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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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23 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Tracy Mosley

    Family Finnish Winter Adventure

    Fantastic week in a wonderful setting. Accommodation is warm and comfortable, food is great, and the setting is just spectacular. Great mix of activity, and you can choose to do as much or little as you want, although it would be a shame to miss out... Great fun sledging, kick sledging, learning about huskies and reindeer and much more. I wish we could have spent longer there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The week is a wonderful mix - you get to try so many different things. Cross country skiiing across the frozen lake was a special memory, but so was the husky trip and everything else! We tried downhill skiiing on the free day in Ruka and all loved it - Miriam organised a lesson for the adults (one group) and the kids (a separate group). Everyone loved it, although the transfers to get there and back were stressful and could have been done differently.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miriam was great - helpful, well organised, fun and very friendly. All the kids (and adults) loved her. She showed us the basics of cross country skiing, snow shoeing, Quinzee building and much more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All the kit is supplied - clothing and equipment. Some of it is quite old, but the quality is fine and it does the job. Take a good base layer (thermal top and bottoms). We didn't think the beanie hats that were supplied were particularly good, so used our own, but everyone else seemed happy with them. We also used our own scarves. With enough layers you will be warm enough. Pack light - you will need very few things - just a change of clothes for the evenings. One pair of jeans, one pair of shoes and a couple of t-shirts/jumpers was fine for the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're based in the North ask about flights from Manchester - we flew direct, whereas everyone who flew from Heathrow had to change at Helsinki.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Lee Harris

    Finnish Winter Adventure

    This was a very special family holiday, which we hope to repeat. We had an amazing time together with our girls age 7 and 11. We loved the excitement of each day, learning new winter activities and enjoyed being in a beautiful and peaceful place. Our group leader, and our other staff were brilliant - friendly, fun, flexible and great with children. . At Basecamp Oulanka absolutely nothing was too much trouble. We had an amazing week making friends, learning new skills and we left with very happy memories!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Husky Dog Sledding was voted most inspirational by our family. Our 7 year old got really attached to one of the beautiful huskies called Hamara! It was wonderful morning, so very peaceful sledding through the forest. Our 11 year old daughter voted for downhill skiing in Ruka, which she had not done before. After just one lesson in Ruka, she was ready to go! Cross country skiing was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us, especially as it is so accessible from Basecamp. You just pop on the shoes, grab the skis and poles and off you go, across the lake or through the forest for a challenge! Last but not least, we thoroughly enjoyed the fun of snow-shoeing and did a little hike through the National Park on a free afternoon. It was incredibly serene.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hanna was an exceptional group leader. She is very genuine person, kind, friendly, fun, really great with the children. She was also extremely hardworking, taking care to meet the different requests of the group. She made the holiday very special indeed. We loved her interaction with the children and our girls especially loved the afternoon of Kids activities while parents were free to roam! Their favourite activity was the sledge train, which Hanna led! she introduced us to some great games, including Dobble!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We enjoyed going later in the season at Easter time. The weather was good - it varied between about -4 and +4 degrees C and it was light from the morning through till 8pm ish, which meant our days were longer and the children never complained of being cold. All the kit provided is perfect, in good condition and there really is no need to take your own! Do take sunglasses though, the sun is bright against the snow! Basecamp Oulanka is happily in the middle of nowhere, it is very unspoiled.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We enjoyed the use of the sauna and hot tub, which was well organised so the families use didn't clash with the other adult group. The accommodation was clean, warm and very comfortable, perfect for our family of 4. The food was consistently good and we were pleased that the staff were able to accommodate our dietary requirements. One evening even bringing our our own special version of the pudding! The final evening meal outdoors was absolutely fantastic and the atmosphere perfect for our final night there. This was a truly fantastic family holiday!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Susan Head

    Finnish Winter Adventure

    An incredible trip, a real winter wonderland for adults & children alike!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Basecamp Oulanka in the sunshine, seeing the Northern Lights, being surrounded by magical trees on the slopes in Ruka or out on the sleds with the Huskies.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jukka our group leader was encouraging, informative, friendly & had a great sense of humour. He put us all at ease & had us attempting all the activities in a relaxed manner which meant we got the most out of everything we attempted!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate-book it! This is a trip for everyone of any age. If I went again I would take skis/snowboard as the nearby slopes at Ruka were quiet & scenic. The clothing provided at basecamp is of excellent quality & you really do not need to pack anything yourself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We booked this trip in a family group; the youngest was 14 years old & the oldest 77. Everybody was able to participate in all the activities in the itinerary & even some of the optional extras on top!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Fiona Murphy

    Fun, Fun, Fun in Finnish Wilderness!

    Arriving in Oulanka to a meal of Elk and quark We slept in cosy lodges, peaceful in the dark We snowshoed through the forest, skied across a lake And tired to build a quiincee - really quite a lark! The food was simply splendid, the huskie drive a treat, Attempts to scale the ice wall, really quite a feat Basecamp staff were brilliant, the wilderness sublime This trip is one I'd be very happy to repeat!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snow shoeing through magnificent snowy wilderness

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The clothing and equipment supplied is more than adequate no need to take any snow gear unless you have enormous feet!
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Amy Cooke

    Finnish Winter Adenture

    It was great fun and interesting and I had a fabulous time. My guide was really nice and fun and I liked all of the activities. The days were packed with just the right amount of activities to do, and also with some free time to do what you like; most of the free time I got I spent with my mum and my friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment on my trip was learning downhill skiing which I had never done before. It is now one of my favourite sports and I hope to do it again!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Annika was very nice and got involved with the group. She was really easy to get on with and made everyone laugh and have a good time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes don't over pack, its all provided!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Penny Dimond

    A wonderful winter family adventure

    An action packed snowy adventure enjoyed by mum, dad and 2 boys (11 and 8) in the stunning Finish countryside. This holiday gave us the opportunity to try shoe shoeing, cross country skiing, ice climbing, sledging, building snow homes, downhill skiing, exploring the countryside with huskies, learning about reindeer farming and sledging, in a wonderful environment with home cooked tasty food, new friends and a sauna and hot tub to relax in. Seeing the Northern Lights twice was a real bonus too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Driving the husky sleigh into the magical national park. We felt like we were in Narnia

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tessa and the whole team at Basecamp were inspirational. Tessa was an excellent leader, passionate about conserving the environment she lives and works in and her enthusiasm, experience, clarity and humour helped create a really positive experience for the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take snacks or food if you don't want to have lunch or buy extra food at base camp - there isn't an easy local alternative. also - make sure you budget for optional activities - the cost of these can add up quite quickly, but when you are there you will want to do them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Relax and enjoy every moment
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Mike Collins

    Exceeded all expectations

    Surreal Scenery ... Snow encrusted trees, frozen waterfalls, wide vistas over lakes Amazing Activities ... Dog sledding between frozen statues made by trees, Riding a Snow mobile cross country at speed on deep snow, Vertical ice climbing, Building a quinzee on a frozen lake, Hiking at night and being photographed with the northern lights in the background Excellent Equipment .... Every type of kit appropriate to each activity provided, you will get used to wearing lots and lots of layers Stimulating Staff ... Henri and his team inspire and guide you through any concerns Fantastic Food ... Lots of soups and stews, exactly what you need, delicious!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery brings out rare emotions ... Whilst standing alone in a clearing in the pine and birch forest on a bridge over an almost completely snow covered stream watching the water flow over ice crystals, the water making the only noise audible, the mind clears and emotions flow. By way of contrast the biggest impediment to getting up once you fell into the snow was ... uncontrollable laughter!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was fantastic ... nothing was too much trouble, instructions and guidance was clear, with a very wry sense of humour. All the staff were great especially the cooks who produced such tasty food.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A buff or neck warmer will be very useful There is no tea/coffee facility in the room so bring you own if you like a cuppa before donning several layers to start the day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very special holiday ... had a great time
  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WINTER ADVENTURE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    This was action packed but relaxing too.  It was a great mix of organised activities and independence.  We learnt some new skills and then had time to practice and explore.  Being active in the dark was a particular novelty with the help of head torches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The setting of Oulanka National Park is breathtaking.  The landscape is monocrome - our bright coloured clothes the only colour in the black and while wilderness.  The sound of the husky dogs barking - so eager to be off is unforgettable.  Then whooosh we were off - very fast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The staff were relaxed and friendly.  They couldn't do enough for us.  We really appreciated how relaxed they were about us changing our equipment for dry or additional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You lucky things.  Don't worry about warm clothes - just base layers for adults will be all you need as everything is provided.  Although I was pleased to have brought my welly bobs for walking between our room and the dining hall.  I bought the blueberry syrup from reception and it is delicous and a lovely souvenir.  Don't be too disappointed if you don't see the Northern lights - we were pleased not to have such cold weather which usually comes with clear skies.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food is great and plenty of games provided in the dining hall although good to bring some of your own too.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WINTER ADVENTURE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    We enjoyed ourselves hugely. This is an opportunity to be in a very quiet, beautiful and calm place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In number one place comes the husky dog sledding. We loved the dogs and we loved the snowy landscape. To drive the sled you have to have a certain weight so my 11 year old sat snugly in the sled whilst I spent most of the time breaking or leaning. In number two slot comes the food in general and in particular the sauteed elk stew that we ate under the stars (well cloud actually) with mashed potato and lingonberry jam accompanied by hot berry juice. Then we divide. My son's number three is roasting reindeer sausages over the fire in the reindeer herders' hut. And mine is the walk along the river to the rapids on snowshoes. We both loved the sauna and the hot tub. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tessa could not have been more enthusiastic and helpful. And that extends to all the other staff - Annike put on an amazing spread for our Christmas meal on Christmas day. Tessa was very good with the children had us making Christmas decorations and ginger bread. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You really don't need to bring very much - I think the other reviews said this and it is true. There is an amazing amount of kit that you can borrow right down to thermos flasks, beanies and headtorches. If it gets wet, they just lend you more. So you can avoid the problem of wet kit and holiday laundry very easily. You can avoid cooking too - lunches are 11 euros for adults and 6 euros for children and very delicious. If you want to do your own lunches then you need to bring your food with you. Bringing snacks also makes sense, especially for smaller children.If you are adventurous and confident, then be aware that there are only two trails that lead from the basecamp (one - the Little Bear Trail -  a round trip of 12 km and the other - the Big Bear Trail -  an 82 km route). As it was only light for 4 or so hours a day, we didn't stray far but if you can walk at sufficient speed you can just about snowshoe the Little Bear Trail whilst it is light.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WINTER ADVENTURE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Fantastic

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The dog sledding day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the all day dog safari