St. Lucia

When you think of St. Lucia, your first mental picture is probably her photographed geographic landmark, the Pitons. Dropping dramatically to the inky waters near Anse des Pitons, Gros Piton and Petite Piton reward climbers with enchanting views (and a great workout). Scaling these volcanic plugs should be on everyone’s vacation “to do” list. Just make sure there’s room in your schedule to experience the vast amount of other activities this island has to offer.

St. Lucia boasts a diverse landscape and experiences – luxuriant rainforests, unspoiled beaches, sumptuous cuisine, and rich history. It”s no surprise St. Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s most visited island. Whatever your getaway goal is – romance, adventure, or rest and rejuvenation – St. Lucia will oblige.

Honeymoons are popular here, and for good reason. Couples seeking total seclusion can find it at any number of unspoiled, black and white sand beaches or sequestered in their corner of an upscale all-inclusive resort.

Small and intimate, Anse Mamin Beach is located in Soufriere. Wander along trails that wind through an old sugar plantation or chill out on a stretch of black sand. About a 10-minute walk will take you to Anse Chastanet Beach. This sheltered coastline is within the Anse Chastanet Marine Reserve. Scuba diving and snorkeling are both excellent.

Interested in a spa treatment for a fraction of the cost? Head to the Sulphur Springs, also in Soufriere. A dramatic eruption more than 40 thousand years ago formed mud glaciers. A dip in the hot, mineral rich water is said to heal arthritis and a sundry of other ailments. The real fun is the mud bath. It’s great for your skin. Just make sure you wear an old bathing suit (unless it’s already a dark color).

Pigeon Island National Park is another good excursion. Snorkel off the beach and lounge peacefully, as beach vendors are blissfully absent. For postcard perfect views and a wealth of historical information, opt for a guided hike.

Other pastimes include shopping at the 100-year-old Castries Market on Saturdays. Freshly caught seafood, spices, produce, pottery, and local art are in glorious abundance here. A little advice: you might want to avoid Castries when the cruise ships are in port.

One of the Caribbean’s premier events, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival spans ten days in late April and early May. Headline concerts are held on Pigeon Island, but many free events take place throughout St. Lucia.

Though already inhabited by Arawak Indians about 2,000 years ago, the French settled St. Lucia in 1746. That French influence is certainly reflected in local foods. Many dishes are infused with Creole touches, and presentation in many restaurants is impressive. Freshly grown fruits, vegetables, and an array of Indian spices create meals you’ll not soon forget. Whether it’s noshing about at roadside stands or splurging at a five-star restaurant, your inner foodie will rejoice. Fish fries in Anse La Raye are not to be missed. Locals and visitors converge on this west coast village every Friday night for unforgettable food. Local artisans set up kiosks, and live music wafts throughout the town. Oh, and lobster season runs from August to March. So, if that’s your thing, plan accordingly.

St. Lucia offers accommodations for every type of traveler. Choose from all-inclusive resorts, a slew of award winning hotels, and private villas. Whether you visit St. Lucia with your significant other, alone, or with your extended family – finding a place to hang your hat won’t be difficult.

St. Lucia’s attributes are lengthy, and any vacation style can be crafted here. It’s ideal for a memorable destination wedding or honeymoon. St. Lucia is also on our best of list for gay travel getaways, most attractions, and all-inclusive options.