Lovely St. Lucia
By Jennifer Harpaz
This is the best the word to describe the island of St. Lucia. The
tear-drop shaped island is part of the Winward Islands of the Caribbean,
and is nestled between Martinique and St. Vincent islands. St. Lucia
is a flourishing and diverse island with thick rain forests, mountain
peaks, beaches, rare wildlife, and brilliant foliage.
The island is small, at only 27 miles
by 14 miles, but very fertile. Farming is fabulous in St. Lucia.
Banana, sugar cane, coconut, and cocoa are all staple harvests of
the island. From the Pitons, or mountain peaks, travelers can view
an abundance of plantations and groves.
St. Lucia has an exciting past. She
can boast many a man that fought for her, beginning as early as
the 16th century. The Fair Helen of the West Indies,
as she was adoringly nicknamed, was a prize possession because of
her cultivation potential, and changed hands 14 times between the
French and the British. Guess who won? Thats right. The British.
Today the island is a member of the British Commonwealth.
The lush island maintains a bit of
her French character, today, though. Creole cooking, Creole architecture,
and lots of Creole style partying make the island stand out in the
crowd of the smaller islands in the Lesser Antilles. The island
offers the pre-Lenten Carnival, Friday night jump-up street party
at Gros Inlet, and the ten day Jazz Festival in summer.
Travelers are also sure to find a
taste of the African culture. Evil spirits are banished by
the beating of drums, and houses are made safe by magical wreaths
of thorny acacia and special herbs, describes National Geographic
To experience some of St. Lucias
history, visit Pigeon Island National Historic Park where Captain
Jambe de Bois rested his weary pirate legs. In the park today you
can visit and view military ruins of Ft. Rodney where Admiral George
Rodney built and managed a naval base lookout in 1778.
Adventure activities abound south
of the capital city of Castries. St. Lucias Pitons, or volcanic
peaks, soar above the lush land near the town of Soufriere.
Soufriere can be your base as you
take time to explore St. Lucias marine park, drive-in
volcano and sulphur springs, mineral baths, a working cocoa plantation,
a rain forest reserve at Morne Fond St. Jacques, or the world underwater
via a scuba dive along the coast. For the best snorkeling and diving
visit Anse Chastanet Marine Reserve. Youll see giant sponges,
huge sea fans, corals, octopuses, squids, starfish, and even The
Thing, a purple worm that grows up to 15 feet. The Pinnacles,
or underwater peaks, rise out of the water from 50 feet
below the surface to 15 feet from the surface. Here youll
see schools of fish and gorgonian fans, among many other sea creatures.
Hike the diverse path of the Eastern
Nature Trail where youll scoot past cactus, forest, beachfront,
caves and arches. The trail ends at Fregate Nature Reserve comprised
of two huge rocks where frigatebird nests are well protected.
Maria Major Nature Reserve is in
the southern part of St. Lucia. Travelers may run into Kouwes, the
worlds rarest snake, or lizard known as zandoli te
11 inches long with a bright blue tail, yellow belly, and dark blue
back. Also, look out for geckos, terns, ground doves, Caribbean
martins, and red-billed tropical birds.
St. Lucia Forest Reserve is where
the rain forest rules. Its a very popular, commercialized
place, but worth a trip to see the jacquot. This endangered St.
Lucian brilliantly colored parrot was, thankfully, brought back
from extinction in the 70s by a tremendous act of conservation.
The jacquot is not the only bird to be seen in the Reserve. The
white breasted thrasher, St. Lucia oriole, and St. Lucia wren can
also be enjoyed.
Travelers can also fish for mackerel,
dolphin, and sailfish in the North of St. Lucia, and horseback ride
along the beach.
A visit to St. Lucia can bring a
smile to your face, a spring in your step, a sigh of relief to your
breath, and, perhaps best of all, a lift to your adventurous spirit!
Tropical Adventure.com offers great hotel and diving packages through
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