Kevin Coyd, The Telegraph
This lovely Caribbean island is famed for sun-toasted seashores, lush landscapes topped by the towering twin Pitons and a heat Saint Lucia welcome. However there’s a lot extra to discover. Check out these high 10 wonderful sights and actions in your good introduction to Saint Lucia…
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1 THE PITON MOUNTAINS The dual volcanic cones of the Pitons, rising steeply from the Caribbean Sea, are among the many most recognisable pure wonders of the West Indies. Designated a World Heritage Web site, they’re blanketed with pristine forest that helps many uncommon plant species. Gros Piton is the upper of the 2 at 2,619ft: It’s potential to hike to the summit with a information, and the views greater than repay the hassle. The steeper however shorter Petit Piton (2,438ft) is for critical climbers solely, however a spectacular view of each might be loved from a ship journey on Piton Bay.
2 SULPHUR SPRINGS In addition to having the spectacular Pitons as its backdrop, the city of Soufrière is residence to the Caribbean’s solely drive-in volcano. Sulphur Springs is an energetic geothermal zone, the place you will get near effervescent mud swimming pools and vents that belch out sulphurous steam. Right here, guides will reveal how the entire Caribbean basin was shaped by volcanic motion. On the way in which again from the crater, you may take a muscle-soothing dip in swimming pools fed by the nice and cozy, mineral-rich springs.
3 CULINARY TOURS Cocoa has been cultivated on Saint Lucia because the seventeenth century. As we speak there are many alternatives to go to plantations, study chocolate-making, strive your hand at it after which pattern the product – and even study which wines are finest paired with it. Boucan by Resort Chocolat presents a “tree-to-bar” expertise wherein you decide ripe cocoa pods and use them in your personal confection. Uncover how chocolate is made at Anse Chastanet’s chocolate lab, with chocolate sensory tastings, cocoa property journeys and chocolate and wine pairings out there too. For an introduction to a different of the island’s well-known exports, a tour of the Saint Lucia Rum Distillery is a should.
4 TET PAUL NATURE TRAIL For a crash course in what makes Saint Lucia so particular, the Tet Paul Nature Path takes some beating. The mild 45-minute guided stroll immerses you in its most celebrated surroundings, with views of Jalousie Bay, the Pitons and the neighbouring isles of Martinique and St Vincent. It presents a singular perception into the lives of the island’s authentic Amerindian individuals, with stops at a standard dwelling home and cassava hut, plus knowledgeable data concerning the island’s unique crops and their medicinal properties.
5 HELICOPTER TOURS A lot of Saint Lucia is mountainous and lined in thick rainforest, so taking to the air is the one solution to get an entire picture of its pleasant panorama. It’s potential to take quick helicopter excursions over the north or the south, or to mix the 2 in an extended flight. From take-off, your pilot will present an enchanting commentary – not simply stating geographical options akin to villages, waterfalls and offshore reefs, but additionally sharing info about historic occasions, resident celebrities and their houses, and the island economic system.
6 PIGEON ISLAND NATIONAL LANDMARK Linked to the mainland by a causeway, Pigeon Island is wealthy in historic significance. Its first European settlers had been Sixteenth-century French pirates, who would look out for Spanish ships to plunder. Nevertheless, it’s most well-known is the location of Fort Rodney, a British garrison. Take to the strolling trails and also you’ll come throughout stays of stone bunkers and barracks, in addition to a small army museum on website. The 2 shady seashores on the south aspect are amongst Saint Lucia’s best.
7 RAINFOREST AERIAL TRAM A cable automobile is without doubt one of the extra sudden finds on Saint Lucia, however it’s an impressed means of granting guests a close-up view of the tree cover – an astonishingly wealthy pure habitat. Utilizing 16 open-air gondolas, the tramway whisks passengers noiselessly as much as the ecological park within the excessive forest. Every occasion is accompanied by a nature interpreter, who factors out the native crops (akin to large ferns and gaudy heliconia) and may determine the various birds by their calls or plumage.
8 RODNEY BAY VILLAGE Each by day and by evening, Rodney Bay is without doubt one of the hottest locations on the island. The unique crescent-shaped bay has been embellished with a man-made lagoon overlaying 80 acres and one of many Caribbean’s most prestigious yachting marinas. Keep proper within the coronary heart of issues on the St Lucian by rex resorts and the Bay Gardens Resort. The nightlife is refined and vigorous, with a ribbon of bars and golf equipment and Saint Lucia’s solely on line casino. There’s an unrivalled alternative of eating choices: you may select from eating places which have stamped their very own creativity on conventional Caribbean delicacies, or flavours from everywhere in the globe.
9 BIRDWATCHING There are half a dozen good the explanation why birding fanatics flock to Saint Lucia: it boasts six endemic species, making up the best tally in the entire Caribbean. They embrace the island’s nationwide hen, the Saint Lucia parrot – recognisable for its rainbow plumage and blue face – in addition to the Saint Lucia oriole and Saint Lucia pewee. All informed, the island helps some 180 several types of hen life. Hotspots for observing it embrace the Millet Fowl Sanctuary, the Des Cartier Rainforest Path and the Vieux Fort Wetlands.
10 SCUBA AND SNORKELLING The great thing about Saint Lucia is mirrored within the undersea kingdom that surrounds it – and it’s residence to an equally spectacular profusion of wildlife, together with such giants as eagle rays and leatherback turtles. The west coast, sheltered from the Atlantic, is a superb place for snorkelling or studying to scuba: head to seashores akin to Anse Chastanet and you may discover shallow reefs simply yards from the shore. Enterprise to the distant sandy seashore of Anse Cochon and you will see that the attractive resort Ti Kaye, made up of simply 33 cottages, which has a improbable dive centre that caters for all skills. Skilled divers can uncover the Soufrière Marine Reserve and the various wreck websites across the island. What’s extra, there are many operators providing gear rent and tuition.