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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
8.1 17 beoordelingen
  • 10

    Guatemalan Highlands & Vocanoes

    This trip was a bit different from the normal point to point trekking. It was much more varied and I very much enjoyed it. As an example, there is an optional ascent of Volcan San Pedro which has great views from the summit over Lake Atitlan. It's a fairly hard 1,200 metres of ascent. We took tuk-tuks to an early start around 07.00, were at the top by 10.30, enjoyed the views and instead of the normal packed lunch we were back down for lunch in a restaurant, after which we had a free afternoon. It was shorts and T-shirts by day but could be quite cold and windy at night ( most camping nights were spent on school playgrounds and we sometimes ate in a classroom on little children's chairs). I'd be happy to recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were some great views, especially of Lake Atitlan. However, a special moment came just after a group photograph had been taken at the highest point of the trip, the summit of Volcan Santa Maria, when we were treated to an eruption of ash and smoke from nearby Santiaguito.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three local guides, Juan, Rafael and Miguel. The first two spoke excellent English whilst Miguel would try to teach us Spanish in return for us helping him improve his English. All three were extremely helpful and each had a good sense of humour. I greatly enjoyed their company and had full confidence in them. Everything went to plan and they even laid on excellent weather.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you fly via the USA remember you'll need an ESTA and to queue up to go through immigration, even just for transit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only downside to this trip was the use of United Airlines. Across the Atlantic you only have to pay extra for alcoholic drinks but to Guatemala you only get a free soft drink and you have to pay for everything else, food and entertainment. They also may change your return flight whilst you are in Guatemala and they always seem to overbook.

  • 8

    Guatemala

    Truly challenging trip that lived up to its billing. The final walking day was tremendous

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the volcano on the final walking day and seeing the neighbouring volcano erupt.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is challenging. Because of the nature of volcano's there is a lot of up and down and no ridge walks. Be prepared.K

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Amazing Guatemala!

    Just returned from an amazing 2 weeks in Guatemala. The trekking was tough but beautiful and only one day was thwarted by an erupting volcano!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights including enjoying leisurely beer in the natural hot springs buried deep in the jungle, zip lining over the forest canopy, a boat trip across Lake Atitlan and trekking to the top of several amazing volcanoes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan and Rafa were brilliant. Lovely characters who were keen to show the best of their beautiful country as well as ensuring everyone had a great time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take quick drying clothes, things can get quite damp on the camping nights due to the natural climate of the rainforest. Also it gets very chilly in the evenings so make sure you have a warm fleece and hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip - if you are thinking of doing it don't hesitate - book it!

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    The sheer diversity of the trip is wonderful!  From exploring the vast and colourful vegetable market,  zip wiring, exploring Mayan ruins, boat trips, highland villages, bird watching,  soaking in glorious hot spring tubs, meeting friendly local people, including Miguel's lovely family, the whole trip was superb and that is before we start on the fabulous walking up five volcanoes............. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of glorious Santa Maria, with volcanoes galore all around, some of which we had climbed.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All three group leaders were superb; special mention goes to Juan who was responsible, friendly, competent, flexible and good fun throughout.  We were particularly impressed with the way he responded to the group and made things happen even if they weren't on the 'trip notes'!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be obsessed with 'trip notes'!  Flexibility is good - the 'off piste' activities that Juan and his team offered were some of the BEST bits!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The weather was superb throughout (sorry that the previous group were not so lucky)  with blue skies and sunshine every day.  The dry season had just started and we reaped the benefits.  Juan at the very beginning mentioned that life is not hurried in Guatemala and that we would enjoy it best if we relaxed and enjoyed the leisurely tempo of Guatemalan life.  He was right! The food that Juan Carlos and his ace team prepared in difficult conditions was superb.  Most of us found our way to his restaurant in Antigua on our free day there, just to savour the delights one more time! We visited the Filadelfia coffee plantation on our day in Antigua and found it fascinating - and you get to travel in a WW2 Unimog truck!

  • 4

    Guatemala: Land of the eternal spring (shower!)

    Guatemala has great potential as an adventure travel destination, but my holiday (in October 2013) was blighted by frequent torrential rain that significantly detracted from the experience.  The 2013 Trip Notes were not always representative of the walks actually on offer – Exodus have assured me that this is going to be corrected for departures in 2014 onwards.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was hoping for plenty of stunning highland views on this holiday and I’m sure they’re available in good weather, but the heavy rain severely limited what we were able to see.  Instead, spending time with Quiche Maya locals in the highlands of Guatemala was a highlight – despite current FCO advice stating that Guatemala suffers from high rates of crime, I never felt in any way unsafe whatsoever and I don’t think I’ve ever visited such a friendly and relaxed country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan and Esteban were friendly and enthusiastic guides.  They did a good job of making alternative accommodation arrangements when our campsite flooded and booked alternative excursions for us when we all got fed up with trekking on washed out paths in the pouring rain.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come prepared for all weathers and avoid travel to Guatemala in October if the end of the wet season in 2013 that I experienced is anything to go by.  If bad weather washes out the paths, trekking poles are pretty much essential – particularly for the steep descent off the Zunil Ridge down to Georginas Hot Springs. The accommodation arrangements for the 6 days of trekking are supposed to consist of camping in tents.  Spacious canvas tents were provided, but they weren’t waterproof so we ended up sleeping on the think foam mattresses provided on the floor of a nearby refuge for the first two nights of the trek and on the floor of a classroom of the local school for the 3rd and 4th nights (again on the think foam mattresses provided).  Note that the 2 nights spent at Georginas Hot Springs actually involve staying in cabins rather than camping. Money exchange in Antigua was somewhat time-consuming – it may be better to get some Quetzales changed at the airport at the beginning of the trip where exchange rates are as competitive as in town. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I didn't find this tour to be a particularly challenging volcano climbing trek, it’s more of a visit to the Guatemalan Highlands with a variety of countryside walks on offer (the only summit we climbed to was Volcan San Pedro and this wasn’t actually part of the Exodus itinerary).  Following discussions with Exodus after my holiday in October 2013, Exodus have assured me that they are going to amend the Trip Notes to more accurately reflect the walks on offer each day for departures in 2014 onwards.

  • 4

    The real Guatemala

    There is a wet season. We saw highland Guatemala like it truly is, even when the tourists aren't there. Mountain villages, colourful markets, a religious festival. But it rained, a lot. The wildflowers were magnificent, but we didn't get many views of distant volcanoes. The active volcanoes on the itinerary were both deemed currently too dangerous. For me, as a seasoned Scottish hill walker, too few of the days were long and challenging. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The flowers and the food. Relaxing in unlimited hot water at Fuentes Georginas after a wet and eventually rather cold afternoon on the hill. Saunas are recommended. We saw a quetzal too, quite close and for around half an hour.  Pity it was misty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The weather gave our leaders extra work to do, making changed arrangements.  There was no question of camping because of the weather.  All done without a hitch or a murmur. They were also very good at providing alternatives, including necessary transport, for the 'days off'. They knew where to eat - excellent food.  Excellent food on the trek too, prepared by a professional chef.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Brace yourself for Miami airport on the way back - it's not good.  And use the bathroom before joining the 2 hr queue! If you use poles, do remember to bring them. Paths are steep and very slippery if wet.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 4

    50 shades of fogs

    Guatemala is a fantastic country with great people and the tour leaders were excellent.  However, I was disappointed that Exodus offered this trip in October (in-between the rainy and dry season) as (1) we had rain almost everyday and could not fully enjoy the views nor the camping (tents were not waterproof!) and (2) most importantly it felt quite unsafe to go downhill in some parts due to the rain. I recommend this trip but not in October.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    Very impressive trip: stunning scenery, fabulous hiking, and a fascinating insight into Mayan history and Guatemalan life. We had a great group, and a lot of fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A real highlight was seeing two erupting volcanoes, and watching the sun rise over Lake Atitlan. I really enjoyed getting off the beaten track, and experiencing local hospitality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leaders, Pedro and Esteban, were excellent. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and insight made our trip great fun and extremely rewarding. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly -- and to offer us a range of interesting options during our time in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. A special mention too for our local guide, Miguel, who made us so welcome, and helped make our trip so sociable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unquestionably a serious hiking trip. A fabulous choice if, like me, you want some challenging mountain trekking. Expect the itinerary to vary slightly, to meet changing conditions. Enjoy going with the flow -- the tour leaders never failed to deliver!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keen walkers, who want something different, will love this trip. I enjoyed everything from the food, to the fun, to the fabulous views. I've been given a fascinating insight into Guatemala's history, culture, and coffee production. The saunas and hot springs were pretty good too. A great experience all round. Many thanks.

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    Very impressive trip: stunning scenery, fabulous hiking, and a fascinating insight into Mayan history and Guatemalan life. We had a great group, and a lot of fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A real highlight was seeing two erupting volcanoes, and watching the sun rise over Lake Atitlan. I really enjoyed getting off the beaten track, and experiencing local hospitality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leaders, Pedro and Esteban, were excellent. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and insight made our trip great fun and extremely rewarding. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly -- and to offer us a range of interesting options during our time in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. A special mention too for our local guide, Miguel, who made us so welcome, and helped make our trip so sociable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unquestionably a serious hiking trip. A fabulous choice if, like me, you want some challenging mountain trekking. Expect the itinerary to vary slightly, to meet changing conditions. Enjoy going with the flow -- the tour leaders never failed to deliver!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keen walkers, who want something different, will love this trip. I enjoyed everything from the food, to the fun, to the fabulous views. I've been given a fascinating insight into Guatemala's history, culture, and coffee production. The saunas and hot springs were pretty good too. A great experience all round. Many thanks.  

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    Volcanoes, beautiful scenery, incredible guides, wonderful local people, a great group and fantastic times - one of the best trips I have ever been on!  I would recommend this holiday to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A few too many to mention: reaching the tops of the many volcanoes, swimming in Lake Atitlan, partying the night away with our guides, doing an Italian Job impression in a Bob Marley tuk tuk (you had to be there), boats, pick-ups and camping out in the highlands.  Sunrise over Lake Atitlan was probably one the real highlights, together with seeing Fuego erupting.  This trip really has something for everyone and only the most petty-minded could find anything to fault in it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leadership on this holiday was outstanding.  We had two main guides: Pedro and Esteban, who were committed and fantastic company.  They made the holiday.  Also Miguelito, our local guide for a week of the trip was brilliant, not to mention hilarious - we even went to his house for dinner and met his family.  Some of the best guides I have ever come across.  They made guiding look easy, which it certainly isn't, and everything worked like clockwork.  Brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Understand the flight arrangements - we flew back trhough Miami which was horrendous - I would suggest ensuring your flight goes through a different airport!  Also, I wish I had known that your things are never carried by animals/people so it is OK to pack that extra pair of shoes and a couple of extra items of clothing, unlike other trips I have been on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Key to enjoying this trip is going with the flow - it was a very lively, fun group and we had a wonderful time with the guides - if you like a quiet solitary walk this might annoy you but we loved it!  Do all the optional activities.  Guatemala is an amazing country and this is a fantastic holiday.

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    Action packed 2 weeks. Enthusiastic, dedicated and highly professional group leaders, awesome scenery, well planned route, fabulous food plus lots of nice surprises thrown in by the group leaders.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dinner with a Sharman and her family before starting the trek.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were suberb. They were both very enthusiastic, professional and highly knowledgable. They worked extremely hard to show us the best their country has to offer and without them the trip would not have been half as good!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have time it is worth extending your trip and heading up to Tikal. If you have more time still, it is worth heading to Belize to chill out (and let the blisters heal) before returning home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    A true trip of discovery and adventure. Made exceptional by the quality of the guides, welcome of local people and beautiful, varied scenery of the volcano hikes.  Not to mention the opportunity to visit unspoilt, isolated regions in this beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to chose but the most memorable time was when the guides organised a suprise dinner cooked by a house in the local village.  They were able to russle up a dinner for 15 at short notice and produced some authentic dishes we helped to cook.   All the moments that we were able to spend with the locals were the most inspirational parts of the trip whether it be the football game with the kids in the highlands or the shaman ceremony for our safe travels. Getting to the top of Volcan Feugo after 7 hrs was also a great sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our two group guides made the trip truly special. Almost every day there was a suprise added onto our itinerary that often involved visits with local villagers providing insights into local life which we would never have been able to find ourselves.  Guides who obviously cared about their country and wanted to share it rather than just doing their job.  Very knowledgeable on history and local culture.  They always took extra care to ensure the group was happy, no matter what time of day and put the groups needs before their own. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hikes are definetely challenging as mentioned in the itinerary.  A bit of training before going is a must.  It can get cold up in the highlands so a mix of warm and cool clothes necessary.  I wish I'd read more about Mayan culture and the countries history before since it would have made some of the visits more fascinating.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do go on this trip. I really can't fault it.  The hiking is very challenging at times and adventurous. The guides so lovely we found it hard to say goodbye to them.  Guatemala is really one of those rare unspoilt countries and we didn't feel it was remotely dangerous during our visit given the support of the guides. This was my first Exodus trip but having spoken to others I think its probably a real find since the way the tour is run gives you real insights and opportunities to see the local culture as well as have fantastic hikies.

  • 8

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    A great trip - It was AMAZING when we heard, felt and saw Santiaguito Volcano erupt and saw the rust cloud bellow up high into the sky!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Joan-Carlos (of Restaurant Sabe Rico, Antigua) was our cook for the time of our camping – His passion, enthusiasm, support to locals and presentation of the food was far beyond any expectation - Something I will always remember – He was a true gentleman and inspirational ambassador of Guatemala and all things good!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    FAB - Guides (Pedro and Pablo) were very passionate about and proud of their country! So much so that sometimes you felt it was their holiday and not yours - they spent lots of time searching out birds and photographing! On a few of the evenings one of the guides would down-load his pictures of the day and we would have a slide show – And also some local music!!  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd say taking walking sticks is a must - a help on the way up and great support on the way down. Also if you go around March time, it's the end of the dry season so the paths are VERY dusty, take trousers you' re willing to be damaged or throw away after!! Also you could consider taking some protection for your mouth for breathing in the dust (like a light scarf).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good that only 8 in the group as meant trek never spread out too much. Dont' get me wrong this is an excellent trip!... but to improve 1. The main reason for me picking this tour was to see molten lava, and I didn’t. The trip notes use the word ‘molten’ on the day-2 activities, and there’s a picture in the trip notes of someone stood next to molten lava. The word molten and the picture need to be removed from the trip notes, so others are not disappointed like me. If not I will consider contacting Trading Standards in approximately one month. (But d 2. Disappointed in the excess polystyrene packaging used for the packed lunch of day-12 (Georginas Hot Springs). Considering we were in the most agricultural area of the trip, very poor breakfast (white bread, ketchup and processed cheese sandwich) of day-13 (Georginas Hot Springs). Nothing can compare to Joan-Carlos' breakfats!!! 3. Suggest guides turn off their mobile phones while on trek/walks. They had walkie-talkies so mobiles not necessarily needed. 4. For the last two nights the group was split across two hotels, which was disappointing - Appreciate this would not generally be the aim.

  • 8

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    A great trek in a wonderful landscape setting with comfortable tents, good food and very nice people (guides and group members).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Lake Atitlan was very inspiring. Thanks to the different walks we did, we got to see the same lake in different dispositions. But also the hot springs and the Mayan saunas after the long walking days were just great!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders, both very young but competent and caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES

    An excellent trip to an "obscure" country, for me at least. But full of surprises (pleasant ones)! The interaction with the indigenous Mayan people was a highlight. Also the erupting volcanoes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The night climb up the 3800m Santa Maria Volcano. Starting at 1 am we made reasonable progress up the decent. Looking outwards the stars in the sky were matched by the lights of the nearby city of Quetzeltenango (second city in Guatemala). From just below the summit the lightening sky brought to view the cloud sea in the north towards Mexico. But the highlight was watching (twice in three hours) the nearby 2500m volcano Santiagato, below us, erupt great plumes of smoke hundreds of metres into the air.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo was very good and was able to communicate his pride and love for the Mayan culture. Always helpful. The local mountain guides Umberto and Edwin were also excellent. I have no complaints about all the Guatemalan staff we met.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take brand new footwear on a walking  trip. One of the group bitterly regretted doing this!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to be impressed by this lovely little country!

  • 6

    Volcanoes

    Although the views are spectacular at certain points on this trip, much of the actual walking is not very interesting, being in trees most of the way up and down. The places that we visited, Antigua, Xela, Iximche and Lake Atitlan were all great, and we enjoyed seeing some of the traditional Mayan ways still going on. The trip deserves it's Challenging grading.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the top of Volcan Santa Maria on the last walking day were very beautiful. The walk starts very early to maximise the chance of a clear sky before the clouds come in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan and Rafael were great and very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be sure it is the right trip for you. The walking is mostly steep uphill and then steep downhill among trees. It's not like trekking in Nepal or Ethiopia for example. Also, be prepared for eating outside on cold evenings at campsites and the hot springs (the evenings are cold there) so bring warm clothing for sitting around in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you do this trip, do an extension to Tikal if you have time.

  • 8

    Tough but worthwhile

    Stunning views, tough climbs great guides

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day - an early start with a procession of head torches to climb Santa Maria. You spend the previous week climbing volcanos around Santa Maria, and the view from the top is absolutely amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, there were two - Juan and Raf. We always had one leading at the front, one at the back. We also had a Miguel join for a week or so, and 2 tourist police. We were well escorted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Half the group got sick - be so careful with hygiene. Do all the optional stuff. It's cold at night, and often you'll sit outside to have supper on the camping days, but warm when you are walking in the days

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes were out of date - distances and climbs / descents, but every day was clearly described by the guides. Camping at the schools was a mixed bag - the first was awful, the second great. you could take pens / books for the schools if that is your thing

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