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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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18154 Reviews

  • Walking the Amalfi Coast

    A great area to explore. In my view the holiday should be graded moderate due to the terrain and topography. By its very nature this coast is steep and there are gradients everywhere. Every walk involves thousand of steps. So prospective travellers should be aware. The family run three star hotel due Torri is lovely set in a pretty village Bomerano. Good food and comfortable rooms. We did find the dining room very noisy though. Picnics are good and tasty. As usual everything was extremely well organised by Exodus and our lovely guide Teresa was superb.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Herculaneum and Ravello.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb!! Could not fault her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please see above about my grading opinion. We are fit but found the walks tough as did many of our group. That said the views are stunning and well worth it.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    A Crossroads of Civilisations and Cultures

    Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Berbers, Arabs - even Normans have all left their mark on Sicily - leaving a rich cultural legacy to be discovered by today's visitors. Because we completed a circuit of the whole island, there were inevitably some longer stints on the coach - but it was roomy and we always had a break halfway on longer stretches. Hotels were mixed -the one at Agrigento felt rather soulless and the Agroturismo had some problems - the rustic setting was fine but some people had no running water in the morning. I hope this problem can be fixed as I like the idea of giving custom to a local business. But the one in Palermo couldn't have been more central and the one at Taormina was delightful and so close to the beach (and the beachside restaurant where we had our last dinner)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the Zingaro reserve and could happily have spent the whole day there, but I understand that all tastes have to be catered to. Taormina is lovely - spectacular views, and I enjoyed pottering around Ragusa Ibla. I have a limited appetite for churches (especially catholic iconography) and temples, but Monreal with its stunning mosaics and the Greek temple at Agrigento were terrific, and enhanced by the explanations of the guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Veronica was excellent - friendly, welcoming, informative. Also a shout out for the drivers, especially Salvatore who was with us for most of the trip - careful, safe and he always welcomed us back to the coach with a smile

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I didn't think you could eat badly in Sicily, but we had two bad meals - in Palermo, accompanied by surly service. The food was cold and one of the group was ill. But we ate really well at Taverna Dei Canto around the corner from the hotel in Palermo (lively street - not a quiet venue) My advice would be to check out the latest reviews on Trip Adviser - guide books can be out of date. If you plan to walk in Zingaro (some people preferred to swim) be aware that while not challenging, parts of the path are rocky so a pole can be helpful if you have any knee problems.
  • Soooo disappointing

    A very disappointing experience from start to finish. Arrived at the hotel after a long day traveling only to be bundled into a large dining room with pre prepared food awaiting us. No chance to get to our rooms and freshen up before dinner. The whole dining experience throughout the holiday (both breakfast and dinner) can only be described as being done on a shoe string with very little imagination. Very limited choice of food and mostly dinner had to be pre-ordered for the next day. The first half of the week was pretty full on with excursions (which was fine) but by the second half of the week the guide appeared to be flagging. The trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum should have been done on separate days and the trip to Ravello should only have been for a couple of hours, as we were left with about 3 hours with nothing to do after having seen the gardens. The trips to Positano and Capri were really enjoyable. On the last full day of the trip we did a short walk on The Path of the Gods. One of our party for left behind on the way back. The weather was not good due to a lot of cloud cover and therefore was quite a precarious walk. The tour guide just sat waiting for her to return and in the end another of the party had to go and find her. The tour guide did not appear to be at his best. He had an argument with one of the guests at a pre dinner briefing meeting. He shouted at her and stormed out of the meeting. This caused some animosity between him and some of the guests for the remainder of the holiday. He did not turn up for dinner on the last evening. It was a great shame as many of us had waited a long time for the holiday. The swimming pool was out of action for most of the week and so any free time could not be enjoyed around the pool. There are very limited eating and drinking facilities at the hotel during the day. It is essentially a walking group hotel (there were three large walking groups at the hotel in addition to our party of 17) and does not really cater for anyone else.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably Capri

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have dealt with this in my summary

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good restaurant around the corner from the hotel.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Fabulous!

    I can’t find any fault with this holiday. The walks are well planned and varied, and the week is designed to give a good overview of Andalusia. All the walks offer lovely views, varied terrain and lots of interesting history, geology, flora and fauna. The Cortijo is beautiful and provides a relaxing ‘home from home’.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day in Seville was a highlight for me, but also the Carminino del Rey walk was really fun and very spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was brilliant- he worked tirelessly to look after everyone and really went above and beyond to make sure we all had a great holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t be nervous about coming alone - this is a great holiday for solo travellers.
  • A breathtaking way to clear the cobwebs for a complete break

    Expectations were high after a two-year delay from our original booking. It was worth the wait! The scenery was spectacular, the weather was perfect and our conditioning didn't let us down. This is a relatively unknown gem for many people - and one not to be missed. Popular with hikers and cyclists alike, hiking definitely gives you the best cliff views. The sea views and fresh breezes, coupled with the dune walks, made the trip. You'll walk across beaches and dunes, through small bush and forest areas, and across trickling brooks and boardwalks, with plenty of local flora and fauna. If you are a photographer or bird watcher, this is the trip for you. This was my first trip to Portugal - I'm already planning the next Exodus Portugal trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the surf crash onto the rocks and beaches below nesting storks high up on the cliffs. Pristine beaches and dunes with storks and hawks flying above us. Dabbling my feet in the sea with the surf crashing onto the beach.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leaders Luis and Alex were fabulous. They shared their passion for the history, culture, flora and geography of Portugal, giving us great insights into the many Moorish and Spanish influences. No request was too much for them, and they gave us options along the way to ensure that everyone's requirements were catered to. They organized visits to local wineries and restaurants, and their excellent relationships with local business owners give Exodus a leg up on options for hotels, dining, and local attractions. We got special service as Exodus guests, which was very much appreciated. They gave us great ideas about other Exodus trips in Portugal, including local terrain and which areas were better for cycling versus hiking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a lovely leisurely to moderate level trip, but the trails follow sand dunes, often with heavy sand. Light walking shoes are fine - but be prepared to empty out the sand occasionally.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't miss this trip. The guides can adjust the walks to make them more leisurely or more challenging, and the scenery is spectacular.
  • An excellent week in Portugal

    A very well organised trip, superb scenery, stunning views on all of the walks. The two guides were very knowledgeable and lead the group in a pleasant and professional manner. They found great venues for meals in each location.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Brilliant scenery every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two. Well organised, attention to detail, really made the whole trip work well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the walks!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have been to Portugal many times but never seen this area before. A real gem!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    5 years and 4 rebooking’s later finally completed the trek and it was so worth the wait!

    It is hard to summarize such a great trek, with outstanding leadership (Bikash/Kushman) and trail buddies, but I’ll try. Having trekked in the Everest Region twice with Exodus (2015/2017), I didn’t know if the Manaslu Circuit trek could match those experiences – it did and even surpassed them in some areas. The trip notes are pretty spot on with regards to the trek and while the road continues to push further, our guides did a great job of avoiding it in parts and minimizing the road sections. As a result, it doesn’t really dimmish the trek (yet), which is still remote and goes through multiple climate and cultural zones as you ascend to, and descend from, Larke La. It is very hot at the lower altitudes and it is cold at the around the pass – so you have to pack accordingly. The daily schedule works very well and we had no acclimatization issues within the group, which was of varied ages and experience. The scenery is dramatic and ever-changing, the views of Manaslu are excellent - showing its different faces over multiple days. Take advantage of the acclimatization opportunities and in Samagaun and Samdo do make an effort to get into the heart of the villages as the culture and architecture is authentic and you can see daily life play out. Make sure you visit Birendra Tal outside Samaguan. The lodges were good but mostly more basic than the Khumbu. Dharamsala is no longer just tents but is still very basic. So happy to have completed this trek with Exodus – 192miles / 32,000ft of ascent over 14 days, with a high point of 16,945ft/5165m.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three things for me personally – 1) crossing the Larke La and being over 5000m again, 2) the rest day in Bhimtang was so welcome with great weather, views, and a quiet teahouse, and 3) the last night's celebration in Bhundanda, which fell on Nepali New Year, so much drinking and dancing – never to be forgotten!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was an outstanding leader. Always present, always well organized, always supportive and encouraging. Above all reassuring and confident. I’d trek with him and Kushman, our guide, again anytime. Our porters were great people also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it – this is an outstanding trek for so many reasons. Be patient in the first couple of days as it is very hot and the road plays its part, but that’s all quickly forgotten as you push on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do the trek soon as the road is going further and will be increasingly difficult to avoid. It will inventively make the area more accessible, which is really good for the local communities but will lessen the trekking experience.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Incredible

    What a superb and wonderful 2 weeks. So much to see and be amazed by, something new every day and so many wonderful birds and animals to try and photograph. Good accommodation and we were never hungry. Costa Rica is a very forward thinking and developed country and they are rightly very caring of their wildlife and forests. We had a wonderful guide (Carlos) and driver (Mau) and they helped us see everything that we would have completely missed without their help. It was all so wonderful that it is hard to pick out highlights but loved the day out looking for dolphins, the boat trips at Tortuguero (and Tortuguero itself) and the zip lines.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not possible to pick out a moment - the first two days were so brilliant that we would have been happy if that had been our entire holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, organised, thoughtful.......just made our trip brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    take a mini umbrella, buy a telephoto lens, do your washing in a service laundrette in La Fortuna, be quiet on walks so you can hear everything, do everything offered - do the zip line, ride the horses, swim in the waterfalls.. . Prepare to really appreciate what is happening to the rainforests and the animals that rely on them

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book and go - don't think about it.
  • A Fabulous Week!

    A few days since our wonderful week walking Portugal’s coast and beaches and missing it already. Luis and Alex were the perfect guides, with exceptional local knowledge and a phenomenal work ethic! Breath taking scenery and unspoilt beaches, and great way to get fit! Nesting storks and peregrine falcons were such a bonus! Fine hotels throughout, topped off with a touch of luxury in Sagres, restaurants and food excellent all shared with a great group of like-minded travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The freshness of the Atlantic and its wonderful blue colour. The unspoilt, near deserted, beaches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top guys! Nothing was too much trouble for Luis and Alex.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There’s considerable walking over sand dunes which might be challenging so good hiking shoes essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    AXW: A Week in Jordan

    This trip exceeded my expectations! I have always wanted to go to Petra, but all the other stops proved just as wonderful. It was a fast-paced busy trip but well worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is the kind of trip that will stay with me for a while. From the Roman ruins at Jerash, to the first glimpse of the Treasury at Petra, to the night sky with a thousand stars at Wadi Rum, to the final night at the Dead Sea with the warm sea air, it was truly an inspirational and unforgettable journey.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad was amazing, and one of the best, if not the best, tour leader I have had. His love of his country shines through in everything he says and does. He has so much knowledge and was so willing to share it all with us. But, besides that, it was all the little things he did to make our trip so special. He took us to the out of the way places for lunches, snacks, etc. We had the true local flavor. We were always being surprised with little treats and special foods to try. He arranged for us to have a beautiful picnic, which ended up being a highlight for most of us on the trip. In addition, he developed relationships and jokes with everyone. He took the time to get to know each of us personally, as well as join in with us a group. He took control when needed to, and joked with us at other times. I feel very fortunate to have had him as a guide and I know that he made an already incredible trip even better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!