Turtle, Ecuador

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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 2017
    Neil Frankum
    Trip:

    Ruta Maya

    With all trips where you are visiting lots of temples etc there is the potential to loose interest after seeing too much of the same. Luckily on this trip the sites visited have been carefully chosen to keep the interest because of their differences, each with its own distinct flavour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Palenque and Tikal for the Mayan history. Snorkelling on the Belize Barrier Reef for the wildlife. Lake Atitlan for the scenery. Seeing Volcan Fuego erupt for a reminder that mother nature is bigger than all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the long bus journeys. Be prepared for the heat in the lowlands (mid-30s most days, and one day was into the 40s).
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Gyan Fernando
    Trip:

    Mayan Adventure

    As described and we started off from Antigua, Guatemala on Easter Sunday. Then on to Lago Atitlan and the colourful Mayan Culture, border crossing into Mexico to visit Palanque and other Mayan sites, cross the border into Belize and back in to Guatemala.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of them but I thought the distant volcanic eruptions were rather inspirational in that they reflected the fragility of life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando Barraza at first did not seem a good leader. Maybe he was rather careful with the new Conquistadors that we were and was very careful with the choice of drinking water, restaurants etc. On the way we came to like him and vice versa and he was with us until the last day. If anybody was at fault in the day to day details it was not him and maybe it was us. He would make sure that our rooms were in good condition, within minutes of us getting into our new accommodation, and with a discrete knock on the door. I was the last in the group to fly out of Guatemala and he made sure that everything was fine.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a very hot country. Do drink a lot of electrolyte fluid not just water. Look up salt depletion etc on "Doctor" Google. There are a lot of re hydration fluids available locally and do take a lot of salt with your food. Our tour leader Armando, in his own way, did persuade us to drink coconut water based fluids. Good shoes, long trousers of a light-weight kind and sensible upper clothing of the non-offensive kind will help with mosquitoes, churches and snakes!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Richard Muia
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    A great trip to soak in the Mayan culture across different regions and to see the ancient Mayan civilisations greatest creations. A good way to see parts of Mexico and Guatemala not on the main tourist trails.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    waking up at Lake Atitlan and wandering down to the lake side; watching the clouds skim the top of the volcanoes. Diving at Tulum and snorkeling in Belize; the reefs are teeming with life. Swimming with nurse sharks and sting rays was an unforgettable experience. Climbing the Mayan temples in the rain forests and upon reaching the top, surveying the dark green canopy backdropped against the bluest sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando was an excellent leader and very knowledgeable about all the countries we visited and the Mayan civilisations. He would plan ahead to make sure we got to the sites before the coaches arrived and got too busy; as well as making sure everyone was doing ok and had plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent etc. All the drivers were great too, especially Javier our driver for the Mexican Leg.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long days travelling in the bus. It was comfortable but some roads were a little bumpy. Stops were made every few hours. Plenty of mosquito repellent; my ankles were the favourite spots that I got bitten. No need to overpack, washing can be done at a few stops on the way, I got mine done in Belize for a reasonable rate, done same day.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    David Potts
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    An excellent adventure ,no hard slogs . My companion had major surgery on her spine four months before tour,and with the help of guide Armando Barraza, she really had a great time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the trip was inspirational,among the ruins ,swimming in the caye,and the cenote,resting and having a few drinks at Tulum beach.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A great guy,helpful in every way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    leave half your luggage at home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus ,you did us proud
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Mandy Davis
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    I could not have asked for a better introduction to the countries visited in the itinery. The areas we stayed in Guatamala were surrounded by volcanoes, but due to crops being burned there was always a smoggy haze that obscured their beauty. Mexico exceeded my expectations, a beautiful country with the people to match. As we were out of season, many of the visited sites up to Chichen Itza were uncrowded which added to the delight of the group. On the Caribbean coast we stayed at a lovely all inclusive resort for 2 nights which was a bit of a shock as it was only rated as a standard hotel, we all thought it should have been classed a comfortable hotel. Belize again was a stunning country where we stayed on the island of Caye Caulker. I can highly recommend the snorkelling on the island. Alcoholic drinks were expensive on the island though. The trip notes tell you about some of the long drives, the longest was about 11 hours, but there were stops every 2 hours of so, giving time for bathroom stops and stretching of legs which was greatly needed. I also believe that there are more speed humps in Guatamala and Mexico then anywhere in the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Learning to swim in some of the hotel pools and going snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea. Watching the sunset as a group also over the Caribbean Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amundo was an excellent leader, he sorted out a couple of problems that the group had. He ensured my luggage made it back to Guatamala city at the end of the trip when it had been stuck in Florres. He was always smiling and ensured that those wishing to join a group meal every night were made welcome and took us to local restaurants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    After all the travelling to get to Guatamala, I wish I had booked an extra night at the start to get over the jet lag. Be prepared for the long drives. Weather is very humid, there are places to get laundry done along the way but not every stop.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it, one of my trips yet!!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Stephen Brierley
    Trip:

    Experience the Indigenous Way

    This trip is an excellent way to learn about the Mayan ways from the Pre-Classical period in antiquity all the way through to the struggles of the Mayan people in today's world. Be prepared to swat up on some amazing history along the way. The tour begins in the UNESCO-listed city of Antigua and then proceeds across various settlements with significant Mayan populations in Guatemala and Mexico . The marks of civil wars of the 1900s are never far away. Our guide Armando seemed to be a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of local life and history. The ruins are well-selected and interspersed with great sights. Highlights for me included swimming in Cascadas de Agua Azul and in a cenote in Yucatan. I loved the groove of Caye Caulker and snorkelling on the reef is a must. Tikal was the climax of the tour with a walk in the jungle accompanied by birds and monkeys. The panorama over the landscape from the highest pyramid was marvellous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the local people in the Indian villages - especially the union of local and Catholic religions into a unique indigenous way of life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando was experienced, generous and kind. It was difficult to believe he could maintain such enthusiasm after 12 years in the trade.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Despite Exodus advice to take US dollars, ATM's are widely available and efficient. Juggling the different currencies can be difficult. It is not as easy to use US dollars in Mexico as it is in Guatemala and Belize.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some days are very long with very early starts. There is still discontent in Chiapas with the Zapatista movement making frequent nonviolent protests.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Peter Woolley
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    This was an excellent trip with a good balance of activities. The Mayan sites were impressive particularly: Tikal is spectacular, Palenque was very good Uxmal which is very special. Chichen Itza is far too busy but the way this visit was planned ensured that we saw it before the hordes arrived. Antigua and Lake Atitlan are also both very special places. Other highlights were the coast at Tulum and Caye Caulker and the very beautiful Agua Azul. Some of the towns such as San Cristobel and Campeche are just lovely. We were particularly lucky to be with our guide Armando. He is so well organised, friendly, perceptive of people's needs and knowledgeable. He was always relaxed and happy and fun to be with. I'm not sure how he could possibly have been better - if you go on a trip with this guy you can be sure it will be good. We also had some good food and stayed in several really lovely hotels. It is made clear in the notes that there are long journeys - you need to be prepared for this. However I would thoroughly recommend this tour, especially if Armando is the guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Tikal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando couldn't be faulted in any way. He did everything he could to make sure we were safe and enjoyed ourselves.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the long journeys as mentioned in the trip notes.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Deborah French
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    Plenty of mayan sites to see plus the added bonus of some holiday time on the beach (you will need it). I was prepared for the long days travelling and I think it was worth it to be in more remote areas of Guatemala.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with sharks was a great optional extra.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a lot of bussing so if you don't like being on a bus this isn't the trip for you. There is an internal flight in a tiny plane which came as a bit of a shock!
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Nicola Quick
    Trip:

    An amazing 2 weeks

    We absolutely loved our trip! So much was crammed into the 2 weeks - be prepared for the long drives which are mentioned in the trip notes (we found some to be slightly longer than listed), but the travelling is a must if you are to fit in everything this trip has to offer. We loved the variety of places visited on the trip, with a good balance between Mayan ruins, colonial towns, lakes and beaches. The hotels were mostly very nice, the highlights were the hotel in the jungle in Palenque and the all inclusive hotel set on the beach in Tulum. The hotel in Belize was a bit of a disappointment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a volcano erupt in Guatemala, seeing our first Mayan ruin, swimming with sting rays and nurse sharks in Belize - we would highly recommend the half day snorkelling trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader Armando was fantastic. He really got to know the group, had excellent knowledge of all the areas we visited and went above and beyond what we would have expected from a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the long drives. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable but bring something to entertain yourself! Also be prepared for early starts. These ranged from 6am-9am with most being around 7.30/8 , though this was evidently necessary in order to fit everything in and the days never seemed too long. We took mostly US dollars and some Mexican pesos. US dollars are fine for Belize, and the tour guide will take you to a bank to exchange them into Guatemalan Quetzals, which are hard to get hold of in the UK. We found that the £100 each we took in pesos was almost enough for our 8 days in Mexico, and we got a better rate changing this in the UK than if we had changed our dollars into pesos in Mexico. We spent around £400 each in total over the 2 weeks - everything was cheaper than we had expected!
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Elizabeth Brasher
    Trip:

    La Ruta Maya

    This trip more than lived up to expectations. The Mayan sites are breathtaking, the scenery in places stunning, and the programme very varied - including wildlife spotting, snorkelling, etc, as well as the historical sites. There is a lot of driving, and some early starts, but it's not arduous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the coloured clothes and friendly smiles throughout Guatemala. Seeing the Mayan temples rising high above the surrounding jungle. Seeing a coatimundi in the wild!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable, and very patient....

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the long journeys (including the delays at Houston if you go on the group flight). Try to be clear from the beginning on how you'll handle your money as you travel through three countries (dollars plus a little local currency seemed to be the best answer) The weather is more variable than you might expect - we got very wet and quite cold on a couple of occasions

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is one of the most varied trips we've done with Exodus - all three countries are very different and interesting.
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