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 December 2018
    Barry Tiernan

    Coast to Coast

    This is a great holiday covering 2 distinct regions of Southern India, Tamil Nadu and Kerala The cycling was excellent, flat rides for the first week in Tamil Nadu and hilly the second week in Kerala The accommodation was generally very good. The food was excellent, enjoyed by all on the trip. There were only 6 of us on the trip(all friends), on previous tips there were 16. However it worked out really well. We all enjoyed the cycling, potholes and all. Some busy towns but enjoyable to cycle through.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We stayed at a Plantation House in Vagamon, Kerala which was a special moment for all. Such a beautiful house and the family looked after us very well, cooking a magnificent meal in the evening. Were also driven to a rock pool in a Jeep for a swim. All of us would have loved another day here The night on the houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala was also great fun, a nice touch near the end of the holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Abhilash (Abi) was wonderful. He was kind and caring, looked after us very well. Abi was always there to make our holiday enjoyable. The rest of the team, Kurian, Santos, Vipin also worked very hard and we enjoyed their company. This was a truly excellent team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food was so good, likely to put a few pounds on!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only bone of contention were the two Abad Hotels we stayed at. The hotels were great hotels from an accommodation and food perspective. However for a group of cyclist, it is often lovely after a long day's ride to have a nice cold beer and a glass of wine at dinner, which was not possible at these two hotels While we could drink in our rooms, its not the same. We are a bit "old in the tooth" to have a sneak a drink hiding out of sight. I do not think a "dry hotel" is appropriate for a cycling group when there were several other resort hotels in the same area. This is my 4th cycling trip in Asia and not come across this before.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Lester Wheaton

    Exhilarating

    ‘Discover Chile’ was a fantastic holiday and certainly in my top three tours over the last 20+years. The main reason it was fantastic was that we had brilliant weather throughout and considering this holiday was to principally look at the natural landscapes within the country this was essential. Although it was a certainty that we would have clear weather in the desert which was confirmed, the bonus of views of the snow capped Mt Osorno and others in the Lake District, and also the fantastic Torres del Paine against cloudless backdrops was the icing on the cake.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many highlights on the tour but these are my top three: 3. Mt Osorno in the Lake District 2. Antiplano Lakes and Mountain Scenery in the Atacama 1. Torres del Paine Mountain Scenery in Patagonia I could never get sick of the view of Torres del Paine from outside my room in Patagonia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio was both competent and very pleasant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to spend a considerable time on planes (5 off internal flights) and the associated waiting time in airports, also early get ups (2 before 5am) and a late finish (11pm). Flight schedules can change at short notice but none of ours were seriously affected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall the hotels were average with the one in San Pedro (Don Raul) being very disappointing (my room (42) looked nothing like the images on Tripadvisor) but the hotel in Patagonia was exceptional in the views that it had. Chile is a long distance from the UK and the tour could have benefited from an extra two days, one more possibly in the Lake District and one to explore the Magellan Strait near Punta Arenas. Although our tour was not in the absolute high season nowhere we visited was ever considered to be crowded, I suppose the busiest area (excepting Santiago) was San Pedro. It was disappointing to be in the Atacama during the full moon, therefore our stargazing tour (provided via Exodus) was not available.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Susan Barnes

    An experience of a lifetime!

    This was simply one of the best experiences of my life! We were very fortunate that all 12 members of our team got on really well and we had a brilliant leader with a 'dream team' supporting him. The trek itself is hard work, but I never felt that we wouldn't make it to Base Camp. Our leader and the guides did everything to encourage us to "reach our destiny" and did so with professionalism and a great sense of humour. However, at no time was our safety compromised and the pace of the walk was judged to perfection. Some days are very long, with early starts; but well worth it. The scenery is breathtaking. This is definitely a holiday that is worthy of being on any bucket list.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This has to be the arrival at Base Camp after 9 days of trekking. Everyone felt a real sense of achievement and really bonded the group. We were also extremely lucky to have Kaji on our team as one of the Guides. Kaji has summited Everest 8 times and his insight and knowledge was inspirational, which was matched by his modesty, humility and kindness.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I can't speak highly enough of our leader, Ajay. He took the trouble to get to know every member of the team and put our health and safety above everything. Ajay has a great sense of humour and is extremely knowledgable, providing answers to our many many questions! If there was a problem with a room or the toilets, for example, he made sure it was resolved. Ajay had great support in Kaji, Cami and Nowoan, who led the yaks, so the success of our trek was really never in doubt. Just to add also (having seen some of the other reviews) that there was no mention of tips until the very end of the trip and, even then, it was only a suggestion, not a demand. We decided among ourselves what we should give to Ajay, as his tip wasn't mentioned at all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the itinerary carefully and make sure you bring everything you need to protect yourself against the cold (especially in the evening) and the dust! You don't have to be super fit to do the trek itself, but it is worth doing some interval training before you go. Don't expect luxury accommodation: it's a bonus if you get an ensuite toilet - sometimes you just have to 'go with it'!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For most people, this is a once in a lifetime trip. Just do it!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Deanna White

    Sensational!

    The holiday was planned to military precision! I was so nervous, never having been away by myself so this was absolutely perfect for what I needed, and didn't know it! ...and what incredible value for money! We packed more into that fortnight that I ever could have by myself. No queues - straight in. Tables booked - straight in. Excursions booked - Straight on the bus... no waiting. No fretting. No organisation needed. Easy Peasy!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loi Krathong - River Festival. A carnival procession, dancing, music, Chinese lanterns, honouring the river spirit with a raft of incense, candles and flowers and a wish... Actually one of the most beautiful moments of my life - Made me happy to be alive - Right there, right then.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Ae, actually made the holiday for me. She was so knowledgeable about everything! She answered all questions with enthusiasm and pride. She was friendly, cheeky, funny and a joy to be around. She included everyone without favouritism, and shared her exuberance and energy around generously!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say that if you're single and without a buddy, a holiday like this is perfect. I found that people on these types of holidays are naturally friendly and include you without a second thought. You never feel unwelcome or alone - Although you can be completely by yourself if you need time out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend Exodus to others, just as Exodus was recommended to me. I'm a HUGE fan!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Peter Eggleston

    A great holiday/adventure

    Our first Exodus trip, and what a wonderful experience. The accommodation, cycling, trip leadership and support were all first class. There are two elements out of their hands - the flight (in our case with BA on superannuated 747s) and the people who pay for the holiday. Our tour party was excellent, a great and disparate group of interesting and enthusiastic people. The less said about BA's performance the better. If we'd been unlucky enough to have been booked on the Thursday flight back to

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three unforgettable moments: A whale watching trip from Hermanus that was the best (of quite a few) I have experienced. As my wife (who suffers from sea-sickness) said, I don't think we need to do one of those again. I can't imagine it could be bettered. Arriving at Barrydale after a longish bus transfer from Stellenbosch and a "undulating" 60 odd km ride everyone was quite tired and too late for the planned brandy-tasting. The recipe for a grumpy evening was complete, but instead it was the making of our group, bonding over a really good meal. The whole party getting to the summit of Chapman's Peak just before lunch on the last day's cycling at the same time after one of the most beautiful morning's cycling I have ever experienced. The shared experiences are the best.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was excellent. He was always enthusiastic, determined that we should eke out every last experience available to us, and always knowing where they could be found, whether it was a venue for our evening meal, a walk to a viewpoint (when we were all tired and were less than enthusiastic ourselves) or a drive to a local beauty spot for a pre-dinner G&T. His team, Bradley and Voyu were similarly motivated to go that extra km to help us all enjoy the adventure as much as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! I doubt that you'll regret it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cycling is challenging in parts, as much due to the wind as the gradients, but you can do it! (and if you can't the bus is not far behind you!)
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jenny Martin

    A stunning holiday!

    If you're looking for a great mix of exercise, wine-tasting, wildlife spotting and camaraderie, this is the trip for you! As this was our first organised holiday we approached it with some trepidation, but our expectations were surpassed many times over. Every day brought new experiences - different landscapes and vistas, unfamiliar but delicious wines, the highest quality local dishes, friendly hosts and quirky accommodation, and a developing bond between all participants as we slogged up the inclines and sailed down the descents.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many highlights over the 10 days to mention here, but the satisfaction of riding over majestic mountain passes to be rewarded with beautiful vineyard visits, seeing whales, sharks and penguins up close in their natural habitat, and swimming in the Indian ocean were some of the best.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Peter, really went the extra mile to make our trip special. He offered numerous little add-ons that were hard to resist, e.g. a hike up to a view point overlooking the Whale Coast in Hermanus, and G&Ts above Cape Agulhas at sunset. We left South Africa with so many special and unique memories thanks to the hard work of Peter and his team, Bradley and Voyu.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do get reasonably fit for this trip as, although the distances aren't massive, the route is undulating and, at times, hilly, and it can be windy. You will enjoy it more if you do. You also need to factor in the wine-tasting - this is bound to make your legs a little heavier in the morning! Be open-minded about the accommodation - our hosts offered comfortable, quirky rooms that gave a fantastic flavour of local life. I will never stay in a chain hotel again!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Vernon Needham

    Sweat, smiles.......no blood, no tears!

    An excellent mix of cycling, touring and nature watching. We were extremely fortunate to have such superb staff. Good accommodation, with the exception of one cold shower, when a hot one would have been great!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    An angry capuchin monkey in threat mode during the boat nature trip at Tortoguero. That stands out, but there were many, many others.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andres Ramirez was excellent: efficient, diplomatic, and with a GSOH. He is an extremely competent cyclist as well as highly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and skilled naturalist. As an example of the latter he would sometimes hear creatures, mimic the call, get a response and then be able to locate and show them. Paulo (mechanic, and ex pro cyclist) was also excellent and got on very well with the group despite his limited English, and our non-existent Spanish. Driver Jose was always helpful and a skilled safe driver, with excellent anticipation of road hazards.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take saddle and clip pedals if you use them. Take quick dry T-shirt(s) to ride in, if necessary putting them on damp in the morning: they soon dry off that way. No point in cycling waterproofs as the rain is warm. Don’t take too much. Be prepared for some big trucks and hills which may be more than ‘moderate’.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jerry Dawson

    Comprehensive exploration of the sights of South India

    If you have three weeks to spare and want to see the highlights of South India, this is the trip for you. Comprehensive coverage of the main temples, palaces, hill stations and other attractions of the region. Although the trip packs in all the sights, it did not feel rushed and there is enough time left free to explore on your own. South India seems much less frenetic than the north and the food is amazing! There is a lot of driving but the bus is air conditioned and spacious and from time to time the group travels by train, which is a fascinating experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of sights, the highlights for me were driving through the tea plantations near Ooty and Periyar, exploring the streets of former French colony Pondicherry, having lunch during a small cyclone in the "Rick Stein" beachfront restaurant in Mahabalipuram, exploring the various flower and vegetable markets, the waterfront at Kovalam, and the overnight houseboat trip in the Kerala Backwaters near Alleppey. The real highlight for me, however, was the food - Indian food all day from breakfast (puris and iddlys) through to dinner - including the several stops at roadside restaurants for thalis at lunchtime, the wonderful seafood in Mahabalipuram and Kovalam, and the cooking demonstration (with active participation) in Thekkady/ Periyar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh P.K. did a great job. He had a kind and caring personality and was very open with information about India and its customs, religions and culture. All the trip logistics worked out well - which is quite an achievement for India!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some very long journeys on the bus so do bring a book to read. Although western food is available at all the hotels and most restaurants, it will add greatly to the enjoyment of the trip if you throw caution to the wind and eat the local food - lot of amazing veg and non-veg options! If you want a cold beer with dinner, call ahead to the restaurant to make sure there are beers in the fridge (many restaurants seem to serve beer at room temperature!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked more time in Pondicherry with a more comprehensive city walking tour to include information about life during the 300 years of French occupation; and also time to see the main sights in Chennai.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    JILL SOUTHGATE

    Costa Rika cycling

    excellent trip with amazing guides and machanic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    first class, one of the best, his knowledge was amazing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the only way this trip could be improved is perhaps on the last day of cycling, it would be good to finish at the thermal pools but realise you still have a transfer etc.
  • Reviewed December 2018

    Cycling The Cape And Winelands

    A wonderful cycle trip and an excellent introduction to the Cape (and South African wine!). Some great cycling (Franschheok Pass, The Whale Coast) mixed with plenty of wine tasting and a day's recuperation whale watching in Hermanus. The cycling itself is graded as moderate though a grading of moderate/challenging would be more appropriate, especially if you are not a keen cyclist.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the Franschheok Pass. After having to walk up hills in Central America 18 months earlier it felt wonderful to be the first of the group to reach the top!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Warren was an excellent tour leader and interacted with everyone in the group. A wealth of knowledge and nothing was any trouble for him. Our second guide/driver Adonia is a great guide in the making.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The afternoon trip to the game park was, sadly, a bit of a let down with very few animals visible.
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