Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 November 2017
    J. McBride

    Definitely belieze the hype!

    Picked this trip because I'd loved a previous visit to Costa Rica and Belize and Guatamala seemed to offer something similar, but with Tikal and the world's 2nd largest barrier reef for good measure. Good decision! While I think CR has the edge for wildlife, Tikal surpassed all expectations, the reef experience knocked the socks off Australia's and Belize was beautiful, diverse, interesting and easy for non-Spanish speakers. The trip itinerary was varied and mostly very successful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tikal - I'd wanted to see it for a long time and I couldn't believe the scale of the site and the complexity of the Mayan civilisation. Only downside was the very limited time we spent there. Snorkelling in the reef at Caye Caulker was also an amazing experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fidelio was a fantastic group leader. He is extremely knowledgeable about archaeology, an excellent naturalist and gave us really interesting insights into local history, culture and politics. He looked after us all really well and was always friendly, helpful and good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware of sandflies at Dangriga! They're tiny so easy to miss, mosquito repellent doesn't work with them - needs to be something oily - and their bites can turn into painful blisters and swelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We stayed on for a few days at Ambergris Caye after the tour finished, hoping to do some sea kayaking. Unfortunately even Fidelio's extensive knowledge and contacts couldn't source us proper kayaks to hire and Caye Caulker would have been a much nicer option for simply 'chillin'.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Richard Montagu

    Adventures in Belize

    A well balance exploration of what Belize & Guatemala has to offer. We had an amazing guide who had a vaste knowledge of the countries, their history, culture and wildlife. The trip was organised at a good pace, the Mayan culture was fascinating as was the wildlife -birds in particular. Snorkelling was great, imagine swimming within 3m of a manatee. Then there are the rays, nurse sharks and all the varied species of fish. A thoroughly active and worthwhile holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ATM caves. Doing it and finding out about the culture that lay behind it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A bloody miracle. Every group leader should be like Fidelio!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel lite and take a towel. Water type shoes essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it,
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Alice Bzowska

    Belize and Guatemala - Amazing Trip!

    Belize is like a hidden gem - very few tourists, stunning Caribbean beaches and incredible Mayan relics. It is a small country so you see a lot of it, but there is loads to do, and dipping into Guatemala for 2 days is also a treat to see the mighty Tikal and Uaxactun ruins. You get a mixture of beaches, culture, water-activities and sight-seeing on this trip, and was a wonderful trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best part of this trip was the ATM cave. I haven't done anything like it - wading deep into the Mayan underworld to discover artifacts and skeletons that haven't been touched for 1000 years. It really felt like we were archaeologists exploring the cave for the first time! Other highlights include climbing one of the pyramids at Tikal, tubing down a serene river at Cockscomb National Park and snorkelling amongst manatees, sting rays, turtles and nurse sharks in the sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hugo really knew his stuff. He showed us some brilliant local restaurants, told us so much about Mayan history and the current politics of Belize and Guatemala, and was generally a nice person to be around. He was always there to help and suggest things if you needed it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to dive the Blue Hole, stay on an extra day as the group flight leaves at 11am the following morning so could potentially be dangerous. Take reef shoes for the ATM cave (although you can buy them in San Ignacio) and just go with an open mind and enjoy it!
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Emma Rhoades

    Adventures in Belize

    A fantastic holiday with a really good mixture of culture, adventure and wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to say. ATM cave was incredible, Tikal fascinating, and loved visit to iguana sanctuary and river tubing (an option offered by our brilliant guide Hugo.) Trip to Goff's Kaye (which we booked as a group) was a fantastic end to a fantastic holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Hugo couldn't have done more

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a charge ($19 per person) to leave Belize when heading for Guatemala. Also take an umbrella. Much better then waterproofs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip will appeal to anybody with a great mixture of things to do. Remember to budget for some brilliant optional extras that are available.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Janet Dunn

    Adventures in Belize

    Simply splendid!! I took advantage of the many optional extras (not listed in the trip notes) and had a full on 2 weeks with great food (mmmm those fry jacks!) great activities (you have to do the tube rafting!), and a wonderful introduction to Belize and Guatemalan communities .... Friendliest of smiling people. From jungle to paradise island seeing amazing wildlife wherever we went, and marvelling at the remains of an epic Mayan civilisation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the camping on a candlelit site in the Jungle of Guatemala and visiting the community projects which ensure sustainability. Or maybe it was the swimming and climbing deep into the Mayan cave to see at close up the skulls, skeletons and remnants of the people. Or could have been snorkelling at arm's length with turtles, sharks and manatees. But maybe it was trekking through jungle and then floating down the river tube rafting, watching the jungle scenery and birdlife quietly meander by me. Hard to tell. So many wow moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hugo was a great leader - organised, caring, full of answers to our relentless questioning. A calm peaceful guy whose quiet nature could be interrupted with teasing and laughter. He offered so many additional activities and always recommended safe local places to eat. I was the oldest in the group (old enough to be his and all the others' mother!) but he (and the rest) took great care of me in such a easy way. He was a gent and I trusted him totally.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a torch for the camping and night treks back from the local bars! Don't bother with a rain jacket - an umbrella is far more use. Do frequently apply sunscreen to the back of your legs on the snorkelling trip ...,.., there were many raw legs on our trip! Allow 3/5 local dollars for the many guides you have. The ATM caves are quite a climb over slippy steep rocks - not easily achieved if you have any mobility difficulties.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't hesitate ........ Just book it!!
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Helen Weavers

    Adventures in Belize

    A varied and interesting trip which was well organised. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were a couple of free days in places with not a lot to do, but I'm not sure if the schedule would work otherwise as I enjoyed the relaxed approach. I thought it was a good mixture of fun activities with some R&R time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the ATM caves. Having never caved before I thought I would've been nervous, but it was a fun and interesting trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hugo was good, helpful and very knowledgeable, if a little bit quiet.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect full on action for this trip. It is classified as 'leisurely' which I think is fair and is why I booked it, as I wanted a rest but with some fun activities mixed in.
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Helen Green

    Adventures in Belize

    A great trip with lots of variation from culture and history to wildlife to beaches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the human sacrifices in the ATM cave was a wonderful insight into such a different system of beliefs. Snorkelling with stingrays and nurse sharks in horrible weather was amazing and a bit scary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hope you get David, he is a great trip leader but doesn't always work for Exodus. Hugely knowledgeable about Tikal and the Mayan culture (past and present), he was also able to spot and name an interesting bird at 50mph whilst smoothly organising the trip and enjoying a joke. A really excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For the ATM caves take closed toe shoes (required) and a pair of old socks. You can buy reef shoes locally, but they had a limited supply of the popular sizes. Take a sleeping bag liner or sheet for the camping as the local bedding didn't arrive to plan. Take as much of the strongest insect repellant you can. The local insects seemed delighted with the fresh blood and feasted on everyone who wasn't soaked in repellant. Track down the rest of the group on the flight before you leave Miami airport as it will be almost impossible at the hotel. Some of us managed to meet and shared a cab to South Beach, but at over US$100 return this is expensive on your own. There is little to do around the Ramada Inn hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Get used to working in two currencies. There are 2 Belizean dollars to the US dollar and are highly interchangeable. Rice and Beans is completely different from Beans and Rice, but unlike some central american countries the food was far from bland and good food was found everywhere.
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Anna Trotter

    Belize

    A fantastic and varied Holiday to a lovely country

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sun come up over the Myan Astronomicla sight,swimming in the sea under the Stars

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic, Interesting, well informed . considerate and a good laugh!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring more than on variety of insect repellant, 100 deet didn't work.Also stop over in miami not that great so splash out on a better hotel if you can. try and conect with others from the group before you go so you can use the time there more enjolably

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Ramad in Miami not tht convi=enient for airport or town, missed the 1st bus so never met the rest of the groutp till the following day, ahotel in the centre of town would be nice and ask the staff tolet you know where the rest of the group are
  • Reviewed June 2013
    Anonymous

    ADVENTURES IN BELIZE

    Brilliant holiday. Very non-touristy (apart from the last 3 days. but by then we really deserved just lying on the beach or doing touristy things such as snorkelling and shopping!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When our camp was flooded and we had to sleep in 'emergency' accomodation in the local village.It wasn't the best night sleep as roosters, howler monkeys and jungle birds kept us awake all night, but it was an exciting event demonstrating both the wildlife and how the local people live. This was a real life experience that you won't find in a holiday resort. There were so many more moments I found inspirational- Going into the ATM cave with all of the Mayan relics and sacrificial remains (unmoved since 200-600AD, where else can you see that?), dinner by candle light in the Guatemalan jungle prepared by a local cook,  snorkeling with nurse sharks, stingrays and many other brightly coloured fish on the coral reef, learning to make chocolate the proper way, the wildlife-spotting boat trip along the river near Crooked Tree and many other activities besides.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was brilliant. Whenever there was a little issue, he solved it before it became a problem.His calmness and his sense of humour definitely contributed to our experience and made even unexpected setbacks such as flat tires in the middle of nowhere and a flooded campsite an exciting holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Belize is very un-touristy (apart from the Cayes). travellers should be able to put up with very basic but clean accomodation in certain areas.Also, I always thought the rainy season is not a good time to travel...due to the high humidity, I think all group members were actually pleased when it did start raining though as the heat was incredible. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all, this holiday had something for everyone and if you like a reasonably easy-going holiday (though with some early starts in the morning) with lots of nature-watching, you'll really enjoy this.  Tourism is (deservedly) on the increase here but still in a developmental stage.  If you go now, your experiences (and photographs!) will be largely free of other tourists which is a real bonus.  Bare in mind this is a laid-back Caribbean country so take your foot off the pedal and relax on this trip, you may get frustrated at lack of immediacy if you don't.
  • Reviewed June 2013
    Anonymous

    ADVENTURES IN BELIZE

    An excellent trip that covers a lot in two weeks.  Mayan Ruins at Tikal, caving underground at ATM cave, the birds of Crooked Tree and snorkeling with sharks and stingrays.  This trip has it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wading through water and climbing rocks to visit the Crystal Maiden skeleton in ATM cave.  Four hours of effort traveling underground was worth every step to visit this amazing site.Also - swimming with nursh sharks, stingrays and loggerhead turtles in Hol Chan.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was a very good leader with an impressive breadth of knowledge, from Mayan history to local wildlife.  When things went wrong (burst tyres, hospital visits, washed out camp site, we had it all!) he always managed the situation calmly and things were sorted with the minimum of fuss.  Just what you want from a leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a busy and active trip.  You will be tired.  You will be hot. But you will enjoy it and have a great time.ATM cave is challenging and not for the feint-hearted, but our whole group managed to do it.  Can you do it? Yes you can!
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