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.

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  • Reviewed August 2018
    Chantal Sargent

    Inca Trail Challenge and Amazing Amazonia

    An experience of a lifetime, but definitely not for the faint hearted! The Inca Trail is stunningly beautiful, with incredible wild flowers and birdsong, offset by incredible challenging, unrelenting steep and uneven steps up, followed by deep, slippery and very steep steps down... whatever anyone says otherwise, however fit or athletic, coupled with altitude and decreased oxygen levels, this trip is a challenge! The porters are incredible- so encouraging and happy as they run up (and down!) the steps, singing! The wonderfully refreshing and beautiful Amazon sights and sounds was a reward beyond compare! Take a good set of binoculars to the Amazon and ‘video’ the sounds....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing alone on the last morning of the Inca Trail, looking out over the incredible panorama below- listening to the birdsong, admiring an overhanging wild orchid, with a lama munching in the bush behind me. In the Amazon, seeing a female jaguar on the riverbank, being teased by a male, whilst we rowed into the sunset, on the Tambopata river, on our last evening- what an absolute privilege!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobbie was simply outstanding! His knowledge of Inca history was superb, but more importantly, his understanding of people, his positive psychology and his humour, helped us get to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass alive! His gentle encouragement, with no pressure to rush, but also his ability to make us feel safe, in some desperate moments where we felt we couldn’t go on, need commending- thank you Bobbie!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough trip- certainly not for the faint hearted and I would suggest, a significant challenge for younger teenagers. One needs to be athletic and be able to walk up steep hills ( as a training exercise), without getting breathless. No amount of fitness training in a gym can prepare one for the altitude, coupled with unrelenting, steep uneven steps up, and very deep, slippery and steep steps down. If one feels uneasy being at a height looking down, this is not the trip for you! The best advise is to have good Leki walking poles with rubber tips, and descend the steps sideways, like a crab, to save ones’ knees! Keep poles very long when going down, and short for going up! When packing the duffel bag, pack your stuff in a big see through bin liner first. Take lots of layers and thermals for the night- it is sub zero, wet and lonely at the top, without a proper, thick 4 season sleeping bag! I would recommend hiring a sleeping bag. Day pack: do not use a bladder- they leak! Keep a water bottle round your neck- (buy a bottle holder at the shop where you have breakfast, before the trail starts), and a bottle of lucozade or similar in the side pouch- do not let your sugar levels go low! Take sucking sweets that are easy to unwrap and suck whilst walking- chewing and walking and breathing, up those steep steps is impossible! Take some bars of chocolates- you will crave chocolate! Keep a bag of small change (1soles) for the toliet stops on parts of the Inca trail (no toilets higher up). Take acetazolamide ( ask your GP) to prescibe 250mg tablets (not modified release). The recommeded dosage is to start taking it in Cusco the day before the trail starts ( if one feels dizzy, nausea/ vomiting, breathless and as if head is going to burst) An adult should take half a tablet (125mg) twice a day until the last moring if the trail, and a young teenager a quarter of a tablet twice a day. This was recommended to me by a Professor of Pulmonology, I chanced upon in our Cusco hotel. He was a Godsend! One can buy ‘Oxyshot’- small cannisters of Oxygen at the pharmacies- go to a pharmacy if one feels one may need advise- they were excellent! A good tip to acclimatise, is to go a few days early, before the trail starts, and stay in Pisac. (which is slightly lower in altitude to Cusco). We stayed at La Casa del Conde, just outside Pisac, overlooking The Sacred Valley- superb accomodation and views, and one has to take a ‘tuk tuk’ to get to it from the town, as it’s up a track! Pisac has a fantastic market and quaint restaurants- well worth spending 2 days there at least. Do an open top bus tour from the Place d’Arma in Cusco which takes you to various ruins- Saksaywaman- brilliant experience! Take a good headtorch on the trail and for the Amazon. Use a ‘bumbag’ to keep your camera/ iphone, lipice, tissues in- for easy access whilst walking. Take a daypack that fits: waterproof trousers and light waterproof jacket, rain poncho, beanie and waterproof gloves for the top of Dead Woman’s Pass. Wear good polarised sunglasses for the glare. Take a small memory foam pillow in your duffel bag- will make your camping experience much better!! Wear waterproof trousers to sleep in if you get cold and put your duffel bag under your mattress, at the foot of your tent, to prevent slipping down your tent! Take a power bank to recharge camera/ phone to take photos. Wear hiking liners- to prevent blisters. One needs to adhere to the tipping guidelines for the porters especially- they are brilliant- you need at least 230 soles per person for the Porter’s kitty, then additional tipping money in the Amazon for the Amazon guide, the Posadas lodge staff, the boatman and then your main guide for the trip. ( recommended $5 per person per day) The tipping is a hidden extra which definitely needs to be acknowledged prior to taking this trip. There is no cash facility in the Amazon but we could pay for our extras/ drinks using Visa. Have a pisco sour and lomo saltado in Cusco at ‘Baco’s’- both to die for! Take lots of videos both on the Inca trail and especially in the Amazon- the sounds are quite spectacular- especially the jungle call! Most importantly, enjoy every moment, take in every sight and sound as if it were your last, and ENJOY the beauty and the freedom! Don’t rush to get to the campsite- you’ll miss out!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did this trip as a 50th birthday family adventure and fundraising challenge, for a Conservation charity in South Africa, for leopard rescue. Seeing the jaguar on our last evening was a ‘spiritual’ moment for me! And as our guide said at the outset of the Inca trail, heading to Machu Picchu is ‘a pilgrimage’! It is a challenge which needs careful planning, both for the fitness, the equipment and gear, but more importantly the mental challenge as a whole- the travel there and back is a challenge in itself! Make it a lifetime event- share your experience... write a blog.... it’ll make you feel whole.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Fiona Crawford

    Peru

    Trip to Inca trail/Machu Picchu was amazing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inca ruins on inca trail & Amazon Lodge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader from Peak DMC was 10/10. Frank dealt with lost luggage, last minute bookings, questions on environment, fauna, flora, everything with a smile and a giggle; nothing was too much. He and his colleagues from Peak made this trip, every aspect of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Jane Trevorrow

    Trip of a lifetime

    A trip of a lifetime and a dream come true to visit Peru, Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were blessed with the most amazing sunshine during our trek to Macchi Picchu and left with beautiful photos of the Andes and wonderful memories.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Frank, was everything you could wish for - as an advocate for Peru and as a guide. There could not have been a more perfect person for the job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t take the category 4 rating lightly in terms of the challenge. Whilst some people trotted up and down like mountain goats, my lungs and heart really, really struggled. I did a lot of cardio and strength training in advance, but it was still very, very hard work.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Kim Sabey

    Inca Trail September 2016

    this trip is amazing from start to finish - it was a lot harder than I thought, however it was totally worth it. the Inca Trail was a life time want and having now achieved this I feel marvellous - our group of 8 were fantastic and made a lot of friends. From the moment we touched down in Cusco everything was organised and arranged for us - I cannot say much more than this trip is totally amazing and the views are absolutely spectacular - the Porters are such hard workers and to be honest really do not know how they do it. the 3 courses with every meal supplied was terrific and could not be faulted. Great Great trip amazing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of course it was breathtaking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Wilbert Ramos was a star - he was very knowledgeable, friendly, funny actually hilarious, very soulful and he got our group through this. He is a very special man who I will never forget. Nothing was a problem, in fact he could not please enough... He was organised throughout the whole trip and we were always kept up to date with what was needed and when. Wilbert made this trip for me and I cannot thank him enough

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    make sure you train hard before you go - it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be and I did train - the altitude effect 6 out of the 8 of us and is quite difficult to manage at times - drink plenty of water while you are there to keep hydrated - you sure do get fed well.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    thank you for making my dream come true and Wilbert you are my guardian angel....
  • Reviewed August 2016

    Inca Trail and Amazon Adventure

    This is an amazing trip visiting Cuzco, 5 days Inca trail including a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and 3 nights in Tambopata province (Amazon region) of Peru. My Son (12) and I had a fantastic adventure, thanks to all the hard work of our tour leader, porters and local guides. We were in a great company too, our lovely family group consisting of three other families. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many...1) Seeing my son (12) enjoying the hard day's trekking on Day 2 of the trail and making to the top of Dead Woman pass. Location of all campsites were breath-taking and meals provided by our chef were simply brilliant. 2) Seeing that Inca trail is well looked after by the locals authorities as it is something they really want to preserve for the future generations. Most of the track is in pristine condition. A great place to enjoy birdlife and high altitude scenery. We were either above the clouds or trekking through them every day from an Inca site to another. 3) Noticing how Tambopata/Exodus guides help educate visiting crowds about their fragile eco-systems. All living there know the importance of their rainforest and contributing in a positive way towards a better future for their environment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Denis was one of the best group leader I have ever had. He was very polite, organised, interested and was always available to help us all in the group with our questions. A true assest to Exodus. He made sure that everyone on the trip is having a great time and was very quick to help with any issues. His knowledge of Incas and Peru is second to none and his passion for his country/people came across on many different occasions. I loved spending time with him to get to know more of him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light and only carry what you need. You do need clothes for Summer, winter and for days when it rains so plan in a way that you have multiple layers of clothing to keep you warm and dry when it is cold or wet.A good head torch and a half decent camera is a must for this trip specially on the trail and in the Amazon region. Do not miss any activities that are on offer as many start quite early in the morning which is probably the best time to observe wildlife. Carry some small gifts (pencils, pens etc.) for porters help carry your luggage as they were really happy to receive them from one of the family when they handed them over. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go, the 4-5 Inca trek might sound challenging but you have loads of free time to do it. The walks are not very long but have one or two challenging sections so you can complete the Inca trail even at a slow pace. Pack only what you need so you can travel light which adds to the enjoyment on the trek. Porters and Exodus guide will make sure you are having fun. Just leave all the hassle of organising with them, sit back and enjoy the ride. Explore Cuzco and surrounding region to make most of your stay in Cuzco. 
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Ruth Hewitt

    Inca Trek family Holiday

    A great family holiday, fun, active, cultural in a fascinating Latin American Country - but with enough time to chill

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking for 4 days on the Ica trail....I too felt it was a pilgrimage to something greater

    What did you think of your group leader?

    fantastic- Cesar Velasco- polite, informative, funny, helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    fly via Madrid or Amsterdam if you are going from the UK (not Sau Paulo....it is miles in the wrong direction!) Give Lima a miss if you are travelling in the May-Sept months..it is cold & grey..go straight on to Cusco...this also gives you longer to acclimatise to the altitude. Take your thermals for the nights, loads of insect repellant & antihistamines...the midges are vicious! Take dollars & change them in Cusco..the exchange rate is better than buying peruvian sol in the UK (currently Aug 2015)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are going with teenagers, the trip is slightly heavy on the "cultural side".......there are only so many museums/inca terraces my teenagers could cope with. There are other adventures available (zip wire/white water rafting/paragliding locally in the sacred valley, within a 80 min drive from Cusco. Our helpful tour leader booked one of these for us. Remember to check before you go to the airport for your return flights. We were with TAM air lines & it was only possible to do this 48 hrs before departure. We didn't have decent internet access & were busy out & about so we didn't do it! We checked in at the airport & all our 5 seats were all on different rows of the aircraft!

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    This review and those prior to it refer to a former version of this trip. Any reviews posted after this relate to the current version of this family holiday which follows a new and improved itinerary and now includes three days in the Amazon Rainforest

  • Reviewed August 2015
    Susan Penman

    Inca Trail

    Just come back from a fabulous holiday in Peru. The wonderful memories will stay with us forever. The Inca Trail was magicial. Our trek leader Cesar was brilliant, so kind and patient, keeping an eye on us to make sure we were OK at all times, always with a smile. The porters were wonderful. The food in Peru was very very good including on trek which was a nice surprise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in camp 3 - such a beautiful place, high in the clouds, walking through the cloud forests to get there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cesar was wonderful, kind patient, brilliant at encouraging us on the tough bits. Great sense of fun. Very good with our son. We were lucky, he helped make our holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lots of practice beforehand......

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Peru is a wonderful place, if you great the chance I would go.
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