Request your free brochure for adventure inspiration. Order now >>

Turtle, Ecuador

Review Centre

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

24 Reviews

  • Reviewed July 2014
    Helen Evans

    Galapagos WAG

    Just back from this trip. Wish we were still on board the Cachalote. What an amazing experience! The time in Quito is limited but we managed to pack in lots, the Teleferico, Old Town, La Bascilica, Botanical Gardens, Quito is easy to get around, taxis are cheap. All transfers were very well managed by the local agents Enchanted Expeditions. The boat, Cachalote 1 was fantastic. Great crew, all friendly. El Capitan ran the ship well. Pedro made exceptional food both quality and amounts from his little galley. Safety was taken seriously. The Galapagos Islands were all and much more than expected. Every day was different, packed full of activities and experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say what was best, because every day was inspirational. Love the blue footed boobies and all the other birds, even saw the Frigate birds in full display. Never thought I would be swimming with sharks, turtles, sea lions and penguins. Each island was special in its own way. Also our group was lovely, we all got on really well, which goes towards making the experience even more special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin (yes, that is his real name) was fabulous. He was knowledgeable about everything we wanted to know. He took his time to explain things to us. He seemed to take as much pleasure from the trip as we did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take sea sickness tablets, we had a couple of rough navigations. This time of year it is worth hiring a wet suit from Richard on the boat ($30 for the week) as its gets a bit cold in the water. Snorkels and masks available on board for free. Try and take biodegradable sun cream so you know you are not harming the environment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!! Hopefully we will be back to do itinerary B.
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Lisa Hutchison

    Galapagos Islands

    Truly the trip of a lifetime. It exceeded my expectations in every area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a privilege to be in such a unique environment amongst wildlife that, far from being bothered by our prescence, would, more often than not, be curious enough to come and say hello. Seeing the courting displays of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies on the final morning was a real highlight, but I completely fell in love with the playful sea-lion pups, who fully lived up to our guide's description of them as 'puppies in wetsuits'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin was wonderful. Extremely knowledgable about all that we saw, and always friendly and helpful. The crew on the Cachalote were also exceptional. They really added to the quality of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take biodegradeable sun-lotion to protect the fragile marine environment when swimming/snorkelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't hesitate, just book. You won't regret it.
  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    This holiday was outstanding in so many ways - it was a truly fantastic trip. If you are thinking about it, my advice is just get on and book it - you won't be disappointed!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights - it is hard to choose just a few.I loved swimming with the baby sea lions. They are so playful and come to have a close look at you.Snorkelling with turtles, rays and sharks was wonderful.The 'crossing the equator cocktails', the panga rides, the birds, the sunsets.....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, David Paez, was absolutely great. He was friendly, enthusiastic and fun as well as professional and ensured that everyone respected the wildlife. He was very knowledgable (biology degree and Galapagos Guide additional qualifications) and really made sure that we got the most out of every part of the trip. Thank you David!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book it!Don't take shampoo, shower gel or towels. These are provided in Quito at the hotel, and on the boat you have to use the environmentally friendly shampoo and soap provided. There are towels on the Cachalote for use on board and separate towels for beach use. There are power sockets and a safe in the cabin, also air conditioning which works well. Food is great and always a good selection. Snacks available after snorkelling/walking etc so no need to take any with you. Dress is informal. Pack light if you can as space is limited in the cabin. There are pegs and hooks to hang a few things inside the cabin and you can dry out your wet gear out on deck.The suggested tips may seem high at first glance, but the crew work so hard that they really do deserve them. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday was the trip of a lifetime! Expect to see loads of wildlife and to take hundreds of photos!!The group was great - from 18 to 63. A mix of all sorts of people and we all loved it. The local agents in Quito were fantastic - we had to make some last minute changes to our itinerary after an unplanned hospital trip and the local agent rearranged hotels and flights for us so that we could continue with our trip with as little disruption as possible.The crew onboard the Cachalote were amazing - Pedro cooked up vast amounts of delicious food every day, Richard the barman had a wicked laugh and knows a card game or two, Angel and Roberto the panga drivers were amazingly skilful and got us into all sorts of nooks and crannies to get up close with the wildlife, Lenny the engineer kept everything running smoothly whilst Captain Jose got us from one spot to another without a hitch.Thank you for such a wonderful trip! 
  • Reviewed June 2013
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    Holiday seemed to get off to a bad star , i paid £200 plus for the pleasure of travelling Americian Airlines, certainly was not a pleasure, Luggage was lost some where in Maimi and couldnt be found, ground rep for Exodus could have helped me more . if it hadnt been for the excellant hotel staff i would have came home at that point. Was advised by rep at 5pm to go and buy cothes etc as luggage wouldnt arrive before my 7 night cruise, she failed to tell me shops closed at 6pm. I had a knock at my door at 4.30am porter with my luggage . just an hour before i was leaving for air port to fly to Galapagos Isles. At that point i felt my holiday began ! Marks out of 10. Exadus reps 4 out of 10. hotel staff 11 out of 10.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are too many to mention ! the day the Orca whales played with the small boats tied to the back of the Cachalote ! seeing all the different species of Birds ! especially the blue footed Boobies dance on last day! The sally lightfoot crab eating a puffer fish! the white tip Shark jump out of thewater beside our boat ! The seals refusing to move when you wre trying to land ! so many to mention .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jaun was excellant, very knowlegable about the area! and the nightly briefings were so interesting and funny ! his dancing and singing skills were memorable too. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont consider to long just book it ! The Cachalote cabins are quite compact so I would advise not to take lots of luggage and use a soft bad that can be stored under the beds. After all that musch to see and do dont spend much time in your cabin. I am a veggie and the food the chef prepared was brillant! so much so most of the guests rolled of the ship. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday was a 50th Birthday pressie to myself! Best one i ever had! A truely unique experience that I will never forget! And lots of great memories! wish i hadnt wait till i was 50 to go . if you are thinking about this trip ! go you wont be disappointed! the Cacholote is just the right size of schooner ! 8 cabins and 5 crew and Jaun! certainly saw more than you would in one of the larger boats . 20 out of 10 for the whole Cachalote experience one negative not i found some of the exodus sales team on the phone less than helpfull, I phoned a few times for advise as i was travelling on my own and never undertaken such a trip before ! One i could say was just rude! but this wouldnt put me off booking with Exodus again!  
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    A fantastic trip that exceeded all my expectations. The wildlife is every bit as amazing as it's reputation, the snorkelling was out of this world, the Cachalote was a lovely little home on the sea and the guide and my fellow travellers were great company. What's not to like?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The snorkel at Kicker Rock. Quite simply the best hour I've ever spent in the water. Just as you get used to swimming alongside sea turtles and a wide array of brightly coloured fish, you look down and below you, then around you, and you see upwards of 30 sharks, including a few Hammerheads! This passage between 2 rocks seemed to be a shark highway-they were everywhere you looked. Some eagle rays joined us swimming near the surface to add their grace and beauty to the mix- I could have stayed in that channel forever.Another great snorkel was at Sullivan Bay with penguins and a playful sea lion who blew bubbles right in my face.Out of the water it was great to see a giant tortoise, a baby sea turtle scurry for the sea and the famous boobies and iguanas in the wild and unafraid of humans.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was a great leader and guide full of knowledge on the Islands and the wildlife. His enthusiasm was infectious and he was a good laugh and full of banter. He did his best to maximise our opportunities and prepare us for each excursion and he took into account preferences, and was always willing to give a helping hand to the more nervous swimmers or hikers.The entire Cachalote crew were great - helpful and happy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes don't lie! Altitude sickness did affect me a bit in Quito so follow the advice and take it easy (and it's an excuse to eat lots of chocolate!). The cabin is small but I didn't find this much of a problem as was only ever in there to sleep and change. But don't over pack - bare feet on board the boat and environmentally friendly shampoo and shower gel is provided in each cabin along with indoor and outdoor towels so that might cut out some space in your luggage. You don't need extra food either as you are more than well looked after with big meals 3 times a day and snacks in between-thank you Richard! Any time beach time if offered, take your snorkel stuff if you like that sort of thing as you never know what you might see. We came across stingrays and golden cow rays, not to mention sharks just off the beaches we had time to relax on!Be prepared for early starts but they are all worth it for each excursion offers something new-and there was always a good rest period in the middle of the day to recharge. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    DO IT!
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    I had heard that the Galapagos were amazing but I had no idea I would see so many animals and they would be so close. I travel extensively but this was my first group trip and I loved it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is so difficult to choose. Each day I thought there was no possibility that the next day would be better but we kept seeing incredible animals from being just feet away from Blue Footed Boobies dancing to witnessing young turtles leave their nest for the ocean. If I had to choose it would be the seventh day snorkeling as I was in the water with a fur seal who wanted to play. If I were allowed a second one it would be Sullivan Bay. It's an island that is only 100 years old, created by lava. It was amazing to see the start of life as we walked by tiny plants that were started to grow. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    My guide was Juan Tapia and he has been guiding for 25 years which was amazing because he knew everything about the islands and the animals. He was so knowledgeable but also had a great sense of humour. I was always at the back of the group when we were trekking and I am sure it was frustrating for him as I always took so long to take photos but he never made me feel bad about it. Although he has been doing this for 25 years he has so much patience and still loves seeing all of the animals just as we did.But it wasn't just the guide, the entire crew of the Cachelote were fantastic. Even if they didn't all speak English whenever they saw something like dolphins or turtles they made sure to get everyone as they knew we would want to see it too. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I brought snacks with me because I was unsure how much food there would be but it was untouched. The food on the ship was great and in between meals when we returned from an excursion there was always juice and snacks.  No one will ever go hungry on the trip and they are very accommodating to people who don't like certain foods. One of the girls on our trip didn't like fish and they always brought her something different.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Galapagos is a bucket list trip and so many people want to find the cheapest or most discounted trip. Now that I have taken this tour I realized this is not a trip to buy at a deep discount you really need to choose an operator with a strong record. Reading through the reviews prior to the trip I was surprised to see so many people had overwhelming positive reviews but now I see they were all completely warranted.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    A trip of a lifetime to this wonderful unspoilt place. If its on your list do it! Initially I wondered what it would be like on a boat for a week but the crew, food and company on board added to the adventure and I loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me there was a highlight every day and I remember welling up with tears on more than one occasion.. The first time I was truly moved was when we had a wet landing on a beach covered in sealions and they didn't mind at all. Such a priveledge! I swam with a sealion at Espanola beach and the wave made us bang in to each other and he had a little sniff of me. On Floreana I spotted a bird with something in its mouth and our guide realised it was a baby turtle. We then saw a batch of baby turtles emerging from their nest ( in the daylight!) rushing towards the sea with great urgency. Unfortunately many didn't made it as the birds overhead swooped down and took them. Seeing nature so close and not interfering was a memory I will never forget. Our guide Juan had only seen this four times in seven years so we were very lucky

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan Tupin was great. He was so knowledgeable and good fun. He organised the group very well. I particularly enjoyed our daily recaps after dinner on what we had seen that day and drawing in the big map where we were going the next day. It did become a bit like a game show. Also on our last night when we crossed the Equator he brought out his guitar and we had a sing along and some games which was great fun

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled on my own and my roommate was fab. Remember you already have the fact you chose the trip in common so don't let that put you off going alone. My girlie tips are you can take a hair drier and there are loads of electrical sockets for recharging your camera etc. also I took too many clothes. It's really casual on board and you go bare feet inboard so you only need walking boots / shoes and sandals. Some of the beaches are wonderful to walk barefoot on. At night for dinner again its casual. You will have showered before dinner as its hot so I found a couple of nice long sleeved top nice to wear as a change from t shirts perfect but there was no need for the fleece I packed Take a t shirt to swim in to save getting burned. Take shorts. It can be windy on the small pangas which take you to shore so if you have longer hair pack pony tail bands. The cabin is small but the but I found it appeared bigger as the week went on as we found places for our things and you can store a lot in the bathroom. I took a small roller case and it did fit under the bottom bunk. Hotel in Quito is lovely. Get a taxi downtown to the old part on your first day but don't take valuables with you as robbing is common.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The crew are so helpful and work hard. it was the easiest tip i have ever given .I loved Richard the waiter/ barman/ housekeeper and his laugh. I don't eat fish and the chef was brilliant at making me something different for the meals the others had fish. The food in general was fabulous . I wasn't keen on snorkelling as I am scared of sharks ....and they are in the water, yet won't eat you but I had a go once but you can swim off the boat or just go out and watch the others if you don't fancy it or stay aboard yacht and lounge. Take a note book to record your trip. Take big memory cards as I took over 1000 photos and videos ( they use up a lit more memory) video captures the experience more. Take binoculars for the birds but the other animals are so close. Another great thing was there was no phone signal or wifi on board so that was a real holiday. I never thought about work or home at all as I was so engrossed in my adventure. It's an awesome trip and if Galápagos is on your list DO IT!
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    This holiday not only met my expectations, it exceeded them - a true holiday of a lifetime.The boat, crew & group leader were top notch, the food was both tasty and plentiful - how the chef made what he did, heaven only knows!    

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The conservational work being undertaken by the National Park.Being able to share this trip of a lifetime with my father, it was our dream come true. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Darwin Alvarez was a delight!  His knowledge and experience was second to none, he ensured questions were answered and that everyone was involved throughout the week. The pace of each activity was based on the group, safety was always key to any activity.  Darwins's ability to convey information in a positive and fun manner has to be commended, he was extremely helpful and flexible in his approach. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack warm jumper and raincoat for Quito as it is it chilly especially if you go up on the cable car (which is well worth a trip!) and take it steady due to the altitude, walk slowly and  let your body adjust - the altitude affected many even the fittest of our party.There is limited space for your luggage on the boat, so don't take bulky suitcases. Pack wisely, you don't need many clothes to last you a week! Casual clothes are acceptable for dinner, there is no need to dress up.The water is chilly!  Although there were enough wetsuits on board for hire they were shorties and thin!  I was grateful I took my own thicker long wet suit and rash vest, it kept me warm, many people in our party struggled with the water temperature.  Mind you Darwin our guide leader went in with just his swimsuit..........Brave man! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't put booking this trip off......... Just Do IT! Enjoy and have a memorable time.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    I've been on many Exodus holidays but this one was something special. A cruise on a lovely ship like the Cachalote would be fantastic anywhere, but among the scenery and wildlife of the Galapagos it's unbeatable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with a sealion at Sombrero Chino.A passage under sail between Sombrero Chino and Isla Rabida.Seeing a newly-hatched baby tortoise at the breeding centre in Puerto Villamil.Cruising with dolphins into Elizabeth Bay.Penguins and a cormorant swimming alongside my kayak at Tagus Cove, completely unafraid. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    In Quito, Gloria was efficient about organising transfers and other logistics. She left us on our own for the free day, but the hotel staff were very helpful with advice about places to see and areas to avoid in the city.In the islands, our guide and leader David was first class. Very friendly and helpful, got on well with everyone, and he organised our visits ashore and other activities without ever being pushy or leaving us feeling we didn't have enough time. He was extremely knowledgeable about the landscape and wildlife, but also admitted when he didn't know something and often came back to you later on with an answer. He really did his best to make sure we had a good holiday and experienced as much of the islands as possible. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too much luggage on the ship. A soft holdall is far better than a hard case as there's little storage space in the cabins. You mostly go barefoot on the ship, but walking sandals are good for wet landings, and a pair of good trainers or walking shoes for longer hikes on the islands. Lightweight clothing is best, but include some long sleeves and long trousers and a hat for sun protection. A light waterproof is recommended but you are unlikely to need it more than once or twice.Go prepared to do lots of photography! I took 1500 images in a week. However, a medium telephoto zoom is good enough, as you can get really close to all the wildlife. On our trip David took pictures of the group during the day's activities, and each day ended with a briefing about the next day and a slide show. He copied the pictures to our own cards at the end of the trip, so bring plenty of memory. Take some medicine for seasickness with you if you think you might suffer, although none of us did. Sleeping on your back is the most comfortable when the ship is under way, as you just move with it rather than fighting the motion while lying on one side. Getting into the top bunk while the ship is rolling requires some agility!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very pleased to see the standards of environmental protection that were applied on this trip. The Galapagos is a very special place, and tourism is tightly controlled in order to protect the environment and the unique wildlife, much of which is endangered. We were expected to follow the rules, keep on paths, not get too close to or touch the animals (no matter how tempting!) and wash our shoes after each trip ashore to avoid contaminating the next place visited. The Cachalote is also certified to high standards of environmental protection in terms of waste disposal and minimum impact.These rules do slightly restrict your freedom, but it's a necessary price to pay to ensure the islands are protected for the future.If you think you want to go, then go. You won't regret it! 
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    The Galapagos Islands were everything Id hoped they would be - Peaceful and unspoilt teaming with wild life which was totally unafraid of us, our guide was obviously passionate about keeping the Islands this way and had a great deal of knowledge to share with us.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had just arrived on our first Island and three young sealions came to investigate us and played around our feet on the beach and in the shallow waters edge.Snorkelling with penguins, Galapagos white tipped sharks sealions and giant turtles.Waking up each day in a different location with yet another beautiful view from our ship - The Catchelote.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin was excellent he was extremely well informed and protective of the Islands and the wild life.Our guide in Quito was equally well informed and passionate about his City with lots of reccomendations of where to go & what to do whilst we were there.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take walking boots/shoes with you they are the one item of footwear you will need & possibly walking sandals to. If you are sailing on the Catchelote you wont need any other foot wear - as you are required to remove your shoes as soon as you board and the dress code is very casual with very small cabins - so dont take any luggage you dont need.Do take medication for sea sickness with you  - if you dont need it thats a bonus 50% of our group suffered from sea sickness to some degree & its such a shame to reduce your enjoyment of the trip and the wonderful food served on board.Do take the best camera you can with lots of memory - you will need it as there is so much to see and photograph.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We chose itinery B in the hope we would see whales & luckily we did - The trip was fantastic the Catchelote and crew great with lots of excellent food - just limit the amount of luggage you take as you dont need very much.The holiday was more active than we expected with lots of walking and snorkeling - so brush up on your swimming skills before you go - as you really would miss quite a lot if you chose not to snorkel.If you have been thinking about taking this trip - then just do it !