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.

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Johnny Deol

    Great Views, Difficult Andes Trek, Crowded Reed Islands, Expensive Country

    Without doubt, Peru is a beautiful country, and our trip proved that the Andes is one of the most majestic mountain ranges on the planet. The highlights of our trip were: 1. The beautiful Ballestas islands off the coast of Paracas, where a lot of sea lions lazily dotted the islands along with dozens of penguins and lots of birds. We also saw interesting species of crabs and other shell animals. 2. The 4-day hike along the Moonstone Trek in the Andes - this was the most enjoyable part of our trip. The stunning views of Mount Veronica on the 3rd day kept us in awe, and the climb to the summit of the trek at 4,600 metres above sea level. We also walked through lovely meadows and farms along the way. Funnily enough, Machu Picchu was not the highlight of the trip, even though it was a nice experience to be there, it somehow seemed crowded and overflowing with tourists, taking away the calmness and serenity that is typically expected of such places. Be warned that the Moonstone Trek is a difficult one, and altitude sickness is a reality. You will feel the lack of oxygen and are most likely to feel nausea, headaches and vomiting. I did throw up on the 2nd day of the hike. Also note that altitude sickness can afflict anyone, even the most well-built or muscular or athletic of people. Just because you are very fit and may even be an athlete or sportsperson, do not think that you are immune to altitude sickness!! Peru is an expensive country, and the prices are marked up at tourist places, and shopkeepers will not negotiate prices lower than 10%-15%. You may find some products cheaper in Lima than in the tourist towns like Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, the town closest to Machu Picchu. ** Warnings: - Many restaurants add a 10% service charge to your bill without your consent in advance. - There is a "tipping" disease in the country, and you will find many occasions where the tour leader will ask you to give a tip to just about every service person you encounter, like a bus driver, the backup/alternate driver, the boat captain, etc. - If you are a vegan or vegetarian or have other dietary restrictions, you will need to choose your food carefully and remind the waiter many times. They do not seem to understand or appreciate these dietary restrictions too well. - Even simple things like a cup of coffee are overpriced in certain towns like Pucara, on the way to the city of Puno. Overall, Peru is a lovely country, but go there knowing what to expect. Safe travels!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 4-day Moonstone Trek

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good guy overall, very knowledgeable and sociable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, do not expect the Moonstone Trek to be a walk in the park. It is pretty difficult, I would personally rate it at Level-6/7 out of 10. Be prepared to throw up, get a headache, nausea, get goddamn tired and curse Exodus along the way :) But if you are willing to endure some discomfort for the rewards of stunning views of the Andes, you'll find that it is an investment worth the pain! Remember: Walk at your own pace, don't try to impress anyone by walking fast as you could faint, take enough breaks and rest stops, keep drinking water frequently, wear ample sunscreen and insect/bug cream or spray, and most importantly - listen to the advice of your tour leader on the trek. He is the best and most experienced person in the group, and knows what will help and what will hurt.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Help keep Peru clean and beautiful. Please do not throw garbage or rubbish on the Moonstone Trek or anywhere you go. Enjoy and respect the immensity, majesty and grandeur of the Andes and you will be safe.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Pauline Patterson

    Stunning snow topped Andes

    Peru is a wonderful country with its varied landscapes and diverse cultures. Nothing can quite prepare you for the stunning vistas in the Andes and the once in a lifetime experience of the Inca trail, culminating at the Sun Gate and that first view of Machu Picchu. All this led by our outstanding guide Bobby and shared with a lovely group of people. A BIG thank you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Undoubtedly that first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate after 4 strenuous but amazing days on the Inca trail. It was quite an emotional experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    What a legend Bobby is! THE most fantastic guide, who shared his passion and knowledge of his country and immersed us into its heart and cultures throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Read the trip notes carefully 2. Get yourself physically fit for the trek which I personally believe is higher than the moderate level 3 graded by Exodus. 3. Altitude will have an affect! 4. There are long drives but the scenery is always extraordinary and do help you acclimatise to the altitude. 5. Days were pleasantly warm but the nights very cold particularly on the trek and in Cusco, so layers are essential.. 6. It is worth taking the optional extra flight over the Nazca lines to fully appreciate the extent of the carvings.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Martin Perrett

    Inspirational treka

    Not just a holiday, more of an adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Achieving day 2 of the Machu Picchu trek to Dead Woman’s Pass. Although not long as a days trek, the rise in altitude to 4200 metres was tough!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Bobby, was excellent in every department. A more capable, competent and helpful guide in all probability does not exist. His involvement with the group was welcomed by all and resulted in the trip being a huge success for the group participants. The information he provided on the various sites visited and the relevant history was most interesting and created further discussion within the group. With regard to the travelling and accommodation, Bobby took full control and made our holiday somewhat carefree, thankfully! A big thank you to Bobby!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothing for the camping part of the trip as the nights can be very cold!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The long bus journeys were tiring but it is part and parcel of the trip and seeing some great sites and wonderful scenery.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Shirley Perrett

    Nice trail,Titicaca and Nazca

    A superb trip, very well planned and executed. The views were just amazing and the porters food incredible. We were so well looked after. Our guide, Bobby, was excellent and so informative. He knew all the best places to eat as well! Hotels were all good and we would thoroughly recommend the experience to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Dead Woman’s Pass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobby was brilliant, he couldn’t have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of thermals for the camping part as it was so cold at night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Kim Stansfield

    July 2018 Inca Trail and Peru

    Excellent Guide, Bobby (Ubaldo), helped the group understand so much about Peru’s history, culture, fauna and amazing achievements of the Incas and preceding tribes, and all done with real sense of humour. Off the Inca trail Bobby continued to look after us, so the small group that flew back to UK were looking for him to help sort us out at Gatwick. The porters and cooks were also brilliant, not sure how they covered the route so quickly and made food and camp sites so comfortable. Also helped having a really friendly group of fellow travellers. All-in-all a brilliant experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on a high point in the Andes above the camp watching the sun come up - red glow spreading across the mountain peaks, magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobby (Ubaldo Quispe) was brilliant - gave so much insight and things to think about, always joking, but real sense he was looking after us and getting things organised. Missed him when we got back to UK!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If weather clear, take advantage of flight over Nascar lines, but don’t eat for a couple of hours beforehand. Really brings home the scale, but involves a lot of weaving. During Trail, take things slowly, but the guide will explain things like that. At Machupichu you are limited to small bag/ ruck sack, had left our small bags behind, would have been good to know about the limitation before leaving Cuzco.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only frustration was breakfast 1st day at hotel Tambo in Lima. Due to early start breakfast was minimalist, tea/ coffee, bread, jam. My wife doesn’t drink tea or coffee, so nothing to drink for her, and somebody else didn’t eat bread. Apart from that, the hotel was comfy and breakfast was good in normal opening times.
  • Reviewed July 2018

    My holiday of a lifetime Peru and Mchu Picchu

    This has been my dream holiday for as long as I can remember. Nazca lines, Andes, walking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. It was more than I could have hoped for. The amazing scenery welcoming people, amazing food, Pisco sours and a friendly enthusiastic Tour guide. Without the long coach journeys we would have missed all the amazing scenery! The flight over the Nazca lines truly amazing and well worth doing. Day 2 of the trail definitely the hardest but the thrill when you reach Dead woman's pass is nearly as inspiring as reaching the Sun gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time. I was ill at the end of the holiday so missed Lake Titicaca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Dead Woman's pass was as equaling inspiring as the emotion that overwhelms you when you reach the Sun Gate and see Machu Picchu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group Leader Willmer Delgado was an amazing ambassador for Exodus and for Peru. His knowledge of Peru and its history had us all enthralled for the whole 15 days in Peru. Nothing was too much trouble including helping track down my missing suitcase . Our assistant guide on the trail Kleverth was along with Will very patient and being one of the slower walkers who suffered with altitude sickness I was never made to feel like I was holding anyone back.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink the coca tea when offered to you as it does help on the trail. Don't let the coach journeys put you off, the scenery is amazing, you get to see Vicunas and Alpaca's roaming free, Condor's and Flamingo's. Above all enjoy the whole experience, a few early mornings wont kill you!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Barry Rowley

    Inca trail Titicaca Nazca 463

    The best trip ever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it. From the start, right to the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Couldn't have asked for a better leader. Julio was a true professional. He is very knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I would be proud to have him as a mate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get booked up and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm looking at the brochure and thinking of re-booking.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    diane Mcdermott

    Full on fun!

    This was an excellent trip which delivered exactly what it said it would. The main downside is the long days in the bus between stops and the fact that as it stands there is a very limited amount of time to spend in Cusco. However, the scenery over the Andes is spectacular, as is the view of Peruvian life the bus affords.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely Machu Picchu for me. I was just glad to get there! Spectacularly atmospheric.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was a thoroughly professional tour leader who engaged and considered everyone in the group. He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his subjects and made the tour come to life with his information about Peru, the Incas and the local wildlife. He was extremely kind and caring when I was ill and took active steps to support me. He organised the group well and gave options, but I felt he was hampered by the need to get everyone to the right place at the right time throughout the trip which at times made things feel rushed. Individual down time is limited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unfortunately before I left I had to forego the Inca trail owing to a mobility problem. It was definitely the right decision. If you are in anyway unsure of your ability to cope, do the Moonstone Trek which though higher, allows for some support with horses if you are struggling. With the Inca trail, there is much more limited potential for support. Also you MUST have good insurance! I took out Exodus insurance just to be sure that I would be covered for everything I might need. Since I ended up in hospital for 4 days with altitude sickness, this was money well spent. ( Altitude sickness is real, but most people manage to acclimatise. Unfortunately, I didn't, but that is the exception rather than the rule.) The support team at Cusco were superb and I was so grateful for all their assistance since the rest of the group and the group leader were on the trail.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The biggest problem with this trip is that there are long spells of travelling then limited down time. We always seemed to need to be somewhere else which at times made it feel as if we were being herded at a pace slightly faster than we might have wanted. Bruce did his best to mitigate this by giving options and explaining his thinking so that everybody was in the know, but by the end of the trip, people were beginning to need a bit more leeway. This was entirely due to the fact that in Cusco in particular there was not enough time to see what the town had to offer or to explore local sites.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Justine Mole

    Brilliant holiday of a lifetime

    I've just come back from Peru and for someone who has never done a package holiday before, this one was absolutely fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gate after four days of trekking was incredibly emotional, it was hard at times and the altitude does affect you but with the encouragement of our guide/tour leader and the other trekkers we all made it. Getting to know other people on trip and our guide, we formed a close little group and hopefully will remain friends for years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was wonderful, we couldn't have chosen anyone better for our group, he was very knowledgeable, and interesting, he was kind and had a sense of humour, he knew when to push us and when to hold back and let us go at our own pace, he usually stayed back with those who were struggling.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't ignore advice about altitude, we were all relatively fit but it still affected us in different ways, take it easy on the walk and don't push yourself. You won't lose weight as you can't go fast enough for aerobic exercise and you get fed too well, you get given plenty of snacks so don't really need your own.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were all really good but sometimes other guests are noisy, take ear plugs or be prepared to tell them off, you go to bed pretty early on this trip as there are a lot of early starts and long bus journeys. The views are incredible which makes the bus trips bearable and there was plenty of room on the bus to stretch out and sleep. Also if you want to do the plane ride over the Nasca Lines take an anti sickness tablet. I rented a sleeping bag and poles rather than taking my own and they were cheap and worked perfectly well, warm and clean bag and they even provided a cotton liner.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Amanda Patton

    Amazing trip - Inca Trail, Titicaca and Nazca

    Absolutely amazing trip, wonderful guide and brilliant companions. The journeys are long but the scenery is surprisingly varied and the weather/light changes all the time - you would need to view the experience of the travel as a full part of the holiday, and not just a means to arrive - personally I loved it! The trail is tougher than I'd expected (because of the altitude) - day 2 was hard but the sense of achievement huge as a result and it made reaching Machu Picchu itself a very emotional experience (which I hadn't expected it to be). I loved that we saw so much of the country, the Ballestas Islands were beautiful, we saw penguins and sea lions and heaps of other wildlife, including big red crabs! Nazca was stunning, I'm so glad to have seen it and the flight was a great way to do so, while the haunting quality of Lake Titicaca and its extraordinary people made for a lovely quiet and relaxed finish to the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sight of Machu Picchu mountain from our campsite on the third night of the trail, with sunbeams shining through cloud onto the ruins of Phuyupatamarca below. Utterly beautiful; we sat on a rock (with feet in diy spa bags!) watching the light fade. Watching an eagle for about 20 minutes, swooping and landing right beside us in the mist at the top of Dead Woman's Pass. And corny, I know, but the first sight of Machu Picchu is hard to beat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was amazing - 70% Inca and so proud (rightly) and knowledgeable of his heritage - he absolutely brought to life the stories, the people, the culture and sophisticated building skills of the Inca, along with being equally knowledgeable about the other sites, landscapes, flora and fauna that we saw along the way. Way exceeded anything I would expect of a guide; he was also patient, kind, and a fun travelling companion. He made great recommendations for dinners, even finding a restaurant where we could make our own Pisco sours, and picked up on our personal interests so he could add to them with extras and observations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It gets much colder once the sun goes down than I had realised and pretty much most days had four seasons - from hot sun to hail! I was able to borrow some extra thermal layers but would recommend at least one long-sleeved merino top for early evening/night time - even with a 3/4 season sleeping bag you needed all your clothes on at night (plus hat and gloves!). Also we all underestimated the effects of altitude and most of us were short of breath at the very least. While the trail is marked as a 'moderate' we all felt - for the second day's climb to Dead Woman's Pass - that it was tougher than this - not because there are a lot (a lot!) of steps but because climbing them at altitude was so much harder than it would be at sea level.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've wanted to walk the Inca Trail all my life and it has been a wonderful experience, way above what I had hoped for it. I loved seeing the country, varying from desert (both flat and mountainous) through steep green mountains to high plains. The wildlife is fantastic, we saw eagles, hummingbirds, amazing butterflies and orchids, and heard a toucan (though couldn't see it!). The other half of our group (doing the Moonstone trek) also saw condors. Machu Picchu itself is something I think everyone should see for themselves! You can't quite believe you're there - and the insights from Bruce made it even more amazing.
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