St. Lucia – Beautiful Beaches Amid Soothing Tropical Air
St. Lucia, a Caribbean democracy, is a popular tourist destination for its several resorts and beaches. Its natural scenery and tropical weather makes it all the more beautiful.
St. Lucia was discovered in 1500 by the Europeans. The Caribs were the inhabitants of the island at that moment. The French conquered it in 1660 followed by the British conquest between 1663 and 1667. After fighting with France for more than 14 times, the English were finally able to assert total control in the year 1814. This switching of controllers earned the island the name of “Helen of West Indies”. It was a part of West Indies between 1958 and 1962. It declared independence in 1979.
Popular Places and Attractions
The Pitons or the twin peaks are the most popular attraction of St. Lucia. The peaks can be best seen from the heights of Mount Gimie. The country also has the only drive-in volcanic crater of the world at Mount Soufriere. Tourists can take walking tours along the bubbling sulphur springs of this gas-emitting volcano.
Popular beaches on the island include the Grand Anse beach and Donkey beach. Grand Anse is an ideal place for camping and turtle watching. The city of Vieux Fort is popular for its Mankote Mangrove. It is the nutrients supplier to the island’s Savannes Bay fish nursery. Some other popular attractions are Cactus Valley, Diamond Falls, Latille Gardens, the National Rainforest and the islands of Frigate and Maria. These islands, along with the rainforests are popular for their rich wildlife and exotic fruits and flowers.
Planes, boats, buses (minivans or jitneys), ferries, taxis, water taxis, helicopter taxis, rented cars, bicycles and mopeds are the various modes of transportation available for moving around in St. Lucia, a good guide is to keep some small notes and change handy to pay for your travel.
Places for Entertainment
Restaurants, bars, pubs, reggae bands, dance clubs, folkloric shows and discos are the usual places for entertainment in St. Lucia. The nightlife is marked by the entertainment shows arranged by nightclubs and the island’s resorts including calypso singers, steel bands, island music as well as talent and karaoke shows. Rodney Bay is St. Lucia’s hub for nightlife.
The island’s lovely reefs and steep coastlines offer excellent scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities. Hiking along Morne la Combe, trailing in Barre de L’isle rainforest, naturalist safaris and tours, bird-watching on Boriel’s Pond, diving, trekking and sailing (especially at Marigot Bay) are some other popular leisure activities. The annual Jazz festival in May and also the annual Carnival and Calypso concerts attract many tourists from all over the world. These are celebrated in commemoration of Derek Walcott at his memorial in Castries.
Budget hotels, youth hostels, resorts, inns, B&Bs (bed and breakfast), beach cottages, villas, all-inclusive lodges and guesthouses are available for tourist accommodation in St. Lucia.
The official currency of St. Lucia is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), for the latest exchange rates check the news and internet. The U.S Dollar, credit cards and traveller’s cheques are also accepted at most places.
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