Introduction To St. Lucia
Famous for its annual Jazz Festival St. Lucia offers a getaway for family, couples and honeymooners alike. Enjoy the unspoilt beauty, visit the famous drive-in volcano and see the bountiful fields of bananas. St. Lucia has a variety of accommodation from the all-inclusive to the simple bed and breakfast type lodging. Castries is well worth exploring and the French influence on the island provides interesting architectural styles and customs.
History of St. Lucia
The island, like many others in the Caribbean, were originally inhabited by the Caribs and Arawaks and was known as Hewanorra. By the 1600’s a tug of war struggle between the British and French for the possession of the island took place and in fact the island changed hands no less than 14 times!
In 1814 it was finally seceded to the British, but the French influence has remained to this day in the culture and language of the island. St. Lucia was a
member of the ill-fated British Federation of the 60’s but like in most of the islands the desire for independence prevailed and on February 22,1979 St, Lucia became a fully independent country but remains a part of the British Commonwealth.
St. Lucia’s Natural Attractions
St. Lucia is certainly a place of natural beauty. It has been called the Helen of the West Indies. There is the drive-in volcano at Soufriere and the majestic Pitons, the Grand Piton and Petit Piton which tower over 2,000 feet straight from the sea, a majestic sight indeed (this is now a WORLD HERITAGE SITE).
St. Lucia is known for its eco-tourism product and has interesting rainforests where such species as parrots, lizards etc abound. Hiking trips can be arranged to various area, or there are the many beautiful beaches such as Reduit, in Rodney Bay, and the close by Pigeon Island which is now joined to the mainland.
Activities Available On The Island
Exploring the island can be great fun. Stops should be made to the drive-in volcano in Soufriere and along the way the Pitons will be viewed and definitely make an impression on the mind.
If you are in the island in May, you must go to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival which has become world famous over the years. St. Lucia is a haven for yachtsmen and the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers which takes place in November from Gran Canaria and arrives in St. Lucia in December.
The Rodney Bay Marina welcomes the many boats which have travelled across the Atlantic. The luxurious hotels with their attractive beaches and after dark entertainment should lure the visitor to this island.
Things To Do On St. Lucia
Seafood dishes are very popular and the variety of local fruits and vegetables are widely used in the cuisine of St. Lucia.
Take an organised tour to the places of interest, join a hiking party and go to the nature spots. Rent a car/moke and explore the island on your own. Take a boat ride to neighbouring Martinique for a French experience.
If you like to hike, St. Lucia offers a great experience. Visit the drive-in volcano at Soufriere and explore, then visit the nearby botanic gardens. Be sure to visit the famous Pitons which are a breath-taking wonder of nature. Go into the nature reserves and see the variety of bird life and lizards etc. The naturally beautiful beaches are perfect for relaxation. Truly St. Lucia is perfect for the nature lover.
Perfect for family vacations. Many of the hotels cater to families, offering special rates and entertainment for the little folk. Children always enjoy the whale and turtle watching experiences too. The variety of land and water sports activities make it appealing to the young travellers.
Health and Wellness:
Fitness and spa facilities are available in St. Lucia and a variety of treatments ranging from the conventional to the VERY unconventional are offered. Many of the spas use the natural resources of St. Lucia in their treatment e.g., Volcanic minerals, rainforest plants, banana leaf etc. Many hotels have their own spa facilities.
St. Lucia is popular with honeymooners and many weddings take place there. The romantic beach setting is perfect for weddings and the “get away from it all “atmosphere is perfect for those romantic moments. There are wedding co-ordinators in St. Lucia who can help to organise a perfect occasion for you and the hotels are happy to assist you with your plans.
Hiking to many natures’ spots, visits to the Pitons and Soufriere volcano are popular activities. Beach and water related activities are also popular. If you happen to be a jazz lover be sure to be in St. Lucia for the Jazz Festival and many a yachtsman had crossed the Atlantic in the Transatlantic Yacht Race and received a warm reception in St. Lucia. Many fitness and spa facilities are available for the health conscious.
The St. Lucia Jazz Festival is world famous and many music lovers flock to hear the international performers. Street parties among the locals particularly at Gros Islet on Friday nights also attract the tourists, who get a chance to mix with the locals and experience the St. Lucia party feeling!!
Rogues Guide to Islands of the Caribbean
Discover more islands of the Caribbean here:
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- Trinidad and Tobago: The Islands Culture And Attractions
- Tortola: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
- St. Thomas: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
- St. Maarten: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
- St. Lucia: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
- St. Kitts: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
- St. Croix: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
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- Barbados The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
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- Dominica: The Island – Its Culture And Attractions
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