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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
    Beth Neill
    Trip:

    Great mix of outdoor activities

    Although the bear hide was the lure for us on this trip, the other activities of walking with huskies, rideing the river and walking the forests all made this a brilliant short break. Long days meant we had good evenings watching the bears and time to do things during the day as well. Oulanka base camp was a great venue.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the mother bear with 4 cubs emerge from the woods.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was a wonderful leader - she always made sure we were all happy and knew what was going on each day, spending time telling us about local culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of mosquito repellant!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda S.

    Amazing Amazon!

    I was a little undecided about booking this extension, I'm so glad I did. The trip was very well organised, and the excitement starts with the very first boat journey to your Lodge. Lots of new experiences and a sensory sensation!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling on the river in the dark, watching dawn break and hearing the jungle come alive. Night walk through the forest. The sheer enormity of the different sights, sounds, humidity and smell of the jungle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moises was an excellent and very knowledgeable local guide. He saw and heard things way before we did, and made sure we kept safe whilst photographing some potentially dangerous animals and plants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. Completely different to other parts of the world, and changing rapidly. You may not get the chance again, and the memories will stay with you forever.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember the Deet!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    violeta maftei

    Mind-blowing experience

    WYU190630 Just returned from my first African wild adventure and i m still day dreaming of it! Couldn't have asked for a better crew team members and better group. Absolutely awed day in day out. This being my first experience camping and group travelling i must say it has been a blast! Do not let the camping put you off! It is a great experience and i loved every minute of it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From day one, every day was memorable! And just when i thought that nothing could top seeing the big five, here comes chimpanzee trekking, mountain gorilla trekking, the scenery all around were absolute breathtaking. Totally totally would recommend this trip to anyone who's ready for adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Gilbert together with chef Albert, driver Stony and all around helper Charlie made our experience a memorable one. I could not have asked for a better crew! They were awesome and their hard work must be acknowledged. Absolutely stunned with Gilbert's knowledge in terms of culture, nature, wildlife; and throughout the trip he always kept us informed, always smiling laughing and ready to listen to everything we had to say. Driver Stony, hat down! His many years of experience definitely had a say and he kept us safe throughout the journey. 100% confidence is his skills. Chef Albert looked after our stomach affairs! The whole group were astonished how he always managed to come up with the most delicious dishes even when camping. Healthy and freshly cooked food, always a bonus. Charlie the man does it all!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a sense of adventure and a big smile and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime! I was nervous when i booked this trip as was travelling alone, and never done this sort of trip before, but words cannot express how amazing the trip was and how well the group and crew members integrated from day one! Be prepared for long drives on bumpy roads sometimes. Its part of the adventure package!:)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When we had to say goodbyes we cried....No one wanted the trip to end... I've created what am hopping to be lifelong friendships and its amazing!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Mike Giles

    Much more than it says on the tin!

    Ordinarily fans of group holidays we chose Tailormade for this trip as none was available the week we wished to travel. We were so impressed with the service that this may now have implications for our future adventures. Although we sometimes missed the company of fellow travellers we enjoyed the same itinerary and were blessed with the undivided attention of our guide, drivers and specialist wherever we went. We rarely handled our bags and as Seniors we welcomed an additional hand that always seemed available when alighting boats and other vehicles in which we travelled. The Islands are very different and each has its own ecosystem and character. Centrally based good quality hotels in both Sao Miguel and Faial enable main features of both to be fully explored without constantly moving on. Every type of land and sea transportation is readily available and Island hoping is easy using local ferries and inter-island air services.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course, the highlight of the trip must be Whale and Dolphin Watching. This is mainly focused around Peter’s Café Sport a unique establishment in Horta where you can mingle with the locals, boat skippers, conservationists and likeminded visitors becoming part of a clique exchanging daily experiences of sightings of these cratures and many others too. Properly briefed and kitted out we set out in groups of no more than a dozen aboard RIBs accompanied by marine specialists and directed over CB by spotters strategically located on the coastline. These boats are ideal for the purpose not only offering a fast exhilarating ride over the distances to be covered but a stable viewing platform riding easy on the swell near the creatures encountered. On one trip we saw at least nine individual whales diving and feeding, also a mother with calf so close you could smell the breath. On another we were accompanied by a huge school of dolphins teasing the skipper with their agility to dive and reappear unexpectedly at any point around the boat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno Garcia was our Local Guide, and local in every way. He seems to know everyone on and everything about the Islands where he was born, lives and so obviously loves. Add to this his naturalist knowledge and professionalism he is the perfect guide. To the two of us he became a friend and travelling companion and it was sad and strange when he did not come home with us!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The weather may be stated as variable so pack accordingly. However we found it generally kinder than forecast and did not unpack either fleece or rain-gear at all during the week. If you intend bathing in thermal pools don’t wear your best swimsuit or one that is dominantly light coloured, it may not stay that way!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In a Euro economy we expected European costs but were pleasantly surprised by favourable prices in restaurants and shops.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Catherine Robert

    Amazing experience

    I really enjoyed seeing the chimps and gorillas and was very pleased I had booked the additional treks. There is a lot of driving, but I enjoyed seeing the countryside and the trip leaders were good at fitting in stops and short walks to stretch our legs. The trip is quite primate-focussed, so don’t come expecting to see lots of big cats (although we did see six lions). The birds are wonderful. I also loved the boat trips, as you get to see the wildlife from a different angle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely seeing the chimps and gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders, Benjamin and David. They were both very good. Benjamin is a keen birder.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t bother bribing walking poles as they will be supplied. Wear your walking boots on the flight - two people in my group lost their luggage and all their walking gear and toiletries were stolen. Hiring a porter boosts the local economy, so I would get one even if you don’t think you need one.
  • Reviewed July 2019

    Love Costa Rica

    Wonderful experience. This place is in my wish list from such a long time and finally my wish completed. Awesome trip and amazing experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Mark Davey

    You Never Know What Is Around The Next Corner

    Wow, Just Wow. Our first Safari experience and the whole trip had different and memorable highlights on each day. From seeing Elephants in family groups, Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Black Rhino, in fact the list goes on and on. At the start of the trip we were shouting out having seen an animal only to find that it was a tree or a termite mound but as the week progressed we were far better at spotting the local wild life. Being out each day on safari helps and ensured we saw as many different animals as possible. At each site we stayed at, we received a friendly welcome and the facilities were excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Far too many to mention, but just a few: Seeing elephants at a water hole at dawn The sounds of the Hippo pool Having Lions walking down the track passing within touching distance of our vehicle

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jackson our tour leader was excellent. He was friendly, approachable and informative and ensured the tour was enjoyable for all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go on this trip I would ensure that you take binoculars to ensure seeing animals further from the vehicle (at least x24 zoom)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A lifetime of memories from just eight days
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Karen White

    Whale & Dolphin Watching in the Azores

    A great holiday. Islands were beautiful, lovely group of people to travel with and our Guide, Nuno, was second to none. It was clear from Nuno and other guides we had on other trips that not only were they all very knowledgeable on their subject (in Nuno's case this was everything!) but everyone was wonderfully passionate about the islands and the environment. The holiday packed a lot in but Nuno built in a bit of "down time" for us too. You just have to be prepared that SATA Airlines are not too good with their time-keeping!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting on a rib boat with dolphins racing right by your boat and the most breath-taking scenery inland especially on Sao Miguel. On Faial, I also loved the evening trip to the cliffs to hear the Cory Shearwater coming home to roost. Sitting in the dark listening to the sounds around us was surreal and an experience I will never forget. And of course in June the hydrangeas are stunning. Thanks to Nuno the three nights in Faial in a hotel room facing the harbour and sea was another plus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno was amazing! Just one big bundle of happiness and a joy to travel with. He was everything - extremely organised; he tweaked the itinerary when required so that we got the best of everything; any last minute changes caused by airlines; hotels or other companies were dealt with efficiently so we never had to worry about anything; his knowledge of the islands was incredible; some of his stories hilarious and his sense of humour was just brilliant! The world would be a happier place if there were more Nunos in it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    SATA airlines are not the greatest of time keepers On the rib boats for whale and dolphin watching it is tight for space and can be very bumpy so need to be aware of that if you have back problems. Also, you can occasionally get wet from spray so make sure you have something suitable to cover your camera.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just sit back and enjoy these stunning islands, wonderful and interesting people and if you are lucky the sheer fun of spending a week with Nuno!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Mary McGrath

    Loved every minute....

    The Azores is a must see destination - beautiful islands and close encounters with marine mammals .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sperm whale and dolphin encounters and flying fish !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno was the best tour guide I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Clear information and guidance , an expert in his Azorean roots and environment but most of all the most kindest and thoughtful individual. Full of fun but extremely professional. Thank you Nuno!👏🙏

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Action packed trip up and out every day - the ocean trips are up to Mother Nature to deliver but when she does - wow! The sea can be a bit bumpy for some of the boat trips but always safety first so be prepared for long trips about 90 mins out to sea before you see any activity- when you do it’s so worth it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip with a great guide - well done exodus and Nuno !
  • Reviewed June 2019
    michael blake

    two wonderful weeks in costa rica

    A superb tour that delivered pretty much everything it promised. Good accommodation and comfortable transport. Wonderful scenery, amazing birds, mammals and vegetation throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cruising the quieter backwaters of the Tortaguero National Park, Seeing a mother and baby Sloth at close quarters, incredible birdlife on the Tarcoles river and magical two nights at the Esquinas Nature Lodge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando was an excellent group leader who was very good at locating, identifying and explaining about all the myriad life forms we saw.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A must for lovers of birds and nature

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Spending two nights at each stop made for a fairly relaxing trip.
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