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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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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Reviews

walking in madiera

Many changes to trip notes – including days walking and lack of public transport

Thoughts on Group Leader

Got better as week went on. First night was dreadful. we had to chase hotel to find out time to meet. Then we were waiting in a separate place and we had to then go and find leader. No group meets in evening arranged until we suggested. I think he didn't know how Exodus operates generally as his first one and I felt sorry for the many lone travellers in our group as they were on their own for 3 evenings I think.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take own snacks from UK for lunches. Local shops poor and unhealthy selections (no M&S Salads!) and often closed when had time to shop

Suggestions

could have been a lot better

not sure what you mean? review the name of the trip? Fine!

A varied selection of walks around the island. 3 out of 4 hotels were excellent – the second one was a bit dark and cold. Length of walks were good – about 7 miles. Pace for me was a bit slow. One of the walks (high up near the tops) was frustrating as there was no view over the hedges. The replacement walk as the highest peak was closed was in fact my favourite (on the Friday)

Most Inspirational Moment

For me, swimming in the natural sea pool after the walk on the third day (Porto Moniz)

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent. Very friendly and knowledgeable

Advice for Potential Travellers

Mainly walks in a line on the flat, with steps (many) at beginning and end of walks

Suggestions

I understand that as a single person there needs to be a supplement for accommodation, but an additional £400 is a steep price to pay. When young(er) the concept of sharing is fine, but as you get older it becomes much less appealing. I would take more trips if there was more leniency towards solo travellers.

Great trip. Amazing views.

This walking trip was a great way to spend a week. There’s a great variety of walks which meant each walking day was different and interesting. Staying at four different hotels across the week, we covered a lot of the island. We went at New Year and the weather was really mild, t-shirt weather during the day. The views were fantastic and it’s a lovely island. Highly recommended. Local food was great. A good balance of walking and some time to relax.

Most Inspirational Moment

On our last walking day we saw a spectacular sunrise from the mountain, Pico Arieiro. We then did a walk to two other mountains - challenging but worth it. The ancient Funal Forest was also quite magical.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our guide, Bruno, was very good - enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The weather is better than the UK but we did have some rain and it was quite cloudy at times. We did travel in January though! We were there for New Year and the fireworks in Funchal were brilliant.

Suggestions

On our rest day in Funchal we went whale watching and saw a large group of pilot whales. The hotel in Porto Moniz was beautiful. However a couple of the other hotels were fairly basic.

Spectacular walking and scenery

Excellent trip. We saw so much of the island.

Most Inspirational Moment

Reaching the top of the highest mountain in Madeira above the clouds and swimming in the natural pools at Porto Moniz.

Thoughts on Group Leader

The group leader was excellent - very enthusiastic about his homeland and very knowledgeable. Very considerate of all members of the group and various abilities. He did tend to repeat himself a little though.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be mindful that there are quite a few very high paths - albeit mostly with handrails - definitely think twice about this trip if you are not great with heights! Some of the walks were quite challenging.

Suggestions

The first meal that was included in Porto Moniz was not very good - the second one in the hotel was much better.

Wonderful walks showing the beauty of Madeira!

What a wonderful way to experience the varied landscape and unique plant life in Madeira! This was my first walking trip, and I was worried that I would get bored after a few days of walking, but what we saw each day was so different from the last! We did have one day of walking in the rain, but I think we got very lucky as the walk we did that day was covered for a lot of the way by trees and we were walking through some tunnels as well. The hotels were comfortable and lovely, but the one in Porto Moniz was beauuuuutiful!

Most Inspirational Moment

Making it to Pico Ruivo! The views from the top were amazing and it was relatively clear when we got there, so Andre was able to point out all of the places that we had gone to while on the trip from the peak of the mountain! It was really cool to see all of the places that we had visited over the week on the last walk :)

Thoughts on Group Leader

Andre is a hilarious guide with a lot of passion for his island! He was vigilant when it came to safety while on the walks - especially the day it was raining as it was super slippery in certain areas of the path. On day 5, the walk was meant to the Fanal Forest - it was what I was looking forward to most on the trip, but due to the wind conditions, we had to switch to a different walk. Andre was quick to set up alternative plans for the group and I the walk we did ended up being one of my favourites from the trip!

Advice for Potential Travellers

Definitely bring hiking boots, those are a must! And the trip notes mention this, but the last hike to Pico Ruivo involves walking on paths with a sheer cliff drop on one or both sides of the path. It can be scary for people who have a fear of heights!

Suggestions

Try the poncha!

Trekking in Madeira

Lovely island, great guide and group. Really nice hotels, lucky with the weather! However, the most interesting walks to the Eastern peninsula and the central mountains were very busy. Also, for me, the overall pace was rather slow and the distances covered could have been greater.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take 50 cent coins for toilets.

Thank you, Andre!

This was a great trip. Madeira is a stunning island, with an abundance of natural beauty. We were very lucky to have sunny clear weather for the Pico Ruivo, and the views were well worth the at times tricky climb. The food and wine were lovely in Madeira!

Most Inspirational Moment

Taking in the 360 degree view from the Summit of the Pico Ruivo - amazing!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Andre Ponte, our guide, was fantastic fun, a very experienced and knowledgeable trip leader. He showed us his island with enthusiasm and pride, and is very conscious and protective of its environment; he adapted the walks according to the (sometimes very changeable) weather conditions. He knows the nature and plant life on the island very well. A huge thank you again, Andre!

Advice for Potential Travellers

I would very much recommend this trip if you are of moderate fitness, and you don't have bad knees! Pack for varied weather conditions if you are going in March; we were lucky most days, but the wind means that weather changes quite rapidly. Wear shoes with good ankle support if you are susceptible in that area. And take a few 50 cent coins for the public toilets - you need them.

Suggestions

Some of the walks were very busy in March, which I didn't expect; take a good camera, a bit of extra patience, and enjoy those stunning views!

Excellent trip, booking was frustrating.

Andre was an attentive, highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, it was a pleasure to walk with him. The itinerary had been changed before we arrived, and was adjusted during the trip to the weather. It included some stunning scenery, and unfortunately quite a bit of damp weather in the hills. I would say that we got the best of the island for the time of year. Regarding booking, I was a bit awkward in wanting to stay extra nights, which meant booking other flights via Exodus to maintain ATOL. Your process for doing this needs review, as it was unreasonably long winded and error prone. At one point, weeks after my initial calls, I was sent an invoice showing the wrong flights from the wrong airport, for considerably more money than we’d already agreed. I almost gave up at that point. That said, the trip itself was the usual Exodus pleasure, and I’m sure I’ll be joining you again soon.

Most Inspirational Moment

Day 2 along the North East coast was stunning, EXACTLY what we came for.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Like every previous Exodus leader, he was the perfect host. His enthusiasm for the island and its nature shone through.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The most scenic parts of the island are also the dampest, so be prepared for that in winter.

Suggestions

I think most of us will have read the average temperatures and expected warmer weather than we had. As mentioned above, the scenic north coast and mountain tops get a LOT of mist and rain. In my extra days I rented a motorbike and experienced just how much the weather can change from one side of this small island to the other. From sparkling sun, to freezing fog, to rainstorms in a few miles. I think your trip notes should make more of that.

well-organised and relaxing walking trip

This holiday provided straightforward walking in exceptional and sometimes unusual scenery in great company and with an experienced and characterful guide. It was exactly what we were looking for in a short break from the British winter. The accommodation was excellent and the whole trip was well organised, and good value. Everyone involved that we met (eg hotel staff, transfer vehicle drivers etc) were without exception helpful and friendly. We found the holiday relaxing and rewarding.

Most Inspirational Moment

We were part of a group of fourteen, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that all group members were completely co-operative with the leader and arrangements, and that the group gelled perfectly. The friendship, rapport and empathy within our group exceeded our expectation.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our group leader, Andre Pontes, was excellent. He was a great character, and provided much interesting and useful commentary on the walks, covering history, geography, geology, and even extending to some recipe hints. He was very entertaining company, concentrating on our safety and welfare in the walks at high level, and provided much useful information for us to make use of on the rest day. His local knowledge led us to excellent restaurants and cafes for refreshments and meals during the walks and in the evenings. He had a good and expressive use of English.

Advice for Potential Travellers

At this time of year be prepared for a chance of heavy rain at high levels, as well as for more gentle conditions generally. Most shops / cafes etc take bank cards but smaller shops and cafes, particularly in the countryside, may only take cash (Euros). English is widely spoken to a good standard, which we found helpful.

Suggestions

no.