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.

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  • Reviewed February 2017
    Paul Devall

    Discover Chile

    Excellent place to visit

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Torres Del Paine national park. We were fortunate enough to arrive with good weather and could see the range in all its glory. Easter Island whilst expensive is worth the trip, the island is beautiful and the Moais amazing. In all honesty the places visited as a whole were fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was great, he was always there when we or any of the group needed him. In every place we visited he smoothed the way and ensured we all enjoyed it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As other travellers have noted there are some long days. I am sure some of this could be changed with different flying times etc. but you do lose a lot of time on buses and in airports. Be prepared for some stunning scenery and don't get caught out with the different climates at each area that is visited.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Chile is a great place, the people are friendly and in some respects its like stepping back in time. Be aware that dollars are the currency of choice in the Rio Serrano Hotel (or credit card). We never had any problems changing money except in Easter Island. If you decide to do the extension be aware that there are ATM's but no money changing facilities and that some of the restaurants are shut on a Sunday.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Joy Jackson

    Discover chile

    It was an excellent holiday and Alex was a very good guide and went out of his way to make us all comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were such contrasting landscapes it is difficult to decide on one, but perhaps on reflection I would have liked to have done more trecking in Patagonia. Also it was not apparent from the trip notes that the best sight of the glaciers is from a boat and not from a landbased viewpointso I am glad I took the zodiac.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As said before Alex was excellent but ought to ask for insurance details - my first Exodus trip when this wasn't done

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes on the way from Punta Arenas to to Puerto Natales there is one cafe and loo stop where one gets charged for the toilet. Go to the shop on the right with the blue roof, which had an indoor loo and only charged 200 pesos, whereas the one on the left has an outside loo very dilapidated and charged 300!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was one day when we could take a cable lift to go up and down. It is cheaper if you are over 65 but Alex didn't seem to know this. Also he didn't forewarn us of the likely charges, so if you are like me and only take out for the day the money you are going to spend you could get caught out. Also it was not apparent that the hotel in Torres Del Paine much preferred receiving US dollars, so I was annoyed that I had converted dollars to pesos when in the Lake District! This should have been explained more carefully.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Mark Brumwell

    Discover Chile - An Excellent Introduction to a Stunning Country.

    This was an excellent trip. Having seen many stunning photographs of Chile, I went on the holiday with high expectations. I was not disappointed and indeed my expectations were exceeded. It is a truly stunning country with a huge variety of dramatic scenery, friendly people and interesting wildlife. This trip is a very good introduction to the country, covering a lot of territory in two weeks, allowing you to identify the bits to come back to with more time at a later date.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight for me was Patagonia. It reminded me of the better parts of New Zealand, Alaska and the remote northern parts of Canada. We were lucky to have good weather in Torres del Paine National Park so I got some good photographs. The optional boat trip back to Puerto Natales was exciting and, although quite expensive, was well worth the additional cost.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive. He was a pleasure to talk to and gave sufficient information to enhance the travel experience without overloading us with lots of facts that we probably wouldn't have retained. Occasional problems were sorted out quickly and efficiently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although not physically demanding, this is an intensive trip with a lot of travelling, so best suits those with sufficient energy to really enjoy the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The quality of hotels on the trip is good except for the Don Raul in San Pedro de Atacama. The rooms were unbearably hot, very small, dark and claustrophobic. Service in the hotel was rather hit and miss (we had to ask five times for our room to be cleaned), the food in the restaurant is very expensive with small portions (in contrast the restaurants elsewhere in the town which are fine) and maintenance of the hotel is poor. A better quality hotel here would be most welcome.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Richard Semega

    Discover Chile with Alex

    Hi had a great time, Alex was one of my best group leaders ever. Chile was beautiful. I give the trip 5 star. Thank you, Rich Semega.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery was beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    My group leader Alex was one of the best ever.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring many different kinds of clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip over all.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Stephen Gilbert

    Wonderful Experience.

    Our holiday was outstanding! It was a photography heaven, between pair of us we have 3000 photos. Thoroughly enjoyed EVERY DAY. Expensive, but including Extension to E.I this was definetely worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the most inspirational moment was a sunset picnic in front of an Ahu on Easter Island extension. Yes there was a reflection and realisation of the cultures that had passed before. But also a chance to relax and reflect on the wonderful tour and the high number of great experiences over the whole tour. There was a highlight virtually every day. It was like being on holiday 4 times as each environment/landscape is very different and it feels like you've entered another country/continent. We'd like to do this trip all over again, and again?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel Angel was informative, efficient, humourous and very experienced with the running of this tour. We enjoyed his company, thoroughly nice chap.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold weather at Desert (-8 degrees at Taita Geysers sunrise) and also Patagonia. Although the extreme cold at Patagonia is from the wind chill so have windproof clothes with coverage over all exposed areas, hats, scarfs gloves etc. This isn't a strenuous trip. Easy walking, no big slopes. Paths are well maintained. Perhaps the cost of restaurants and bars is quite high (London prices) but you have a variety of options including take aways from supermarkets (yep its like mcdonalds/kfc/greggs/waitrose all in one?). And the off sale wine / pisco sour is cheap too!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you eat and drink at hotels I reccomend put it on the room bill and pay in US Dollars. That way I discovered the hotel waives the 19% local tax which is a good saving. Not something they advertised but made it clear when I paid so it isn't anything dishonest, its normal.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Brenda Smithwhite

    Discover Chile review

    Wow, this was an amazing, awesome, fantastic holiday. Chile is a great place to visit, especially for the physical geography. Holiday went like clockwork, with a great guide. I don't really want to say too much because then everyone will go!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The desert, the Lake District and Patagonia were each a highlight, but there was something special about Patagonia - the setting, the landscape, the wildlife, the colours, the weather, the wind, the air.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was excellent, timings spot on, kept us on track, plenty of info. One of the best guides I have had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not a trip for culture vultures, more for scenery observationists, physical geographers, those seeking a special place to chill out, and photographers. Hotels - all decent clean hotels in good locations. Flight timings good for the internal flights. Be a bit clever with packing. I went two days ahead of the trip, and got over the long flight out and saw some of Santiago. If you see something to buy then buy buy buy, especially before travelling to Patagonia. There is a lot of travelling about but this trip actually felt like a holiday. Plenty of time for naps on the buses.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would love to go back and do a longer trip.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Michael Britton

    Discover Chile AAE 08/02/2016

    A great 'over-view ' of this facinating and varied country. Lots of travelling. Almost a continent in one country. The tour was better than the Trip Notes implied - most of the 'optional' trips were actually included! The pre-travel information (itinerary) was not up to the usual Exodus high standard as far as we were concerned - although some other people on the trip did receive more detailed information (even though we asked for it!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Moai (statues) on Easter Island made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck - and I have done a fair bit of travelling. Contrast the Moai with the sight of the Queen Mary II sailing just off shore was a bonus. On the mainland, seeing the smoking volcanoes in the Atacama Desert and the Valley of the Moon from Coyote Rock was amazing. In Patagonia stopping to watch two sets of real gauchos herding sheep and cows (separately) was just what you think of in South America (but don't actually expect to see!) And the golden sunrise through the cloud on the 'horns' in the Torres del Paine National Park from our room in the lovely Hotel Rio Serrano was certainly a highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Helen Kinzl was an excellent leader. She gave us all the information we needed and had a real passion for Chile and its people. She was always there when needed and did her best to sort things out and make the trip run smoothly to give us the best experience possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The tap water is drinkable - but we used bottled water in the desert and on Easter Island (not sure if this was really necessary. There are some long travel days here because of the geography and infrastructure. Hopefully Exodus will choose better internal flights this season than with our trip where there were some unnecessarily early starts and a silly 8 hour stopover in Santiago en route from Calama to Puerto Montt. (Allbeit they did give us a free Wine Lands tour!) Take clothes you can add or subtract in layers. It can go from cold to hot in a few hours. Spend as much time as possible walking about seeing things and don't stay in the hotels too long!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are some excellent resaurants in Chile - so you don't have to eat in the hotels all the time - but the service times can vary quite a lot. The local shops and people are helpful and friendly. It can be VERY windy in Patagonia - we couldn't do the penguin collony trip for this reason. San Pedro is dusty and hot - it is in the desert! It feels (and looks) like a 'frontier town'. The hotels in the town itself don't seem to have aircon (the Don Raul certainly doesn't and they don't supply fans either so the rooms are like ovens! Nor do they bother to open the bar or the restaurant some of the time) . But it is worth being uncomfortable for a few days just to do the trips - geysers, volcanos, salt flats, sand dunes. Some lunch stops were too long; the time could be better spent by having a quicker (snack?) meal, then seeing the country, rather than the inside of a restaurant
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Stephen Palmer

    Chile January 2016

    We chose this holiday as it gave the opportunity to visit both the Atacama in the north and Patagonia in the south, and we certainly were'nt disappointed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Attending a Rodeo, and looking across to snow capped volcano we'd just visited.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent... Well informed and most caring

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Necessarily there is quite a lot of travelling.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Penny Houghton

    Discover Chile

    Thoroughly enjoyed holiday! but would have preferred 3 weeks instead of 2, in order to visit Chiloe and spend more time in Torres del Paine park.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Torres del Paine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be flexible. Early morning starts, lots of flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have booked the trip to Easter Island with Exodus, but when I asked for prices, I was quoted almost £1,600 for 4 days. £800 for the flight and a similar amount for the land portion. I therefore organized a 5-day trip to Easter Island on my own for around £900 pounds. I was greatly surprised to learn that 4 of my companions on the Discover Chile trip took the Easter Island add on for a total of around £700! Staff should check up before giving out costs.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Anne Martin

    Discover Chile

    Visiting Chile and Easter Island is like going to four different countries The lunar like landscape, Geysers, beautiful blue lagoons and spectacular night sky of the Atacama desert. The lush green of the lake district with fast flowing rivers and volcanoes. Wild and windy Patagonia, with glaciers and icebergs. Easter Island where there are numerous giant statues.(moai).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many. Eating breakfast in the freezing cold surrounded by Geysers. A picnic at sunset in the Atacama Desert. A very hairy boat ride to see the penguins on Magdalena Island. Nowhere else in the world can you sit and view giant statues on a beautiful beach.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was very obvious that Miguel is a very experienced guide. He whisked us through the various airports with ease. When for any reason we could not follow the itinerary he quickly found an alternative. He recommended various places to eat in each area from the cheap to expensive and let us decide for ourselves where we wanted to eat. .He is a very calm guy with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm gloves and scarf. Fleece and windbreaker t-shirts and a few jumpers. You have to be fairly laid back to do this trip.There a four internal flights and long bus journeys on some bumpy roads. If you are interested in Astronomy it is well worth doing the tour in San Pedro.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had two flight delays one on the way out from Manchester due to fog. The flight from Easter Island back to the mainland was delayed by 24 hrs.This was not a problem for me but worrying for some of the group who had connecting flights to other areas. The Exodus staff in Santiago were excellent. I was met at the airport taken to a hotel overnight and my flight was re-booked for the next day this was all done with no extra cost to me. The delays were completely out of the control of Exodus, so I was very surprised when I returned home to find a cheque for £ 165 plus a £50 voucher off my next trip.This was a very goodwill gesture from Exodus and I will defiantly be travelling with them again.
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