TRAVEL

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GUIDE SERVICE

You hire a guide to learn. Typically you are also on vacation, so you want to have a great time in the process. Good guides are passionate about what they do. It’s not just a job it’s a way of life.

“Hydration is key”

in the V.I.

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Guides are experts who help you safely navigate, both mentally and physically, toward desired goals; whether it’s summiting Mount Everest or learning how to snorkel in the Virgin Islands.  You want to look for experienced, licensed, and insured professionals. 

Finding a guide is easier than ever, thanks to online resources. REI Co-Op  can assist you in finding outstanding local guides.  The Outdoor Project has some excellent tips as well. Prior to travel contact local sport shops in the area you plan to visit. Local knowledge can provide extensive information and names of reputable outfitters, and ones to stay away from. Online reviews can be helpful. Be prudent in reading negative comments.  Not all negative comments are a negative in the guiding world. In some cases weather or safety concerns can shorten an adventure, displeasing the client; no fault of the guide and bravo for them for placing safety priority.

 

Many very skilled and experienced guides share their expertise for the love of the adventure.

Photo Credit: Catherine Tao

Never judge a guide service by pricing. Bad guides can cost the same as great ones! Pricing could be a tool to narrow your options, but don’t let price be your determining factor. Large tour companies are the less expensive option, often times employing a greater percentage of seasonal help. You will also be sharing your vacation with the masses of people booking these tours. Hiring a guide offers you a personalized experience. There is a big difference between an individual leading a tour on a predetermined path and a guide escorting you in the backcountry or through open waters. Experience matters when exploring unfamiliar territories. When your safety is of concern hire the dedicated professional

 

An expert guide will assist you in overcoming fear.

Or help you swim away unnoticed. :)

 

Guides are psychologists. The best guides have the experience and know-how to encourage clients, deal with fear/panic, and assist in boosting your confidence to accomplish a goal.  If you’re fearful of water a good guide will not force you to enter. A good guide will however, share a few of their proven tips and techniques to possibly get you to overcome your hesitation, and enjoy a new experience.  Expert guides are many steps ahead of the current situation and creating ways to make the experience easier, safer, and in-tune with the clients level. 

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LOCAL

GUIDES ARE FAMILIAR WITH AREA WEATHER PATTERNS

Ultimately the guide experience should provide you with advanced knowledge, practical experience, and a thrill experiencing something unique and exciting. If your goal is summiting a mountain or catching that first fish on a fly rod, a little guidance from a professional can fine tune your technique and prepare you to reach your goal a little easier and a lot safer. When hiring a guide, your first interest should be in learning from someone willing to take the time to show you. The experience then will be one you look back on fondly for many years to come.

Your Antilles EcoQuest guide is licensed, insured, and certified in Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED Rescue. Drug and substance FREE. Meet our guides!

 
 

RESEARCH UP!

We’ve linked you up.

While you’re waiting for your flight to leave, spend a little time planning your adventure.

To discover the hidden gems remember to book your Antilles EcoQuest!

Resources:

 
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favorite places to dine:

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  • Barefoot Buddha - One of the few establishments offering healthy, vegetarian, and vegan options. Great coffee! Across the street from your WICO docked ship.

  • Island Time Pub. Located in Red Hook, upstairs in the American Yacht Harbor plaza. Family friendly. View overlooks yacht harbor and St. John. Delicious pizza, sandwiches, and the best ahi tuna salad on island..·     

  • Tap and Still. Delicious burgers, fries, shakes. Two locations: one within walking distance of your WICO docked ship and one in Red Hook, in the American Yacht Harbor plaza. We especially like Tap and Still for their cautious use of wasteful products.

  • Pie Whole. Located in Frenchtown. Super pizza and salads. Close to the airport.


Highlights not to miss!

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  • Drake’s Seat and the view above Magens Bay

  • Utter Delight – alcohol infused ice cream for all ages, near Magens Bay.·      

  • Stop at the Skyline Dr lookout. View from above the Charlotte Amalie harbor, Hassel Island, and on a clear day St. Croix. Great place to sit and watch the sunset.

  • Spend a little time in Charlotte Amalie. Walk the narrow streets, view Danish architecture, and take in the sites of the capital of the U.S.V.I. 

  • Visit a beach. Walk barefoot along the shore, cool off in the crystal clear waters, the underwater world is captivating.

  • Nature lover’s should spend an entire day exploring St. John. Over half the island is managed by the National Park Service.  Park entry is free of charge. Stop at the Visiter Center located within walking distance of the ferry dock in Cruz Bay. 

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Please be cautious on your water usage while visiting, the islands. Rain catchments are universal. You’ll notice rum is more economical to purchase than fresh water. 

Recycling is not available to island residents. Cruise ships however DO RECYCLE! Please return to ship carrying your daily usage of trash, plastic containers, take out boxes, etc.

Remember to book that Antilles EcoQuest adventure – we can’t wait to show you our islands!

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