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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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  • Reviewed April 2018
    June Egglestone

    Discover Costa Rica

    I would highly recommend this trip. The trip is very wildlife oriented, so if that is not your main interest, it may not be for you. However, I wouldn’t say that is normally my main area of interest, and yet I really enjoyed this trip, and it made a nice change. You get 2 nights in each place (except San Jose), so its not as rushed as some trips where it’s mostly 1 night before moving on. The standard of accommodation is very good too. Bus journeys were broken up so they didn’t feel too long, so don’t worry about the time spent on the bus. Great customer service and standards of tourism infrastructure in Costa Rica. An excellent, well organised trip, as perfect as these things are ever going to be.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was a highlight, hard to pick one thing. Seeing the sloths moving (so slowly!) was good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Johnny Villalobos was excellent, its no surprise he won tour leader of the year - great at managing the tour and the group, extremely knowledgable about wildlife and nature, and always arranging extra (optional) walks. His enthuiasm was infectious, and this really added to the enjoyment of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry a waterproof poncho at all times, even in the “dry” season. If you are prone to being bitten by mossies, DEET is best, especially for Tortuguero, so use it from day 2. Not all hotels have hairdryers, so if having one is important to you, bring one - I didn’t miss it for the few nights we didn’t have one. You do need a light fleece for 2 places which are at higher elevation and therefore cooler. Plan to wash clothes at Manuel Antonio, as it’s the hottest/dryest place. You can use dollars or colones or credit card in most places. I went on the BA direct flight, which seemed much better than the via USA options. Bring a good zoom lens if you want to photograph the wildlife, and binoculars too if you want – but the guide will have a scope for you to look through to see stuff close up, so don’t worry too much if you don’t own any and don’t want the extra expense/weight. Bring closed shoes (eg walking trainers) as well as walking sandals, as you will need them for some walks. Two swimming costumes would be useful, as they don’t always dry in 1 night. The spa at Savegre lodge was nice, reasonably priced (with Exodus discount), and you can still watch the hummingbirds from the jacuzzi!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Paul Hickson

    Discover Costa Rica

    This trip was one of the best holidays that my wife and I have ever taken. . Costa Rica is a beautiful country but the attention to detail provided by Exodus and their agents ensured that it was a magical experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a quezal and sloth

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Johnny Villalobos was outstanding Aside from his excellent communication skills and knowledge of all matters flora fauna and wildlife he knows exactly when to stop the bus for a walk to break the journey and when to talk and when not to

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It will rain in Costa Rica so be prepared at any time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Richard Hoey

    Fantastic all round holiday in Costa Rica

    A great way to experience all Costa Rica has to offer! Great Accommodation in a variety of hotels and eco lodges all with their own unique character. Food was excellent throughout the holiday. Very highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just too many to choose from!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Faultless! Great all round knowledge on all aspects.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good camera and binoculars a must.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Linda Felton

    Discover Costa Rica

    Costa Rica is a beautiful island and this trip shows it at its best throughout. It is bursting with wildlife, plants and fantastic National Parks. This is a well organised and varied trip and the ecolodges and hotels were just amazing. Beautiful scenery, well tended gardens and comfortable accomodation with great food at every place. The people are friendly, well mannered and polite. The Costa Ricans are proud of their country and the land is superbly managed and protected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many! But for me watching the sloths and varieties of monkeys was fascinating. Birdlife second to none, and of course, spotting the elusive Resplendent Quetzals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Johnny Villalobos Munoz was absolutely inspirational. I can see why he has won tour leader of the year twice recently. He is so knowledgeable about everything, knows the names of all flowers, plants, trees, animals, insects and birds, and the stories behind them all. He can not only listen and say what the bird is but can make their sounds to attract them! Everywhere we went he showed us consideration and kindness, always checking that we were ok. He has a quiet confident manner with a lovely sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he made the holiday the fantastic experience that it was. He taught us to listen and look and had huge empathy with both his group and his surroundings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good pair of binoculars! You will need a variety of clothing for the extremes of weather: hot to chilly and pouring down. A good lightweight waterproof and plenty of sun cream and mosquito repellent. I wish I had taken more lightweight long sleeved blouses as I was bitten badly by mossies. Also a good pair of walking trainers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like wildlife and spending the days walking in beautiful lush surroundings then this is the holiday for you.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jeff Seymour

    A complete adventure in one trip

    If you are looking for diversity then this is the trip for you. From cloud forest to rain forest to mangroves; this trip goes everywhere. The drives between the accommodation stops were incredibly scenic and an adventure in themselves; even stopping our mini-coach (causing a traffic tail-back) whilst Juan and Alex were “assisting” a snake to slither across the road. We have been on many wildlife holidays around the world and were surprised that Exodus only rated this as 3 out of 5; it could easily have been given 5 paws. All our viewing expectations were met (and massively surpassed).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to single out one moment. There was not much down time but who cares when you can go on a holiday like this.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex Castro; a walking, talking encyclopaedia. A fantastic ambassador for his country, his profession and Exodus. His enthusiasm was infectious and his organisation was terrific. NOTHING was too much trouble. This was our second trip with Exodus (Ancient and Modern Japan being the first trip) and the quality of guiding is outstanding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a thick note book; there is so much wildlife to see and identify. We flew direct with BA rather than transit through the USA. Exodus will offer this if you ask. The arrival and departure times were also much better suited for us. I understand that this is a new BA route; perhaps Exodus may adopt this in time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus for putting this trip together. From the moment we initially enquired about this itinerary to landing back in the UK, the organisation and execution of the tour was fantastic.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Andrew Newbold

    Costa Rica experience

    An excellent trip with an opportunity to experience a good range of different habitats. Accommodation all of a high standard. Eco-lodges particularly good. High standard of food throughout the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing both cloud and rain forest environments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Very informative. Knowledge of birdlife exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trip if you are interested in wildlife - particularly birds. Take a reasonable camera with a good zoom lens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared for quite a bit of travel on bumpy gravel roads and heat and humidity at times but it is all part of the experience.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    susan cochran

    discover costa rica

    An excellent trip around this beautiful diverse country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everything was inspirational starting on Day 2 at Tortuguero National Park where we travelled the waterways seeing numerous birds , crocodiles , baby caymans , monkeys.sloths, iguanas , otters. river turtles and more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos Calvo was excellent in every way. His knowledge of birds , flora, fauna, local history was exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of weather in different areas, It can be 30 degrees with 80% humidity in the Esquinas rainforest with heavy rain so waterproof poncho and sensible footwear essential. The cloud forests can be chilly so sweater and fleece needed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus for an excellent varied itinerary,
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Ken Gilbert

    Discover Costa Rica

    An outstanding holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Rainforest Austrians

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One word Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a good camera and binoculars

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our flight was tedious and we didn't realise we could have flown direct rather than via Houston, this wasn't made clear to us.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    barry tylee

    Discover Costa Rica or bust

    What an exciting adventure this trip proved to be. From the very first day to the last it was just so interesting and exciting. Whether you are interested in exotic flowers, birds or mammals it is non stop viewing. Like so many adventurers I am becoming a veteran of trips. Every day brought something new. The beauty of the bird species can only be described as "flying iridescent rainbows". Every new destination brought great delights. This is not a trip to miss, miss it and you will regret the decision. One of my fellow adventurers logged a total of 150 different birds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This would be a very difficult question to answer, because every destination had its own moment. Could it be the siting of a Sloth, Howler Monkeys calling to awaken you in the trees above your lodge, Bearded Monkeys walking along the wires or the plethora of beautiful birds viewed from the hotel windows. Don't lets forget the Humming birds as the hover in front of you. Viewing is not confined to the final destinations, on the way is just as exciting. Frequent stops offer another opportunity, wildlife is everywhere around this beautiful country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was our tour director. A great organiser. A proud Costa Rican and an enthusiastic wildlife expert. His knowledge seemed endless. Nothing was too much trouble, any questions, just ask. He was there to make sure that you achieved the most from your trip to Costa Rica. Alex is a great asset to the Exodus team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled in March. The so called "dry" season. Don't believe it, it frequently throws it down for long periods. Make sure that you have a, Poncho and an umbrella wouldn't go amiss. There is no malaria in Costa Rica, but there are mosquito and other biting insects, insect repellent is essential, (there are specialists in ankles and lower legs). As you move around the country, temperatures will vary, especially on the final destination. You will get up early for a special surprise viewing, be warned after the heat of the Pacific it is very cold in the early morning, be sure to pack a warm fleece.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't be put off by anything. Read about this trip and go and book it, don't hesitate. trust me. The rain, the insects and the cold can all be simply overcome with preparation.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Barry Cooper

    Discover (Natural) Costa Rica

    This is an excellent tour which visits several National Parks and Reserves in Costa Rica. There is a great emphasis on wildlife and if this is not your interest, do not book this tour. There are opportunities to see the very varied birdlife in Costa Rica and often you have to go no further than the Hotel bird feeders to see some of the most spectacular species. There are opportunities for walking in the National Parks and a good pair of walking boots would be recommended. The two nights spent at Manuel Antonio makes for a pleasant beach break in this busy programme.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a question which I find impossible to answer since an Exodus tour is comprised of many unforgettable experiences. The varied wildlife of Costa Rica is the reason for the visit and we were very lucky to see the spectacular Resplendant Quetzal. This bird is rare and an early morning expedition proved to be successful. Comments from other guides indicated how lucky we had been when they said that it was the best display of the year and others had spent over two hours at the same location the previous day and seen nothing. From the restaurant in Monteverde we had superb views of the Motmot and visits from the Capuchin monkeys. In Savegre the manager has several bird feeders in his garden and you are actively encouraged to just go there and sit quietly and you will see a range of birds from woodpeckers to humming birds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hector Castillos was an excellent leader with an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural history of his Country. He was always keen to lead additional walks and his one aim was that the Group should not lose an opportunity to experience all the Natural History that Costa Rica could provide

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend as little time as possible in the Capital San Jose as except for the National Theatre there is little to see in this somewhat run down City. If you are not interested in Natural History do not book this tour. I have an interest obviously but at the end of two weeks I felt that I had seen enough birds to satisfy me for some time to come. I linked the tour with Discover Colombia and I can recommend this if the dates are compatible. The tours are very different, Discover Colombia being Cultural and Historical whereas Discover Costa Rica is natural history based resulting in a four week holiday of contrasts.
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