St. Lucia Directory
St. Lucia Overview
View of the Pitons from a Windjammer Sailing Ship
Only 27 miles long and 10 miles wide, St. Lucia’s high mountains and twisted roads make it seem much larger. Dominated by rainforest and the two peaks, The Pitons that rise almost vertical from the sea on the southwest coast, a visit to the island is an adventure in it self. When you then see the white sand beaches and the colors of St. Lucia's reefs, it is not hard to believe that this is paradise on earth. St. Lucia's calm waters give you plenty of time to check out that it really is. St. Lucia has a strictly regulated marine park where you are only allowed access with a dive operator. There are plans to extend marine-park to the whole coastline.
St. Lucia offers what many consider the classic Caribbean scenery - it's a lush and exotic island with volcanic mountains, tropical rainforests and banana, coconut and spice plantations. For beach lovers there is a selection of golden and black sand beaches. For divers St. Lucia offers a fair selection of reefs and dive sites to satisfy all levels of diving. Though not quite Grand Cayman or Cozumel, St. Lucia not only offers divers good diving but the chance to have onshore adventures as well from - hiking, biking, snorkeling, wind surfing, trail running, sailing to beach lounging under the pitons.
Scuba St.Lucia (http://www.scubastlucia.com) is an SSI Platinum Pro, PADI Dive Center located in the heart of the marine reserves at the ANSE CHASTANET hotel just north of the magnificient Pitons in St.Lucia. Founded in 1981, Scuba St.Lucia has established itself as one of the world's top diving destinations. Situated in the south end of ANSE CHASTANET'S 1/4 mile long, soft sand, secluded beach within a 600 acre plantation, Scuba St.Lucia offers diving and comprehensive facilities for divers of all levels. There is also a roped off area that cover part of a reef that allows snorkelers an excellent spot, right off shore, to snorkel.
The most known feature of St Lucia are the Pitons, which are twin volcanic mountains which rise to over 2,500 ft on the island's southwest coast. Here you will find a good selection of high-end romantic small hotels and resorts. Many nestled right into the hilly shoreline that offer amazing views of the Caribbean and the Pitons.
Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Marigot Bay: Imagine a classic Caribbean lagoon surrounded by coconut palm trees, with rising hills and clear blue waters - This is Marigot Bay. Once a vital wartime base, where the British Fleet once ambushed the French by camouflaging it's fleet with palm fronds. This picturesque bay is now a yacht haven and one of St. Lucia's most beautiful spots. It's also a protective harbour for boat and ships when huriccanes approach.
Accommodations: St. Lucia offers an amazing number of lodging options to suit individual tastes and budgets. From all-inclusive resorts, luxury villas and conventional hotels to charming small hotels, inns and guesthouses. In one respect there are two different St. Lucia's. In the north you have Rodney Bay that offers many traditional hotel and resort options that are close to shopping and dining options. To the more rustic and mountainous south west coast of the island where the Pitons are located - Marigot Bay and Soufriere.
Dining Out: The cuisine is largely a combination of International and Creole utilizing fresh local produce. There are also specialty restaurants such as French, Italian, Pizza, Indian and Steakhouses. And of course as one would expect almost every restaurant offers fish and seafood dishes.
Insiders View: As with most of the Caribbean, holidaying here is not cheap - hotels, car hire and eating out are often costly. In the interor of the island and in the south the roads are pretty curvy and full of pot holes, so journeys are often slow and bumpy. Be prepared for rain showers (especially May-November) - St. Lucia gets plenty of rain, that's why it's so green. If large resort hotels and busy beaches are not your idea of a getaway, avoid the more developed tourist hotspots in the northwest and go south.
Hiking: With trails, waterfalls and wildlife, St Lucia’s southern rainforests and the Pitons provide excellent hiking opportunities.
Beaches: All the west coast (Caribbean side) beaches have good swimming. In the southwest (around the Pitons) the beaches are mainly black volcanic sand; the majority of golden beaches are in the northwest (along with the majority of the tourists). The east coast (Atlantic side) of the island, offers isolated beaches but with a dangerous surf due to more turbulent atlantic seas.
Mountain Biking: Biking is a fantastic way to explore St. Lucia. There are a good number of tour companies that offer guided tours or rentals to explore the island. With many guided tours you have vehicles that trek you to different areas to bike or drive you to the top of a mountain hill and allow you to bike down. There are also jungle biking trails that have been carved right through the rain forest. Check out: http://www.bikestlucia.com
Sailing: With a plethora of harbours and inlets, St Lucia is popular with sailors. The nearby islands St Vincent and the Grenadines are a day's sail to the south and offer sailors many opportunies to explore small islands.
|St. Lucia Facts|
Safe, but visitors prefer bottled water.
St. Lucia has its share of crime, like every other place these days. Use common sense and protect yourself and your valuables. If you've got it, don't flaunt it! Don't pick up hitchhikers if you're driving around the island. The use of narcotic drugs is illegal, and their possession or sale could lead to stiff fines or jail.
St. Lucian banks have a full range of banking and foreign currency services. Cash in local currency can be obtained by credit cards or bank cards through the ATM machines located at most banks. Normal banking hours are from 8: 00 a. m. to 3: 00 p. m. and some banks are open until 5: 00 p. m. on Friday. Banks at the Rodney Bay Marina are also open from 8: 00 a. m. until 12: 00 noon on Saturday.
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