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 November 2018
    Francis Sandbach

    COSTA RICA

    The group size of 14 was ideal with plenty of different personalities. The locations selected were a good combination of places which illustrated the diversity of wildlife habitats. The real bonus to the holiday was the guide (Katia) and driver (Chico). Katia was the real deal. Her English was good, she was very knowledgeable about wildlife, and she went out of her way to help and try to meet everyone's needs. Katia was a very professional guide indeed. We were also fortunate to have Chico who was always happy and helpful. He would often stop to let us see something he had spotted. The guide and driver always considered our safety not only when stopping to take in the view, but also in pointing out any potential dangers such as pickpockets, rip currents when bathing, etc.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trips from Tortuguero were wonderful. So many birds and other animals were pointed out to us with the Green Iguanas in the trees being particularly inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very hot and humid in the tropical rain forest but also cooler in the mountains. Casualwear is definetly what you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you get Katia as your guide you will be very fortunate.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Francis Sandbach

    COSTA RICA

    The group size of 14 was ideal with plenty of different personalities. The locations selected were a good combination of places which illustrated the diversity of wildlife habitats. The real bonus to the holiday was the guide (Katia) and driver (Chico). Katia was the real deal. Her English was good, she was very knowledgeable about wildlife, and she went out of her way to help and try to meet everyone's needs. Katia was a very professional guide indeed. We were also fortunate to have Chico who was always happy and helpful. He would often stop to let us see something he had spotted. The guide and driver always considered our safety not only when stopping to take in the view, but also in pointing out any potential dangers such as pickpockets, rip currents when bathing, etc.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trips from Tortuguero were wonderful. So many birds and other animals were pointed out to us with the Green Iguanas in the trees being particularly inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very hot and humid in the tropical rain forest but also cooler in the mountains. Casualwear is definetly what you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you get Katia as your guide you will be very fortunate.
  • Reviewed October 2018

    An amazing tour with loads of bird and wildlife spotting.

    We were very lucky to have Johnny Villalobos as our tour leader. He is a walking encyclopedia on the flora and fauna, caring, flexible and a great organiser. We saw spider, capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, three and two toed sloths , lizards, iguanas, a green turtle laying her eggs (very moving) and much more. I can't remember how many species of birds we saw (loads), all of them very colourful and often very close up. This is one of the best trips I have ever done.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many but without doubt the time we spent at Tortuguero was tops. Hancy, our boat captain, was able to spot wildlife when all I could see was vegetation. The extra excursion to see the Green Turtle laying her eggs was very moving. We formed a 'guard of honour' as she hauled herself back into the sea. Also watching the capuchins stealing the bananas meant for hotel guests at the Villa Bosque and both the capuchins and squirrel monkeys using the overhead cables to move from where they spent the night to feed. We stayed in some lovely lodges/hotels. The only slight disappointment was the hotel at Manuel Antonio (Villa Bosque) as the rooms and bathrooms were small. Carlos, our driver, was very careful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny Villalobos is amazing. His knowledge and enthusiasm is second to none. He often arranged extra stops on the drives to break up the time spent travelling, although I didn't find the drives long. I'm afraid of heights so didn't do the canopy walk, Johnny made sure that I would be OK waiting at the centre while the rest of the group went off, showing me around so that I knew where everything was. He also showed us around and explained things when some of us went to the hot springs. I had my birthday while we were away and Johnny arranged a cake with a central candle, which lit a ring of candles and played Happy Birthday! He and Carlos also gave me a small gift. Johnny is the best group leader I have ever had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only really what everyone else has said. Protect your camera from the rain and protect yourself from insect bites. Even though your clothes don't get wet, the humidity will make everything feel damp.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only interaction you will have with Costa Ricans is in the lodges/hotels and shops. The only exception to this was the very interesting visit to Dona Aurora's farm. She had made a huge selection of Costa Rican food for us and didn't mind that we were curious about how she lived and with us looking round her house.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Nicola Rouse

    Amazing!

    What an amazing trip! Incredible wildlife at every turn - sloths, monkeys, turtles, iguanas, frogs, coatis, the list goes on, beautiful birds and unusual plants too. Seven very different locations, shortish travel times and great hotels. Just be prepared to sweat more than you thought humanly possible!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a green turtle lay her eggs at Tortuguero (optional extra). And the sloth with her baby hanging low on a vine beside the river.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Richard Atterton

    Does what it says

    15 day trip travelling around Costa Rica discovering all it has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wildlife close up. Being in the rainforest,amazed at the trees,vegetation and flower species.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgable and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe try to put your clothes in sealable bags as first days are in rainforest and everything will get damp and stay damp. Don’t pack too much, opportunity to wash clothes at halfway point of trip. Protection for camera or make sure you have one with two viewfinders in case of water ingress (my camera broke down on third day!). Good protection if you suffer from insect bites.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Alicja Nowak

    Magical Wildlife

    This holiday was superb for exploring different landscapes and seeing lots of wildlife. The tour includes a wide variety of places to visit, allowing you to see the shifts in environment and wildlife, which was very interesting, and we were awarded with so many fantastic wildlife spots - both birds and mammals. We stayed in a collection of lovely hotels set in beautiful gardens where you would often have your own cabin and small terrace. Food was tasty and local people were very friendly and accommodating. You will definitely return home with plenty of stories to tell!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As someone who enjoys bird watching, I found it exciting to learn about the different species and see them first hand. Seeing 145 new species of birds in two weeks was phenomenal! I was most surprised at how close the wildlife was; with an average pair of binoculars, I had excellent views, although some wildlife - hummingbirds, armadillos, reptiles for example - were all so close that I didn't need them. Seeing such colourful and exotic wildlife was definitely the highlight of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide was exceptionally knowledgeable, providing fascinating insights into the country's economy, wildlife, plants and people, all imparted with humour and dry wit. He led the group with such assured ease, that the whole holiday felt effortless. As someone who normally travels independently, it was a real treat to be led by someone who really knew what they were doing. His enthusiasm and knowledge improved the holiday immeasurably.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The temperature fluctuates drastically between the different locations. You will need both warm clothes and waterproofs as well as light summery clothes. Whatever you bring, make sure it is quick-drying, including shoes - the humidity is so high that nothing really dries. Take binoculars too - it will increase your enjoyment of the holiday no end.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The driver was excellent, and although there are quite long journeys between some of the destinations, we made plenty of stops along the way which broke up the journeys nicely and made them feel like they too were an integral part of the holiday. Our guide also imparted interesting information about the sights we saw along the way, but he never spoke too much, leaving plenty of time to just enjoy the passing view.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Elaine Akam

    Discover Costa Rica

    We had am amazing time on this trip from the moment we landed in San Jose. Our guide Andres kept us informed about what to expect, and bring for each activity. He had an amazing knowledge about his country and was passionate that we should like and enjoy our tip. Our Driver Juan was also excellent. He kept the bus spotless and was keen to help. The accommodation was of a good standard with the last lodge being the icing on the cake. The plants, animals and scenery were also fantastic. Overall an amazing trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the turtle lay its eggs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was full of knowledge and prepared us well for what to expect each day. He was polite and quick to resolve any problems that occurred.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled in August . There was a lot of rain. Wellingtons may have been useful. We took sturdy shoes and Walking boots but did not really need the boots.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Alan Nunn

    Diversity at its best!

    Cosa Rica has such diversity,you will experience rouged mountains,rolling hills,virgin forest ,tropical beaches and beautiful waterways to view the homes of the turtles,not to mention the numerous butterflies,birds and mammals you will encounter. San Jose is not a place to savour but after a good nights sleep in a fabulous city hotel (the decor,staff and food is first class ) you will be off to start your adventure. You will have good accommodation in lovely locations. Be warned some nights you will be chilly and the dampness can be a problem,after all you are often in a rainforest environment,when I returned everything in my suitcase and its contents were damp. This is a small price to pay for the things you will see!...do be willing to take the walks,you will miss out so much if you decide to stay at the base or take a bus. We had lovely weather every morning before the rain came most afternoons...so dont go for this type of holiday to stay in bed till 9....you will miss the best times!...up at 6 and bed at 9-10 is a norm. This trip has a nice balance of trip and leisure with a brilliant guide,it you want a holiday....dont go!...if you want an experience book now!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having the pleasure of a different bird or mammal every day....they really are there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely good... very experienced and full of knowledge....told us important thing.... but appreciated silence! Didnt treat us like we were on a sunday school outing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of cheap t shirts etc because you will not have chance to wash and dry as your always moving ..it wont dry in time.....its not a fashion show...be practical.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Brian Harris

    Totally superb experience.

    Our Guide & tour leader-Johnny [Villalobos] made this trip the best we have experienced; with his expertise, knowledge & general manner. Superior to similar trips in the past this one was outstanding!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to name just one.! e.g. Moving sloths, quetzals flying & landing.macaws, frogs,snakes & all sorts of wild life in so diverse places from the coast,low level to rain forests, cloud forests to the Highlands. Truly wonderful experiences and so diverse. Well recommended!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Couldn't have been bettered.! [ Our boat & minibus drivers were also excellent & great wildlife spotters too.]

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A good quality lightweight jacket advised. A pair of binoculars. A good travelling camera & a Dry Bag to keep it in. A choice of shoes e.g. covered toe tekking sandles/boots. Canvas decking shoes or similar lightweight after trekking shoes.& insect repellants. Enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our first time with Exodus Travels but definitely won't be our last.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Jane Dare

    A great adventure in Costa Rica

    This was our second Exodus trip and again, we were not disappointed. An itinerary which covered many different ecosystems, plenty of wildlife, pleasant travel companions and an exceptionally knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide all went to make this trip a fantastic two weeks. Lots of early mornings, some long journeys and very hot and humid conditions did nothing to distract from the beauty, diversity and friendliness of Costa Rica. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing so much wildlife. Sloths, monkeys, raccoons , a huge variety of birdlife and a couple of snakes. Fabulous!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Katia's knowledge about the wildlife, geography and history of Costa Rica was astonishing. As a bird enthusiast, she was able to recognise everything from a tiny glimpse or a snatch of birdsong. In addition, she went out of her way to ensure everyone was enjoying their trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget a sense of humour. It helps enormously when you have a puncture in the middle of nowhere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would not hesitate to recommend this trip and look forward to our next Exodus adventure.
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