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“Experience the beauty of St. Lucia with the guidance of local environmentalists” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Paradise Excursions

Paradise Excursions
Chateau Bellair, Soufriere, St. Lucia
+1 758-723-2930
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Paradise Excursions is the official tour for the Tet Paul nature trail{community base}. We take great interest in preserving the natural beauty. We love to meet new friends and give them a true taste of St.Lucia.The tours that we offers are adventurous,educational and memorable. Paradise excursions provides every guest with a true taste of the island.Always ready to go the extra mile. By land or by sea enjoy island style experience with paradise excursions.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Experience the beauty of St. Lucia with the guidance of local environmentalists”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

We recently returned from an idyllic 9-day trip to St. Lucia, where one of our high points was making the acquaintance of Mr. John Nestor, a local environmentalist who has worked to preserve the island's natural beauty and share it with others.

We first met John at the head of the Tet Paul Trail, a short (one-hour) but spectacular walk through woods and fields to perhaps the finest view on the island. This is a rather easy walk, but guides are required by local law on all trails, and the $5 fee for the Tet Paul hike is one of the island's great bargains. John is a walking, talking encyclopedia, and a very nice fellow.

We enjoyed our experience with John so much that we engaged him to lead us on a hike up the Gros Piton, one of the island's great landmarks. We had heard and read various conflicting reports about this hike--it can take from 2 to 5 hours round-trip, it is "a piece of cake" or "it is very challenging," etc.

Having a bit of arthritis in my hips at 55 years old, and since my wife ( age 57) has some old skiing knee injuries, I was inclined to pass on it, but John convinced us that we should give it a try. My wife and I were both serious athletes in high school and college, and we have stayed in very good shape, but things like arthritis and knee injuries have taken their toll over the years, so be forewarned--this hike is a workout, no two ways about it. The hike up is quite steep, rocky, and very aerobic, and the hike back down is hard on the joints (not as tiring as the ascent, but more painful). Unless you are in your twenties, you will probably sleep very well that night. John, of course, made it a fabulous experience with his knowledge of local lore, flora, and fauna, and was patient and encouraging when we felt like quitting, so we made it to the peak.

We enjoyed meeting John very much, and hearing him speak with such passion about the local ecosystem and its relationship to the evolving local economy was exciting and inspirational. We will definitely look up John Nestor and his associates on our next trip to St. Lucia!

Visited January 2012
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56 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful island - wonderful tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

We went with John for an entire day on January 22 - just the two of us and had a wonderful time. We were in port for one day on a cruise with the challenge being how to get the most out of this brief stay. John and his driver were prompt, courteous, informative particularly at the Tet Paul nature trail with the best view of the Pitons. John is an expert on his island and a great teacher. He did everything possible including best photo opportunities to make the day complete. Skeptical about the volcanic mud bath but turned out to be one of the highlights of our cruise. Although more costly than the shipboard excursions, there is no comparison in terms of quality - 2 people versus 20 loaded into a tour bus.

Visited January 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
“Paradise Excursions is the best!! Great people and excellent way to see the island at a reasonable price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

My wife and I highly recommend John and Paradise Excursions to anyone thinking of going on an excursion in St. Lucia. Aside from him being a wonderful person, he is a great guide and goes above and beyond to make sure you have the best time possible on the island.

My wife and I visited St. Lucia in October and had an absolutely wonderful time! Prior to our visit we reviewed Tripadvisor and various guide books at the local book store to determine what things we should see and what activities looked interesting. We came across the posting for Paradise Excursions and saw that it was rated very high by quite a few people. We decided to e-mail John and get some information about the excursions and costs involved in advance so we could budget accordingly.

When we got to the island and arrived at our hotel we noticed they offered a number of excursions that went to some of the same places. We preferred John's excursions over the hotel's because he combined several of their trips into one, went places they did not, and the prices for John's excursion packages were better. Ultimately, we went on two excursions with John.

Our first excursion was to the rainforest and rum distillery. John and his driver came early in the morning and picked us up from our hotel. He helped us find an ATM down in Soufriere and we picked up another tour guide he was training (Sharron). We had a great time talking with all of them and learning about the local culture as we drove from Soufriere to the rainforest. John was very knowledgeable and would point out things along the way. He also would stop the car at scenic points and point out landmarks and take our picture. One of the highlights of the trip up was when we stopped at a cassava bread bakery and purchased some of the local cassava bread - it was incredible! The rainforest portion of John's tour was in what he referred to as the heart of the rainforest. It was absolutely beautiful. We walked along a well maintained trail with a national park guide, John, and Sharron, and even though it was raining we had a blast! We learned a lot about the local vegetation and how the people used it in buildings, medications, etc. The trail had a few scenic spots that overlooked rivers running through the rainforest and other mountain peaks. When we finished the rainforest trail, John took us to the rum distillery. Along the way he stopped by a banana plantation and explained to us how the plantation operates, how the banana trees grow and produce fruit, how the fruit is used and harvested. When we reached the rum distillery, they were not ready for a tour and asked us to come back. John took us to a restaurant overlooking Marigot bay and down to the bay to swim before going back to the distillery. The food at the local restaurant was amazing local cuisine and the view was breath-taking! After a quick swim in the bay, we went back to the distillery where the power had gone out - no tours. Fortunately, the rum tasting area was still open and they had samples of every type of rum they manufactured!! After a few rounds of tasting, John's driver drove us back to our hotel.

Our second excursion was up Gros Piton and to the volcano mud baths! John picked us up at our hotel early and helped us locate the ATM in Soufrerie again. On our way to Gros Piton, John stopped along the side of the road by a coco plantation and explained to us how the coco beans grew, were harvested, and how chocolate was made from them. He also let us try a taste of a raw coco bean, which he told us the local kids suck on for a sour treat. The trail up Gros Piton was difficult and long, but well worth it. John was very good about letting us know where we were on the mountain and pointing out the different kinds of vegetation. He also made sure to stop at the scenic spots and help us get some pictures of ourselves. John was very caring and was always checking us and making sure we were not too tired and that we felt OK to go on. We eventually made it to the top and, since it was a cloudy day, occasionally caught glimpses of the other parts of the island far below. It was definitely worth it though! On our way down it rained pretty hard and John made sure we took our time so we didn't slip. At the bottom, he took more pictures for us and arranged for us to have a local lunch at the bottom of the mountain. Again, the food was wonderful! Our next stop was the volcano mud baths where John took us to the volcanic mud baths where we relaxed for a while after a long hard climb. He explained the history of the volcano and took pictures for us/with us as we walked around. After the volcano, he dropped us off at our hotel. The next day, before we left for home, we awoke to find a loaf of cassava bread that John had dropped off at the hotel for us since he knew we enjoyed it so much. It was just one of many examples of how great of a guy John is and how he goes above and beyond to make sure you had the best time possible visiting St. Lucia.

Our trips with John at Paradise Excursions were our favorite memories from our trip and we will definitely contact him next time we are in St. Lucia so we can go on more excursions with him!

Visited October 2011
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West Chester, Pennsylvania
1 review
“If you have only one day in St. Lucia, take a tour with JOHN of PARADISE EXCURSIONS”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

We took the TET PAUL all day tour with JOHN of Paradise Excursions. The tour includes all of the most interesting sites in the Soufriere region of St. Lucia and John makes it lots of fun. Soufriere area is probably the best place to visit if you have only one day as it includes the Pitons (extraordinary), local agriculture and fishing, a visit to a Soufriere Foundation site, and the volcano and mud baths. John is extremely accomodating and will adjust the tour to your party's interests. He mixes up the day with some easy hiking, some tastings of local agricultural products, a great lunch, and disucssion with interesting locals. The tour was a great value for the price and John is the best tour guide we encountered in the Carribean!

Visited January 2012
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Scarsdale, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent day tour to Souffriere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012

I highly recommend John at Paradise Excursions for a day trip to Souffriere: He was prompt, friendly, and knowledgeable about the island. We went to the Tet Paul Trail (great view of the Pitons on an easy short hike), the Mud Baths/Sulphur Springs, and Jalousie Beach. En route, we also saw the "Lady's Shoe," a rock formation off the western coast. John took us for an excellent local lunch; my teenage kids handled a boa constrictor from a roadside guy, and also tasted green coconut and banana ketchup from a roadside vendor. Just factor in driving time from your hotel to the area; we stayed near Rodney Bay and -- no matter what any driiver tells you -- it's 2 hours each way, sometimes on winding mountainous (albeit picturesque) roads. You can do what I did, which is research what you want to do and he will e-mail back a rate and other details promptly.

Visited December 2011
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