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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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114 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Louise Goodwin

    Amazing Adventure!

    If you are in two minds about booking this trip, book! The cycling was not easy at times due to a combination of hills, non paved roads, distance and heat. However, this added to the challenge, adventure and achievement and our expectations were well managed by our fantastic Costa Rican guide/leader, Jackie. The journey through three countries provided some amazing rides. Personal highlights were those ending with swims in the Pacific and Caribbean oceans where we would literally cycle on to the beach and jump in for a swim! There were also rides through cloud forests to rain forests, to and from volcanoes, through local villages and through banana plantations spotting monkeys, toucans, sloths and other wildlife along the way! Along the trip we also enjoyed a couple of optional non cycling days and exciting pit stops. I loved our tour round a chocolate farm, canopy walk through a rain forest, zip lining, red frog island trip and walk through a butterfly nature reserve. The non cycling activities allowed us to experience more of the three amazing countries we visited. Nature and wildlife feature highly on the trip but the start and end in Granada and Panama City provided a great contrast and are beautiful places to spend a few days. The amazing feat of the Panama Canal was also fitting end to the trip. The trip was exceptionally organised from start to finish. There were no issues and I cannot think of any areas of improvement. Travel is with a group leader, mechanic and driver who were all fantastic and fundamental to the success of the trip. Our Costa Rican guide Jackie is a real gem! She provided interesting and informative information about the history, culture and environment of the places we visited and an infectious sense of fun and positivity. She provided excellent briefings about the cycling before each ride, she had a genuine love of Central America and she was a joy to be around. She was also a very good cyclist. The hotels and restaurants selected by Exodus were well chosen and some were so good they were highlights of the trip. I will remember this trip and the lifelong friendships I have formed for years to come. Thank you Jackie and the Exodus team and book if you are considering this trip! I will be coming back for more!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sharing the challenge of cycling and beautiful sights of three contrasting countries with an amazing group of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fundamental to why the trip was so good and a great asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book! A bit of pre- training on hills might be sensible although the rides get progressively more challenging meaning you do improve as the trip goes on! Cycling gear is not essential but I would recommend padded shorts, breathable tops, gloves, arm covers (to keep off the sun) and a light weight rain jacket. I washed my clothes at a laundry half way through the trip which Jackie pointed out. This was quick and cheap and did a good job. Also, if you have the option of going to extra activities, definitely do them as they were all worthwhile. Even the extra imax cinema show at the Panama Canal was good!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jackie and all of her team were key to the success of the trip. The mechanics were quick, knowledgable and nothing was too much effort for them. The drivers were safe and on continual hunt for wildlife to show us along the way. Jackie was exceptional and shadowed by Andrea who I’m sure will also be a great future leader too! This was my first exodus, cycling and group trip and I would highly recommend it as a solo female traveller in my 30s. The group was a good mix of backgrounds, ages, solo/non solo travellers, sexes and nationalities and was a fantastic way of sharing adventures with common minded people.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Ian McDonald

    Excellent trip

    A really enjoyable trip with plenty of cycling and with options to increase on certain days if you have surplus energy. A great way to see 3 countries in 2 weeks. Sometimes the cycling was quite challenging - particularly some of the muddy trails in Nicaragua ( which were great fun) and some of the hills in Costa Rica. Weather was varied . Sometimes really hot and humid and sometimes very wet due to rainy season . So be prepared and keep changes of clothes close to hand. Raft ride was great . Guides and support team were great . Nice balance between open evenings and meals as a group . Highly recommend this trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved looking down into the active volcano at night . Awesome sight . Enjoyed the raft ride and the crocodiles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was top class . A really nice guy who got on well with everyone and nothing was too much trouble. He gave really good briefings prior to setting out Each day. He also had excellent local knowledge at each stage of the trip. Perfect English too and really easy to chat to .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To enjoy the trip you need to be reasonably fit .. have plenty of changes of cycling clothes. Roberto can advise on the 2 or 3 places over the route where you can get laundry done ( very cheaply) . A few casual clothes ( t shirts and shorts ) are all that are needed for evenings .dont forget mosquito repellent .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although the accommodation was always clean and tidy there were a few instances where the rooms were quite small and basic . Having been similar trips to Vietnam and Cambodia , their accommodation levels were better .
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Paul Sanders

    Fabulous.

    An absolutely excellent trip and a great way to see three countries in two weeks. There was a real mix of cycling, from rough, tough, dirty stuff, to long smooth straights as well as everything in between (it's essentially a road trip though). A few hills were quite demanding (not least in the heat), so the gravity downhill afterwards was welcome! There was some stunning scenery and it's pretty green and lush everywhere. Beyond the cycling, the other activities added to the sense of holiday, while also giving greater insight into what each country has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the cycling was excellent and just the right level. Peering into the Masaya volcano was a lifetime moment and the visit to the school in Nicaragua really resonated.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was excellent on every level. From leading the front riders to congratulating those for whom rides were a bigger challenge, he was personable and professional with everyone. Morning briefings were helpful to all, outlining how each day would work, from the cycling to ordering food in advance etc. etc.. Every day ran smoothly and organisation was excellent. His knowledge and experience showed and nothing was too much trouble. What could possibly go wrong?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go. Have a change of (cycling and/or casual) clothes in a rucksack on the bus. Be prepared for very flexible lunchtimes (there are always snacks available).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommended. Pura vida!!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Ed Helps

    Great guide and group made the trip

    The cycling was challenging in the heat but the guide, mechanic and driver provided great support. A group were inclusive and the sights seen were spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking into an active volcano at dusk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group letter was exceptional. Nothing was to much trouble. He looked after the safety and welfare of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hills are challenging for casual cyclist in the heat of the day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An enjoyable trip.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Wendy Tomes

    What a fabulous way to explore these countries

    This was our first Exodus trip and I have to say we had a few reservations before we left . We have been on many of our own cycling holidays but never on an organised one . We were worried there might not be enough cycling or that we might have to wait ages for others or hold others up. However Roberto our leader was brilliant . We all cycled at our own pace but he kept us all together at regroup points and everyone was happy . What I loved about the holiday was the opportunity to do something we like -the cycling but also to do sightseeing and explore places I know we would not have seen if we were on our own . Everything was so well organised even down to our lunch being booked in advance and we pay at end of the week . I liked being in a group we had such a laugh it was like a two week party and those on their own were looked after well. I wish we had started looking at Exodus holidays before , I will certainly go on another

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling along the lake and seeing all the wildlife The views were amazing Also staying on a Caribbean island in Panama

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant He made the holiday special and created the team ethos

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can go a day earlier and stay a day later it is worth it so you see more of Panama and Grenada
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jennifer Steward

    Cycling, Scenery and Swimming

    The trip is a great combination of cycling in three Central American countries all with quite distinct scenery. The cycling stages are not too long but nonetheless quite challenging given the hills and heat/humidity. Some training - particularly hills - is recommended! There was often time for a swim at the end of the day and swimming one day in the Caribbean Sea and the next in the Pacific Ocean was a highlight. Frequently, there was the opportunity to spot wildlife along the route - sloths, howler monkeys and toucans! A visit to an active volcano and cycling across the Panama Canal are also part of the itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling a very hilly stage of the tour through breathtaking scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The trip leader - Memo - was very sociable, well organised and professional with a great sense of humour. He too k the time to get to know each member of the group and made sure that we were happy, comfortable and enjoying the cycling - offering encouragement up the longer steeper hill sections. Importantly, Memo was quite conscious of the safety of the group on the road. Memo's briefings were comprehensive and helpful and he was always willing to answer our questions - relevant or otherwise! Memo was well supported by the local crew who were also very engaged with the group and made sure our bikes were in good order and we were well hydrated/ fed with fresh local fruits at the cycling rest stops. The trip was well supported by a great team which contributed to the overall enjoyment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The stages are quite hilly so some training is essential. There are a couple of short off road stages so some off road training may also be helpful. Lunch and dinner is at the traveller's cost which can add quite a bit to a two-week trip. No too much time is spent in towns or villages so make sure you have all the essentials with you. There are no too many opportunities for engaging with local people or local culture.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cycling Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama is a great way to get a taste of three different Central American countries.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Kelly Nicholls

    Fantastic experience

    Fantastic to see three amazing countries on two wheels, it was an incredible trip and the scenery is just stunning. There are so many highs like cycling around a volcano, the undulating fast rides in Costa Rica were so much fun, riding a long the beach and seeing amazing wildlife. Having a dip in the volcanic hot springs was amazing too. The food was excellent and our leader Memo (Guilermo Sanchez) had the most amazing sense of humour and made the trip even more special. There were a few hard climbs but when you reach the top and see the stunning views - its worth it and there was so much support. If you get a chance to go - do it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many, seeing the Lava flow in the Volcano, cycling along a beach, hot and cold springs, Memo giving us a history lesson with his amazing drawing skills. Best of all was laughing every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We have been on a few Exodus trips and Memo, has been the best leader by far. He is incredibly organised and nothing seemed to phase him, he was always there for us 24hrs a day. He is extremely knowledgeable about the countries and the wildlife - best of all he always gave us support and encouragement when it got a bit tough on some of the climbs and we all made. He is a very warm kind and friendly person - I would definitely ask Exodus for him if I do the Costa Rica Coasts to Coast as he is just one of a kind. I miss his sense of humour and stories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some hill training or spinning classes and pack lite. Definitely take mosquito repellent that has deer and plenty of sunscreen and some that you can carry on the bike as it gets quite hot in the afternoon.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    if you get a chance to go - go do it. It was so much fun and don't be daunted by the climbs as you can do it all in your own pace its not a race. As mentioned before I thought Memo was just excellent and he made the trip extra special.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Elaine Willett

    Cycle Nicaragua Costa Rica and Panama

    Wow what a brilliant trip... not only did we cycle in 3 amazingly beautiful countries, we experienced so many added extras... looking down on an active volcano at night; seeing the molten lava moving ... brilliant. We cycled around a nature reserve one morning prior to the main days cycle... our guide Memo spotting all sorts of wild life I would surely have missed and his knowledge is just outstanding. River cruises, hot springs and visiting the Panama canal centre. This trip rates among the best I have done.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling the nature reserve. All of it actually it's hard to pick a single moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Memo our group leader was out standing as a guide... His knowledge of nature, ecology, history ... just brilliant. He communicated with drawings, diagrams and a wicked sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I did a few spin classes prior to going and whilst I think they are evil they really helped with the hills
  • Reviewed March 2018
    VASILIKI NTAVLOUROU

    An amazing trip with the best guiding team ever!

    This was by far the best cycling holiday I have ever been to. Amazing places and views! A challenging cycling route for someone with a minor cycling experience like myself. But I made it, thanks to the support and encouragement of this amazing team: Roberto, Paul, Alvaro, Jose, Ronaldo! Names and personalities we will never forget! Thank you for helping me add beautiful images and feelings, in my life's "memory box", but most of all, thank you for keeping us SAFE and happy! It was more than obvious that you were there for us to ENJOY our trip, see, feel and taste the beauty of the most amazing part of the world. Feeling fit and healthy, looking forward to our next adventure! Thank you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    RESCUING A SLOTH ON THE WAY TO LA FORTUNA!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    John LAIDLOW

    Just what we wanted!

    This was a great trip which we really enjoyed. It was described as 'moderate/challenging', which related to the 'undulations' and sometimes dirt tracks upon which we cycled, and some of the 'normal' roads and paved roads were a little rough. Having said that, we all managed OK. Additionally, the trip was 'full on' with some early starts, some late meals and other activities such as boat trips, and other options too. No two days were the same, variety was the key. There were 16 of us on this trip, ranging in age from 32-69 (which was me!) with two couples (all in their sixties) the rest friends/singles, and a majority of women.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was mixing with different cultures and seeing at first hand how people can string a life together with minimal resources and facilities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto was quite exceptional, with amazing organisational skills; he was on the go all the time, dealing with our cycling needs, giving advice, and permanently planning ahead whether it was pre-warning hotels of our arrival, ordering our meals in advance or paying for activities to be re-imbursed later. And delightful with it..... Fantastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were a little anxious about the challenging nature of the trip, but we all managed OK. I would certainly recommend some pre-hol training; some of us hadn't done any and perhaps wished they had - rather like a skiing holiday! We'd also strongly recommend gel saddle-savers unless you bring your own saddle. Also, we were a little anxious about mosquitoes and malaria; in fact there was minimal mossy activity and we didn't take anti-malarials. However, insect repellent was occasionally necessary. Roberto was really helpful on this one, as with everything else!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was fun, fun fun but full-on too, as is often the case with biking/skiing holidays. We loved it and only one week after arriving back we're booking another trip with Exodus next year.