St. Lucia is an independent nation with a British tradition and strong French influences. It is mountainous and lush, with many beautiful white sand beaches. Tropical rain forest covers the steep slopes of the center and gives way to cultivated agricultural land around the more moderately sloping coastal fringe. Bananas are the principal crop. For sheer physical beauty, the area around Soufriere and the Pitons is outstanding.
St. Lucia is well developed and offers two major marinas. IGY Rodney Bay Marina, is an excellent full service facility including haul out. IGY took over this marina a few years ago and have done an excellent job of rebuilding both the marina and the haul our from scratch, setting up holding reservoirs at the mouth of the rivers to improve the water quality in Rodney Bay and prevent silting. This full service marina can provide everything for the visiting yacht.
Marigot Bay Marina is in the secluded and protected Marigot Bay. It has room for all sizes of yacht and can provide in-water services including fueling.
St. Lucia is a charter center, with charter companies in Rodney Bay. Ashore you will find lots of shops, golf, and other activities.
St. Lucia offers excellent sightseeing and hiking. You can see most of it by taxi, bus, or rental car. Adventurous travelers willing to combine driving with hiking will want to rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle and explore some faraway corners like Grand Anse or Anse Louvet on the windward shore. Any taxi driver will be delighted to take you on a tour, or you can join organized tours through most travel agents. Popular routes are; round the island, plantation tours, where you get to see the backbone of the St. Lucia economy at work, and rainforest tours, where you hike across the middle of the island. Those interested in nature should contact the National Trust, which runs tours to Frigate Island and the Maria Islands as well as turtle watches. It is also worth calling the forestry department about rainforest tours. They can supply knowledgeable guides.
There are many marked trails in St. Lucia you can follow on your own, including rainforest hikes at the height of land as you drive across the island on the main road to the airport.
Major anchorages are to be found in Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, the Soufriere Marine Management area, Laborie and Vieux Fort.