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 May 2013
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER COSTA RICA

    Costa Rica is a natural paradise teeming with life; monkeys swing in the canopy of the steamy rainforest, exotic birds constantly flutter and squawk overhead, cascading rivers carve through jungle and waterfalls plunge into pritine pools. The trip is the perfect introduction to this Central American country and its weirdly wonderful wildife. A perfectly balanced itinerary with two nights spent in each destination, from mangrove lagoons to cool, mistly clouds forests, sun-kissed Pacific beaches to sweltering, impenetrable rainforests, you say goodbye to Tico land feeling like you really have discovered Costa Rica!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many fantastic wildlife encounters, it is impossible to pick just one! My first highlight would be simply waking up to the sounds of the rainforest on my very first morning in Tortuguero - howling monkeys, chirping birds and chattering cicadas to name just a few. The boa constrictor digesting its iguana lunch on the banks of the mangroves in Tortuguero was a spontaneous encounter we were incredibly lucky to see; the Common Potoo and her chick nestled in a tree in Manuel Antonio was another rare and special sighting; and coming face to face with a Howler monkey piggy backing her baby was an initmate, albeit brief, interlude never to be repeated on the trip. With a view of Arenal volcano to one side and a lake on the other and swathes of undulating forest unfolding beneath me, zip lining 200 metres high over rainforest canopy was probably the most breathtaking moment of the trip! I was also delighted to see ten types of frog, including the iconic Red Eye Tree frog and the almost transparent Glass frog, during a couple of guided night walks - I would definitely recommend joining these walks as it is incredibly difficult to spot the night time wildlife in Costa Rica without an expert to point you in the right direction!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Pedro, was brilliant. His knowledge of the local wildlife was pretty much flawless, even able to identify a number of bird species simply by their birdsong alone! He was informative, flexible and dynamic enough to accommodate the needs of the group. During the few long bus journeys he educated and entertained us with humorous annecdotes and stories of his country's history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take walking boots or at least a pair of decent walking trainers. Depending on the time of year you travel, some trails can be muddy, uneven and slippery. If interested in photography, take a decent telephoto lens with you as a number of the wildlife encounters maybe at a distance and often obscured by leaves and branches! Waterproofs and quick drying layers are a must as it can take a while for cotton clothes to dry out in that humidity. Oh and don't forget to take a decent supply of DEET repellent (or buy some locally) - the mosquitos out there mean business! Above all else, immerse yourself in the nature and enjoy one wildlife highlight after the next...it is an incredible destination.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN JORDAN

    Full on week in a fascinating country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obvious highlights were Petra and Wadi Rum but pleasantly surprised by Jerash & Aqaba.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really enthusiastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This tour is a sightseeing tour - don't expect too much adventure! Interest in culture & history is a must.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    TREASURES OF SICILY

    A good introduction to a fascinating Island.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the cathedral at Monreale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salvos is a lovely man. A font of knowledge on volcanology, flora and foods on Sicily. If he could not immediately answer a question he was able to research and let us know later.He took us to markets, deli's and restaurants where we could enjoy a variety of Sicilian foods and wines.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was pleased that I took walking boots for Etna and the Zingaro reserve for although the climbs are easy the terrain is hard on the foot and thinner soles would be very uncomfortable.This trip visits well appointed hotels so a hairdryer is not necessary but you could make room in your case for some prettier clothes for the evenings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In the planning stage we wanted a trip that included Monreale and climbing Mount Etna was just a bonus. However in the end we thoroughy enjoyed the huge Etna Reserve and the archeogical sites of Siracusa, Agrigento and Selinunte. The wine tasting event was very diferent to what we expected but most appreciated.We really enjoyed the walk on the Zingaro reserve but would have preferred to walk the whole length and possibly miss out Segesta, but we appreciate that may not have suited the whole group.One of the highlights of the trip was the evening meal at the Baroque town of Noto - the ambience was fabulous, as was the food. However the highlight of the whole trip for us was the visit to the cathedral at Monreale. We knew it was the one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture in the world but it was the completeness of the mosaics that truly blew us away. We would have loved a whole day there but would not have missed the tour of Palermo. Erice and Cefalu are delightful as is the more touristy Taormina. So much to see and so little time - we will have to go back! 
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    DUBROVNIK & THE DALMATIAN COAST

    Everything we expected and more. The Dalmatian Coast really is beautiful and this is a great introduction to the coast, country and towns. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved walking the walls of Dubrovnik. Great views and lots of history, ancient and modern.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Always bursting with enthusiasm, Kristo was a friendly and knowledgeable leader. Made sure all the arrangements went super smoothly. Found us some really good places to eat too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like an early morning cuppa take a travel kettle - none of our rooms had tea or coffee making facilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Look forward to some great sights and fascinating history. Expect Dubrovnik to be very busy, especially if the cruise ships are in. Also, don't miss the optional trip to Mostar. It's a long drive but the scenery's interesting and Mostar's recent history make it a must. 
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    SOUTH AFRICAN WALKING SAFARI

    A great holiday with a mixture of walking and wildlife. After a couple of very, very, wet days the sun came out, the walking became enjoyable. We had a pretty mixed group and just about everybody enjoyed the experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stalking cheetah on foot in Kruger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Admire and Rob were very good indeed, as was Tsepo, the driver. The earier unusually heavy rains forced changes of both routes and accomodation, but they handled it very professionally. Admire led most of the hikes and both his and Rob's local knowledge was pretty good. Oh, and they could cook pretty well, no complaints on that score.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in the South African summer, take really good waterproofs - and make sure you have a waterproof cover for your rucksack (bitter personal experience). Some of the transfers are long, so cultivate an interest in birds - plenty of spotting opportunities when on the road. Take a Kindle or similar too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We struck lucky, because of the flooding we stayed at Karongwe Private Reserve and benefitted from their excellent guides and trackers. It was with them that we were allowed out of the vehicle to find the cheetahs on foot. The accomodation was fine (sometimes basic, sometimes almost luxurious) and the camping easy (the guys set up and took down the tents). Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge in the Drakensberg is a fascinating place - it looks a little like a 1960s Bond villians hideout. Oh, and if you're a birder the whole trip is just wonderful ;-)
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    WALKING THE AMALFI COAST

    4 days of moderate walking in beautiful countryside with stunning views of the Amalfi coast. The trip in May allows you to walk in perfect walking conditions with the added bonus of being able to see wildflowers in their natural habitat. The Hotel due Torri, a family run hotel, has friendly staff that make your stay memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the boat ride on the final day after the Walk of the Gods was the most inspirational momemnt when I could see in a panoramic view all the places I had walked in the past week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Christine was absolutely superb. She made everyone feel included, whatever their fitness level was. She had excellent local knowledge, spoke fluent Italian and held the group together. She even made the bus driver sing!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring walking sticks and expect to have a lovely holiday.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    DARJEELING, SIKKIM & THE SINGALILA RIDGE

    one of the best treks for variety and views of the himalayan range - a great intoduction for another higher altitude trek, for fitness and acclimitisation - more than a walk in the Cotswalds as advertised - and Dilip was a superb guide - could not do better

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    views into Nepal India and Sikkim and of course the view of the himalayas from Everest to Kuchenjunga

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dilip was exceptional in every way - helpful, caring, informative,  good sense of humour, reliable and a really decent human being. He had good relationships with his staff, who were all happy, and clients.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    do it - its short and join it with another trek latergood combination with trek and cultural tour

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    northern india is amazingly clean, safe and a non hassle environment - unlike somewhere like     Himalyan India is clean safe and hassle free - compared to areas like Kolkatta where we finished the trip expect windy and bad roads, and taking for ever to get places because of this - it is part of India and every time is an 'experience'!    
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    BURMA HIGHLIGHTS

    A well-planned tour under the supervision of a helpful careful leader. The best sights in South East Asia; at times there was a photo in every single direction. Friendly people and good food. All transfers throughout the trip went like clockwork.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day trip by motor boat around Lake Inle, stopping at a beautiful river setting leading to the magical decaying stupas of Indein

    What did you think of your group leader?

    "Andrew" was very committed to our safety, welfare and enjoyment. He had good relationships with staff and clients alike.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a busy schedule with some very early morning starts. But it's all worth it to complete the circuit in 8 days: the longer (15 days) would probably be overwhelming

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Exodus system of clients contributing to a group kitty and the leader dividing it between the dozens of porters, hotel staff and drivers etc completely takes the hassle out of tipping.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    BURMA BY BIKE

    I was completely enchanted with Burma and travelling by bike was an excellent way to see it.  Despite its recent turbulent history, it was a very calm and peaceful place to visit with amazing sights around every corner.  

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Schwedagon pagoda in Yangon at sunset was magical and mystical.  Zooming along Lake Inle in a long narrow boat with the mountains fading into the distance around the lake, trying to spot the fishermen with their unique leg-rowing technique.Visiting a convent near Mandalay to use the loo and being welcomed by all the nuns, despite the fact that they were in the middle of their morning ablutions.The bustle and noise on the early morning commuter ferry in Yangon.All of Bagan - and particularly the achievement of cycling in such heat. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Myo was marvellous.  Calm, professional, organised, flexible.  I agree with everything Jonathan says in his review about the team we had.  They could not have been more helpful or welcoming.  Amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Your mobile phone won't work (yet - I'm sure it won't be long before international roaming agreements are in place.)  There is free wifi in most hotels but it is very slow and pretty unreliable. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this holiday and agree, again, with all Jonathan's comments and issues.  I keep remembering more and more wonderful things we saw on the trip and think it really is one of the most magical places I've visited.  The organisation on the ground was fabulous and everything was very smooth.  Myo and his team reacted well to the extreme weather conditions (heat) and adapted the route/stops accordingly.  They were good at accomodating all levels of fitness and made sure we drank plenty of water etc.  The snacks were great - the most delicious watermelon and tiny tasty bananas, plus plenty of strange cookies for those with a sweet tooth.My one big criticism is the quality of hotels in Yangon, in particular.  The Asia Plaza had lovely staff and a good location but it was, quite frankly, a dump.   This is not a cheap trip and decent hotels in Yangon are still pretty reasonable so we really should have been lodged somewhere better.
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    MT TOUBKAL CLIMB

    A great climb out to Mt Toubkal, and with a really good group of people as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the most inspirational moment was getting to the top of Toubkal, which was definately hard work and quite a struggle.  To do that after nearly four days of hard walking was certainly rewarding.  I just about amanged to hold back the tears a few times when the emotions overwhelmed me - although perhaps it was just the altitude sickness!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was a really good leader.  He was extremely welcoming and clearly wanted us all to enjoy our week in Morocco.  He even invited the group to his house for tea and some snacks towards the end of the week. On the walking aspect he kept a very good pace which wasn't too fast, but certainly pushed me hard.  He was perhaps a bit hands off to the extent that he expected you to sort yourself out most of the time and take resposibility which I think is exactly right.  He is a mountain leader after all not a nanny.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold night especially in April/May time.  Remember to bring plenty of strong suncream.  The toilet facilities on teh nights when you are camping are very basic and consist of a small tent over a hole in the ground - so bring wet wipes and toilet roll.  Make use of the nearby refuges when at the high base camp.  You don't have to be super fit to do this one, but it is several days of long hard walking so you should have a decent level of experience on mountains.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Before setting out it was a bit concerning to see what all the other people in the group would be like, but actually it was a really great group of people and we all got on.  I really think that is what ended up making the trip.
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