7 Reasons to Fall in Love with St Lucia
Before I travelled there, I had wildly underestimated St Lucia. I was completely unaware of the boundless opportunities for adventure: hiking the lush green slopes of the Pitons in the south; zip-lining over towering treetops in the rainforest; dipping and dunking neck-deep into hot springs and natural mud baths in Soufrière.
Though if your idea of an island holiday is focused around sea, sun and sand with a proclivity for sinking into a sun lounger with a best-selling novel, few places in the world allow you to fully indulge quite in the same way as St Lucia. And whilst many people do spend their whole holiday relaxing in their resort, I’d highly recommend venturing further afield and exploring. Often dubbed the jewel of the Caribbean, this majestic island offers something for everyone at every turn. Here are just a few reasons why it’s so easy to fall head over heels for St Lucia.
The Mighty Pitons
As soon as I laid eyes on the Pitons, those two peaks lushly rising from behind a perfect strip of sandy beach, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I suddenly knew how John Muir felt when he first clapped eyes on Yosemite Valley and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to photographing its inspiring beauty. The Pitons are the most photographed landmark on the island and for good reason. These ancient forest-clad spires reward you with beguiling views across St Lucia and the sapphire blue waters of the Caribbean once you’ve made the hike to the top.
The Exhilaration of Zip-Lining Through the Rainforest
Deep into the jungle a series of treetop platforms linked by zip wires await. Gliding above the dense rainforest at high-speed is not for the faint-hearted. But once you harness up, put your faith in the guides and pluck up the courage to let go of the ropes, there will be no regrets – only the reward of epic views and sheer exhilaration and adrenaline running dangerously amok through your body!
For location, you can’t beat the syrupy-named Sugar Beach with its astonishingly pristine, white sand that basks at the foot of the Pitons. For something more high-energy hit Marigot Bay, where you can swing from the trees and climb aboard a luxury yacht. If you want to completely turn the idea of a golden beach on its head, go to Anse Chastanet with its black sand that pays homage to the island’s volcanic origins.
St Lucia is arguably even more extraordinary under the sea, with rich marine life for you to explore, including coral reefs, innumerable tropical fish and turtles. The water is crystal clear ensuring you don’t miss seeing the vast tapestry of underwater life that we often forget exists or only dream of seeing whilst on dry land. Just make sure you learn from my mistake and be sure to pack a GoPro or waterproof camera before you go!
The Taste of the Caribbean
Anthony Bourdain once said, “I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable” and this feels especially true in St Lucia. So much of the everyday food is available naturally on the island: specialties include callaloo soup, green figs, cassava bread, bouyon and salt fish. Being on the ocean’s doorstep, fish doesn’t get much fresher – sometimes you can spot fishermen hauling in their catch of the day onto the shores. And for dessert, it simply must be something made with chocolate – St Lucia is famous for its cocoa production, one of the island’s largest exports. Speaking of exports, rum, anyone?
Cake Yourself in Mud
The benefits of mud for the skin are no secret, but it can be hard to find the real deal. At Sulphur Spring Parks in Soufrière, lies a dormant volcano where you can dive into a bubbling mud bath and slather yourself head to toe in minerals. So skip a day at the spa in favour of these natural ‘hot tubs’ and afterwards you can enjoy an invigorating head and shoulder massage under a nearby waterfall! As you might expect, this attraction can get popular, so plan a trip early in the morning or late afternoon, or book in advance with our lovely Flight Centre Consultants.
The island lives off the sunshine and the people are powered by it too. I went to St Lucia by myself (proof it’s not just a honeymoon destination!) and the locals were energetic, warm and helpful in answering any questions and offering recommendations. One of the best ways to soak up the local atmosphere and culture is Fish Friday at Anse La Raye. Each Friday, all the locals gather to drink and feast on lobster, tuna and titiri at communal tables in the main street – I’ve rarely eaten so much fresh grilled fish before, and it was absolutely delicious. Just remember, a smile goes a long way!
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