A Less Known Tropical Gem

A few years ago, when we were still living the typical 24/7 life in the nation’s capital, we felt the need for some tropical “rejuvenation therapy”. Not having the time to travel very far and having already visited the western Caribbean several times, we looked for a bit more exotic destination. We settled on the tiny, lush island of St. Lucia, part of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean (eastern shore) and the Caribbean Sea (western side). We flew there via San Juan, Puerto Rico one beautiful day in late May.

St. Lucia is a very small sovereign island nation with a population of less that 200,000, rich culture and history. It’s only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide. One can drive around this beautiful island on a curvy and hilly (no kidding!) road that follows the coast line to experience its tropical beauty and spectacular views during frequent sightseeing stops or hikes.

The beaches are beautiful, of course, and the island’s inner landscape consists of several tropical rain forests and reserves, many with breathtaking waterfalls and rare spices of wild flowers and birds.

St lucia jungle waterfall

We drove from north to south on the west coast passing tiny fishing villages, banana plantations and fruit farms, the island’s “fruit basket”, and had an opportunity to visit several forests, gardens and waterfalls.

Reaching the south-western side of the island we stopped to admire the famous coastal twin peaks, the Pitons, Petit and Gros.

Another site worth visiting in the south is the Sulphur Springs, the “drive-in volcano” which forms the hottest and most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles.  We walked through the crater, past pools and hot springs bubbling with sulphur-laden steam, but we declined a bath in the warm sulphuric pools despite their reputed soothing effects.

In addition to wonderful nature and sights, the island offers many other activities, ranging from cultural events, eco-adventures, horse-back riding and hiking (for example on the Pigeon Island) to all kinds of water sports, including wonderful waters for snorkeling and scuba diving.

A considerable part of our “tropical rejuvenation” program was of course relaxation and sun bathing on the beautiful beaches, eating authentic island fare accompanied with local music, and shopping for colorful souvenirs.

We came back to the hubbub of the big city happy and more relaxed. St. Lucia is a tropical gem well worth visiting! Hope you enjoyed the journey.