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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ann T

    Brilliant family adventure

    We travelled with children aged 11 and 14 and found ourselves in a lovely group of 4 families from across the UK. We totally lucked out with our amazing coach (and driver, Ohman) and our wonderful guide, Gustavo. Every day was different and we learned so much about where our food comes from, nature, and all types of wildlife. Accommodation was slightly basic at times but we coped and all pools were lovely. The 14 KM white water rafting is not to be missed and we also enjoyed the night walks and boat trips. Had an amazing trip on a catamaran and swam with tropical fish and the kids jumped off the boat back into the blue sea. We always felt very safe and well looked after with Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the green turtles lay their eggs and watching the kids follow her back to the Caribbean sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing: Gustavo looked after us so well and knew so much.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothes, when it rains it's quite cold (we went in Aug) - it rained most days but was manageable. If you need special diet food take your own.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Katharine Baker

    Costa Rica family adventure - fantastic

    The trip was an excellent way to see a sample of the best bits of Costa Rica. We had an excellent guide (Jorge) , who managed to find loads of animals and birds for us to watch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, this was being in the cloud forest and rain forest - being able to see all those things you have heard about on nature programs and geography lesson!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge was a superb leader. He was very knowledgable about the country, the wildlife and the places we visited . He was really good at considering and involving the children and teenagers. Restaurant choices were good value and suitable for our family group. Jorge was very friendly and considerate. I would like to thank him for his excellent tour and personal dedication.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Guidebook temperatures are only that - a guide. We travelled in early April and temperatures were over 30 degrees C. Mosquito repellent is important . Drink bottled water. Do go if you can as it is fascinating country with lots of wildlife to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well organised trip with good hotels although I would suggest the last hotel in Playa Hermosa could be substituted. It was beach side but not on a stretch of beach which was OK to swim at. Would have been good to visit a coffee plantation and factory.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Frederick Ibbotson

    Family holiday in the rainforest

    The holiday was superb. Lots of lovely animals to see and of great interest to both kids and adults alike. Our guide and driver Antonio and Theodore were superb. Antonio super knowledgeable and a top bloke. Company of the fellow travellers and kids also made the trip-superb bunch of people. Animals,scenery and wildlife was great to see. Kids are still talking about the things they have seen

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the rainforest downpours and all the great animals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was first class, amiacable and helpful. He listened to people's needs within the group and was always enthusiastic to show us the scenery and wildlife. Nothing was too much bother.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget your going to the rainforest. At times it may be wet and difficult to dry things but the weather is warm

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A couple more local eateries would be nice but realise that sometimes have to stick to a schedule.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Scott Barclay

    Adventures, Monkeys, Birds and Frogs

    Travelling with young children for an adventure across central America may be considered as too much stress and anxiety for some or downright irresponsible by others. Our family holiday to Costa Rica could not be further from the truth. Travelling through the waterways of Tortuguero exploring extraordinary flora, spotting amazing spiders, astonishing birdlife and catching a glimpse of a caiman or crocodile the children could not have been more inspired. The excitement of being woken by a barking howler monkey troop, the fun had chasing off cheeky white-faced capuchin breakfast thieves or the thrill of the sight of smartly dressed anteaters, oddly shaped armadillos and raiding racoons before bedtime added to the magic. Adrenaline flowed through the entire family with grins as wide as the Panama canal white water rafting down the Sarapiqui river and zip-lining through the Monte Verde cloud forests. Night hikes opened a whole new world of weird nocturnal creepy crawlies, with strange headlight click beetles, striking venomous snakes, industrious leaf cutter ant colonies, poisonous dart frogs and glowing scorpion exoskeletons. Banana crossing! As we travelled through active volcanic landscapes, rested on idyllic beaches and explored tropical rainforest with new friends and families met on the trip the stories flowed, vocabulary grew and imaginations ran wild. Even the frequent pit stops for the obligatory small child toilet break were supplemented by encounters with giant iguanas, crocodile swamped river beds, cactus flower ice-cream, unspoilt natural views, delicious cakes and, of course, incredible coffee. Our energetic tour guide (Eddie) and reliable driver (Hernan) judged our group perfectly and were tuned in to exactly what we would appreciate when to make the most of our time in their country. At the end of adventure packed days and encounters with stunning wildlife the entire family cooled off in serene swimming pools or thermal hot spring bars and weary little heads slept comfortably dreaming of the next adventure. It seems no other tropical country has made such concerted effort to protect its natural environment and as Costa Rica’s tourists account for the largest sector of their national economy we have unprecedented power to protect this amazing country’s natural beauty and remarkable wildlife – spend wisely, avoid business that threaten their future and enjoy this enchanting, magical adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The adults really enjoyed the wildlife, particularly Tortuguero National Park. The howler monkey wake-up call at 5am started an inspirational day of toucans, herons, snakes, frogs, crabs, caimen, crocodiles, spider monkey and then going to sleep to the sounds of the rainforest is something I will never forget. The children took all of this in their stride at the time but have since talked about nothing else with their teachers and classmates.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was fabulous. He was so very well tuned in to what we needed, whether we knew it or not. He knew exactly when and where we would like to go. One particular decision sticks in my mind: After a hot and sticky day on the Manuel Antonio beach all the children needed was food and all the adults wanted was a beer and Eddie took us to a fabulous bar on the beach to watch the sunset, with a beer and the kids played on the beach - perfect decision and it was those types of things that made our holiday very special - Thanks Eddie!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of memory cards for all the photos, go with the flow so wake-up when nature calls and don't go to bed too early, enjoy rice and beans and definitely do the rafting, night hke and zip lining options - you will never forget this holiday!
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Philippa Gardom

    Holiday of a lifetime

    We had an absolutely wonderful holiday in Costa Rica with our 9 and 10 year old daughters. Stunning natural beauty, fascinating insights from our group leader, and exciting outdoor activities all contributed to our enjoyment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was an inspirational moment almost every day...Exhilarating white water rafting through spectacular scenery; ridiculously brightly-coloured poison dart frogs; experts interpreting the night-time sounds and sights of the forest; pairs of scarlet macaws flying in front of the forest (viewed whilst floating in the Pacific); following columns of leafcutter ants to find their nest; boat trips through the rainforest to find ibis, herons and crocodiles; local food in lively restaurants.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edward was absolutely brilliant. You could not have a better guide. His knowledge, insights and gentle humour really enhanced our trip. He enjoyed sharing his love of nature - and all things Costa Rican - with us all. His organisation was flawless, and he always told us what to expect and what to bring. He was superb with the children, patiently helping them to identify bugs, birds and reptiles. On the last night my younger daughter left a treasured soft toy in a restaurant several miles from the hotel, but a few phone calls (and a half hour drive) later Edward had retrieved it for her. Hernan, our driver, was also superb. I felt safe at all times in the minibus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Listen to your guide - you will learn a huge amount. Go on all the trips - every one was fascinating, and most were led by real experts (although avoid the zipwire trip if you are afraid of heights.) Take plenty of mosquito repellent. Check your flights carefully, and make sure the flight bookers have allowed enough time to change planes - two families had more exhausting than necessary journeys as a result of missing connections.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a brilliant holiday. The only downside of going on it was that it had to end sometime...
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Christina England

    Family fun in Costa Rica

    We had an amazing 2 weeks with a lovely balance of seeing such a range of nature - turtles, toucans, caimans, crocodiles, hummingbirds, monkeys, frogs, snakes just to start the list - and adventure experiences - white water rafting, cloud walking, ziplining, bathing in thermal springs. Our guide was knowledgeable, organised and had a great sense of humour.. he made sure that the itinerary suited the group's needs. Would definitely recommend Costa Rica - ideal itinerary for teenagers and pre-teens..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching turtles lay their eggs on the beach late at night.. very lucky, very magical.. White water rafting - just the right amount of exciting! Seeing coasts, volcanoes, cloud forest, rain forest - getting a good picture in just 2 weeks of all that Costa Rica has to offer..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really excellent.. We felt very lucky to have him on our tour. Edward is a really experienced leader who is passionate about conservation and knows lots about Costa Rica's flora and fauna, about the country's history and geography. He was really organised and made everything seem effortless and had a lovely sense of humour which really contributed to the group's enjoyment of the week. He wasn't too intrusive and also not too aloof, just right. Can't fault him on anything..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Light clothing with long sleeves/ trousers to cope with mosquitoes especially at rain forest locations. You only need dollars, no point taking local currency. Take a decent camera.. wildlife photography opportunities are endless. Save money on water by taking a water bottle.. All hotels let you fill them up from water coolers. Take up the optional activities - turtles, rafting and ziplining are definite highlights.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Francesco Francesco

    The Perfect Family Holiday

    Excellent Family Trip, it did exceed expectations: outstanding nature and exciting adventure alternate and often combine together to make this holiday unforgettable. Caymans, sloths, toucans, crocodiles, rainbow and mangrove boas, capuchin monkeys, owler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, green iguanas, hummingbirds, blue and white herons, white ibis, blue-jeans poison dart frogs, brown pelicans, tanagers of all descriptions, scarlet macaws, snake-birds, huge rhinoceros beetles, silky anteaters, orb-weaver spiders, palm pit vipers, river turtles, green kingfishers, ctenosaurs, cat-eyed snakes, coatis, kinkajous, bats, blue crabs, all sorts of butterflies, lizards, stick-insects and raccoons are some of the animals we have seen in their own environments, which range from adventurous jungles to idillic beaches. The Sarapiqui River Rafting has been unanimously agreed to be the best of the action activities, but the zip-lining in Monteverde was not that far away! It is a perfect holiday for a family with young teens between 12 ad 15 years old.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlights of the tour are The Tortoguero Canals, the Hanging Bridges in Monteverde, the rafting in the Sarapiqui river and the optional Mangrove Boat Tour in Manuel Antonio, while the Hot Spring in a fine Hotel in La Fortuna, the Coffee Tour and Manuel Antonio’s beautiful tropical beaches add to the variety of this holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Edward, was very friendly and professional, he flawlessly arranged all the extra activities. We all wisely followed his suggestions on the choice of restaurants, and I have to say that some of them were excellent. Also a mention for our driver, you could not get a better one than Campbell!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was surprised how few mosquitos we encountered, I believe the fact we chose to go to Costa Rica at the beginning of the dry season, which starts at the end of December, was an advantageous factor. So if you worry about mosquitos, choose a tour during the dry season. Use DEET or Incognito Insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long trousers and you will be fine. The sun is much more powerful than in the Mediterranean, therefore caution and moderation are needed on the tropical beaches of Manuel Antonio, not just suncream!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are serious about nature, you must book the Mangrove Boat Tour at the Damas Estuary near Manuel Antonio, it is a fantastic optional tour. You may even do it kayaking!
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    NATURAL MAGIC - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Costa Rica truly is a stunningly beautiful country populated by gentle and enlightened people and its extraordinary wildlife is usually just outside your hotel room door and sometimes inside as well!. This trip was a perfect mix of stunning scenery, jungles and beaches from your dreams, activities that the whole family loved and magical wildlife encounters. Oh yes - and the food was amazing too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the privilige of watching an enormous green turtle laying her eggs, gently covering them with sand and then hauling herself back down to the sea was an experience that I will treasure for ever but I must admit that zip-lining over the forest canopy was also fantastic. The wildlife is everywhere, Howler monkeys on the roof of our room in Tortuguero, iguanas and capuchin monkeys on our roof at the Pacific Coast and swimming in the sea while Pelicans and scarlet macaws fly overhead, just incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vinnie was the perfect guide, impeccable English, always considerate, polite and helpful and with a passion for wildlife. He also had an amazing ability to find us a fantastic restaurant night after night to the extent that we re-named the trip, 'Vinnie's Gourmet Tour of Costa Rica'. Our driver, Hernan was also lovely, really looking out for us and great at spotting wildlife from the road.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Food is great. The trip is really well paced with at least 2 nights at each hotel/lodge, there is enough time to relax whilst still managing to see and do lots. Lovely to have no worries about Malaria or drinking the water!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a fantastic, family adventure with more than enough to keep both adults and teenagers fully occupied and incredibly well fed! Costa Rica is truly a beautiful country, I'd go back tomorrow.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    COSTA RICA ADVENTURE

    As an ex trolley dolly I would consider myself a seasoned traveller used to travelling independently.  Taking my 11 year old daughter on this trip of a lifetime gave me back my sense of adventure and has inspired her to globe trot.  I met an American on a rickety boat in Thailand 20 years ago - he told me to visit Costa Rica as it was beautiful - well he was wrong, it is the most beautiful and magical country I have ever visited!!!!!!!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Zip lining across the rainforest canopy ............ just as a thunderstorm was starting.  I have a rubbish head for heights but its just so exhilarating and fortunately kind Fiona distracted me by relaying her favourite recipes whilst my teeth were chattering waiting on the platform to take off.  My daughter of course found it a doddle.  I have to say that I also found the kids on the trip inspirational - they bonded and had a great time and when we visited a local school everyone joined in and had fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fab - knowledgeable, funny, helpful and so enthusiatic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to be dinner, lunch and breakfast for the mosquitoes!  Long sleeves, long trousers, deadly sprays, natural remedies - nothing stands in the way of the mosquitoes in Tortugera but then the sight of the butterflies makes it all worthwhile..................
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