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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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Reviews

Walking, swimming and eating

We enjoyed walks with amazing views and lovely beaches. They were, though, different to and harder than on the itinerary/trip notes eg the first day ‘walk through olive groves’ includes and a cliff edge section needing you to use a rope! However when Alper, our leader, realised that the new itinerary, that included a 14km walk, was not going to suit our very diverse group he worked hard to change it to include everyone. Kas is a lovely town with interesting shops and food and still busy in October. Hotel Artemis was good, especially the breakfasts and views from the roof top breakfast room. Alper organised excellent meals for us each night, including one where we sat just a metre from the sea. The group of 15 all got on well.

Most Inspirational Moment

1 After a hard journey and 3 years without travelling swimming, sitting and eating on Limanagzi beach on the first day was unbelievable. 2 The delicious lunch with the family in the mountains. 3 The amazing view of Kas from the high point of one walk.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Alper was kind, helpful and hard working.

Suggestions

Please update the itinerary/trip notes -particularly the type and distance of the walks and also make clear that the canoeing is optional ie we have to pay.

Walking the turquoise coast

Lovely scenery and excellent guide. Unfortunately, the walks were not those mentioned in the itinerary but were however interesting but much more challenging in places for what some of us would describe as leisurely. The only meals included in the package were the breakfasts, one of which we missed due to early start for an event and the second because of having to leave for the airport. Not a big issue but would have been nice to have been offered even a roll. The Sea Kayaking is a must, so enjoyable and the walk through the forest after the visit to Arykanda was an excellent day. Guide was so helpful and accommodating, full marks to him.

Most Inspirational Moment

Sea Kayakinng

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent, helpful and accommodating

Advice for Potential Travellers

Walking terrain is rough but largely down hill rather than slogging up. Good walking shoes/boots needed and poles if you are used to them.The heat is an issue as the walks continue after lunch in the heat of the day.

Suggestions

Itinerary needs updating

Walking - the Turquoise Coast Not a leisurely stroll!

The group were very friendly and the hotel was great. Clean, modern, good location and a lovely pool. The guide was a good host and organised lovely restaurants every evening for us all. The walks however were not as advertised as some of the tracks are apparently now closed. The replacement walks were very challenging, steep ascents and descents on scree paths and rocky tracks sheer drops. The itinerary stated the longest walk was 8 k but it was actually 14k . One walk involved scrambling across a rocky path with a rope bridge and another bouldering across a cliff face with a steep drop. Not the leisurely walking detailed in the trip notes. and far too challenging for some group members The trip is graded 2 but was more challenging than the grade 3 trip I did before. The notes also do not indicate that there will be charges for the kayaking trip and lunch on the Arycanda trip. The trip is run by a local travel company and there is a definite disconnect between what is advertised and what you get. It is a great trip in a lovely location for someone who is fit and OK with heights but not the leisurely trip advertised

Thoughts on Group Leader

Keen and enthusiastic, great at organising dinners but not very good at assessing the walks and the groups ability.

Advice for Potential Travellers

This is not a leisurely grade 2 trip and not suitable for people with vertigo

Suggestions

Please update the trip notes and regrade the trip

Beautiful country

Had a lovely trip with a very friendly and welcoming group. Our tour guide was lovely and made some great restaurant bookings for us including one meal right on the beach with the waves crashing! The sea kayaking was the highlight for me, lovely to be out on the water , though it is surprisingly hard work! The hotel Artemis we stayed at was very nice , clean modern rooms, lovely breakfast with amazing views, though getting a drink from the hotel bar was challenging at times!! My only criticism is the walks, they were much harder than leisurely/moderate , some of the walks on the itinerary had to be changed as paths were closed which is fine and unavoidable but the replacements were often on steep scree slopes and involved clambering over large rocks at times , some of the group found this v challenging especially with the heat! If these walks are to be kept then this trip needs to be upgraded in difficulty so people are aware what they will be facing. Turkey is beautiful though and thoroughly enjoyed my time here 🙂

Most Inspirational Moment

See above - sea kayaking

Thoughts on Group Leader

Very lovely and always helpful , walks were more challenging than expected though so the routes may need to be reconsidered.

Advice for Potential Travellers

See above - the walks are more difficult than anticipated.

A thoroughly enjoyable holiday

This was my first Exodus holiday and my first solo holiday. The programme was just what I hoped with interesting walks, some visits to ancient sites and sea kayaking. The scenery and weather were fantastic and the food was very good. Our group of 14 people got on well together and the hard work of the guide made sure we were very well looked after.

Most Inspirational Moment

Without doubt the sea kayaking. The two of us were complete novices but after an embarrassing start we managed well and felt safe with 2 guides to help us and a support boat nearby. Paddling over the sunken city was a great experience and then on to the small village where we had an excellent buffet lunch and climbed up to the castle. Another memorable occasion was our visit to the ancient city of Arykanda where the enthusiastic local guide showed us round and then took us to his house where his wife had prepared a lovely buffet lunch mainly from their own produce including cheese and yoghurt from their goats.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Turget was a brilliant guide. He genuinely seemed to want us all to have a great holiday and worked hard to ensure that we did. He communicated really well, had an excellent knowledge of the area and I feel I learnt a lot about the country and people. He listened to us and was flexible and changed things if necessary. We felt safe at all times and appreciated the way he found interesting restaurants for us in the evening and made individual arrangements on request.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for a few steep sections and for some people, the crossing of the bridge on the aqueduct could be scary. Poles are useful. Rooms near the breakfast room and stairs can be noisy.

Suggestions

The Oreo hotel looks very pretty from outside and has a good swimming pool and outside bar. However the dining room needs an update along with the bedrooms. The showers leaked and had a lot of black mould around the tray. The bed was comfortable, air con worked well and breakfast was perfectly OK. Hyri worked very hard all day looking after guests and was always very pleasant and efficient. A large party of young people staying there made it feel like a hostel rather than a hotel.

Walking the Turquoise Coast, Turkey

First holiday with Exodus, and they were excellent in every respect. Would definitely use them again. I would have preferred slightly longer walks, but I can see that in very hot weather, the walks we did would be enough. Each day was varied and just as walking became routine, sea kayaking delivered a great day out. The hotel pool was most welcome and having thought the rest day would be a waste, in fact it was lovely to have a day doing not much. As is delightful and everyone we met was friendly and helpful.

Most Inspirational Moment

The visit to Aycanda(?) and subsequent walk from the mountain plateau down to the plains. Beautiful. Though the beach at Patara was invigorating. There wasn't a day I didn't enjoy and gain from.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Hatice was our group leader and in my view was outstanding. She's funny, knowledgeable, friendly, endlessly polite and patient and almost certainly the only group leader to lead her kayaking group in singing "Row, row, row your boat' a cappella, in rounds, while waiting for the last of the kayaks to catch up. Some Americans thought this odd, but we enjoyed it. If Exodus is looking for a better group leader, they'll have to try hard.

Advice for Potential Travellers

There's plenty to do if you want to be busy after walks- Turkish baths, pleasant town and shops , good restaurants. Plus plant of activity type stuff if you find a day by the pool tedious!

Suggestions

My only gripe is the hotel. All the staff were delightful- nothing too much trouble, friendly and helpful. However, the hotel itself desperately needs a thorough make over, being very tired and a bit run down. It's clean and there are swimming towels provided, but really nothing else. My shower leaked like a tsunami, and I don't think standing in a puddle of water while using a hairdryer is terrific. However, using my post swim towel solved this, but not vg. The pool and terrace were very pleasant, but you need to think again about the fabric of this hotel, Exodus.

Felt sad leaving Turkey

I travelled with a friend of mine. Really enjoyed this week. It took a day or two to acclimatise to the heat during the walks but then it was fine. Loved the kayaking option. So good we opted to do that again on our free day. Kas town is lovely, with lots of good restaurants and shops. The food was really good throughout the week. Healthy and tasty. Our guide, Maho, was a complete pro. Our group was lovely, everyone got on well. A good mixture of activity and some free time. After some of the walks, we got back to the hotel between 3 and 4 pm so had time to go and do other things or go for a swim in the pool. Oreo Hotel was a very pleasant place to stay and the staff looked after us well.

Most Inspirational Moment

Looking out over the gorgeous coastline and clear water when kayaking and (while on one of the walks) seeing parts of a Roman aquaduct which is still working in some respects, all these years later.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Maho is wonderful. Professional, concientious, very experienced. You feel like you're in very capable hands. He booked restaurants and went out with us during the evenings as well as during the day, to make sure the entire experience was a really good one for us. Jan Jan was also with us during the kayaking and I found him to be very pleasant and helpful also. Both were at your side very quickly if they felt you needed assistance.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Water shoes are handy for the kayaking. It was late 20s - 30 centigrade in mid Sept and I should have brought a little more clothing to suit those kinds of temperatures. It took a day or two to get used to the heat when walking. I found a hat essential, plus I used a platypus waterbag for my backpack as I drank more water on this trip than I ever did before. Saves you having to dig a bottle out of your back pack all the time. Walking poles would be helpful on some of the ascents and descents. Not needed for all of the walks though. The longest walk (13km) along the aquaduct was the toughest one (for me), primarily due to the uphill parts, over rocks and quite steeply up a forest path for a time. Everyone else (a wide mixture of ages) managed fine and kindly waited for me. There are a lot of prickly shrubs on that walk, so some people may wish to bring lightweight trousers. A lot of it is picking your way along narrow paths, over rocks and alongside streams, so you do have to pick your steps carefully. There are some parts (very few) where people with a fear of heights may be a little nervous, but our group was fine, regardless. The rest of the walks were all easier. On the kayaking day, we paddled over to a really lovely spot for lunch. There were turtles swimming in the bay which was a bonus. Just be careful getting to and from your kayak over those rocks at the edge of the water. It's very shallow and there's a moss on the rocks which makes it very very slippy. Our guides helped us which was great, but worth bearing in mind. Mossie spray is useful (you can buy it in Kas though). Some of our group got bitten but many didn't.

Suggestions

The hotel has safes you can rent for the week. I only used about 500 Turkish Lira (about €150 or £107) during the week for food and drink, excluding money for extra activities like kayaking and entrance to some of the historical sites. Overall I found it great value for money. It's a shame that some people are being put off going to Turkey because of the war in Syria. I found it completely safe.

Turquoise Coast

Our group was a mixture of couples and singles .we appreciated our guide taking us to his choice of restaurantsin the evenings ,and apart from One we had excellent service . The supper and boat trip on last evening was great fun especially seeing turtles

Most Inspirational Moment

Spectacular views on all our walks . Didn't appreciate we'd be walking through so many historical sites/ aqueducts . Most inspirational was the kayaking day to the sunken city .

Thoughts on Group Leader

Tourget was fun to be around ,always cheerful even when he ruined his mobile kayaking ,he didn't complain ! We all loved him .our driver was also brilliant .

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you want a modest hotel ,with friendly attentive staff then this is for you .be aware though that the 5am call to prayer is only one block away and is attached to a loudspeaker . This then produces a cacophony of sounds from the local wildlife ....dogs ,cockerels ect . However the gin and tonics (£2.50)by the pool in the evening made up for that .dont expect complimentery bottles of shampoo ect in your room either. You do get a change of towels half way through the week however . Plus you can hire beach towels for a few TLira .walking boots / shoes essential .

Suggestions

The visit to the Turkish baths on last free day was amazing and excellent value for 80 mins of exhilaration ,followed by relaxation ( £30) would have gone twice if we'd known earlier

Turquoise Coast, Beautiful Kas

An excellent, varied, well organised and fun trip in beautiful Kas. This was our first time with Exodus and experiencing a walking holiday – and we enjoyed every moment of it from the stunning scenery, amazing walks, wonderful swimming and fantastic food.

Most Inspirational Moment

The kayaking day was great - first time for me but after a practice paddle it all went well with a lovely lunch included. Walking in the mountains in pouring rain - another brilliant day, arriving at the end soaked but happy . Gorgeous lunches prepared by local families - they were so welcoming and the food was fantastic. Meeting a lovely group of people for the first time and enjoying every moment of the trip.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Ali was a great leader - knowledgeable, experienced, helpful and a quick thinker (shown when he had to change plans at the last minute).

Advice for Potential Travellers

I did not know that we would be eating our evening meals with the group and our guides - this was a lovely idea. Good idea to bring some wet shoes as one of the beaches was stony and also useful for the kayaking. The shops and restaurants will accept payment in sterling, Turkish lira, euros and dollars! We also exchanged some money in a jewellery shop.

Suggestions

The walks were varied which was a great part of the trip. Some paths were rocky whereas others had scree and small loose rocks which made some parts of the walk challenging but still enjoyable. Some members of the group (including me) found it useful to use a walking pole.

Turkish delight

It was a good trip – pleasant Turkish town and walks that were enjoyable without being too demanding. Hotel was fairly spartan but the staff were both friendly and helpful (as were the Exodus tour guides). I didn’t have a problem with the hotel apart from the mosque being close by and having my sleep disturbed by the calling to prayer.

Most Inspirational Moment

I really enjoyed the kayaking.

Thoughts on Group Leader

"Too Good" as we called him was friendly and helpful.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take some ear plugs (unless you like the sound of being called to prayer pre-5am) and don't allow yourself to be distracted by an attractive woman blowing hot and cold (i.e. concentrate on the walking if you can).