At the north of the island this promontory, joined to the mainland by a sandy causeway, was once an island fortress occupied at various times in the nation’s history by a colourful pirate character, Jambe de Bois, and French and English forces. Most recent in its history is the incarnation of the island as a national park featuring beautiful walks, a museum, a lovely waterfront café and breathtaking vistas from the fort and signal peak.
The historical Marigot Bay has been the site of many a battle between the British and French. The picturesque bay is now home to several hotels, restaurants, a marina and shopping village. This is also a wonderful place to explore the intimate mangrove network that plays host to much of the island’s bird and aquatic life.
Formely the island’s capital, Soufriere is probably the most photographed site in St Lucia. It is marked by the spectacular Pitons, volcanic plugs which emerge dramatically from the sea, and is home to the famous sulphur springs, touted as the world’s only drive in volcano. The town of Soufriere gives visitors a glimpse into the past, examples of colonial architecture in various states of repair pepper the quaint waterfront village. The Diamond Falls and Botanical Gardens are near and there are several tours and hikes that leave from the town basin.
The island’s economic and administrative capital, Castries is an interesting place to discover. Layered by many historical phases, destroyed twice by fire and accustomed to reinvention, the port city is a fascinating place. Of particular interest is the Derek Walcott square, named for one of the island’s two Nobel laureates, around which are some beautiful colonial buildings, the nation’s Roman Catholic cathedral and the major shopping area. Place Carenage is a lovely air-conditioned centre featuring duty free shopping and the Desmond Skeete Animation Centre, which brings to life the history of St Lucia.
A self-driving St Lucia tour can be a wonderful experience, but many people prefer the comfort and luxury of organised tours. Tropical Villas can arrange these for you. From exploring the rainforest, to sailing the Caribbean coast, there is a tour out there to suit.
Visitors to St Lucia can avail themselves of several outdoor activities. Golf, tennis, sailing, horseback riding, whale watching and scuba diving excursions are all easily arranged through Tropical Villas. The world class St Lucia Golf and Country Club is just minutes away from our Cap Estate and Rodney Bay properties.
The JQ Mall in Rodney Bay and Gablewoods Mall in Sunny Acres are good shopping centres featuring grocery, post office and banking services, clothing and souvenir stores and eateries. For duty free shopping, bring along your ticket and passport and visit Pointe Seraphine or La Place Carenage in Castries. The Castries Central Market is the best place for fresh fruit and vegetables and an assortment of local crafts – don’t be afraid to negotiate your price here.
Like the islands’ history, its geological provenance is colourful. Due in part to its volcanic and coral heritage, each of St Lucia’s beaches takes on a different character from bay to bay. The north of the island features mostly white and yellow sand beaches, the most famous of which is the picturesque Reduit Beach. Smuggler’s Cove in Cap Estate is a lesser visited, intimate cove with excellent snorkelling. Further down the coast, closer to the volcanic basin, the sands turn black and coarse. The hues of the water on the south Caribbean coast are offset by the dark sand. Anse Chastanet is particularly beautiful.
The length of the Atlantic coast runs from sandy to pebbly. By nature the beaches are rugged and windswept, the currents strong but the landscape dramatic. Cas-en-bas is a particularly popular picnicking bay. There are several other beautiful bays along that coast but they require all-terrain vehicles to access.