St. Lucia

St. Lucia, the largest of the English speaking Windwards, is mountainous and lush, with many beautiful white sand beaches. Tropical rainforest covers the steep slopes of the center and gives way to cultivated agricultural land around the more moderately sloping coastal fringe. Bananas are still a major crop. For sheer physical beauty, the area around Soufriere and the Pitons is outstanding.

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 four-wheel drive vehicle and explore some faraway corners such as Grand Anse or Anse Louvet on the windward shore. Any taxi driver will be delighted to take you on a tour. St. Lucia has several zip lines on which you can fly through the countryside. If that is too energetic, you can take an aerial rainforest canopy tram.

Those interested in nature should contact the National Trust, which runs tours to Frigate Island and the Maria Islands as well as turtle-watching tours. It is worth calling the forestry department about rainforest tours. They can supply knowledgeable guides.

There are many marked trails in St. Lucia that 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.

Cocoa Sainte Lucie is a new, small (one woman for now), organic chocolate factory based in Canaries. As I write she is completing a new building to house both the factory and a restaurant. It is on the left side of the road as you climb the hill from Canaries going towards Soufriere. It is run by Maria Jackson, and her chocolate is excellent; her “spice” chocolate is special. If you want more details, call her at 459-4401. Otherwise, look for her chocolate in Zaka in Soufriere or  sometimes, Drop Anchor in Rodney Bay.

St. Lucia has an excellent, full-service marina with a haul-out in Rodney Bay, and a smaller marina in Marigot. The choice of restaurants is the best in the Windwards. St. Lucia is a charter center, with several charter companies in Rodney Bay including The Moorings, Sunsail and DSL.