I was a trail guide for 4 summers up in the Boundary Waters and it was a basic expectation that our 90 trail staff knew a little bit about the flora and fauna that we were traveling in. I was surprised that I knew more about Antiguan wildlife from reading a brochure than the guides at O.X. Outdoor Excursions. I feel that the standards for customer service and safety at O.X. were set very low. It seemed they were more concerned about the money than the well being of their clientele. This place isn’t worth it. Move on…
Some friends and I took a trip with O.X. and had Victor as our tour guide. We first found out about O.X. through another person and decided to give it a shot since they were “the only ones with armed guards as security”. Our first impression of Victor was dead-on: arrogant, selfish and egotistical. Unfortunately we didn’t heed our intuition and continued on with the 2-day trip to Acatenango. Victor was hands down the worst tour guide that any of us in the group had ever encountered. He was always ahead of the group, never paid attention to whether or not anybody needed anything and when one of the girls said she couldn’t walk his response was “you must be out of shape”. Not, it’s probably altitude sickness, or, you’re probably dehydrated or any of the other number of reasons that the girl who hiked the entire day before (perfectly fine) could all of a sudden not feel her legs. Aside from that, he set up camp on the summit in the middle of a lightning and hail storm, not one of us slept one wink all night because we were so terrified for our lives. There was lightning surrounding us all night and it was so close we could all feel the electricity on our faces. We later came to find out that every other guide hikes back down the mountain to set up camp in a more sheltered area, but not O.X., because they have NO idea what they are doing!!!! After arriving back into Antigua we found out that Victor is known around the town as someone to keep away from as he is not a good person. I now feel compelled to write this so that any other person who is considering taking a trip with O.X. DOES NOT DO IT- ESPECIALLY if you are a female and you are traveling alone. Victor is not only the most self-centered person I have encountered, he is dangerous to be around and if you are a female traveling alone you should steer clear of him AT ALL COSTS.
Went on this trip as well but unfortunatley sunrise was obscured by cloud cover . Sunrise on top of this volcano was pretty neat as we were well above the clouds. Was thankful for a guide as there were a great number of switchbacks and Victor knew the way for sure. Found Victor to be inspirational without holding your hand which is a good thing. On a scale of 1-10 on greatest experience I’d say a strong 6. On a scale of difficulty personally I would say about a 3. Just bring plenty of chocolate , desire and fitness and you’ll be all set.
Met some fantastic people during our climb from Scotland , Canada and of course Gautemala. No security (armed ) provided and didn’t really feel if we needed one all though great hype was made about it to perhaps incur some cost? Who knows. All in all was a good experience for short money. I do enjoy a good physical challenge and as stated felt it to be of a moderate workout but the view on top …….PRICELESS.
Victors alright Felt like he had our best interest at heart. Like I said I’m not looking for some one to hold my hand. And that’s not what you get with the “Vickster”. He was very informative on the climb abut the towns below, history of the Volcon as well it’s people ,Flora and Fauna. He encouraged all around us with positive feedback and inspiration. At the time Victor took charge when scheduled guide hit the wall on the way up . Victor stepped in and got the job done. I don’t want rose petals thrown at my feet on the way up to 13000 feet. Victor will lead you safely but not do it for you. He encourages and was quick to adjust to all the different needs of hikers. And also made a killer cup of joe the next morning in the midst of some pretty inclement weather on top of the rock.
Thanks XO adventures. And thanks Victor
Comment by Robert Bitetto — February 11, 2013 @ 3:14 pm