4 independent reviews for St Lucia birdwatching tour, tailor made

Reviews for St Lucia birdwatching tour, tailor made

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review 2 Mar 2019

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

The most memorable parts of the vacation were The East Coast, Quilesse Reserve and the Vieux Fort Wetlands. This was only made possible because of our exceptional tour guide Willow. His knowledge, birding skills, skills in locating the birds was second to none.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take a light weight water proof jacket, long trousers, good walking shoes/boots. A hat & sunscreen.

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

We believe that our vacation benefited local people. The hotel employed local people and was supplied by local fisherman and farmers. All our tour guides were local people, as were the taxi drivers. Further more our entrance fees & passes to The Botanical Gardens and volcano help towards there upkeep and conservation.

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

Brilliant, would highly recommend the vacation to anyone interested in wildlife and nature conservation. The hotel was excellent with first class food, fabulous large pool and an away from it all feel.

review 23 Mar 2019

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

We saw an agouti! This is very rare, we were privileged to have a really good view and to follow the scent track for some distance. The walks, guided by Willow, were all excellent and he makes every effort to ensure clients see as much as possible. Early starts and some long days, but although we are not that fit we managed well as the pace was appropriate to our advanced years.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Stay in at least two hotels - although the island is small travel is slow. This also means you can benefit from different experiences. We stayed 10 nights in the small Fox Grove Inn which is a back water away from the tourist hot spots and 4 in the large all-inclusive Bel Jou above Castries - for us that split was just right.

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

Yes. Fox Grove is locally owned and run, and offers employment in an area of St Lucia where opportunities are limited. They bought their fish straight off the boat at Dennery, and vegetables etc are local (guava and mangos straight from the tree). No air con, just a fan, so a little less impact. We understand Bel Jou is part of a hotel group owned by a Barbadian family not an international set up. It has more facilities, such as air con, and incorporates apples and some other imported ingredients while still focussing on local produce. The clientel is more main stream so this is not surprising. Transport and tours used were all local. Fram Tours who did the transfer is a young self starter, a good guy who also does bike tours ( previously trained with Chris Froome!). Willow works for a small wildlife tours operation (birding@stluciawildlife.com) all three of them are St Lucians and really know their stuff. Local restaurant by the pier ON the Pigeon Island reserve (not in the car park) is excellent and has sound principles; notice says "Skip the straw, save a turtle". Main issue environmentally is plastic. We took water bottles but it is not easy to refill with chilled water. Could RT promote water bottles with operators/hotels branding which hotels will refill for free?

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

A wonderful experience. Great country, people and wildlife.

review 21 Mar 2019

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

Staying on the undeveloped east side of St Lucia at a family-run hotel rather than a resort hotel in the west

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Ideal situation for peace and quiet, not if you want more action. The birdwatching trips were a good way of seeing parts of the island not usually visited by tourists and a hire car was a good way of seeing more on our own.

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

Yes because we were on the less touristy east coast and because we went on the birdwatching trips

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

Very good. Wouldn't have wanted to stay for a full 2 weeks as it's a small island but could have stayed a few days longer than 1 week

review 11 Feb 2018

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

Just back from 10 days in St Lucia, and all of it was great. Every one was so friendly, and the country side is stunning. We are not experienced birdwatchers, but we loved the trips out to see the birds as it meant spending time out in the countryside and chatting to our guides and learning about St Lucia. We had 3 trips included in the vacation with wildlife. Ambassadors, and the guides, Willow and Vision, were excellent, fun to chat to and very knowledgeable. Highlight was stopping on the road on the way back from a trip and Vision buying us some cassava bread from a stall which was the most delicious thing ever.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We split the vacation between the Fox Grove Inn on the east side of the island, and then Villa Beach Cottages on the west side. I would thoroughly recommend both places. Fox Grove is small scale and simple, with a surprisingly large swimming pool and lovely peaceful surroundings and great views of the valley and at Atlantic coast. We walked down to the local botanical gardens, saw lots of birds, swam and relaxed, and ate lovely food as breakfast and dinner is included and the restaurant is very good. Villa Beach is also family owned and run, with really lovely villa apartments right on the beach. We had an upstairs suite which was so private with stunning views of the Caribbean, and the sound of the sea all night right outside. I think staying on both sides of the island worked really well for us, and gave us 2 different types of experience, both lovely.

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

A lot of places in St Lucia are all inclusive, or appear large scale and operated by foreign investors. I think the accommodation choices we were offered were excellent as both owned and run by people living locally, and are small scale. The local tour guides used are also a small local business, who are keenly involved inenvironmental projects such as turtle conservation.

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

It was excellent, well planned and very good accomodation offered.

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