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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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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Reviews

Wonderful Costa Rica!

Discover Costa Rica was an amazing trip in a beautiful country. It is verdant with different types of ecosystems, and teeming with wildlife of every kind. There is so much to see and do, and the days fly by. We saw sloths, iguanas, monkeys, caimans, crocodiles, birds of every kind (including the Great Green Macaw and the Resplendent Quetzel!), wonderful cloud forests, waterfalls, beaches, mountains and much more. The trip is well-organised, with comfortable transport and accommodation. The itinerary covers a number of locations in different parts of the country, so there is a fair bit of travel involved. Our driver Gabriel was good-natured, helpful and incredibly skilled at navigating some pretty tricky roads! Some of the locations are somewhat remote and surrounded by wilderness – peaceful and beautiful, and a good way to disconnect from it all. Special thanks to our tour leader, Jorge. He took an amazing itinerary and made it exceptional.

Most Inspirational Moment

Only one? That would be difficult. At the beginning of the trip, after the first day in Tortuguero where the wildlife is extremely abundant, I felt like I could return home satisfied. It got better from there..... I have to mention dinner in Manuel Antonio - we looked out of the restaurant and saw a sloth mother with baby on her tummy, travelling along the telephone wires in the pouring rain!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Jorge was truly outstanding. He is friendly, helpful, fun and extremely knowledgeable about Costa Rica - its geography, history, wildlife and ecosystems, and happy to share that knowledge. I learned a lot on this trip, thanks to him. His skill at spotting wildlife is impressive, as are his bird calls! I'm sure we wouldn't have seen half of what we did without his help. He ensured that everyone was comfortable, and went out of his way to help some of us with our post-trip arrangements. We couldn't have had a better, or nicer, guide!

Advice for Potential Travellers

Sunscreen and insect repellent are a must. Costa Rica is hot and humid - pack accordingly. It's helpful to have light-weight, quick drying trousers for walks in the forests. Laundry facilities are available at two locations. It was useful to have an extra pair of walking shoes, since one pair got drenched in a rain shower and took a couple of days to dry out enough to wear. It is quite cool in the Dota region (Savegre cloud forest), so a warm jacket is definitely needed there. Be prepared for rain - I had a raincoat, but a poncho or backpack cover would have been helpful. If you have a camera - consider how you are going to protect it from the rain.

Suggestions

If you are interested in nature and wildlife, this trip is not to be missed.

An amazing trip

This was an absolutely wonderful trip to the most beautiful and amazing country. We saw turtles hatching, sloths, monkeys and a huge variety of other wildlife and birds – including the resplendent Quetzal and lots of hummingbirds. The flora was also spectacular and a feast for the eyes. I took so many photos I am still going through them.

Most Inspirational Moment

Watching the baby turtles emerging from their nest in the sand and scampering down the beach towards the sea. Getting up really early and climbing to see the Quetzals high above us. Visiting the sloths in the Sloth Sanctuary. In fact I enjoyed everything, even the rain.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our group leader Johnny was an amazing guy. He was extremely knowledgeable about his country and was excellent at spotting both birds and animals. He was also very kind with a good sense of humour and was always willing to help each and every one of us to maximise our enjoyment of his fantastic country. Percy our driver was also excellent and was extremely helpful in making sure our luggage was where it should be.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Costa Rica is a very lush and beautiful country and is very green due to the heavy rainfall. Pack an umbrella and a waterproof ! Then just go and enjoy.

Suggestions

I loved every minute of this trip and would happily go again, except there are too many other places to discover.

Discover Costa Rica

An informative, educational and thoroughly fun holiday in beautiful landscapes with wonderful wildlife.

Most Inspirational Moment

Visiting the natural habitats and observing the wildlife including Hummingbirds feeding from your hand Finding hatchling turtles on a beach Observing a quetzal in the wild

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our leader Glenda was exceptionally informative and friendly and made you feel very welcome in the country. Glenda’s enthusiasm and knowledge greatly enhanced the holiday experience as did her help with photographs. Our bus driver Charlie was brilliant at spotting wildlife and eager to help our tour members. Both are a great asset for Exodus.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take quick drying clothes, the humidity and rain in some areas make clothes drying difficult. The rain also requires that your camera is well protected.

Suggestions

Our first Exodus holiday. We would certainly consider another one in the future.

excellent winter holiday

This was a most interesting and unusual destination but what made the trip exceptional was the team leading it. Glenda was a truely inspirational guide and always went the extra mile to enthuse us about her country and its wild life.always cheerful and positive and full of fun.WE saw so much and learned about so many animals and birds that it has awakened a desire for more holidays with this theme.Glenda also has an eagle eye for spotting hard to see creatures.this review would not be complete without saying what a great driver and companion Charlie was, always smiling and willing to help us.This was a n inspirational team.Glenda will go far in the industry and will be head of tourism in costa rica one day.

Most Inspirational Moment

The guide Glenda and driver Charlie.BRILLIANT!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Exceptional

Advice for Potential Travellers

If Glenda and Charlie are involved you will have an exceptionally well organised ,informative and above all safe and happy trip.

Suggestions

PERFECT

Outstanding trip

Outstanding trip, well and enthusiastically guided, great variety of wildlife.

Most Inspirational Moment

Excellent variety of wildlife environments visited.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Outstanding, enthusiastic and well suited to the role as a specialist wildlife guide (Glenda). Good rapport with experienced driver and wildlife spotter (Carlos ‘Charlie’ Fernandez) and local guides.

Advice for Potential Travellers

It will rain, quite a lot at times so be prepared to protect photographic equipment etc. Air conditioning not available in some locations so drying washing not always feasible

Suggestions

Best holiday of this type that I’ve done in ~30 years.

Discover Costa Rica

Would give this itinery more stars if I could thoroughly recommend .

Most Inspirational Moment

All of the tour it was absolutely incredible seeing so much wildlife and especially being extremely fortunate to see a Quetzal which is one of the birds I really wanted to see.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Glenda is outstanding with all her knowledge on nature and wildlife and answered questions on other subjects the group asked about the country She is a huge asset representing Exodus positive, enthusiastic, extremely passionate about nature and wildlife and was informative with facts with every discovery we found which was alot.We were the lucky group thanks to Glenda finding so much wildlife. We have experienced the best guide ever who is compassionate in all respects looking after us in in a very professional way with a lovely sense of humour excellent organisation /communication skills, and ensuring the group are one big family. Charlie our lovely driver always smiling and happy also extremely passionate about nature wildlife spotting wildlife too again Charlie is a Asset to Exodus.They are a great team work brilliantly together. Nothing is too much trouble for either of them and will go out of their way to assist /help in anyway they can.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Maybe in my case not do first optional night walk its very long and after doing two other activities walk in morning on hanging bridges and zip wiring found it too exhausting...could of been though didnt sleep to good night before bit anxious re Zip wiring. Would thoroughly recommend zip wiring if your anxious ask for staff member to be with you this put me at ease on day and wasnt afraid just super excited and ended up doing some on my own it was absolutely incredible. Second optional night walk Esquinas Lodge I personally thought better.

Suggestions

This is my first trip with Exodus and what a trip it was.Would recommend highly and if you can get Glenda and Charlie then you will be in for a massive treat they are the best. Will be looking into another trip with Exodus in the future very impressed with itinery and professionalism of the company Thankyou team Exodus.

Great

Amazing trip far better than I imagined, Johnny the tour guide and Percy the bus driver went out of their way to make this trip the best one I have been on

Most Inspirational Moment

Turtles hatching and the amount of wildlife observed at all times

Thoughts on Group Leader

Brilliant, knowledgeable, helpful, funny, flexible and constantly available for anything we needed

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take an umbrella

Suggestions

Want to say Johnny and Percy are a credit to Exodus. They made the trip, by keeping us happy at all times.

Wildlife Bonanza

This trip will go down as one of my best, if not the best, holiday experiences. If you love birds and wildlife it is not to be missed. There is quite a lot of traveling between locations, 4-4 1/2 hrs according to our guide each time & he wasn’t far wrong. However the journey was always punctuated by stops for loo breaks, drinks etc but also for spotting the wildlife be it a soggy looking sloth high up in a tree in the middle of town, a pack of squirrel monkeys crossing electricity wires or a king vulture sitting in a tree that had our driver Randall very excited as he had only ever seen them in flight before. On the plus side 2 nights are spent in each location so there is plenty of time to relax and unwind. Even the early starts were not a problem as it is dark by 5.30pm but light by 5am so early nights were the norm. We soon realised however that our guide was planning the timetable to the weather forecast and if he recommended an early start it was because there was a risk of rain later whilst a late start was because we would be waking up to rain. We had been concerned about going to Costa Rica in October as it is during the rainy season however we were fortunate in that most of the time it rained at night. Only once did we have a whole afternoon of rain and that was when we were in the rainforest! Again our guide must have known as we did 2 early morning walks before the rain started and the rest of the day was free – we still went swimming in the pool, had to be done! On the plus side, going in low season meant that the majority of the time we were the only people in the hotel or doing a tour whereas, knowing the current popularity of Costa Rica, I had expected to be surrounded by other travellers.

Most Inspirational Moment

The wildlife seen throughout the trip is amazing but by far the best moment was experienced in the Esquinas Rainforest Nature Reserve when we treated to the rare sighting of a Tayra as it came to the lodge to feed on the bananas there. Equally inspirational was learning how so many of the Reserves were privately owned, run by and for the benefit of the local people in an effort to preserve the local flora & fauna.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Armando was just the most amazing guide and he, above everything, was responsible for making this such a memorable trip. With his sunny smile and quick witted humour he had the whole group gelling together in no time. His skill at spotting wildlife even in the depths of the forest was amazing. At the start of the trip he asked each of us what we were hoping to get out of the visit and what we most wanted to see, he then made it his mission to tick off as many of those birds/animals as possible. We saw all 4 species of monkey and 4 out of 6 species of Toucan. He knew where to find the endangered Scarlet Macaws and, of course, succeeded in finding the Resplendant Quetzal. I challenged him to find a sloth with a baby & he did that on day 3! The only animal he failed to find was a tapir but we all agreed that the Tayra made up for that. Some birds/animals were difficult to spot but he would set up his telescope so that we were all able to see them and then he took pictures through it with our mobile phones. Nothing was too much trouble for Armando and equally for our driver Randall. They made a great team and if you are lucky enough to get them on your tour then you will not be disappointed. Pura Vida!

Advice for Potential Travellers

I would recommend taking some dollars to get through the first few days as it isn't easy to get to an ATM. Credit cards can be used everywhere but cash is needed for tips. Food & drink is quite expensive but portions are extremely generous and one dish could easily be shared between two. Temperatures vary between locations and some warmer clothing is definitely required for the last stay in Savegre.

Adventure

A wonderful adventure with something new and exciting every day. Costa Rica has wonderful wildlife and stunning scenery and this trip ensured that we experienced it fully. Great organisation, a charming and knowledgeable guide and a caring driver together with excellent accommodation made this an awesome holiday.

Most Inspirational Moment

Watching the female turtle laying her eggs, covering them and returning slowly to the sea.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent knowledgeable guide with a charming personality.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Enjoy every moment and take more money than you think as the alcoholic drinks can be expensive!

Suggestions

Don’t fly via Miami because Immigration is a nightmare!

Like holidaying with your very own David Attenborough!

This was a wonderful wildlife holiday. Although the itinerary is packed, with early starts and changes of location every two days, it means that we covered the range of Costa Rica’s habitats. Our engaging and humorous guide Johnny was outstanding , with encyclopedic knowledge of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna, and the unerring ability to spot them wherever we went. It was like having our personal David Attenborough with us for the entire holiday!

Advice for Potential Travellers

We visited at the end of the rainy season, so yes it did rain - the term rainforest rather gives the game away - but usually the mornings were dry and sunny. Ponchos proved very useful to protect rucksacks and cameras during the downpours. The high humidity meant that clothing took a long time to dry, so would recommend taking as much quick drying technical clothing as you can, although there were regular laundry opportunities. I'd also packed walking boots, which were not necessary. Stout walking trainers were perfectly adequate. Card payment is virtually universal in Costa Rica.