3 independent reviews for Caribbean nature tour, Lesser Antilles

Reviews for Caribbean nature tour, Lesser Antilles

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review 30 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Flying to Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, although, to be fair, so much of the holiday was memorable it is difficult to choose a single event.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Research what is going on when you have free time - in Tobago we went to a combined beauty pageant and calypso competition (part of the run-up to carnival) which was a great experience with local people (definitely not put on for tourists!)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All our guides were outstanding and passionate about conservation. We stayed in small local hotels so we hope that benefited local people - all the places we visited showed environmental awareness.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really excellent and very well organised - everything went very smoothly. We had an itinerary that visited seven different islands and Guyana and, apart from the inevitable waiting in airports, all transport arrangements worked well. Not necessarily the BEST holiday we have ever been on - we have been to many wonderful places, and could not possibly choose one as being better than all the others, particularly as each holiday has had a different focus. We did have two major issues with our tour operator, unfortunately, which have now been resolved more or less to our satisfaction. It did take the edge off our enjoyment though: 1. Three weeks before we departed from the UK, our tour operator asked us for an additional 300 to cover two day trips, to Montserrat and to Barbuda, which were included in our itinerary. As we had already paid over 11000 in total for our holiday, we queried this, but paid up as we did not wish to miss these trips. 2. One of these was a day trip to Montserrat. Our tour operator had purchased the flights (not the local agent) and sent us our flight tickets. When we arrived at the airport we had to pay US$75 (for two of us) Antigua departure tax. When we returned from Montserrat, we were charged a further US$75 Antigua arrival tax before we were allowed to board the aircraft. After our return to the UK, we queried this with Fly Montserrat, and apparently these taxes can be paid either when the flights are purchased, or at check-in. We have the receipt showing that our tour operator paid for the flights, but neglected to pay the departure and arrival taxes when they were purchased, and neglected to tell us that we would have to pay these taxes (even though we had specifically checked with them where and when departure taxes were payable). This meant that not only had we paid an extra 300 for the trips before leaving the UK, but we had to pay a further US$150 on the day of our trip. Our flight to Montserrat was the first tour we did on our holiday, and this made us somewhat apprehensive on every other tour. Our tour operator have since refunded 300 to us, which we have accepted. There were a few other niggles (such as there being no reduction in the quoted price when a full day's trip to the AsaWright Centre in Trinidad was removed from our itinerary because of time issues, which would have cost over US$200). We have brought these to our tour operators attention, but we would have totally ignored them had it not been for the two issues mentioned above.

review 27 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Paddling in the sea in my wedding dress with my new husband on the beach at Nisbet plantation. In respect of the 2 islands we visited - the 2.5 mile challenge swim between St Kitts and Nevis. In Dominica - hiking to the boiling lake and all you got to see on the way/return

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We tailor made our holiday, so work with your travel agent to ensure you can make the most of your time by staying in different areas. Nevis and Dominica are suited to active types and we wished we had had more time on both islands to explore more by foot, bike or sea. In Dominica we were told many times that we needed a guide for certain hikes - sometimes this was true and sometimes not, so do your research and only pay for a guide when really necessary.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not overly benefitting local people, although we did make arrangements with local guides (where they were required) rather than always going through the hotel/B&B. In Dominica, the organisers of the canyoning trip had trained and employed local people. Nisbet Plantation was extremely well kept and they were working to preserve the palms that are under threat from a disease.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic, just wish we had had more time on both islands.

review 6 Jan 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Very difficult to say as there was more than one. The whales put on a great display for us, and a huge rainbow curved along the coast while we were at sea. On Antigua we swam with rays, not included in the holiday, and a great experience. On the rainforest walk on St Lucia we were lucky enough to see the St Lucia parrot. We will always remember the open boat trip to the frigate bird colony on Barbuda for the squall that hit us on the return journey! Monsterrat was memorable for the huge effect the volcano has had on like there, and the flights on the tiny plane!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Travel light, be well organised, and be prepared for early starts. The coastal walk on Dominica is only suitable for experienced walkers, it is rated as medium difficulty, we believe it is more challenging than that. Fortunately we are experienced walkers, but some sections were difficult. We had two very wet and slippery ascents and descents, and the boulder hopping on the beach was not for the faint hearted. The beach was only a couple of metres wide and the waves were fairly big, so we constantly had to watch where we put our feet and the sea. It is certainly not an option for inexperienced walkers. We tried to find more info on the walk before we went, but the site for the whole island trail was very sketchy. Rescue in case of an accident would be very difficult.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All the people we came into contact with were locals, so we were benefitting the local economy by providing them with work. Not sure how we reduced environmental impacts, as so many flights were involved.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed it, although it rained a lot, more than we anticipated. Slightly disappointed by the standard of accommodation in St Lucia and Dominica, but the staff in these places more than made up for this. Met lots of lovely locals who really added a lot to our experience.

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