St. Lucia is the kind of island that travellers to the Caribbean dream about - a small, tropical gem that is lush, and still relatively unknown. One of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, St. Lucia is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain, between Martinique and St. Vincent, and north of Barbados. St. Lucia is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, with a shape that is said to resemble a mango. The Atlantic Ocean kisses its eastern shore, while the beaches of the west coast owe their exotic beauty to the calm Caribbean Sea.
The dramatic twin coastal peaks of the Pitons, soar 2,000 feet up from the sea, covered in magnificent rain forests where wild orchids, giant ferns, and birds of paradise flourish. Brilliantly-plumed tropical birds abound, including endangered species like the indigenous St. Lucia parrot. The rainforest is broken only by verdant fields and orchards of banana, coconut, mango, and papaya trees.
Lucia has been inhabited since long before colonial times,
and its cultural treasures are a fascinating mix of its rich
past and its various traditions. St. Lucia's people have earned
a well-deserved reputation for their warmth and charm, and
the island itself is dotted with aged fortresses, small villages,
and open-air markets.
There is a wide array of exciting and exotic activities available on St. Lucia. The island's steep coastlines and lovely reefs offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. The rainforest preserves of St. Lucia's mountainous interior are one of the Caribbean's finest locales for hiking and birdwatching. Of course, the island also possesses excellent facilities for golf, tennis, sailing, and a host of other leisure pursuits. Not to be missed is St. Lucia's Soufriere volcano, the world's only drive-in volcanic crater.
St. Lucia Beaches
Most St. Lucian beaches are relatively short, but with five miles of white sand on Rodney Bay, Reduit is the place for a long stroll by the shore and a swim in calm waters. One of the most popular beaches on the island, it is fronted by the Rex St. Lucian, Papillon and the Royal St. Lucian hotels. There are restaurants and vendors renting water-sports equipment and lounge chairs.The sand is soft and the water is great.
The white sand, clarity of the water, and stunning setting between the twin Gros and Petit Piton volcanic peaks make this beach south of Soufrière a favorite spot for sunning. Snorkelers and scuba divers come for the adventures to be had at the 1,800-foot dropoff at the base of the Pitons.
With a sharp dropoff, coral reef and sea walls, this beach affords snorkelers and divers many opportunities for viewing the vivid ocean life without ferrying out to deeper waters by boat. The natural sand reflects the volcanic origins of the island.
Pigeon Island National Park
Quiet and uncrowded, this beach on the north end of the island is the place to combine sunning and swimming with a visit to a mini-museum and a climb to a vantage point to see the historic Fort Rodney ruins and views of the distant Martinique. Two eateries stand ready to fill visitor’s needs.
Soon to become part of a new national park, this mile long stretch of beach north of Dennery is set against a backdrop of cliffs in an area that was once a plantation. Now, visitors come for Turtle Watch, where they can see the natural wonder of endangered leatherbacks (think Crush from “Finding Nemo”), the largest of sea turtles, heaving themselves out of the water and onto the beach to lay their eggs.