Turtle, Ecuador

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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 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.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Angela King

    Our Peruvian Adventure

    A wonderful adventure from start to finish. Tough travelling but well, well worth it. Amazing scenery from Lima up into The Andes. An excellent trip leader and a great group of fellow travellers. Got the opportunity to meet and talk with local people and experience their culture. All in all, a very informative and exhilarating discovery of Peru. Love it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments but I would have to put Machu Picchu at the top, closely followed by our visit to Colca Canyon with great sightings of condors.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Sebastian, was first class in every way. He was a worthy representative of his country, providing us with lots of information on the history, culture and society etc of the various regions. He was, at all times, attentive to our health and needs, and his friendly nature and sense of humour made for a very happy bunch of travellers. He is a star!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    High altitude can have its effects, though we all managed to deal with it well enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Marg Bjerky

    Essential Peru

    What an amazing trip! Our tour leader, Fernando, went above and beyond all through the trip! I am in awe of how much we were able to see and experience in only 2 weeks. I would recommend Exodus and Fernando to anyone looking to come to Peru! Thank for the trip of a lifetime! The Bjerky’s

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would say the giving to the needy children, dogs and schools was the most inspirational part of the trip! It was nice to give back while we were enjoying our trip and it is something we will endeavour to do more in the future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fernando was amazing. He was very good at reading the group and knowing when/how to suggest things and get everyone excited to participate! His passion for the country and history was evident throughout the trip but he did a fantastic job of not overwhelming us. He is wonderful at his job and is an asset to Exodus!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sleep before you come :) and carefully read the itinerary and be prepared before you arrive. Review the current weather for each location before you leave. Take lots of hand sanitizer and kleenex for bathroom breaks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for organizing this trip and for this amazing opportunity!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Victoria South

    Amazing Trip!

    I had always wanted to see Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines after seeing pictures of them in an old encyclopedia when I was 16 - now, 45 years later I realized my dream - and they did not disappoint! But Peru is just so much more than these two sites - incredible though they both are, the country is an absolute masterpiece of one gem after another. The scenery is spectacular, and you get to see wildlife [llamas, alpacas, vicunas, condors and flamingos] close up in the wild. We marveled at the beauty and ingenuity of many ancient Inca sites, and the colonial cities of Cuzco and Arequipa are an absolute delight. The Peruvian people are warm and friendly, and we felt safe throughout the entire trip. If you are an adventurous eater you will love the alpaca steaks! We were also given adequate water daily - really important as you must keep well hydrated for this trip. We looked at many travel tour operators trips to Peru, but settled on Exodus because not many of them included the Nazca Lines, and those that did charged practically double - we are so pleased we went with Exodus, as we really don't know how anyone could have delivered it better!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was an inspiration - just too many to mention, but I would say that as well as the obvious Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines, the home stay on Lake Titicaca was one of the highlights - I will never forget the night sky there - it looked as if the sky had been painted by Jackson Pollock - I never knew there could be so many stars, and the Milky Way looked as though you could just pluck it out of the sky - my words really can't do it justice! Another highlight was seeing condors gliding over the Colca Canyon - about 15-16 of them put on the most spectacular show for us for a good half hour or more. I thought that if I were lucky enough to see one it would be a dot on the horizon, but these glided over our heads - and kept gliding! Very day on the coach - just seeing the spectacular scenery and passing through the villages and towns, seeing locals in their traditional costumes was inspirational!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group Leader Sebastian was the best group leader we have ever had! He took the time to get to know and spend time with everyone in our group [there were 17 of us]. He was compassionate when people felt unwell, and stayed with them until they felt better again - I myself had experience of this at Machu Picchu. He made excellent choices and recommendations for dinner, catering to everyone's dietary needs and wishes, and also recommended visits and activities that people might want to do if they had a special interest in something - for me this was the Pisco Tasting! When people did not want to participate in some trips or activities, he recommend alternatives and accompanied them if appropriate. We always thought the group was in safe hands with him. If there is a prize for the best group leader - he should be awarded it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs! The workmanship and detail of the colourful handicrafts are fantastic - buy these from local women on the side of the road. But for finer Alpaca knitted goods buy from specialist shops in the big cities like Cuzco and Arequipa. You really don't know how altitude sickness will affect you - just take things slowly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that I have no hesitation whatsoever in highly recommending this trip! Both my husband and I think it is the best holiday we have ever had - and we have had a few!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Neil Cleverly

    Review

    The excellent mix of landscapes, history, flora and fauna made the early starts and miles on the road worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the view over Machu Picchu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raul was good company and kept everything running smoothly. The all-in-one tour he arranged for the first day in Cusco was a great use of the available time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are times at high altitude - take it slowly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ann Clarke

    Brilliant Adventure

    What a brilliant time we had on our recent visit to Peru. From the moment we met our guide Sebastian at Lima airport the fun started. The itinerary was full on but it was never overwhelming. All the travel was in comfortable buses and it was broken up by regular stops at places of interest. Sebastians love of his country was clear from the outset and his geographical and historical knowledge was amazing. If you want to see Peru this trip can't be beaten. Well done Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Macchu Picchu

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sebastian was entertaining and extremely informative. Professional from start to finish and nothing was ever too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for an adventure - you won't be disappointed.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Wendy Tutty

    Essential Peru

    This was a fabulous adventure! Recounting it to friends at home, it seems incredible that we saw and experienced so much - or travelled so many miles in a relatively short time. It was not an easy trip with lots of early starts and long road journeys and several times I found myself a little out of my comfort zone but the group was mutually supportive and our leader Sebastian was a true professional. Everything was carefully planned - we always had drinkable water, hotels were ready for us and always happy to store our luggage for us if we were away for a few days. Our ascent to altitude was carefully managed and none of us became sick. Each evening Sebastian would invite us to eat with him. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't but he always made a huge effort to make sure that he chose a restaurant which catered for everyone - even a non meat, fish and egg eating almost vegan like myself! His love for his country was infectious and his knowledge impressive - all of this helped to make the holiday memorable and he was always generous with his time, going out of his way to cater for those who wanted to do things apart from the group. Thankyou Sebastian - great memories - some of them very funny!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult one! I loved the Nazca lines by light aircraft - Cusco, Colca Canyon, Arequipa and of course Machu Picchu all jostle for first place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As previously stated, he was excellent - knowledgeable, well organised, unflappable, scrupulously honest (at the end of our trip he gave us change from our tips kitty), amusing and very very kind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you go well equipped and be prepared for some very basic condition at the homestay.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    K R

    Qué paja el Perú !

    Before I went on this holiday, anyone I talked to about Peru seemed to equate it principally with Machu Picchu and Inka trails. Frankly, as beautiful and wondrous as MP is, there is SO MUCH more to Peru. At every level of altitude, the country offers different scenery, flora, fauna, cultures (indigenous, colonial, urban, rural, affluence, poverty, religions, food, drink etc) and different experiences in general including star gazing. The itinerary of this trip gives a very good spread of exposure as to what is available to enjoy/sample in Peru. Yes, it is fast paced but it is invigorating for those of us who think a change is as good as a rest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying with Flora, our homestay host. She was a true joy to meet and talk with. She is a tough, extremely hardworking, gentle and warmhearted woman and an excellent cook. She was full of determination to do the very best for her children (they were studying medicine and law) even though it meant an incredibly hard life for her to meet those costs. It was an privilege to be able to stay with her and she made our stay as comfortable as she could.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sebastian a) has an excellent command of English, is well informed and was informative without boring us with a litany of facts b) did not B.S. (very important) if he didn't know but checked and came back c) was enthusiastic about his country d) was effortlessly highly efficient/organised e) warm, charming, friendly with a good sense of humour f) accommodated the various needs of the group and looked after us extremely well without being suffocating; plus guided those who needed it and didn't cramp the independence of those who wanted it g) chatted with each of us to find our particular interests and helped us achieve them eg wine tasting or dancing etc (over and above requirements) h) is an excellent ambassador both for Peru and equally importantly Exodus - many in the group were new to Exodus and are now wishing to continue with using Exodus i) took a very responsible approach to tourism within Peru and gave what seemed a balanced view of the cultural situation in Peru j) had inexhaustible energy throughout the trip k) spoke to those of us who wanted to improve our Spanish in Spanish where appropriate ie not excluding others who did not speak Spanish from the conversation. Very impressive and up in the top two of best guides I've had both as a seasoned Exodus customer and an independent traveller.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you suffer from motion sickness, consider whether you want to do the Nazca flight. It is quite nauseating and somewhat hot and claustrophobic in the Cessna planes used. Due to all types of weather encountered, the previous advice concerning layers is key. Good waterproofs also should be taken because when it rains it is likely to be a deluge.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a super bunch of people that formed this group which was a blessing and added significantly to the enjoyment of the holiday. The co-travellers were interesting, good humoured, caring, amusing and collaborative. That said, if you do not have a similar group when you travel, it need not negatively affect your experience because the nature of Exodus trips is that they afford you the ability to be pretty independent within the scope of the travel arrangements that form the itinerary.
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