficient space for luggage. Four seats were badly compromised by the wheel arches. Using a bigger bus may have presented difficulties in traffic and parking so I think the number on this trip should be restricted to no more than 14, ideally 12. Rather than distribute/sell small plastic bottles of water Exodus used two 20 litre bottles of filtered water to top up our personal bottles, this worked well, no one had problems with drinking the water - take a decent refillable water bottle. Exodus booked a day extra at each end of the tour for me, which also included airport transfers. This worked well because the normal tour sees an arrival at or after midnight, a transfer to the hotel, a few hours sleep, breakfast and away. My extra day before I used to take a leisurely walk in Amman, following the Lonely Planet walk, seeing some of the sites that are only covered fairly quickly on the last day of the tour and some that are not covered such as the Souks. The day after the tour I just had a relaxing day instead of having to have an evening dinner then off to the airport at 04:00 AM.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Neil Baker

    Jordan - Thoroughly Recommended!

    A great experience, you get to see so much, from crusader castles to the Dead Sea and the delights of Wadi Rum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Well this comes down to two: - Petra, just amazing, nobody told me it was such a massive site. You will need a couple of days at least to fully explore. - Wadi Rum and staying over in the Bedouin camp, once again an unmissable experience. Just don't bother with the camel ride, that's just slow and boring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was just great, plenty of personality and did a good job of sheparding the group around. He did spout forth a lot history and I know sometimes his facts weren't 100% accurate but hey I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yep the hardest part is the lack of alcohol, it's not illegal they just do not serve it in the eateries. So beware and brace yourself for an almost dry trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another great quality of Jordan is the people they are genuinely warm and friendly, which always helps.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Judith Simpson

    Jordan Adventure

    This trip provided us with a wide range of activities and cultural visits across the Kingdom of Jordan. An ever-changing landscape is studded with Castles and world famous sights. From Neolithic artefacts to T.E.Lawrence, we felt we had uncovered some of the long history of the people of Jordan. We received a very warm welcome wherever we went; the children and teenagers were keen to try out their English lessons with us. Food was excellent (and plentiful) on each occasion, with a range of choices for vegetarians, and our hotels were very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Attempting to float in the Dead Sea; mud bath to go with it! Reaching the top of the mountain near El Deir / The Monastery, at Petra. Sunset in Wadi Rum. Snorkelling over the coral in the Red Sea......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad / Eddie Banna was an excellent group leader; friendly and efficient, with good use of English. He was very well-informed about the historical / cultural /religious significance of each city / site of interest, and he prepared us in advance for what we were about to see and do. Eyad also retained his sense of humour when we became ensnarled in traffic, and kept us entertained with anecdotes en route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to wear your sun hat, sun glasses and sun block! As a female traveller I went with a bag of modest wear (long sleeved shirts, scarves etc) but found the dress code did not appear as strict as I had expected. Walking trousers, knee-length skirts / dresses and shirts with short sleeves are fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We left Jordan fully satisfied that we had "Seen it All" What an amazing experience!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jane Hodd

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    An extremely comprehensive but whirlwind tour of Jordan. A lot of time spent on the coach between destinations and physical activity ranged from almost none on most days to extreme on the Petra days. Very friendly people and excellent food everywhere. The sites and places we saw were stunning but there was often not enough time to take it all in. We felt safe at all times and there is no need to worry (at the moment!) about its geographical position!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the High Sacrificial Places and the Monastery in Petra, floating in the Dead Sea, Jerash and the jeep drive round Wadi Rum, which included watching the sunset while Bedouin made us tea over an open fire. All these were real highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad (aka Eddie!) was extremely friendly and caring with a great sense of humour and a lovely smile. He obviously loves his job and his country and is very knowledgeable about the places we visited and their history. There was often an information overload!!!! He enabled us to try a variety of restaurants and organized visits so that we missed bus loads of tourists and locals. We travelled at peak time but seldom met a lot of tourists. Eddie really made the trip. A huge thanks to him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long drives in the coach and 2 long, hard days of walking in Petra. You are able to hire horses, donkeys or camels in Petra but it's not cheap. Maybe bring a walking pole? Bring a torch for Wadi Rum. Do your shopping in Aqaba - much cheaper than anywhere else. Dead Sea soap at the Dead Sea - £10, in Aqaba £2.50 !!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan was a surprisingly expensive country, except for food. Food was always cheap and plentiful but everything else was the same or more expensive than you'd pay in GB. The trip should be at least 2 days longer, to enable proper exploration of Madaba and Amman. I backed out of some group time in order to have time to myself and chat properly with locals. Not enough free time was provided because of time constraints.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jane Hodd

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    An extremely comprehensive but whirlwind tour of Jordan. A lot of time spent on the coach between destinations and physical activity ranged from almost none on most days to extreme on the Petra days. Very friendly people and excellent food everywhere. The sites and places we saw were stunning but there was often not enough time to take it all in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the High Sacrificial Places and the Monastery in Petra, floating in the Dead Sea, Jerash and the jeep drive round Wadi Rum, which included watching the sunset while Bedouin made us tea over an open fire. All these were real highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad (aka Eddie!) was extremely friendly and caring with a great sense of humour and a lovely smile. He obviously loves his job and his country and is very knowledgeable about the places we visit and their history. There was often an information overload!!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long drives in the coach and 2 long, hard days of walking in Petra. You are able to hire horses, donkeys or camels in Petra but it's not cheap. Maybe bring a walking pole? Bring a torch for Wadi Rum. Do your shopping in Aqaba - much cheaper than anywhere else. Dead Sea soap at the Dead Sea - £10, in Aqaba £2.50 !!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan was a surprisingly expensive country, except for food. Food was always cheap and plentiful but everything else was the same or more expensive than you'd pay in GB. The trip should be at least 2 days longer, to enable proper exploration of Madaba and Amman. I backed out of some group time in order to have time to myself and chat properly with locals. Not enough free time was provided because of time constraints.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Lorna Baker

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    This adventure exceeded my expectations. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan offers a huge variety of different landscapes and activities for the traveller. Its historical significance provides loads of opportunities to enjoy ancient civilisations. Exploring these sites was fab but also meeting the friendly people and trying their food was great. This particular trip allowed me to discover Jordan in depth and I feel I have experienced it from the verdant North to the deserts and Red Sea of the South.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra was amazing. Hiking up Al Khubtha Trail to view the Treasury from up high was an experience I will not forget. I loved Wadi Rum, the scenery stunning and the jeep ride was so fun. Also knowing that Jesus had been baptised at Bethany was.......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad Bannna Eddie to his friends was a fantastic tour Leader with a winning smile. He looked after us and made our experience of Jordan special. He managed to get us into Jerash early so we had the place to ourselves before the bus loads arrived, and took us to different local restaurants so we could sample all the food. Thank you Eddie

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not be put off because there are problems in the Middle East. I felt safe and the Jordanians were so friendly. As a female traveller I felt relaxed and was able to move freely and did not have to cover up. It is an amazing trip you will not regret booking it. ENJOY!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Andrew Grier

    Unmissable Jordan

    This was one of the most interesting and inspiring cultural trips I have been on. Our guide was superb and the history, along with the scenery in Jordan, made for a truly outstanding 10 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to pick one particular moment as there were many. The top 5 highlights for me were, lunch overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the Roman City of Jerash, the site of Jesus' baptism at Bethany, Petra and the Wadi Rum, but, on any other holiday, many of the other sites we visited in between would have been in the top 5 too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot praise Eyad Al Banna (Eddie) highly enough. His historic and current knowledge of all things Jordan and the Middle East was exceptional and he imparted it in an interesting, humorous and patient manner that truly made the holiday. Eddie really brought the group together and did a great job keeping us all pointed in the right direction, dealing with personal matters quickly and effectively, all whilst telling jokes and constantly having a smile on his face. He is firmly in my top three guides from all the adventure and cultural trips I have been on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make the trip and enjoy it. Do not worry about travelling in Jordan just because it is in the Middle East. The people are very friendly and it feels totally sage
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Peter Harris

    Peter Harris

    So much to recommend this trip. Very full itinerary with constantly changing landscapes and a wealth of historical interest. A shame that the local tourist industry has been hit hard by political conditions in neighbouring regions but Jordan itself is very safe and nobody should be deterred from visiting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Jerash is very impressive and Wadi Rum is spectacular, although mobs of rowdy, ill-mannered Chinese are to be avoided if at all possible. Petra, however, is sensational. If you are fit enough, attempt the Wadi al Farasa trail up to the High Place of Sacrifice - you will see scenery, tombs, etc. that 99% of visitors miss. We only encountered 6 other people on the way up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aladdin was very knowledgeable with excellent communication skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the heat - 40C in early June at Dead Sea and Red Sea. Have suitable footwear for rocky conditions at Petra. Local restaurants are cheap but tourist locations charge 4/5 times as much for the same thing. Alcohol is very expensive - a large beer can be anywhere from £ 8 - £ 11 or £5 for a small can ! Soft drinks are far cheaper. Exodus recommendation of about £ 350 for a 12 day trip is barely adequate.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Check when Ramadan falls ; it started just as we arrived. It means that local restaurants don't serve before sundown and some won't provide alcohol at all during this period, although it is usually possible to find a watering hole somewhere.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Julie Bridge

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    Absolutely brilliant trip, well organised throughout! Visits included amazing Roman ruins, Muslim and Crusader castles as well as Petra, of course! Travelled Jordan from the very north to the Red Sea in the south, some longish drives but never more than a couple of hours without a stop of some sort - with an excellent, safe driver. Extremely knowledgeable guide who provided some extra assistance as we travelled during Ramadam.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra of course! We spent nine hours at the site on the first day; the (2 hour) climb to the Monastery is not to be missed, returning in the evening for a candle-lit walk to the Treasury. On the second day took the longer, but more interesting and rarely visited trail to the High Place of Sacrifice NB: strongly advised take this 3 hour trail in reverse, as recommended by our guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely knowledgeable, especially ancient history and more recent regional politics. Lots of helpful advice at sites to ensure we not only didn't miss the 'must see' but also interesting out of the way places.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need plenty of spending money. Lunches and dinners usually DR10-15 each, which soon adds up. There are cheaper options in towns, except Petra, but not when you are in the middle of nowhere. And if you are desperate for a cold beer after a hot and dusty day, expect to pay DR7-9 for a pint of lager. NB: food and drink usually plus 7% tax & 10% service

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Why oh why don't the hotels provide fruit at breakfast?(Ramada, Red Sea being the exception) We stopped at fruit markets, which were plentiful and very cheap.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Justina Mclaughlin

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    An overwhelming archaeological journey. I was nervous before I traveled with Syria escalating but I never felt unsafe on the tour. I felt really welcome in Jordan and I will return. I hope more people will visit. I can highly recommend this tour and if you're smart make it a two week trip and have a few days to enjoy Jordan at a slower pace on your own at the end.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra was simply magical and wins hands down! I particularly liked that this tour gives you 2 full days there. I didn't rush to see everything on day 1 and took the time to explore a little off the main trails and meet the local bedouin. I also loved Um Qais as it was in full spring bloom (I've never seen so may thistles outside of Scotland) Jerash is also incredible, wish I had longer to enjoy it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Issa was a a responsible team leader, his knowledge of Jordanian history and culture was very good. He had a difficult task as we were a large group with differing interests. Issa very much focused on the history and the sights and was conscious of ensuring we saw everything on the itinerary. He was very helpful with all my queries and helped with my transfer at the end of my trip so this isn't a criticism but I did observe Issa struggled with all the organisational demands because there was so little downtime for him to organise himself.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can, arrive a day early, as the flight gets in after midnight and the tour starts the next morning. Research the places on the itinerary before you travel - its information overload on the tour and there is a lot of history and no time to sit and read your guidebook. The weather in Jordan varies from one part of the country to another so bring a warm sweater/fleece. There are several walks over uneven/rocky terrain so do bring a pair of hiking boots or walking shoes with proper grips. If you're a light sleeper bring earplugs as a number of our hotels were noisy Oh and do bring a universal plug for the bath tubs as most of the hotels had a bath but no plug!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am a big fan of Exodus and its objective of responsible tourism. I was very disappointed by the hotel in Amman at the start of the tour especially because I booked to arrive a day early and I asked for the name of the hotel before I booked my extra night. The taxi driver told me the hotel had changed on the way from the airport ie. 1am then took me to a completely different hotel. I was told Exodus would email me to explain, they never did! I am a seasoned traveller and live in central London but I was not comfortable as a woman travelling on my own at this hotel, lucky for me there was another Exodus traveller to engage with. In despair having managed for the whole day I had to demand the reception give me Issa's number and call him whilst he was finishing up on another tour to complain. My issues: The hotel was in the middle of nowhere with no facilities nearby to buy lunch or dinner. There were a bunch of local men sitting smoking cigarettes all day in the small lobby, there was a seedy very noisy nightclub under the property that played music till 4 am and my room was right above it. Imagine getting off a flight and arriving at 1 am to be shown your room with music blasting. We had to take taxis everywhere from this hotel, worse still even with a hotel card in arabic they didn't know where the hotel was to return us and promptly got lost. Had the start of my holiday not been so uncomfortable I would have given the tour five stars. The grading of the tour is 1, having travelled previously on 2 other tours with Exodus, this tour should be grade 1-2 as you only need a reasonable level of fitness but the itinerary is compressed and there are some challenging walks in Pella and Petra. I cannot understand why Exodus doesn't offer a 2 week tour. A couple of free days in the itinerary would have made the whole stay more enjoyable.I had a fantastic trip made better because I spent two weeks in Jordan and tacked 5 days onto my stay to make it a longer holiday. I spent three days at the Feynan Ecolodge which was amazing and a couple of days in Amman. Other suggestions to extend the tour would be a hike in the Canyon at Wadi Mujeeb and some time to walk around the arts and craft town of Madaba. Also Jerash was rushed and you could have a good 4 hours there with free time for the rest of the day.
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