Turtle, Ecuador

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

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25 Reviews

  • Reviewed April 2019
    Michelle Marshall

    A great cycling trip with a taste of Mexico

    A great mix of cycling in the mornings and early afternoons, followed by lunch and time at colonial towns and Mayan sites. The cycling is not very scenic but the stops in the villages are an interesting way of seeing village and small-town life. The hotels were lovely and had lots of character and it was nice to cool off and swim in their pools at the end of each day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Mayan sites, swimming in the cenotes, floating down the channel at the biosphere and all the great food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Omar our leader was fantastic, always very cheerful and energetic and organised everything well. Jose and Gabo were great too and they made a great team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very hot by late morning bring a small lightweight sweat towel to mop your brow at stops. Electrolyte hydration tablets were useful to add to your water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been really nice to have had more time in Merida, we didn't get there till 7pm in the evening and only had time for quick look round before dinner - this was cut out from previous years version of the trip - Exodus please revisit this change.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Johann Rowan

    Mexico cycle

    Good trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My son and I wanted some special time together

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Been on several tours before,and he was great. Very attentive,friendly and fun. He is a keeper!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a trip focused on cycling, with some culture mixed in. The hotels were good.
  • Reviewed April 2019

    Loved Mexico!

    Great trip with lots of interesting sights and experiences. The Mayan temples are a real highlight and the local guides at each were very good. Whilst this trip is only rated at level 2, don't under estimate how the heat makes this trip more difficult. As other reviews have said, the cycling was quite boring at times as there's miles of scrub. However cycling through little villages, to the temples and cenote makes it all worthwhile! The standard of hotels was very good. Added to this, we had a great group of cyclists who all gelled very quickly. I've given this trip a 4* rating because of the boring countryside but everything else was great!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were lots of fantastic moments: Chichen Itza; floating amongst the mangroves; singing Bohemian Rhapsody at full gusto on the bus after our last night out; swimming in the cenotes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Omar was great fun and organised everything well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I thought the trip notes were a bit too generic. Make sure you take a big day bag as sometimes we needed to change twice and needed lots of things with us. Pack a towel to use after swimming in the cenote (sink holes) and mozzie killer for walking around the temples. Food and drink were all cheap until we got to Tulum at the end when the prices were a shock!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus recently reduced this trip by a couple of days to squeeze it into a week. I think this was a mistake as the first day had too much in it. We only arrived at Merida at 7pm and only had time for a brief tour. With jet lag, I was too tired to enjoy it which was a shame. Previously there was half a day to explore. The tour bus was very cramped and we only had 11 on our tour.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Andrea Horner

    Loved Mexico but disappointed in this trip

    I am a big fan of Exodus and did a cycling trip with you in Sri Lanka two years ago. Experienced all of the local traditions, cultures, cuisine and lifestyle which is what the Exodus brand promises but this trip didn’t really live up to that. Our guide Omar was really nice and fun but this was only his second cycling trip and we were a full group of 18 and I think he was too inexperienced to have been asked to do it. The schedule didn’t seem right, most days we didn’t seem to follow the trip notes and we were cycling for long periods of time, sometimes not getting lunch until 5 PM. In Sri Lanka we would cycle, see and experience different places, stop for lunch and then get back on our bikes and cycle more. This trip it seems that we had to do all of the cycling before lunch and in a group of 18 when you have to stop for breaks that just isn’t practical. I was also disappointed that the trip wasn’t structured better because we didn’t really get to see much of the local culture. In Merida as an example, by the time we finished lunch it was around 4 PM and we never got a chance to experience the Mayan museum or some of the other local historic sites that would have been really interesting to see. The Exodus brand is all about your guide being able to talk to you about the history and the culture but Omar was unable to do this, perhaps because he was so new and that was a real shame. Don’t get me wrong, Omar and his team worked really hard and they were lovely but we seems to just be cycling on long roads without really stopping in local places to experience the local traditions and that was a shame.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved visiting the tequila factory and seeing the process of how it was made. I loved floating in the mangroves at the biosphere reserve. And the Cenotes were absolutely beautiful and experiencing swimming in those was wonderful. The Mexican people are also delightful and everywhere we went we got wonderful service. Visiting the sites of Mayan ruins was also wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Omar was nice and he was friendly but he was inexperienced and he was not knowledgeable in the areas that we travelled to. I found that sometimes he gave an answer (that was incorrect) rather than say that he didn’t know. My friend hurt herself while we were travelling and he was very professional and attentive and prioritised her well-being very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to cycle on long boring roads, eat lunch after 3 PM and not really experience the real Mexico then this is the trip for you. If you are more interested in actually exploring the country (which is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to see and experience) then perhaps consider a different trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group on our holiday was really diverse and we had real fun, even though I am unhappy with this trip I have fond memories of it and I will remember all of the best parts. I am disappointed, having had such wonderful experiences with Exodus before and in terms of value for money I really don’t think that this trip was worth it. One of the reasons for choosing a trip like this is that I don’t need to think about where we are going, what we are doing, I know (or I hope) that we have a good schedule, we are going to see all of the best things, we are going to be with somebody who has great knowledge and is really passionate about the country and I definitely didn’t get that on this trip. At times it was quite stressful because we had to challenge the schedule as it wasn’t working out for us or for other members of the group and that dampened the relaxing experience that I was hoping for.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Andrea for taking the time to review her holiday, but as we recognise the value that good leadership adds to clients’ overall enjoyment of our tours, we were disappointed to learn that she did not find Omar to manage her group well. Omar has been working as a tour leader for several years and has led Exodus tours in the past. Although previous clients have told us that the found Omar to be very good, we realise that clients have different experiences whilst travelling. Going forward, our local team will provide additional training to Omar, which we trust will ensure that future clients which Omar leads will have a more positive experience. Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager  

  • Reviewed January 2019
    Jeff Messerschmidt

    Mexico

    Good route and good staff

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    cenote swimming

    What did you think of your group leader?

    very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    bring a bag for the bike or light backpack

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed November 2018
    michael carmody

    Mexico cycling

    I have thoroughly enjoyed my previous two cycling trips with Exodus. This however was a real disappointment. The group were great. The central four days of the trip were far from great. The distances were far too long.....although the brochure uses the word 'Leisurely' to describe the trip. More than 70 km is not going to be leisurely! And on many occasions we cycled for more than one hour with no stop (and in 30 degrees plus!) There was nothing to see because the terrain was flat and the boring straight road was flanked by impenetrable trees and bushes. The village/town stops were minimal. The leader was excellent in many respects but was not aware what was happening behind him. He led the cycling and walking and frankly left me behind (although I cycle 35 miles at home in my group). He could have sent the minibus forward with the refreshments and stayed back with the slower riders. There would not then have been such a spirit of competition. Very disappointed!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day off at the end

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Please see my comments above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes. Please see my comments before booking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Michael for his feedback, although we are very sorry to read that he was left disappointed with this holiday. The daily distances are taken into consideration when setting an activity level for our cycling holidays and so we are confident that a level 2 is appropriate for this holiday. It is normal for the tour leader to lead from the front, and for the support vehicle to follow the group in case clients wish to not complete the full day's ride and provide further assistance. We also feel it is worth mentioning that clients have given this tour an average of 4.6 stars out of a possible 5; we feel this is reassuring, however we are genuinely sorry that Michael's experience was not so positive.


    Malcolm Parkinson – Product Manager for Mexico

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Lynn Pammett

    Boring Cycling With headwinds

    If you really want to see the archeological sites visited on this trip, i.e. Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum on a bike you should know that the roads cycled are flat, straight and boring with daily headwinds. The scenery is extremely uninspiring with piles of garbage alongside the roads on the outskirts of every town. This trip will largely appeal to cyclists who are there mainly to put their heads down and ride as fast as possible to to get the 45 to 70 km days over with.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Chichen Itza and Tulum. They are really worth a visit and an understanding of the magnificent accomplishments of the Mayan people. The towns and villages were interesting as well, especially Merida.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anwar (Edger) is a terrific guide. He is always checking to see if group members have everything they need. He answers all questions thoroughly and obviously has a good understanding of the region's history and its populations. He is enthusiastic about his job and this obviously rubs off on his companion driver/bike mechanic, Gabriel. He selected good hotels and a variety of restaurants for the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The heat is not so much a concern as the headwinds and occasional rough road surfaces. Ask for more time at Chichen Itza.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Denise Hall

    Cycling Mexico

    If you don't mind the long cycle rides you will be rewarded by the sites you visit on the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sun rise at Chichen Itza. The other archeological sites offered a real insight into the Myan culture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edgar had excellent knowledge of the area. Was always attentive to everyone's needs. Took us to varied places to eat. Arranged for excellent local guides at the different sites.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cycle rides that are on long straight roads that are hot and mostly into head winds, The scenery is mainly scrub land but you will pass through and stop in local villages, there are also plenty of water and snack stops on route.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Floating down the lazy river after the last ride is a must it is relaxing and very refreshing.
  • Reviewed February 2017

    Fantastic experience

    Cycled the Yucatan peninsula in January. Great weather,flat terrain and amazing company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting 3 sets of Mayan ruins - all different and completing the 323 km trip without using the bus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edgar was great - despite suffering from flu he soldiered on and encouraged us all when we were flagging. He was very flexible showed initiative when appropriate. He was patient could not do enough for us all.had an amazing command of English.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to hydrate as the weather can be hot. Take a gel saddle as the trip is long.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels were very comfortable and most had pools which we used. Would suggest smaller groups as 18 was at times unwieldy. Spent hours in restaurants. Los Lirios the final hotel was disappointing as it was miles from town and the staff were less than enthusiastic
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Andrea Barr

    mayan magic!

    A really interesting and well structured holiday supported by excellent guides. The cycling is flat and the long straight roads can seem unending but the towns visited, the mayan ruins and the swimming in the cenotes at the end of a hot day in the saddle are worth it. Its early starts but also the first time in a tropical country where there has been quality time in the afternoon to enjoy the hotel and its pool or the Caribbean!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chitzen Itza at dawn. We were the only people there. I thouht only royalty got that privilege. Swimming in cenotes. climbing the temple at Coba floating down the canal at Sian Khan reserve in the utter peace and quiet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edgar led the first day then Hernan took over that role and Edgar switched to driving but they were both equally excellent. Nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on the trip! Take extra time at the end to stay on and go to Cozumel or even Mexico City if you can.
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