Turtle, Ecuador

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Andrew Davies

    Great Experience but too full on at times

    Bolivia is stunning and the salt flats and Lake Titicaca did not disappoint. It was incredibly cold despite thermals and down jacket etc so be prepared. Accommodation was outstanding in some cases (Palace of Salt and Lake Titicaca) and in others the best available eg in the desert it was basic but the only one available. Very rushed with a lot of early starts and not time to get bored! Would have preferred more time to explore La Paz and felt rushed at times. Great food and as a vegetarian I was pleasantly surprised. Melanie was a fantastic guide who worked her socks off to make the trip work with a big group and diverse dietary requirements. Go with a sense of adventure and expect to have flights delayed and itinerary changes which are an inevitable part of travelling in Bolivia. Overall an awesome but exhausting experience. Thanks Melanie and Trehan from Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Salt flats and Lake Titicaca. Do the trek on the island if you can - exhausting at altitude but so rewarding too. Buying a stick of dynamite to give the miners at Potosoi! Seeing vacuna and lamas flamingos and an Andean fox.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional. Melanie was so kind and helpful with our large group of very experienced travellers. Wise head on young shoulders. Mel made the trip for me. Always smiling and laughing even with crises that seem to be inevitable in travelling in Bolivia. She deserves a medal!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take care regarding the advice on the cold and altitude. This is a totally full on trip rather than a relaxed holiday! Expect to be exhausted at times but repaid with stunning scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to thank my group for being friendly and supportive even when we were all exhausted cold and in some cases ill. Hope Donna and John OK. Thanks guys!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Carole Kinsey

    A wonderful introduction to Bolivia.

    An energetic holiday that packed things in, on a daily basis. We saw all that was promised & much more. Although tiring, as we moved on for most days, but extremely enjoyable, informative and interesting. We learnt a lot about a country we knew little about before we went. Highly recommended, but you need to be able to walk.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many unforgettable events & places - parades, marching bands & street dancing in Sucre, fantastic pre Incan archaeological ruins, impressive Baroque cathedrals & churches, spectacular scenery, places with beautiful jacoranda trees in purple bloom, women in colourful costumes, especially in La Paz, numerous rocks that were a geologists paradise, Lake Titicaca & a trip on a reed boat’ but our three day adventure by jeep, to Iyuni and the salt flats stood out. We saw desert scenery, ’ bubbling mud pools, experienced hot springs and visited the vast salt flats, as well as staying in the splendid Salt Hotel, it was a pity we were only there for one night.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco, our group leader was very experienced. He was extremely caring & solicitous & made sure everyone was ok. Several people had tummy upsets & Marco produced medicine where necessary. He was very knowledgeable with an excellent command of English.He was also ably assisted by Linda from the office in La Paz, who was also friendly & very caring, checking every detail. She too spoke excellent English. Our third guide, Ericka was monitoring the trip as it was only the second recent trip.by Exodus. In several places we had local guides’ who were also very knowledgeable & spoke good English. I especially enjoyed Leroy on our trip to Iyuni who giggled at every opportunity & was instrumental in fishing out large quantities of salt crystals from below the salt crust. Also George we had at the end in Lake Titicaca & LaPaz. He too had excellent English & explained everything with enthusiasm. He was very dedicated to his job, & took us and a fellow traveller, to our hotels in La Paz on the last night’ while the rest of the group flew to Santa Cruz for their flight home. They all were superlative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a considerable amount of walking’ so make sure you have walking boots with a good grip. The was especially important on Isla Del Sol in Lake Titicaca. Walking poles there were also advantageous. We took a travelling kettle, tea & coffee with us. Important if you like early morning teà though milk was not usually available. Don’t pack too many clothes, Like others we took too much.. Strong insect repellent is a must in some places., with sunscreen/ sunblock especially in the Salt Flats with UV sunglasses. Hand gel was also useful on many occasions, though Marco had a supply, as well as toilet paper in toilets where we stopped by the roadside. Don’t forget a light towel if you want to go for a dip in the hot pools. We bought puffa jackets with hoods before we left & these were excellent. They are light, warm, wind proof & waterproof/ showerproof, with the added benefits of scrunching up small. I would recommend packing them into a small plastic bag. A good camera is another must as there is so much to photograph., Jeans were useful when it got cold, thought the bedsocks recommended by Exodus we’re not necessary. I managed with a pair of walking boots and a pair of trainers, though I would have liked a pair of light shoes , especially for the evenings. I also had a pair of slipper socks which were handy for bedrooms. Leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs as there many lovely things on sale very cheaply. The Witches Market in La Paz was a good place to shop.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are reasonably fit & don’t mind a bit of walking, go for this trip. It is no way relaxing as each day was packed full of adventures. Some days were very long with early starts. Many in our group said they would have liked more time in various places, especially the Salt Flats, but then it would have been more expensive & extended the trip. Personally I would have liked another night on Isla Del Sol as it looked a very interesting place. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. It is one to be remembered & offers has something for everone as well as giving us an insight to a fascinating country & culture.
  • Reviewed October 2018

    Beautiful Bolivia

    There are areas of Bolivia that are outstanding and I feel very unique in the world. It was so satisfying and enjoyable travelling around the Alti Plano, it is out of this world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Uyuni was wonderful. It isn't all salt pan. In fact we only spent one day on salt pan. That was what made it so wonderful. We went to see the salt and saw so much extra interesting stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed the company and support of the drivers and local tour guide. Treated exceptionally and all told had an unforgettable time there. Sand, Salt, Rocks, Grass land, Lagoons, Wildlife (including rabbits with long tails but forgot their name), Flamingoes (lots) and LLamas/Alpacas/Vicuna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was trying very hard. He speaks very good English.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready to go slowly in Altiplano. Its high and less oxygen. You can experience a lethargy, but I don't remember any of our group having altitude sickness. But this isn't a walking holiday so relaxed is ok. I remember some of the group getting sun burnt so cover up and use sun screen. There is lots of opportunity for photography so keep equipped with all cards and batteries.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Uyuni and the Altiplano is must see place in the world. theres nothing like it.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Paula Slater

    Highlights of Bolivia

    This holiday provided a great introduction to a fascinating country. Wonderful landscapes , busy but picturesque towns and cities. Very friendly people wherever we went and colourful too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The main reason for going on the trip was for the few days in the Salar de Uyuni. That didn't disappoint, I would have loved another couple of days in that area of Bolivia at a slower pace to take in all the wonderful sites and take loads more photographs. The cable car trip in La Paz was a surprise highlight, flying low over the city and looking into peoples gardens.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was a great leader. Helpful and informative and always cheerful. If any problems occurred (eg.vehicle breakdown) he had a solution to hand and on we went. He was ably assisted by all the drivers we had during the two weeks as well the local guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip has something for everyone. Masses of history, good hotels, great food, wonderful scenery, friendly locals and of course the superb salt plains plus a few hundred dinosaur footprints. Go and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some walks (especially the first) were a bit tougher than expected but Marco ensured that the slower walkers were encouraged and not made to feel as though we were (read' I was') being a nuisance.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Amanda Hemsworth

    Lots of variety and stunning scenery

    This was the second trip to Bolivia that Exodus organised, and there are still perhaps a few things that could be changed in terms of the itinerary, that said we had a brilliant holiday which exceeded our expectations in terms of what we saw and did. From crowded cities, to the countryside, the salt plains and iconic Lake Titicaca, with flamingos and lamas along the way. It is a very scenic and vibrant country with people dressed in fabulous colours. There is something for everyone in this trip, history, culture, nature and different food to try. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a trip to Bolivia to experience all it has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without doubt the three day 4WD jeep safari to the Salar de Uyuni. We saw the train cemetery, salt flats which are half the size of Wales, lagoons, and cactus island. Some of the days were long, but we felt that we saw it all and as we are unlikely to go back then it was good to pack it in, although perhaps an extra day here would have been good. We had great fun taking optical illusion photos on the salt plains, as well as other surprises the guide and jeep drivers laid on for us. The scenery was just beautiful, I took a lot of photos but there were so many photo opportunities I could have been there twice as long !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was enthusiastic about his country and genuinely wanted us to enjoy it. His English is excellent and he explained a lot of things to us along with local guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely go if you are thinking about it. the trip notes say take lots of layers, this is good advice as its pretty hot at times, but did get quite cold also. I took far to much, there were opportunities to wash a few things out even though we move hotels regularly. Sun screen a must, particularly on the salt plains when some people got pretty burnt, hats and sunglasses to vital for here. We thought there would be lots of nice coffee in hotels at breakfast but often it was a jar of instant, so coffee bags might be a good idea. Be prepared to feel the effects of the altitude, most were tired and a bit breathless at times from it, its manageable though and the guides do look out for you and carry oxygen if it was necessary.