Introducing St Lucia
Rising like an emerald tooth from the flat Caribbean Sea, St Lucia definitely grabs your attention. Glossed over as some sort of glam honeymoon spot, this mountainous island has much more to offer then just posh digs.
Who says the Caribbean is all about lying on the beach? If that’s all you do in St Lucia you’re missing out. The rainforest-choked interior is made for hiking; a canopy of green covers the island like a haze. Rolling hills grow to form volcanic mountains and reach to the sky. The iconic Pitons rise from the waves to the clouds like pyramids of volcanic stone. This isn’t some glammed-up, theme-park holiday spot – St Lucia has a pulse. Your senses are bombarded with the sights, smells and sounds of an island that’s truly alive. In Northern St Lucia, Pigeon Island National Park has a history of hostility, but these days, is known for walks and its small sandy beach. Towns like Castries move and shake to the sound of car horns, the smell of rotis fresh from the oven and reggae blaring on the speaker.
Sure you can find a beach to sit on and a nice hotel right beside it. There is great scuba diving to be found under the waves and the sailing is top notch. But it’s much more than that. If you’re looking for a Caribbean destination that will let you get under the skin of West Indian life – St Lucia is the one.
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Best places to stay in St Lucia
Caribbean Islands travel guide
With amazing culture, beaches, activities and weather - not to mention the rum - the Caribbean is a joyous riot of islands offering the ultimate escape.
Stretched out in front of the resort of the same name, Anse Chastanet could be the quintessential St Lucian beach experience. Though only a mile or so from Soufrière, it feels like a lost tropical world. The sheltered bay is protected by high cliffs, with towering palms on the shore.
This quiet, sheltered bay is fringed by a broad strand of golden sand backed by steep hillsides. It has shallow, calm waters, making it an ideal location for families.
Caribbean Islands - St Lucia (Chapter)
Rising like an emerald tooth from the Caribbean Sea, St Lucia definitely grabs your attention. While it fits the image of a glam honeymoon spot, this mountainous island has more to offer than sensuous beaches flanked by sybaritic lodgings.
Looking like something off the surface of the moon, the Sulphur Springs are saddled with the unfortunate tagline of being the world’s only drive-in volcano. The reality is far from the garish description. There isn’t a crater, or a cauldron of magma, to check out – you’ll have to be content with a bit of stinky, boiling muck.
St Lucia Jazz Festival
Concerts and jam sessions featuring big names from the international jazz scene.
Walking along the crowded streets of Castries, you are bombarded with the kinetics of a city that is bustling with life. The throbbing heart of the city is the market area – it heaves and vibrates, with the locals scurrying to fetch their wares and sell their goods. Castries’ setting couldn’t be more photogenic.
Deep, sheltered Marigot Bay is a stunning example of natural architecture. Sheltered by towering palms and the surrounding hills, the narrow inlet is said to have hidden the entire British fleet from its French pursuers. Yachts play the same trick these days – the bay is a popular place to drop anchor and hide away for a few nights.
Diamond Mineral Baths & Botanical Gardens
The Diamond Estate’s botanical gardens, waterfall and mineral baths are all at the same site Well-marked paths wind through the manicured gardens, which are planted with tropical flowers and trees, including numerous heliconia and ginger specimens. At the back of the gardens a small waterfall drops down a rock face that is stained a rich orange from the warm mineral waters.
At the southern tip of the island, Sandy Beach is a beautiful strand of white sand that always has a stiff breeze, which makes it a hot spot for kitesurfers. It’s also suitable for swimming – on a calm day. It’s never crowded.