Carnival in Castries
All Inclusive Hotel
Gros Islet Jump up
Saint Lucia is a beautiful green island with volcanic mountains, lush jungles,
natural waterfalls and healing sulphur springs. The capital Castries is
more a large town than a city and gets only busy when cruise ships
are in port. The main attractions are two giant volcanic plugs, the Pitons, located near Soufrière on the western side of the island. They offer stunning views, especially at sunset.
Saint Lucia is pretty safe and easy to travel - even for solo traveling women. Public minibuses go
everywhere - for pennies. Speeding along the winding, mountainous roads
makes some people sick. Instead of taking long day tours I recommend to
stay at least one or two nights in Soufrière.
best beaches are in the north. Unfortunately all good beaches are taken
by hotels, where locals are not welcomed. Most hotels offer
all-inclusive, which is really bad for local business. If possible,
travel individually, buy in small shops and eat in local restaurants. Saint
Lucia is one of very few Caribbean islands where you meet
The Hewanorra International Airport is located
in the south of the Island, far away from the resorts in the north.
Take my advice and avoid the long drive to Castries. Either fly
directly to Vigie Airport from Saint Lucia in a small plane or take the
fast ferry from Martinique.
= STRIEWA =
capital city has grown up around a sheltered harbour, which occupies
the crater of an extinct volcano. The harbour receives cargo
vessels, ferry boats, and cruise ships. It houses duty free shopping
facilities such as Point Seraphine and La Place Carinage. Castries is a
bustling little city full of colors, flavor, and very nice people. It's
greatest appeal lies in its relaxed lifestyle.
steps from the cruise ship terminal lies the red roofed Castries
Market. Every Saturday morning bring farmers their produce and spices
to town and sell it here. Next door to the Produce Market is the Craft
Market, where most tourists buy their souvenirs.
to the market
is The Old Town of Castries with a square in
the center. The square is surrounded by colourful colonial
buildings with verandas overhanging the sidewalk. In the past
Saint Lucia bounced between French and British control. The square
is named after the poet Derek Walcott, one of St. Lucia's two
Nobel Laureates. Opposite the Derek Walcott Square
is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with an Italian
clock tower and a Victorian variation on a Romanesque design for the
church itself. The Castries Heritage Walk will point out the city’s
primary battle between the French and British over the possession of
St. Lucia took place at Morne Fortune, meaning "Hill of Good
Luck". Sitting at the top of The Morne are the remains of Fort
Charlotte, which was built in 1764. Today the old barracks are
used as government buildings and educational facilities. Visitors can
walk through the barracks, stables, guardrooms and cells.
on the hilly outskirts of Castries, close to Fort Charlotte, high atop
Morne Fortune, stands the Howelton House, a Centuries old Victorian
Mansion. It is home of the Caribelle Batik factory and Bagshaws
silk-screening studio. Craftspeople demonstrate the art of batik and
silk-screen printing. The lush gardens offer wonderful views over
Castries and the harbour
The tiny Marigot Bay forms a azure blue lagoon
which is the island's best protected natural harbour. The sheltered bay is surrounded by
beautiful steeply forested slopes and all year round home of
dozens of sailboats. The picturesque bay is draped with palm trees and dotted
with cocktail bars. The beach is small and usually uncrowded,
the turquoise waters are clear and calm. Marigot Bay is a very popular destination for day-trippers.
Soufrière is the oldest town on the island and the original French capital. Today
it has a laidback feel, with an intriguing market and many nearby
attractions which include the Pitons, the Sulphur Springs, the Botanical Gardens and the black sand beaches of
Anse Chastanet and Malgretout. It makes an excellent base for a holiday, both for its
Caribbean charm and its convenient location.
Lucia's most famous landmark are the densely vegetated volcanic peaks of the Piton
mountains. Petit Piton is located in Soufrière
rising to a height of 750m while Gros Piton is located in Choiseul
reaching a height of 797m.
It is possible to climb Petit Piton, but challenging and only with
a local guide.
Sulphur Springs Drive In Volcano
road runs right up to and through the crater of the Soufriere Volcano.
Although there are signs of activity going on, the volcano is dormant.
The last eruption occurred in the late eighteenth century. The crater
emits steam and sulphur with boiling mud. It is weak during the day but
very strong at nights. There are twenty-four steaming vents,
discharging various minerals among them such as sulphur, iron, copper
oxide and magnesium. There are several pots of boiling water that are
above the normal boiling point. The water flows downhill from the
volcano and cools along the way to a comfortable 37 °C
(100 °F). Visitors may enjoy the hot mineral waters of the mud
baths, which are known for its therapeutic qualities. There is a very
strong smell of hydrogen sulfide that comes out of it. The caldera
is believed to be connected to the ocean because of
increase reaction during a full moon which causes high
tides. There are
also many colours at the surface as a result of sulfur, iron, carbon, calcium
oxide, copper oxide, magnesium and other minerals.
pleasant walk from the center of Soufrière are the Botanical
Gardens, which are part of the old colonial Soufrière Estate. A walk
through dense foliage and dozens of tropical flowers leads to the
Diamond Falls. The Diamond River comes directly from the
volcanic sulphur springs, and the mineral-rich water gives the
Falls a rather colourful appearance to the rock face. Near the falls are
three mineral baths. The mineral water is clear and the temperature is
pleasantly warm. The tropical flowers in the garden attract a variety
of colourful hummingbirds. The garden is a delight for photographers and
The small Jalousie Beach is situated in between the two
Pitons. The stunning setting, water clarity, and white sands make this an excellent tanning venue. Snorkelers and scuba divers come
for the colourful tropical
Morne Coubaril Estate
The working estate grows cocoa, coconuts and
manioc. Guides show how coconuts are opened,
roasted and sent off to be made into margarine, soaps, oil and animal
feed. Cocoa is fermented, dried on racks in the sun, oiled, polished
through the art of dancing on them, crushed and then formed into
chocolate sticks. Manioc roots are grated, squeezed of excess water,
dried over a fire and turned into farina and tapioca pudding also called cassava. Activities
provided for visitors include horseback treks, organized hikes to the
hot sulfurous Coubaril Falls and jeep tours of the area. Hiking, tree climbing and ziplining are also available.
The St. Lucia National Rainforest covers 19,000 acres of mountains
and valleys and is home to exotic plant life and rare birds,
including the brightly coloured Jacquot parrot. It is of particular appeal to bird watchers, hikers
and nature lovers. There are
several trails with abundant
wildlife and several waterfalls.
To access any of the rainforest trails you need to be accompanied
by a guide.
Rodney Bay Marina
Bay Marina is an official port of entry with immigration and customs’
offices. It has become the center of yachting tourism in St. Lucia. At
Rodney Bay you can climb aboard the brig Unicorn, used in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, and sail to the west side of the island. Most of St. Lucia’s nightlife and entertainment options are located
in the Rodney Bay area.
Just north across the channel from Rodney Bay lies the small fishing village of Gros Islet
(French for large island, pronunciation: grozee-lay). Gros
Islet is under developed; you can still find many old wooden houses here today. Most of the people seem to live close to
poverty line. Every Friday night, locals and visitors alike
pour in for the famous Jump Up street party with loud music and
dancing in the streets. Snack vendors
the hungry masses with steamed fish, barbecue chicken and
St. Lucia's own Piton beer. Bars open their doors onto the street. Things get going
around 10pm and last till late.
small Pigeon Island is a popular National Park close to Gros Islet.
Once isolated from the country in the Caribbean Sea, the island was
artificially joined to the western coast of mainland by a
causeway. It offers pleasant panoramas but no longer the sense of
isolated privacy that reigned here prior to its development. The island
is a historic site with numerous forts and an has a small
museum telling the history of the island. Pigeon Island is also home to
the St. Lucia Jazz Festival. This festival is one of the top five jazz
Festivals in the world and held every year in May.
good way to explore St Lucia's varied terrain is on horseback. Riders
have the chance to explore lush valleys, tropical rainforest and sandy
beaches, and can also ride a horse into the shallow waters of the
Caribbean. Creole horses, a breed native to South America, is
popular on the island.
Saint Lucia’s hilly
terrain makes leisure travel difficult, but biking is a great way to
explore the island's mountains and rain forests. You can choose from a
variety of excursions. Special trails have been custom-built under the
advice of experts.
A helicopter provides an unparalleled opportunity to see the island’s
beauty from a
bird’s eye view. Few places in the world offer a more spectacular
scenery from the air than St. Lucia. Visitors can embark upon
flights that loop around the northern and southern portions of the
island, offering aerial panoramas that include the steaming cauldron of
Soufriere volcano and the emerald carpet of the National Rain Forest.
Students in Castries
Castries Hair Dresser