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Turtle, Ecuador

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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31 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019

    Moonstone Trek and more

    Wonderful trip — cleverly varied itinerary with a mix of challenging trekking, history & local life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trek up to the pass at Accoccassa (4625m). and the view of Mt Veronica.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Don’t be put off by the altitude — it is extreme (see Accoccassa (4625m), followed by an evening in a camp also above 4000m, but we (a very mixed group) managed it. 2. If you can, get an extra day in Cusco to acclimatise. Well worth it, both to get used to the altitude and also to have more time to look around — depending on flights, you might not get long in Cusco on the way home. One day _less_ in Cusco on the way in could well leave you struggling with the altitude. We were stuck in Bogota after our flight was cancelled due to local electrical storms (well looked after by Avianca, once they made up their mind to cancel the flight); a day at 2640m does not prepare you for 3000-4000m. 3. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art – MAP Cusco (https://mapcusco.pe/en/) is well worth a visit (and is open on Sundays). 4. Ollantaytambo is a wonderful place to visit and walk around (not only because it is the first “civilisation” after the 4 days trekking...although the first shower was very welcome). Obviously, there’s no guarantee of Top Gear filming in the main square (don’t know when the episode airs, but the cars were very loud!), or the local schools rehearsing for a festival, but the town and temples are fascinating. 5. The international departure lounge at Cusco airport has just one (very) small cafe. Stay in the domestic lounge (up the escalator to the left of the entrance to International) for food, bar & shops, if you can.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Lajos Hanzel

    A fantastic trek and Machu Picchu

    Memorable hike in the Andes without any other turist on the trek, fantastic valleys and mountains plus 1 day Inka trail reaching Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. This was an all-in-one trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After an Exhausting steep hike to 4600m ridge suddenly getting the first glimps of Mt. Veronika...wow!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanks to our leader, Fabrizio, I know much more about Peruvian life, culture and the Inka history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add an extra day in Cusco for acclimatisation just in case your flight is delayed or cancelled.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Hull

    Enjoyable Peruvian trekking

    This is a great trip to visit Cusco, The Andes and Machu Picchu, including physical, culinary and cultural delights. As with all activity at altitude, a good fitness level is no guarantee that altitude symptoms will not occur, however it will certainly make the trekking more manageable and help assure that the group remains together. The Moonstone Trek provides the opportunity for high Andean trekking away from the crowds that can be experienced on the "Inca Trail". However, from discussions with other travelers, the Inca Trail offers greater variety of flora whilst trekking in the cloud forest. The landscape on the trek is stunning, but generally involves fairly barren and rugged mountain-scapes, as might be expected at such altitudes. Visiting in July, the days were warm to hot and the nights often sub-zero, requiring a range of clothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to identify a single highlight, but Machu Picchu is set in a stunning landscape and a marvel to behold, whilst Cusco offers a more Spanish colonial feel and waking-up on a mountainside always stimulates the senses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio, our main tour leader, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No amount of training can counter the impact of altitude, but a good fitness level should help assure enjoyment whilst trekking and even walking around Cusco. A good sleeping bag and warm layers will help with avoiding the evening/night cold and getting a sound sleep.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Tom Banfield

    Menton

    This was another delightful walking trip with a good group. The leader Jessica was born locally and is passionate about the history of her region, so that we now know all about the mountain paths along which the donkeys carried the salt over to Italy. Hotel Mediterranee is very comfortable, and close enough to the sea that we were able to have some lovely evening meals in a variety of French and Italian restaurants. on the front.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The exotic gardens at Eze, and the views over the coast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely friendly and well organised - goodness knows what she put in her huge back-pack each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really - the Trip Notes are very accurate and say it all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Already thinking about where to go next year...
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jill Last

    Walking French riverra

    Excellent guide, Sandrine. Exodus must retain her!! Routes, excellent variety, interest and length. Good hotel. Below average breakfast. I had a very good room, but too much vegetation outside window!! Very good roof top bar. Good transport. Flights, don't like late day flights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walks up high in on coastal hills, with views down to sea. Narrow hillside tracks, walking amongst special plants. WWII underground area at top of hill - sitting on top of a gun turret, eating lunch with a 360 deg view, reflecting! Being in and exploring the old towns Day in Monaco. Our guide Sandrine was inspirational in her enthusiasm and knowledge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding - see above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the situation and explore the differences!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Prefer earlier flight times No meals included and quite a pricey holiday
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Karen Todd

    Walking the French Riviera

    Stunning scenery. Walks a little slow as we stopped a lot to look at the flora but sufficiently challenging.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views and visiting Eze which was optional at lunch stop. Medieval streets in small castle, very worth visiting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful, explained everything clearly each day, knew the area well and pointed out all the towns and bays etc.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Bill Kerr

    Walking The French Riviera 2017

    Perfect break away - good capable leader - perfect hotel and wonderful location in Menton. We had a good week and walked to some super places. We enjoyed great meals out in the evening and altogether with the super October weather experienced a truely wonderful holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Repeated moments as walked up to 14km. in a day and was able to repeat this day after day willingly and relatively effortlessly - this was inspirational for future holidays of a similar nature

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was very capable - socialised and communicated well and we felt with her

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use Exodus - take a fair quality camera - a sunhat and a good pair of stout shoes and UVA & B lotion factor 30-50 even in October

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A lovely location on The Riviera and a great time to go - it seemed like endless summer..
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Martha Beaumont

    Wonderful hiking trip, great guide Stephanie

    The trip was great, really nice group of people ands very knowledgable guide with a great sense of humour. The location was beautiful and the hikes very satisfying.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hike to the Italain border in the hills Overlooking the great views of the sea and the French Riviera and Italy was beautiful and peaceful. Also the walks around Menton in early evening were very scenic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very good. Highly knowledgable and supportive. She had a fun sense of humour and lot's of Stories and history of about the area and the plant life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lot's of sunscreen and enjoying the lovely French countryside

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall, very good holiday.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Diana Rybinski

    A thoroughly enjoyable holiday

    This was my first Exodus holiday and my first solo holiday. The programme was just what I hoped with interesting walks, some visits to ancient sites and sea kayaking. The scenery and weather were fantastic and the food was very good. Our group of 14 people got on well together and the hard work of the guide made sure we were very well looked after.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without doubt the sea kayaking. The two of us were complete novices but after an embarrassing start we managed well and felt safe with 2 guides to help us and a support boat nearby. Paddling over the sunken city was a great experience and then on to the small village where we had an excellent buffet lunch and climbed up to the castle. Another memorable occasion was our visit to the ancient city of Arykanda where the enthusiastic local guide showed us round and then took us to his house where his wife had prepared a lovely buffet lunch mainly from their own produce including cheese and yoghurt from their goats.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Turget was a brilliant guide. He genuinely seemed to want us all to have a great holiday and worked hard to ensure that we did. He communicated really well, had an excellent knowledge of the area and I feel I learnt a lot about the country and people. He listened to us and was flexible and changed things if necessary. We felt safe at all times and appreciated the way he found interesting restaurants for us in the evening and made individual arrangements on request.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a few steep sections and for some people, the crossing of the bridge on the aqueduct could be scary. Poles are useful. Rooms near the breakfast room and stairs can be noisy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Oreo hotel looks very pretty from outside and has a good swimming pool and outside bar. However the dining room needs an update along with the bedrooms. The showers leaked and had a lot of black mould around the tray. The bed was comfortable, air con worked well and breakfast was perfectly OK. Hyri worked very hard all day looking after guests and was always very pleasant and efficient. A large party of young people staying there made it feel like a hostel rather than a hotel.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Jonathan Boxhall

    La Cote d'Azur est tres belle

    This was my first walking holiday and I really enjoyed it. The Riviera is beautiful. The walks along the spectacular coastline, up in the hills and through the seemingly timeless villages were all excellent. It's hard to believe that some people live there all the time. The other people on the holiday were all nice and friendly, so I should not have worried before booking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably Roquebrune but it was all good. On Saturday morning in Menton I saw Chris Froome, Tour de France winner.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sandrine is a great guide. She has lots of knowledge of the region, was always friendly and cheerful and was always well organised. I like her taste in coffee.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I got a few insect bites but insects love me, so others might have no problems.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Coming home was disappointing. No mountains, seaside or pain au chocolat.