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 2018
    Linda Gray

    Discover Nicaragua Costa Rica and Panama

    Three amazing countries in 14 days. Some early mornings and a few long drives. Lots of boat trips and wild life spotting. The Pacific coast and the Caribbean coasts were explored. The Lodges and hotels were all very different, some Rustic , some with amazing views, all very true to the local areas. Buses were comfortable with air con which was so welcoming as the countries were hot and very humid. Food consisted of mainly rice and beans which was the local "delicacy" but our guide gave us a good choice of eating places. It was a non stop full on 2 weeks so be prepared for little or no time to do your own thing. Having said that as long as you are enthusiastic about seeing as much as possible it is an amazing adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several inspirational moments, In Nicaragua there was the active volcanoes and Ometepe Island. In Costa Rica the wildlife and Tortuguero National park where we saw Sloths, monkeys, and many birds. Then in Panama we visited some wonderful Bocas del Toro Islands , mountains in Boquete and the Panama Canal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex our group leader was with us 24/7 throughout the trip and so knowledgeable about the history of the countries and about the flora and fauna and the wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble and his experience was second to none. He was assisted in Nicaragua by Elvis who was also brilliant. What great fun they were the holiday would not have been so memorable if they had not been part of the whole adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Very hot and humid, difficult to dry swimming costumes or wet shoes . Take lots of deet, binoculars , comfortable trainers or walking sandals ( NOT FLIP FLOPS) although useful for the swimming pools. No malaria medication required, maybe travel /motion sickness pills for coach rides on bendy mountain roads and rough ferry crossings. A full itinerary with very little down time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What an absolutely amazing trip, 16 in the group who got on very well . The guides and drivers were all brilliant in all 3 countries. No need to take the local currency, dollars are used in all 3 countries without any problem.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Linda Baker

    Excellent tour

    This was a well organized tour that maximized our time to fullest in three countries. We saw and learned so much! Alex was an exceptional tour guide. We’ve gone on many tours and he certainly ranks at the top. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. With his educational background in Biology and History no question was beyond his range of knowledge. The tour included a nice variety of locations, hotels, and activities. We will be recommending this tour to friends and family.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the beautiful Bocas del Toro islands the most.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was excellent. He was very patient, very organized, and very determined to make our trip exceptional. He was the main factor in making our trip an enjoyable one.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to be busy. There’s lots on the agenda. You’ll see a lot and learn a lot!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mallory Hansford

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

    Three quite different countries, such amazing wildlife and a busy itinerary which maximised on time available. Nothing about this trip disappointed and it was made all the more enjoyable by our extremely knowledgeable guide, Alex. Great food, fab hotels, marvellous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sloth watching!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A very good organiser.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get a good camera with a zoom.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was cheaper than the trip notes advised, average cost of an evening meal for two was $35. Lunches were large so a full evening meal wasn't always needed.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mary Ellen Ferguson

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama

    I selected this trip because of the variety it offered: three countries, different modes of transportation, city and rural stays, and different types of accommodation. It delivered on all fronts in non-stop activity from morning til night, thanks to the efforts of Alex, our guide for the entire trip. The trip was very informative and featured breathtaking scenery during our drives and boat rides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Close sightings of a variety of birds and animals was definitely a highlight and what I expected from Costa Rica. The boat tours out of Laguna Lodge in Tortuguero NP were stunning. The most picturesque drive was in northern Panama heading up across the Continental Divide to Boquete.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex is passionate about his job and went above and beyond -for example, arranging meals when they weren't included- to ensure that we had the best experience possible. He is extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and has a wealth of experience in guiding. He took the welfare of the group members very seriously and was interested in getting to know us. Every night he provided vital information about what we would need to have in our day pack the next day, which was very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are well rested going into this trip! We had many early starts. The packing list was very helpful but you do not need a sweater at this time of year. I took a summer weight hoodie and only wore it on the plane and one evening in Boquete, when we were up in the hills. You are fine with US dollars, but take small denominations. I had a big stack of ones which was useful for tipping drivers and short term guides, and you don't want to be breaking fifties in places where they will give you change in local currency.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the biggest recommendations I can offer is that almost everyone in our group of fourteen was a repeat with Exodus. Adventure travel, but not TOO rustic. I will definitely be considering Exodus for future trips.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Mike & Sandie Giles

    A three in one Gem

    As seasoned travellers in our 70’s we tend towards more leisurely trips these days but would have to say this one seemed pretty full on. However, we fully engaged with it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Despite a systems breakdown at the Panamanian border, delaying our arrival at the superb resort of Bocas del Toro, our chosen water-borne options there were the highlight of our trip, eclipsed only perhaps by the sight of turtle hatchlings scurrying to the water’s edge on Tortuguero’s Caribbean coast a few days earlier. We also found transport by speedboat in both these locations very exhilarating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    With couples from Australia and Canada and solos from Ireland and the UK the party of 15 gelled well but expectations were diverse. All were pretty much satisfied under the direction of experienced Leader Alex with organisational skills, wildlife and local knowledge more than equal to the task.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The itinerary encompassed a wealth of historic architecture, ecosystems and wildlife to suit all tastes but we would also recommend participating in as many of the other options as possible during free time. We chose not to Zip-Line the cloud forest but shared the Sky Tram to the launch pad and then took the Sky Walk which we found sufficiently exhilarating. The climate throughout the trip was hot and humid but buses and hotels were air-conditioned and decent showers always available after active days. Being in rain forests we expected to get wet but more than we actually did. We always carried a light rainjacket (or a poncho in pocket) which we think could have doubled for an outer garment in the mountain region. We do not have massive appetites and limit alcohol when travelling and were pleasantly surprised that our expenditure was far less than expected based on Exodus costings. This may not be the case if a choice is made to make fuller use of bar and restaurant facilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The flight out via Houston was tiresome and we were glad that we had tagged two days on the front of the tour to acclimatise before meeting the group. As it was we found Granada a charming city worthy of extra exploration and the service/amenities at Hotel Almirante very much to our liking. The visit to Boquete, in the cooler highlands, seemed all too brief (the one time we wore fleeces and then only on the early morning trip to the airport). Although this internal flight to Panama City spares a long bus transfer it did rather feel like the beginning of a long journey home. Our Canal visit was great being timed to the passing of several large ships but other sightseeing was only fleeting as the City is huge and highly congested.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    William Johnston

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

    A whirlwind tour of 3 amazing countries. Nicaragua is still in its infancy as far as tourism goes. Lake Nicaragua, volcanoes, wild life are all mind blowing, particularly the visit to the Masaya crater (where visits are limited to 10 minutes owing to the effects of sulphur in the air). The scenery, landscape and rain forests of Costa Rica are not to be missed, especially walking around Arenal. The Caribbean coast of Panama is superb for dolphin watching and visiting indigenous villagers on their own island.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife and walking in the Costa Roca rainforest

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex is, quite simply, the BEST tour guide we have had the pleasure of meeting. His knowledge of flaura, fauna, wild life, geology is unsurpassed. He always went the extra mile to ensure that our holiday remains one to last in our memories for the rest of our lives.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Many people mistakenly think malaria pills are required. We (as did the most of the party) used Deet50 spray and were absolutely fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Many of the hotels were on the edge of towns, requiring taxis to visit the town centre. It would be better to get some (if not all) hotels to be within walking distance of amenities.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Sally Baker

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

    It was an amazing trip - I was attracted by the variety it offered and it didn't disappoint: wildlife/National Parks, colonial cities, Caribbean Islands, mountains and of course the Panama Canal. We got a great sense of Central America including its history which is fascinating. So many different boat rides too which were great. It was the first time this trip had been run and they just need to sort a couple of the hotels out which they said they will do - the majority were lovely.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one moment but 3 or 4 favourites: Granada, the slow boat trips early morning and evening in Tortuguero NP; the overnight stay in Cahuita/ Puerto Viejo (very lively coastal town, felt like being in Jamaica!); the day out on the boat from Bocas del Toro (take tour 2) - exceptionally good and very much worth the money; the Panama Canal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was absolutely excellent - the best Exodus guide I've had. He stayed with us throughout the trip and we had local guides also in Nicaragua (Elvis who was great fun and very knowledgeable and helpful) and Cesar and Philippe in Panama. Alex has this amazing telescope which allows you to take your own photos of the wild life through it - felt a bit like cheating but very good!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You go on 10 different boats over the 15 days - they were all amazing even if a couple were a bit "edgy"! You definitely don't need anti- malarial tablets though you should take care to cover up/use insect repellent. Although the trip is "Leisurely" be prepared for early starts (5.30 -7am) about 50% of the time. It was hotter than the temperature chart indicated - mostly about mid 30s - though the mini-buses are all air-conditioned and almost all of the hotels were too. The internal flight to Panama City is great but watch your luggage weight. Nicaragua is quite cheap but Costa Rica is about as expensive as the UK.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    About the food - a lot of rice and beans and rice and chicken as you would expect AND a lot of Italian Pizzas and Pasta almost everywhere which we did not expect!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    David Jones

    Nicaragua,Costa Rica,Panama

    Very busy and fascinating insight into three beautiful countries, led by excellent guides and accompanied by an enthusiastic group of fellow travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The experience of visiting two new countries,Nicaragua and Panama and the knowledge and communication of our excellent guides,Elvis and Alex.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex stayed with us throughout the trip and worked tirelessly to ensure everything ran smoothly.Could not have asked for more, first class. In Nicaragua Elvis was the main guide and his knowledge and passion were shared at every opportunity, his zest was infectious and for me he was an outstanding guide and personality, hope to meet both again!!!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a very full and busy itinerary but worth every moment-book now! Currency wise all three countries seem to favour US dollars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having already visited Costa Rica previously for the wildlife, the culture and history of Nicaragua and Panama were mesmerising,a real surprise as I thought this wasn't for me-how wrong I was!!!
  • Reviewed March 2017

    Travellers not tourist .....

    Just back from a wonderful adventure travelling the length of Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama . Rid yourselves of preconceptions about war torn Nicaragua , over populated Caribbean beaches and that Panama is only about hats and canals and you will have a great experience .Travel from Volcano to jungle and experience the wildlife, geography and culture of this little travelled path through Central America . Be prepared for early starts and busy days along with the excitement of some rustic boat rides into the interior and you will not be disappointed - ..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking into the lava lake at Massaya and ALL of our wildlife encounters - too many other wonderful experiences to select from ....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If the Gods are on your side then you will be accompanied by the best guide we have ever encountered - Alex- and for Nicaragua, superb local guide and side kick Elvis . Well done Exodus for engaging Alex - his encyclopaedic knowledge , sense of dedication and all round great attitude made this trip near perfect .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Reality check - this isn't a foody trip - The food wasn't bad and matched the trip note budgets but not the highlight of the trip . The good news is that the local beers were excellent and not too expensive - water was freely available as part of the tour and don't forget to take your water container .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Malaria tablets aren't required but bring your insect repellent , plenty of sun cream and a hat as the temps and the sun high Dollars throughout were easier than credit card . Swimming opportunities at many places - if you have two swimming costumes take them - humidity is high and they don't always dry overnight before you travel to your next venue If you don't have a complex camera / lens for those distant shots , iPhones are excellent for quick pictures and take great pics through a spotters scope - our lovely guide Alex took time to help us get great pictures through his excellent lens and then we air dropped the pic to each of the group !
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