Where do I even begin?
When it comes to vacations, my wife is an absolute champ at doing her research and finding the "hidden gems" where ever it is that we go. She found John and Paradise Excursions about a month prior to our arrival and was impressed right off the bat with how quickly and thouroughly John responded to her inquiries. John made the entire booking process extremely easy...which is what you usually don't experience when booking thru a resort. We scheduled 2 seperate excursions during our week on the island with the first one being a general tour.
Day 1 - Tet Paul
John and his Driver, Darrell, promptly arrived at our resort at the scheduled pick up time. Which is amazing considering that he had to drive all the way from Soufriere just to get us (just shy of a 2 hour drive). John was very courteous and knowledgable right from the get go. He has a very friendly and addictive personality and communicates very well. Without going into a bunch of detail, we took a tour of the southeast part of the island...hitting up the town of Soufreire, Canaries, Tet Paul Nature Trail, the sulphur springs, and the botanical gardens. Typically, that is a lot of stuff to do in one day but John made sure that we weren't being rushed and made it feel as if we had all the time in the world. I also have to throw in there that he pleasently surpised us by stopping by his mothers bakery for some snacks. I forgot the name of those fish-filled pastries but darn were they delicious!
Day 2 - Gros Piton
We were warned by other guests at the resort that the Gros Piton hike was difficult. We've done some pretty intense hikes before so we felt up to the challenge. John prepared us well by explaining the severity of the trail, how to keep your footing, amount of food and water to bring, and to not rush. It started off with a slight incline but soon gave way to a steep climb with large boulders and long steps. Combine that with a hot temperature and humidity thats off the charts - it makes for a sweat filled day! But like I said, John did not rush us and stressed safety as the overall concern. The trail itself is beautiful w/ lots of sceneic vantage points and tropical foliage. Reaching the top not only makes for a spectacular view but it also gives you that sense of accomplishment/satisfaction in knowing that you just did something that not many people will ever get the chance to do. After making the trek back down the piton, John had a creole meal setup for us under a big ol palapa. A very nice ending to such a strenuous but fun adventure.
My wife and I had such an amazing time in St. Lucia and it would not have been close to being as wonderful an experience were it not for John and Paradise Excursions. HIGHLY recommended and if we ever swing by St. Lucia again we will definately be giving John a call =)
Thank you for the memories John! (And Darrell!),
John and Tiffany
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