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
    Tim Marshall

    Try the Moonstone trek!

    Booked trip late, so the Inca Trail itself was sold out. This didn't bother me, as the Moonstone trek sounded great - and it was. Loved the fantastic scenery, the pre-Inca and Inca structures, the glimpses of Andean village life, the excellent food, and the peace and quiet of the trek. Rest of trip was great, too - good itinerary, excellent organisation. Cuzco is a wonderful city to explore. Really enjoyed optional Sacred Valley day trip. Machu Picchu did not disappoint, either (and I have found the odd big-name sight disappointing in the past). Overall, hard to fault this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the trek from start to finish. Beautiful on third day of trek to see glaciers high up, then regular mountains, then the Sacred Valley down below, all at same time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike (main tour leader) was great - very knowledgeable, and proactive in responding to people's needs and requests. Henry (Moonstone trek leader) was a quieter character, but had the necessary skills to lead us competently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as you can to enjoy the walking more. Altitude can affect anyone, even if it has not affected you previously, so be prepared to feel out of sorts or have a headache. At the same time, don't worry overly about it - the guides are good at monitoring people's wellbeing, and know what to do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On the Moonstone trek, you miss out on the classic view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate high above, where 'The Inca Trail' ends. But the Moonstone trek is a far less visited Inca trail, and you still get a full tour of Machu Picchu. If doing the Moonstone trek, you might want to check how many are in the group, as the groups are apparently smaller for this than the classic Inca Trail. We had four trekkers, which was fine, but a smaller group than that might feel a little odd.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Sarah Fordham

    An amazing experience

    This was one of the toughest challenges I have put my body through but was so worth it. I had an amazing time and the trip was so well organised. I am in love with Peru now and already thinking about when I can go back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was incredible to make it to the top of dead woman's pass. It was a tough day but it was an amazing sense of achievement when we were at the top looking down. And of course the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate is breath taking and made it all worth while.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ollie was so knowledgeable and really made the trip special. I think the whole group learnt a lot and he bought the culture and history to life for us. He was able to answer all of our questions and he is clearly passionate about what he does. He was also patient when we were physically struggling and needed to rest a lot, and was full of good advice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you acclimatise as much as possible in Cusco and also make sure that you have decent equipment as you will be relying on it for the days you are hiking. Learn a few Spanish phrases so you can at least introduce yourself to the porters, I had to rely on others in the group and the group leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The porters were amazing! They were all very kind, despite the language barrier, and looked after us all very well. The food was some of the best that I had while I was away.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Peter Hadsley-Chaplin

    Inca Trail - Exodus rating: Excellent!

    I couldn't praise the Exodus team more highly for helping to provide me with one of the holidays of a lifetime!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Entering the Sun Gate and seeing the City of Machu Picchu below me for the first, with the stunning mountain backdrop. The photos simply don't do justice to the real thing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger ('Ollie') was absolutely top rate. He was patient, kind and considerate as well as exceptionally well informed, not just about Inca, and pre-Inca, history but also about the wonderful flora and fauna that we encountered along the Trail.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very cold nights in your tent (in December). Whilst at times beautifully warm and sunny during the day, the temperature got to 5 or 6 degrees at night so wearing a couple of layers of clothes, plus a liner inside my sleeping bag, kept me snug and warm. For the fair-skinned, wear a hat with a suitably wide brim as the sun could be quite fierce at times during the day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be sure to travel with Exodus - from the team in the UK office (especially Alec Worthy and Treherne Francis) to the team in Cuzco, plus our wonderful porters, our fantastic chef and, last but not least, our brilliant guide, Holger, everyone couldn't do enough to ensure that we had a fabulous, and memorable, trip!
  • Reviewed November 2018

    Superb

    Fantastic atmosphere, brilliant guide, porters and support team. Just wish it was longer!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, day three on the trail was the best, as we moved into the forest and the soaked up the atmosphere, including many Inca ruins previously unknown to me. And of course, arriving at the Sun Gate and looking down on Machu Picchu, just as the late afternoon sun lit it up, almost devoid of day trippers!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frank was incredible. He was inspirational in getting us to gel as a team and ensure we all helped each other to get through the tougher sections. His knowledge of Inca and current local culture was encyclopaedic and he was so funny! He was also something of a talented photographer with all our cameras (is there a camera he doesn’t know how to operate better than we do?). It’s hard to imagine anyone better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of our party struggled a bit and sadly one (plus her husband) had to drop out through altitude sickness. Though that can affect even the fittest, it’s fair to say that this is quite a tough trek (most of us felt it could be rated a bit higher than the grade 3 “moderate” rating). To enjoy it fully, make sure you do plenty of training on hills or similar - it is almost constantly up and down and often steep steps. Those who had trained by walking on the flat found it difficult.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure you bring spare batteries or a charging pack for your phone / camera. Some of us had exhausted our batteries before reaching The Sun Gate. It was also very cold at night after days 2 and 3, so make sure your sleeping bag is properly 4 seasons and you also bring thermals. Finally, the 7kg baggage limit on the Inca Trail is strictly applied, so plan carefully what you need to take on the trail and weigh it before you set off (surplus stuff can be left at the hotel). A slightly bigger day pack, to enable you to pack things that would take your baggage over the 7kg limit, would give some flexibility.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Daivd Richardson

    Breathtaking trek to the Inca Capital of Machu Picchu

    The Inca trail, organised by Exodus, was a thrill ride from beginning to end. I was so impressed with the organisation of the trip. We were looked after so well that I didn't have to think about how I was going to get around, or where my next meal would come from. The two guides were a constant source of fascinating facts, and helped keep the group motivaated. The group of Porters were superhuman. The camp site was stripped down as we left. They marched (And sometimes ran) past us during the trek. And always had the camp ready when we arrived. If this wasn't impressive enough, the meals were already in the process of being prepared. The food provided by the chef were delicious. Hadn't expected to be eating such great food. Fish, meat and chicken were the evening meals. Also popcorn was provided as an after trek snack. So impressed I would recommend this trek to anyone. And if this is how Exodus organise their trips, I will definitely use them again!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gste and looking down on Machu Picchu for the first time. Utterly breathtakingly!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was a font of knowledge. He was always full of energy and enthusiasm. He was also very good rumoured, which fitted in with our all-british group perfectly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book with Exodus, and don't worry about a thing. Take your time on the trek. It's not a race. The second day is a big asscent, and you don't want to rush it. If you start to feel the effects of altitude, you should take a break and slow down. Many of us had mild headaches, and a few had digestive upsets. But don't be put off by this. It's all manageable, and the trek leaders are used to dealing with it.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Lyn Williams

    Magnificent Moonstone Trek

    Magnificent trek - wild and unspoilt countryside. Better than doing the main Inca trail I'd say as you are not simply climbing millions of steps, nor do you have to stay on camp sites with forty other tented pitches. You're likely to see only your group (only two women in ours), the guide, chef and horsemen / porters who all work to make your trip safe, comfortable and enjoyable. When it was really cold, they even gave us hot water bottles at night and had a gas heater for the dining tent. Absolutely amazing time - really got away from it all an challenged myself with the altitude, terrain and weather conditions. Everything I could want from an adventure holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of a summit - around 14,500 - 15,000 feet. Not bad for a girl who's afraid of heights!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - Lennin Tuppa. What a star for keeping us safe and comfortable, challenging us, but also making us laugh.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take layers, a sunhat and a wooly hat - you may go through hot sun, strong wind, snow, hail - all in a few hours in the Andes. Also walking poles are the best investment I made for this trip. Collapsible ones are really useful to put in your case too. Take factor 50 sunblock for use in the mountains. A rubber bath plug is also a good idea - hotels never seem to provide a plug even when there is a bath.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Warari is AWFUL!! Exodus please stop using it. The noise from restaurant events (next door) and karaoke club (over the road) go on until 4.30am some nights. This is horrendous before and after trek. It is also cold, dark and has concrete floors - noisey when clients leave early morning with cases and has glass panels above bedroom doors, so again, when people leave, your room lights up like sunrise when the automatic corridor lights turn on. I stayed one extra night at Hotel Rumi Punku which is in the old, cobbled town streets and it was great.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Chris Harris

    Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    This trek has been on my 'to do' list for over 15 years and boy was it worth it. What a fantastic adventure which I will never forget. I had a little extra time in Cuzco at the beginning and had a great time exploring this wonderful city. Loads of lovely churches and a cathedral to explore around Plaza de Armas, plus there was the Festival of the Sun happening the weekend after I arrived so there was lots of parades and colourful people about. It was great sampling coca tea for the first time in one of the many cafes around the Plaza. Then it was onto the main event - the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trek was very challenging, but I loved every minute of it. The group I was with were all lovely people, the food was great, cooked up 3 times a day by the brilliant chef and the porters were superhuman carrying all our gear ahead of us and setting up lunch and evening camps. Our group leader, Julio and his second in command, Cesar also deserve a very special mention as they were excellent in every way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Dead Women's Pass at 4215 metres. Such a sense of achievement and the views were spectacular. Also walking to the final campsite through the cloud forest and seeing Machu Picchu mountain in front of us and snow capped mountains in the distance to the left and right. I managed to phone my wife from this campsite which was great (and also found out England had won 6-1 in the World Cup the day before). Unbelievable views again when I woke up the next morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a really great group leader, very informative, helpful and encouraging throughout the whole trip. How he remembered everything he explained to us when we stopped off at the many Inca sites on the way I will never know. He showed a great deal of care towards all of us and also towards the environment of the trail, frequently seeking out orchids and other flora in the cloud forest (and pointing them out to us) to check on the health of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If trekking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is something you are thinking about, all I can say is Just Do It. You will not regret it, it's fantastic. Don't worry too much about the altitude - as long as you take your time and drink plenty of water you should be fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is the first time I have used Exodus and I will be using them again for my next adventure, from the moment I paid my deposit to landing back in the UK they were excellent.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Lisa Hamblin

    Trip of a lifetime

    One of the best experiences of my life. Thank you

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Machu Pichu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Best. Holgier. Just simply the best.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light. You will need half the clothes you think you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes, we want to help one of our porters I have just returned from a trip with yourselves. I had the most wonderful, amazing time, it was everything and more that you advertised. So, firstly – thank you so much. I went to Peru and walked the Inca Trail. Our guides were named Holgier, Oscar and Javier. They were amazing – I cannot praise them enough. The reason for my email, is not though, just to thank you. One of our superhuman porters was called Juan de dio Cruz Quispe. He had unfortunately damaged a few of his fingers on his right hand before our trip. He could afford a doctor’s appointment, who advised him he needed an operation if he wanted to save his fingers. This we are aware is beyond his financial capabilities. It was very obvious to all 14 of us on this trip that as the days went on – his pain was getting worse. So, as a group we wish to approach you to ask your help in helping us fund his operation. It is something that all of us in the group wish to contribute to. We could have paid him direct but feel the best options is to go through you. Is this something that has happened before and do you know the best way to get this actioned? .
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Stephanie Mckay

    Inca Trail

    Cusco is a good starting point as the capital city of the Inca empire there is lots to see. Good restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere add to the sense of anticipation ready for the trek. The four day trek was for me the highlight despite 24 hours of altitude sickness prior to setting off and a visit from the doctor. The Trail was for me challenging despite my level of fitness As i had not truely realised how the altitude would take my breath away. The struggle was more than worth it for the views and the cloud forest was fascinating. Throughout the trail we were well looked after well informed. My fellow travellers added to the sense of achievement and although busy Machu Picchu did not disappoint. All our guides and short team were excellent

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement , the views and the Cloud Forest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was knowledgable, caring and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t underestimate the possible impact of altitude sickness. Seek medical help promptly if you need it as recovery can be quick and it didn’t stop me completing the trek.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a game or a book on the trek.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Elizabeth Prosser

    Greatest adventure ever!

    Myself and my father embarked in a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. It started with several days exploring Cusco where we were met by our guide Julio who gave us a quick tour and took us all to a restaurant. The next day we visited the Inca sites of Sacsayhuaman and Qenqo. These were very interesting a well worth our time. Then it was the start of the Inca trail! An early morning took us on a bus ride for several hours through Peru and the landscape was beautiful. The entire trail was wonderful I barely even noticed the altitude change until the day of Dead Womans Pass. Visiting all the Inca sites was brilliant and finishing at Maccu Piccu was an experience I won't forget!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As much as everyone is excited for Maccu Piccu I was most taken by some of the other Inca sites we saw along the way. Small and relatively big settlements were nestled into the mountains and they would be hidden until the cloud cover suddenly lifted and you would get a glimpse of these terraces and buildings from a distance. Then throughout the day you would get closer and closer until you could stand right in the middle of it. These were the times I found most inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a wonderful group leader! Very knowledgable about everything: history, visiting sites, food and basically anything you wanted to know he had the answer. Whilst on the hike he was super encouraging and knew how to keep the spirits of the group up!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The website may tell you its the dry season and it barely rains. IGNORE THAT! Our group hiked in August... it rained...it hailed....IT SNOWED! Always invest in decent waterproofs and when your guide recommends you buy a poncho do it. We didn't and I regretted it so badly when my waterproof coat and trousers were soaked through.
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