Attractions of St. Lucia
Lucia possesses a topography and ecology of stunning beauty, matched by
no other location in the Caribbean. The island's pride in its natural
resources is evident in the country's ongoing protection and conservation
efforts. In the mountainous interior lies the enormous National Rain Forest
and the island's protected coastal sights include the breathtaking, unforgettable
spires of Les Pitons. All sorts of [ nature
hikes, tours, and programs ] have been developed
to showcase these peerless assets, allowing visitors to enjoy the island
without harming its complex and fragile environment.
St. Lucia's environmental philosophy
also extends beyond its shoreline to the protection of its beautiful coral
reefs, with their rich and diverse tropical sea life. The government has
created four preservation areas, encompassing all of the island's outstanding
reefs. Watersports enthusiasts, divers, and boat owners are required to
purchase a permit before entering the reserve, and the fees are used for
repairs to the reef and preserving threatened marine species.
near Soufriere, these primeval twin peaks, topping 2,000 feet, are St.
Lucia's most famous landmark. Only the most daring climbers have ventured
an ascent to their summits, but they can be seen in all their glory from
Mt. Gimie or from the decks of a boat offshore.
particular appeal to bird watchers, hikers and nature lovers, it covers
19,000 acres of lush mountains and valleys. It is home to giant ferns,
birds of paradise and many other indigenous tree species, exotic flowers
and fruits, and its paths are strewn with tiny bromeliads, wild orchids
and mushrooms. Among the rare and beautiful birds adding color to the
scene are the brightly-hued St. Lucia Parrot, known locally as the "jacquot,"
the White Breasted Thrasher, the St. Lucia Peewee, and the St. Lucia Oriole.
For organized tours, contact the Forest and Lands Department at 450-2231.
dormant, it is the world's only drive-in volcano. A tour of its bubbly,
steamy sulphur springs offers a direct and fascinating lesson in the violent
geology of the Caribbean Rim.
3,117 feet, it is the highest point on St. Lucia. One of the best eye-filling
views of this peak is to be had on emerging from the rain forest. Guided
tours are conducted up the mountain.
King Louis XVI had bathhouses built for his troops at these natural, mineral-rich
falls. An invigorating shower under the cascading waters is still a refreshing
beautiful hidden treasure of St. Lucia is filled with luscious fruits,
blooming flowers, thriving plants, shading trees, and vibrant waterfalls.
A walk on the waterfall trails or a relaxing night under the moon and
stars, amidst the scent of healthy vegetation, are adventures not to be
small islands off the coast of Vieux Fort, the Maria Islands are
a nature reserve and the refuge of two species found nowhere else in the
world. The Kouwes Snake, noted as the world's rarest snake, and the Zandoli
Te, a ground lizard whose males display a brilliant blue tail. Fregate
Island is a haven for fregate birds during mating season.
Hikes, Tours, and Programs]
de L'isle Rain Forest Trail
highlight of this trail, which runs along the perimeter of the rain forest,
is a climb to the top of Morne la Combe that is only for the stout
of heart. The mountain, towering 1,446 feet, lies on the Barre de Lisle
ridge and offers panoramic views west to the Roseau and Mabouya valleys.
The walk takes approximately three hours.
looping, graveled path parades through a dry forest punctuated by hummingbirds,
warblers, and finches. The nature of the trail allows up close and personal
views of several spectacular introduced tree species, medicinal herbs,
and local fruit trees, plus exotic wildlife at a miniature zoo. There
is also a center that provides information about the island's endangered
species, vegetation zones, and life in the forest. The tour lasts just
over one hour.
tour is particularly appealing to those interested in horticulture, biology,
entomology, ornithology, and native flora and fauna. Though it is guided,
the tour will venture off the beaten track to wherever the participants
desire to go, including up and down mountains, into the forests and bushes.
The schedule and prices vary, depending on the type of tour and the number
of participants. For further information contact the Forestry Department.
Island Nature Trail
tour along St. Lucia's Atlantic Coast offers several scenic views on a
mile-long trail circling the national park. The tour calls on the breeding
ground of St. Lucia's Fregate bird population, a locale that is also home
to a number of rare species of birds, Boa Constrictors, and some unusual
forms of vegetation. Tours are arranged through the St. Lucia National
Le Blanc towers over the coastal community of Laborie and the southern
plains of St. Lucia. The mountain's summit affords a view of distant St.
Vincent and a scenic, shady rest spot for picnics.
tour by bus travels through St. Lucia's interior with stops at historic
sites, including a working still at an old plantation house in Balembouche,
interesting remains of a waterwheel, and ancient Amerindian "potholes."
Another version of this tour includes a visit to the Pitons and a petroglyph
site, returning by boat along the west coast. Lunch is included in the
Point Cactus Valley Walking Trek
walking tour (which can also be taken by bus) begins at Hardy Point, a
natural outcrop with splendid views of the entire Esperance Bay, the northern
coast and the La Sociere mountain range. There are stops in Cactus Valley
(aptly named because of its numerous resident species) and at several
of the "blowholes" created by the force of the Atlantic Ocean. Across
Donkey Beach, the trek visits Pigeon Island for sightseeing and
swimming. Lunch at the Jambe de Bois Restaurant is included.
on the southeast coast, just outside of Vieux Fort, it is the principle
source of nutrients for the island's natural fish nursery in the nearby
Savannes Bay. A viewing tower provides an excellent vantage point for
birdwatching and a diorama and brochures provide information on the unique
features of the Mangrove. Guided tours can be arranged through the St.
Lucia national Trust (452-5005) or the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
areas such as the Bois D'Orange Swamp, the Rain Forest and Boriel's Pond,
visitors can observe some of St. Lucia's rare, indigenous species, like
the St. Lucian Parrot, White Breasted Thrasher, St. Lucia Peewee, St.
Lucia Oriole, and St. Lucia Wren. Arrangements can be made through the
St. Lucia Forestry Department for early morning or late afternoon trips.
Four-hour excursionscan accommodate a maximum of ten persons.
Anse Beach, on the north coast, is the center for this activity during
mid-March to the end of July. Housed in a little tent city, and soothed
by the sea aglow in the starlight, campers can enjoy the spectacle of
leatherback turtles rising from the surf. It is a great experience even
if the guests of honor don't show. Watches are held on Saturday nights
between 4:00pm to 6:30am.
For Information on Island Tours ]
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