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“Great Adventure”
Review of Beno Nature Tours

Beno Nature Tours
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great Adventure”
Reviewed 31 December 2011

No, it's not the Dominican Republic, it's Dominica, pronounced like Domineeka. This was the second island where I had pre-arranged a tour. Fortunately, it was night and day difference from St Kitts, though. Actually Dominica is very different from the other islands. It's a volcanic island and the sand on the beaches is black. I had read that the beaches aren't great, but there are plenty of other things to see in and around the rain forest. So the guy I found was called Beno. There's also a site for Beno Tours. Basically it's this one proprietor. He seemed like a really nice guy as soon as we met him. I talked to another friend and they mentioned the same destinations plus one called Champagne Bay. I told Beno about it and he said he would take us there as well, even though it wasn't part of our original agreement. Beno never said no to us for whatever we talked to him about and he didn't ask for additional money for the additional places. Another cool feature of his tour is he stocked the van with a cooler full of bottled water and the local beer called Kubuli. That was a great added touch to the tour. I would highly recommend him for a Dominica tour. There are also other great tours on this island as well; others where the guides were even more helpful, so I get the feeling that this is a VERY friendly island. Again, stark comparison to our experience at St. Kitts. I feel like if this place had good beaches, it would be the best destination for sure. I think a combination of St Maarten and Dominica is the perfect vacation.

Titou Gorge - This was a cool stop. Basically, it's a waterfall inside this cave-like area. There's a huge gorge where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was also shot. There's a scene where they're running away from someone/something and they jump in to this gorge. I'm going to have to rent that movie to remember the scene myself. But anyway it was a short little hike up to the gorge and then I actually swam in to it. It was kind of a scary swim. There are parts where the water is very shallow... then it goes really deep and then it's shallow again. When you put your foot down and there's nothing down there... and you kind of go in to the water a bit; that's when I kind of freaked out a little bit. I should've taken a life vest, but I didn't. Well, anyway I swam all the way in and up to this little cove area where the waterfall actually was. It was an exhausting swim, because you're going up-current from that fall. I couldn't make it in to the cove... the current was just too strong and I was pooped. The rest of my group just stayed by the outside and waited for me. It was fun... felt like I was very adventurous doing it.

Screw Sulfur Spa - We paid and entered a sulfur spa for a while. It was really cool, because they had built these man-made pools of sulfur springs. The idea is that the sulfur water is very good for your skin. Each subsequent pool was cooler; in all they have 5 pools of differing temperatures. We worked our way up to the hottest one. It was a really relaxing stop.

Trafalgar Falls - Beautiful falls in the middle of the rain forest. After a small hike up to the platform you get a view of two separate falls. Interestingly, one of them is very hot water and the other one is cold water. It's so amazing that is... After the platform the going got a lot tougher... you have to scale up and down all sorts of slippery boulders and rocks, etc. It was definitely an adventure, but we went and got in to both falls. Some great shots in the cascading pools under those falls. Really fun.

Mountain View - It was a gorgeous view from up there. We saw the entire town and port and cricket stadium and all. Breathtaking.

Champagne Bay - After the falls, we went to Champagne Bay. Along the way, other tours waved to Beno and told him that snorkeling was not advised today due to the rough waters. Too cloudy and too strong of a current. Well, since we had heard about it we asked him to take us there anyways. So we went there and walked around and took a look. There were a few people out there snorkeling. We thought about it, but decided to skip. Other friends of ours said they did that as their first stop and the person they were with helped take them in despite the rough waters. There had been some scary parts for them as well. I think with a few of us that were non-swimmers being there, I'm glad we stayed out of it. Plus we had run out of time after doing 3 somewhat time-consuming activities beforehand. So we went back to the pier and it was time to leave Dominica.

Visited December 2011
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3 Thank AJSI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great guide for Dominica”
Reviewed 4 April 2011

Augustine "Beno" Pascal is an excellent guide for the island of Dominica. He answers emails quickly, shows up at the ship or your hotel on time, is very knowledgable of the area, speaks perfect English, drives carefully -- a perfect guide. We met him through another group from our cruise ship who'd used him before and asked us to join their group. I especially appreciated getting to the special sites before everyone else arrived. He also lined up special experiences for us along the way. It was great having a tour for six people rather than a huge cruise tour! He can be reached at www.benonaturetours.com

Helpful?
Thank mll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Experience--A Highlight of Our Trip for Sure”
Reviewed 3 April 2011

We had a wonderful morning on Dominica with Beno Pascal. He was easy to find as we got off our cruise ship, and he got us to the gorgeous Emerald Pool before any of the other cruise ship passengers! A group of twenty or more arrived just as we were leaving--it got crazy fast--but there is no one in our pics except us and our touring partners :). We then stopped by the very pretty Jaco Falls and ended up with a stop at Mr. Nice's Fruit Stand (and, let me tell you, no trip to Dominica can possibly be complete without tasting their spectacular fresh fruit, especially the grapefruit). The driving in between the stops was just as spectacular! Our routes were beautiful, the van (which could have held at least 4, and maybe 6, more people) was clean and comfortable, and complimentary drinks were provided. Beno is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about Dominica, and his love for his beautiful island shines clearly through. When we told him we wanted to eat before we got back on the ship, he took us to a local place where he likes to eat--what a great chance to really get the flavor of Roseau! Our touring partners (friends we'd made at our dining table who we invited to join us on our already-booked tour) agreed that our time with Beno on Dominica was a clear highlight of our trip. We would not hesitate to book another tour with him on any return trip to Dominica.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank r2d2jsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgenorth
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Bravo Beno!!!”
Reviewed 6 January 2011

Our family of 4 were in Dominica Dec. 30, 2010 for a day during our cruise. Beno met us at the pier and we were off. We made arrangements prior to our arrival as I used him 4 years ago and had an amazing time. Beno took us to where we had arranged to go. We went to the Emerald Pool first and were practically the only ones there....before all the cruise tours arrived. We had to the pool to ourselves and loved it!!!! He took us right to the pool and even took pictures which he later emailed to me. (my camera didn't work). Regardless of where we went, we never felt pressure to leave that spot....(at Mero beach we were having so much fun that we stayed longer than we thought we would...the waves were awesome!).
Beno always accompanied us to the locations and he interacted well with the locals. He is very knowledgable and is proud of his Dominica!!
We have a son in a wheelchair and he helped us with him also...very kind and accomodating!!!!!
He provided my husband with local Kuboli(?) beer and also had bottled local spring water for myself and kids....all we wanted.
We will always use Beno. He is excellent and we had a relaxing day with him. We viewed all the sights we wanted to see, and had a wonderful day in Dominica...one of the highlights of our whole trip!!!!
Bravo Beno!!!!!

Visited December 2010
Helpful?
1 Thank Hadriagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
upstate NY
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Really great time with Beno”
Reviewed 10 October 2010

We were on an Emerald Princess cruise and visited Dominica late September. Decided to do a morning tour with Beno, found on the internet at http://www.benonaturetours.com, cost $45. This was an excellent decision; Beno showed us his beautiful island, took us to Mr. Nice’s fruit stand, to Emerald Falls and to Jacko Falls. He used a ten passenger van, and we were soon good friends. When we arrived at each of our stops, we were the only people there, a definite advantage when there was a large cruise ship in port with many passengers on board. Beno is very knowledgeable, generous, accommodating and interested in pleasing his customers. I would recommend his tour to those visiting the beautiful Dominica

Helpful?
1 Thank lavonalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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