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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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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Lucy Chaldecott

    A marvellous week in the mountains!

    My dad and I have just returned from the Dolomites. We had an absolutely amazing week and I cannot rate it highly enough for keen mountain walkers. With varied walks, beautiful views, excellent guides and cheerful company from fellow hikers, it has been a very memorable week; I am so pleased that i chose this spectacular trip. Thank you to everyone for making it such a happy holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beautiful, high up ridge walks with undulating paths stretching for miles ahead, with dramatic views down into the valleys. Standing in the snow at the top of Piz Boe at over 3,000m was also pretty inspirational!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Albert and Martin were outstanding leaders, and they swapped between the grades of walks each day so we got to know them both. They proved to be not only organised, knowledgable and highly competent, but also kind, friendly and funny. Thanks for all the excellent mountain refuge stops!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for all weathers and temperatures - sometimes we needed shorts, sun hats and sun cream, and sometimes waterproofs and gloves. Best be prepared and take it all! Dad and I hired bikes for half of our free day which I would highly recommend. Also enjoy the sauna downstairs in the hotel, and take a kettle for your room if you’re a keen tea drinker!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Best to stick to either grade 3 or 5 for all of the week to avoid overlap in the walks between days. Other than that, just book this trip, it is beautiful and you will love it!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Richard Blyth

    Review of trip

    Great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking over in to Italy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good . Have walked with Yves before and would again. Also was very pleased to be introduced to Isabelle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel: Some of us opted for single rooms, some didn't but all got them due to gender balance - fair enough. There was quite a differential between the rooms owing to a weird copse of trees growing right in front of some of the rooms obscuring the view. Suggest that priority should be given tho those paying the supplement.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Phil Page

    Toubkal climb.

    Unreal trip. Didn't know i'd get such holiday blues from a trip like this one. I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up but it surpassed all my expectations. Unbelievably organised, we were well looked after, well fed and well informed of everything that was going on and what to expect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although getting to the top is a moment i'll never forget, the optional climbs were amazing, even the walks just to get to our next destination were awesome and it was great to take in the surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lachen and Rashid were our guides and they went above and beyond their duties. Keeping everyone safe, making sure those who were struggling made it to the top and generally making sure everyone was happy and as comfortable as we could be.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a challenge, but doable with a good amount of fitness. I would make sure you have a bit of experience with hiking before taking this one up.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Denyse LeBrun

    Exceeded expectations!

    A blissful week of exhilarating trekking and comfortable lodging. The trees were of very reasonable length and level of difficulty. Every trek offered a different type of trek, terrain and views of the Dolomites. From finding am azure blue lake, to rolling hills of wild flowers, to wooded paths to raw limestone. Every day better than the previous. The hotel was stunning and very comfortable offering a plethora of food for all tastes and appetites. The quiet town allowed for a true escape and the opportunity to cycle on your free day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was an inspiration atop a mountain with a view of the Dolomites. My favourite day was monte piano and the opportunity to walk around a mountain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl is a brilliant and nurturing guide. His ability to ensure every hiker is comfortable and content is only surpassed by his knowledge of the terrain, paths, history and botany. He is clearly comfortable in the area and enjoys making sure everyone is happy. His sense of humour puts everyone at ease and facilitates early bonding among the hikers. He goes out of his way to give everyone their best possible experience and adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring poles, all weather layering clothes, good solid boots and sunscreen. Have enough cash as ATM doesn’t work well. Use the pool to relax after the hikes and bring earplugs as although the town is quiet, the doors slam shut and can be echoed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip truly exceeded my expectations In every way. This was my second trip with Exodus, having previously partaken in Mont Blanc Highlights. I expected Dolomites to be less spectacular but it was indeed more spectacular with the contrasting colours and as I’ve mentioned the variety of terrains and views. The hotel was accommodating to my gluten-free vegan diet. The itinerary was perfect and every part was flawless. Lucked out having a wonderful guide and group.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Hull

    Enjoyable Peruvian trekking

    This is a great trip to visit Cusco, The Andes and Machu Picchu, including physical, culinary and cultural delights. As with all activity at altitude, a good fitness level is no guarantee that altitude symptoms will not occur, however it will certainly make the trekking more manageable and help assure that the group remains together. The Moonstone Trek provides the opportunity for high Andean trekking away from the crowds that can be experienced on the "Inca Trail". However, from discussions with other travelers, the Inca Trail offers greater variety of flora whilst trekking in the cloud forest. The landscape on the trek is stunning, but generally involves fairly barren and rugged mountain-scapes, as might be expected at such altitudes. Visiting in July, the days were warm to hot and the nights often sub-zero, requiring a range of clothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to identify a single highlight, but Machu Picchu is set in a stunning landscape and a marvel to behold, whilst Cusco offers a more Spanish colonial feel and waking-up on a mountainside always stimulates the senses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio, our main tour leader, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No amount of training can counter the impact of altitude, but a good fitness level should help assure enjoyment whilst trekking and even walking around Cusco. A good sleeping bag and warm layers will help with avoiding the evening/night cold and getting a sound sleep.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Dexy D

    Chocolate Hiking in Chamonix

    Fantastic fun week of hiking based at Chalet Chocolat with amazing hosts Zohi and Ben and top guide Emma. Nothing was too much trouble, including parking my car on demand ;-) Amazing three course meals every evening and interesting and varied salad options for packed lunches. Felt like staying in someone's home rather than a chalet. And the cakes made every day were outrageously delicious. We were made to feel very welcome and Zohi and Ben were very happy to share their knowledge of the local area, which was another bonus. We laughed a great deal this week and that was often due to their relaxed and welcoming manner. The hikes were also varied and challenging and never short of a spectacular view!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mont Blanc from almost every angle! Having dinner directly watching the sunset over the mountain and meeting a great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was Emma's first tour as an Exodus leader and she did a great job. She shared her vast experience of trekking with us and managed the group very well. She had lots of fun ideas to bond the group and was happy to support everyone as they needed. We enjoyed her company over the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the level 3 rating. Even at this level, some of the hikes have significant ascent and descent and require a certain level of fitness. Poles are helpful.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Riley

    Fantastic trip

    Hi have recently returned from a wonderful week on the Highlights of the Tour de Mont Blanc trip. Had a wonderful time with a great group. We were so lucky to have Mike Rhodes as our trip leader - Mike's experience and knowledge of the region and routes covered each day was exceptional. Mike was always up for a chat and happy to share his wealth of knowledge - I even learnt a few new techniques to tie up my boots. The accommodation at Chalet Chocolat and the views were fantastic . Zoe and Ben spoilt us rotten - with all their tips and sensational meals . Thanks to all involved in a memorable week. JR

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks each day were quite varied - different views and landscapes - and always a spectacular spot near the top for a lunch break.... and a delicious lunch each day it was...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Being able to walk with Mike was a highlight of my week.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Andrew Thomas

    You'll view steps differently...

    This is a well planned walking week on a beautiful (and steep) part of the Italian coast. Centred in Bomerano, a small town ideally situated - several of the walks start from the hotel - be warned they nearly all involve some steps (mostly downwards). The paths go through beautiful countryside with lemon groves, vineyards and spectacular views down to the sea. A day trip to walk the rim of Vesuvius and visit Pompei was very memorable. The hotel Due Torri was very comfortable and the staff all very friendly and helpful - very sensitive to some of the groups food intolerances or allergies.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly like the visit to Ravello (Villa Cimbrone a must having been there 25 years ago) and the following walk down to Amalfi through lemon groves and a lovely wooded valley with waterfalls and streams (useful for cooling your feet) past old iron works and the site of the first paper mill in Europe. The ice creams and beers at the end were very welcome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martina was an exceptional group leader - funny, caring and full of local knowledge and a great ambassador for Italy and all things Italian - she introduced us the the word 'undulating' - some of those steps are uphill!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are lots of steps - read the trip notes. Take walking pole(s) if you have them - the hotel do have some if you don't and there are a couple of well equipped outdoors shops in the village. I wore boots and was pleased to have them although others wore good walking shoes - you need something with good a grip (especially on Vesuvius). You can select your packed lunch each day - provided by the hotel - they were good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great walking week in a beautiful part of Italy - just book and enjoy.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rusne J.

    Highly recommend this trip

    Best holiday ever!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The companions, the guide, the chalet with the hosts and the itinerary - I liked everything.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Robert Walden

    Fantastic, well organised trekking holiday.

    Great guide (Mike) who was very knowledgeable, great fun and very helpful to everyone in the group. Porters and food provided on the trek itself were outstanding. Weather was generally very good which obviously helped our enjoyment and the scenery stunning. We were also fortunate enough to see a spectacled bear on the "run up" to Dead Woman's Pass. An experience you will remember for the rest of your life - no matter how young you are!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final morning when we got up at 5.30am to stand above the clouds and witness snow-clad mountain peaks in the early dawn sunshine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A1. We could not have had better. He went the extra mile. He emphasised the entire trek was our holiday - not just the final destination. How right he was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Warm thermals at night time essential. Altitude is a problem to some degree for most people - Mike provided a herbal decongestant to rub on our palms and inhale. A decongestant would probably be useful to pack - a bunged up nose is not conducive to good sleep at any altitude.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have never had a bad holiday with Exodus!
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