5 August 2013 by Bert Hyett
St Lucia is the perfect Caribbean destination for those searching for a bit of adventure. With its lush green backdrop and renowned twin coastal peaks it offers a real opportunity for the Caribbean traveller to experience something a bit different. Stunning beaches, small rural fishing villages, national parks and exceptional diving, St Lucia has it all.
Festivals and Events
Throughout the year you should be able to catch a calypso celebration or street party as St Lucia is never far from vibrant music, dancing and feasting. February hosts the main carnival, so if you're travelling at that time its something to look out for.
The world's finest jazz artists flock to St Lucia in May for the Jazz Festival; smooth tones and exceptional talent make this one not to miss.
Best beaches in St Lucia
Despite everything else St Lucia has to offer, it's undeniable that travellers will spend many hours relaxing on the island's beautiful beaches. Note that the west coast is perfectly safe for swimming but the Atlantic coast is a little rougher. St Lucia is notorious for being breezy so the location is ideal for windsurfers and sailors.
The most popular beach is likely to be Reduit Beach, made up of a mile of powder soft golden sand and safe swimming that makes this an idyllic location for the whole family. Anse Cochon, small and secluded, is a favourite with divers; here they can explore the calm waters offshore. If you're looking for the best view, head to Anse de Pitons. This beach, with white sand and a dramatic backdrop, is located right between the volcanic Pitons.
Essential experiences in St Lucia
- With rolling green hills and a bustling harbour, St Lucia's capital, Castrie, is one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean. If you want panoramic views of the city, climb Morne Fortune, the hill of good luck.
- Explore one of St Lucia's national parks. The 19,000-acre St Lucia Forest Reserve is overflowing with flora and fauna and has an aerial tram for incomparable views. Alternatively, visit Pigeon Island National Park, North of Gros Islet; the park offers hiking, historical sites, beaches and is the host of the illustrious Jazz festival.
- Soufrière, originally founded by the French and the original capital of the island, basks in the long shadow of the island's famous volcanic Pitons. Discover the beauty of this West Indian town as well as the nearby sulphur springs, mineral baths and botanical gardens.
- If you're looking for local food and culture, don't miss the Friday Night Fish Fry at Anse La Raye, a vibrant fishing village on the west coast.
- Venture out in to the open waters on a whale watching boat trip; the area boasts over 20 different species of whale and dolphin.
- Fly over paradise in a helicopter and enjoy a wonderful alternative view of the island.
Read and Watch
Read: 'Collected Poems, 1948-1984, an anthology' written by Derek Walcott is a St Lucian poet and playwright who won a Nobel Prize for Literature.
Watch: 'Doctor Dolittle', the original 1967 film was filmed at Marigot Bay, and Discovery at Marigot Bay's Pink Snail Bar was named in honour of the film.
Food and drink in St Lucia
The food in St Lucia is West Indian and Creole with French influences. Fresh seafood is outstanding; sample local dishes such as langouste (native lobster), and lambi (conch). Indigenous dishes such as a spicy 'pepperpot' or green fig and salt fish are definitely worth a try. Unsurprisingly the fruit on the island is fresh and succulent; try pineapple, soursop, tamarind, mangoes and bananas.
- Dashenee at Ladera serves up dinner with a view. Arrive early to catch the sunset before enjoying great food with the most amazing view on the island.
- The Coal Pot, located on the waterfront in Vigie Marina, is ideal for excellent seafood.
- Go to Orlando's in Soufrière and try his 5 course pre-fixe.
- The Cliff at Cap Maison is great for food with a French and West Indian influence.