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.

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 April 2016
    Roger Tiffin

    Galapagos Islands

    We travelled on the "A" itinerary. An excellent holiday, above our expectations. The boat (Cachalote), guide and the crew were superb. The chef was innovative and produced fantastic meals. The wildlife was extremely varied and very accessible on the walks and snorkeling sessions. All in all a very professional and well organised trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkeling close up with sea lions, turtles and rays. Turquoise seas and deserted beaches. Wildlife round every corner - iguanas, giant tortoises, albatross, boobies, frigate birds and pelicans. Walking on the most recent lava flows. Travelling with the sails up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Billy' was a very personable guide. His knowledge was encyclopedic. He lives on the Islands, knows them very well, is very willing to share his information, answer questions, and seems to know how to avoid the few other tourist groups we came across. We could not fault him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light. You don't need much on the boat. It's warm/hot and T shirts/shorts are the order of the day. The coldest bit was the air conditioning on board! The sun is almost overhead so hat and long sleeves are a good idea. Good firm soled walking shoes/boots are essential due to the rough nature of the lava terrain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We loved the boat. It is beautifully maintained, polished wood everywhere inside, and scrubbed decks outside. Obviously well loved. We were very sorry to have to leave at the end of the holiday.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Deborah Smith

    Galapagos - March 2016

    The wildlife was amazing,especially the snorkelling where we got to see penguins,white tipped reef sharks,green turtles,eagle rays and numerous colourful fish and rays. The crew of the cachalote and guide Christina were all very good and the food was great The only gripe i have,is that exodus flew us to quito on the return journey where we had anight in quito and flew home the next day.we left the ship early and our return flight from galapagos stopped at guayaquil before going on to quito. most passengers got out at guayaquil and connected to flights home that day, but we went on to quito,only to board a plane the next day that stopped at guayaquil,where we had to get off the plane for an hour and then fly back in the direction quito for amsterdam! this resulted in at least one days wasted holiday day,extra flight time and the price of meals and accommodation at quito.Suggest in future,passengers fly into quito at start hol and then fly home via guayaquil.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    snorkelling with apenguin chasing fish next to me. the penguin then swam under my legs

    What did you think of your group leader?

    group leader was very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    take a neckerchief and sun hat,the sun is very hot. wear t shirt snorkelling so don't burn Mke sure you know how to stop the flash going off on your camera,since use flash is not allowed

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip,but would have been better if flew into Quito at start hol so can enjoy rainforest, but fly home from guayaquil

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are glad that Deborah found the wildlife to be amazing during her trip, but we are sorry that she was disappointed with the flight arrangements during her inbound journey. We appreciate that there is a significant amount of travel involved in getting to and from the Galapagos Islands and we endeavour to forewarn clients of this in our trip notes. We start and end our Galapagos tours in Quito as this gives more airline options to clients booking their own flights and gives all clients greater flexibility in terms of accommodation choices, extensions and onward travel plans. It can also be cheaper and easier to book international flights which fly into and out of the same destination (i.e. flying in and out of Quito rather than flying into Quito and out of Guayaquil), but we appreciate that touching down in Guayaquil on numerous occasions can be frustrating. It is a situation we are aware of and are considering all of the available options, but at the moment we do not feel there is a clear solution which could be implemented across the board to improve all our clients’ experiences.

    Vicky Boughton - product manager for the Galapagos

  • Reviewed October 2015
    Ann Bennett

    Galapagos Wildlife

    Well, what can I say? Everyone will tell you how you get to the animals and birds in the Galapagos; but you really do! Watch your feet or you could trip over sea lions or iguanas. Not to mention stepping on the gulls or boobies. One of our party had a red footed boobie land on her hand. Another had a sea lion sniff his toes! Everywhere you look there is another creature. Mockingbirds insisting that they have their picture taken. Sea birds swooping low overhead. A truly AMAZING place. And snorkelling; so close to the wonderful aquatic life. Feeling like sea lions yourself due to the wet suits.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming above a turtle; the penguin that swam back and forth in front of me, then under my belly; the fur sea lion that I swam with on my last snorkel experience. All WOW factors. Watching the frigate birds swooping down to steal fish from the other birds and sea lions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan was a truly wonderful, inspirational leader. Flora and fauna, lava flows, topography; he knew it all and imparted his knowledge with a lovely sense of humour too. Always encouraging, always helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say you need a good level of fitness; some of the walks are a little "challenging", either tough going or steep drops at times. And getting in and out of the panga could be interesting when the sea is rough. There was a supply of sea sickness tablets available on board; they worked very well, apparently. Cabins are small but adequate. Don't take too many clothes; no one dresses up and you can wash what you take. And the wet suits are well worth hiring. Recharging points available, but take lots of memory on your cards as you will need it. We only had one chance to shop, on San Cristobal, for around half hour. Otherwise, it's Baltra Airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go! Even if it takes a while to save up for this trip, do it.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Winnie Dhaliwal

    Galapagos trip

    The Cachelote sail boat and crew were magnificent! Our guide Juan was incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The itinerary is excellent as it really takes in the diversity of each of the islands and the amazing wildlife. The hotel in Quito (Hotel Vieja Cuba) and the staff were also excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing such close encounters with the wildlife - really thrilling!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gloria was our group leader on the mainland and Juan was our leader on the islands. Both were helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Couldn't ask for more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of SD cards, sunscreen, insect repellent. If you have your own snorkelling gear, take that too. After dark, take taxis in Quito - the hotel staff will help you do this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A brilliant holiday which I would highly recommend. Can't wait to go back and do the Western islands!
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Christopher Dawson

    Galapagos on the Cachalote

    We spent two weeks on the Cachalote exploring the many islands of the Galapagos. Overall, the trip was very good with a couple of exceptions. 1. We had one afternoon in a town with nothing to do except sit in a bar - we were told we could swim in the sea, but it was very rough. (According to the trip notes, we could have visited a Giant tortoise breeding centre, but we were not given that option). 2. On the changeover day (between itineraries) we had to waste a few hours in Puerta Ayora. However, we did expect this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife! Getting so close to the birds and reptiles was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan was excellent - his knowledge was extensive. The chef was also excellent, producing good quality food despite the tiny kitchen. The rest of the crew on the boat were not so good - very little English was spoken and they were more interested in watching football (we were there when the Copa America was on) than attending to the needs of the guests

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When taking into account the advice to pack light for the Cachalote, put out everything you think you need and then leave most of it at home. The rooms are **VERY** compact. We had a small amount of space under the bunk beds, a couple of small shelves and a few hangers on the back of the door. Also be prepared to leave everything on the floor if the sea is rough (only occasionally) as everything ends up there anyway.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't bother packing any shower gel or shampoo as environmentally friendly products are provided.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Colin Bennett

    Galapagos Cachalote tour

    The reality of this tour far exceeded my expectations. I elected to fly with KLM from UK. No great shakes but it was OK. The representatives who dealt with my Quito arrangements were helpful, knowledgeable and on time, greeting me on arrival and handling all arrangements of my transfer to the hotel and eventually to the Galapagos. Monserrat even obtained my TAME boarding pass for me. Gloria was a mine of information on my visit to Quito which I extended by one day. The new road from airport to hotel allows a 45 minute transfer time. The hotel Viejacuba was quaint and clean. Helpful staff always on hand, however, the promised early breakfast on the morning of my Galapagos departure did not materialise. Christina, my guide met me at Baltra airport. What a gem. At 24yrs she was an encyclopedia of local knowledge on all aspects. Fauna, flora, geology. Couple this with her customer care and enthusiasm, take my tip, tip her well. The Cachalote although not luxury, is first class. Helpful crew and good wholesome and plentiful food.(How did Pedro, the chef, perform so well?) The cabins are miniscule and, although I was lucky enough not to share, two people sharing would have to be very considerate to one another and arrange a dressing, washing and toiletry rota. Again, the crew were well worth a generous tip. The weather was hot without being unpleasantly so and, apart from a T shirt to protect from the sun, only shorts were required to swim in. Now, about the wildlife. Well, this is why I went. It is so fearless you have to take great not to bump into it, tread on it or disturb it. It is in abundance and Christina's information was boundless. Resist the temptation to touch. I came home tired but feeling totally satisfied that what I had done could not be bettered.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It had to be the wildlife, after all, that is why I went but was all the more appreciated by the knowledge and information our guide imparted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Words fail me. Christina was superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mulling it over ? Just get up and go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I referred to it as a trip of a lifetime. Not if I can help it! Wanna go again.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Galapagos trip

    If you enjoy watching wildlife - go!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I cannot swim so snorkelling was something I thought I would never do - wrong!! The group leader guided me, for which I was really grateful. Never thought I would be able to say I had snorkelled with Penguins, sea lions, turtles, iguanas, sting rays, gorgeous fish and sharks!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - his knowledge was superb it really enhanced the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go - do not worry, easy walking and brilliant once in a lifetime experience (unless decide to go again!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Margaret Baker

    Galápagos Islands aboard the Cachalote yacht

    This is a most amazing trip for wildlife enthusiasts. I had never been so close to wildlife that was so indifferent to our presence. We were merely another non threatening species and as such were not to be feared or shunned, simply accepted. To see the bird and animal life living and behaving so naturally was a real privilege.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights it would be difficult to choose; the blue footed boobies' mating rituals, the waved albatross sheltering its chick on a nest, the frigate birds v. red billed tropic birds in aerial combat, the suckling sea lions, the iguanas piled high as if tipped out of a bag onto the rocks and ....... I could go on for a long time. Snorkelling as incredible, the sharks, turtles, rays and fish almost within touching distance-so were the rocks and sea bed but great fun and help at hand at all times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader David was very knowledgeable about the Islands and the wildlife and a good 'people person' who interacted well with all of us with humour and care.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes were good but perhaps it should be mentioned that the Cachalote is a very small boat and the ocean is a very big one! As a result the boat was noisy and when sailing the engine was even noisier and appeared to be behind the wall in every cabin. The sailing could be very rough at times and sleep didn't always come easily. Things had to be battened down carefully one night as we were tossed around a lot. Having said that, it didn't bother me as it was all part of the experience but this is no smooth ocean going liner and some fellow passengers hadn't expected this. Don't let this put you off, it is only a week and actually a fun challenge to those of us with a warped sense of humour like me!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it. Trip of a lifetime :-)
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Helen Evans

    Galapagos WAG

    Just back from this trip. Wish we were still on board the Cachalote. What an amazing experience! The time in Quito is limited but we managed to pack in lots, the Teleferico, Old Town, La Bascilica, Botanical Gardens, Quito is easy to get around, taxis are cheap. All transfers were very well managed by the local agents Enchanted Expeditions. The boat, Cachalote 1 was fantastic. Great crew, all friendly. El Capitan ran the ship well. Pedro made exceptional food both quality and amounts from his little galley. Safety was taken seriously. The Galapagos Islands were all and much more than expected. Every day was different, packed full of activities and experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say what was best, because every day was inspirational. Love the blue footed boobies and all the other birds, even saw the Frigate birds in full display. Never thought I would be swimming with sharks, turtles, sea lions and penguins. Each island was special in its own way. Also our group was lovely, we all got on really well, which goes towards making the experience even more special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin (yes, that is his real name) was fabulous. He was knowledgeable about everything we wanted to know. He took his time to explain things to us. He seemed to take as much pleasure from the trip as we did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take sea sickness tablets, we had a couple of rough navigations. This time of year it is worth hiring a wet suit from Richard on the boat ($30 for the week) as its gets a bit cold in the water. Snorkels and masks available on board for free. Try and take biodegradable sun cream so you know you are not harming the environment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!! Hopefully we will be back to do itinerary B.
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Lisa Hutchison

    Galapagos Islands

    Truly the trip of a lifetime. It exceeded my expectations in every area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a privilege to be in such a unique environment amongst wildlife that, far from being bothered by our prescence, would, more often than not, be curious enough to come and say hello. Seeing the courting displays of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies on the final morning was a real highlight, but I completely fell in love with the playful sea-lion pups, who fully lived up to our guide's description of them as 'puppies in wetsuits'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin was wonderful. Extremely knowledgable about all that we saw, and always friendly and helpful. The crew on the Cachalote were also exceptional. They really added to the quality of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take biodegradeable sun-lotion to protect the fragile marine environment when swimming/snorkelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't hesitate, just book. You won't regret it.
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