Romance, Adventure, Sports, Relaxation,
Culture, Cuisine, St. Lucia has it all. -by Dwight Brown
The stunning landscapes of St. Lucia, a southeastern Caribbean isle largely populated by people of African or Afro-European descent, resembles those in Hawaii: verdant mountains, dramatic valleys, volcanic beaches and exotic foliage. No wonder the isle is a paradise perfect for adventure and romance.
The capital city of Castries, the region’s anchor, is home to government buildings, a cruise ship harbor and resorts. The nearby town of Gros Islet features the Beausejour Cricket Grounds, the National Tennis Centre and Friday Night’s popular Jump Up Party, where locals and tourists gather for fried fish, Piton beer and dancing in the streets to zouk and reggae music. Nearby Pigeon Island, a 40-acre national park, boasts popular beaches and the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival.
The Place to Stay
At the 210-acre, all-inclusive Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa, beachfront rooms hug the shore and brightly colored villa suites (butler service, plunge pools) ascend up a hillside. The nine-hole golf course has ocean vistas and five tennis courts are lit for night play. To soothe what aches, try the West Indian Massage (full-body massage, warm river stones, tropical rain forest-scented mist and a white-sand foot exfoliation) at the Red Lane Spa. The ultra elegant, candlelit La Toc restaurant serves a tasty grilled stuffed red snapper topped with café de Paris butters.
You’re so close to Mother Nature, you could hug her.
The 1,800 feet high Rain Forest covers 19,000 acres and features 29 miles of hiking trails. Fragrant orchids, gum trees and climbing palms provide camouflage for humming birds and the ever-squawking St. Lucian parrot. The Barre De L’isle Trail, which divides the eastern and western halves of the island, suits casual hikers who walk two hours on a one-mile trail and one-mile climb up Mt. La Combe ridge. If you like thrills with your bird watching, try careening on a zip line.
Lodge off the beaten path at the remote Ti Kaye Village and you’ll reside in one of 33 white, two-room cottages set among brilliant red bougonvilla and mango trees on a cliff overlooking the sea. Each Creole-style, stucco abode has a porch, two-person hammock and chair swing. Open-air showers and impeccably designed rooms with four-poster beds underline the resort’s rustic elegance. Go snorkeling or scuba diving (PADI specialty courses) at Anse Cochon bay beach. If your muscles need to be kneaded, head to Kai Koko Spa, housed in three cottages on stilts, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Get a 4 Hands Massage (request the vanilla oil); lay on a massage table, peer through the headrest and view a bowl of flowers with a mirror reflection of the sea. Dine at Kai Manje restaurant on island jerk style fisherman mahi mahi with pumpkin rice, grilled vegetables and a fresh pineapple and tomato salsa.
The carved rocks at Belfond and the petroglyphs near Jalousie indicate that Soufriere, the island’s oldest city, has vestiges of the original inhabitants, Carib Indians. Every day tourists climb the majestic Pitons, St. Lucia’s signature natural wonder; two half-mile-high mountains formed by lava from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Also, the dormant, 39,000-year-old drive-in Qualibou Volcano is filled with sulfur, calcium oxide and other minerals. People bathe in its therapeutic Sulphur Springs to remove skin blemishes.
If These Walls Could Talk
Anse Chastanet, Soufriere’s chic bohemian resort, has 12 rooms near its gray-purple-sand beach, and 37 more on a mountainside. All are accented with limestone
or tile floors, and the unique rooms only have two walls. Yes, two! You get unobstructed OMG views of the Pitons or ocean. No windows. No screens. You’re so close to Mother Nature, you could hug her. Relax on the volcanic sands, under straw beach umbrellas, and let the rhythm of the waves calm you. Up the hill, Chastenet’s ultra lush sister resort, Jade Mountain, features in-room infinity pools!
Dwight Brown is a travel writer and film critic.
New Mongstar : ST. LUCIA WE LOVE 2012 St. Lucian Soca
Iyanola Riddim, Produced By Courtney Louis]
St.Lucia Caribbean Travel Video