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Exploring St. Lucia

Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world can be se in this one small Island, with rainforest, majestic mountain peaks, picturesque villages, it's no wonder that so many Hollywood films have been made here, including Dr. Doolittle, Superman and Water.
Castries: St. Lucia's capital hosts several of St. Lucia's historical sights, like the La Toc Battery, and beautiful architecture, including the uniquely decorated Cathedral and the Central Library.
The bustling town market is always popular with the many cruise ships that dock in the harbour, and if you visit  Bagshaws, you can watch the art of the silk-screening process.


Morne Fortune (Hill of Good Luck): Overlooking Castries, this was a key battleground during the period of skirmishes over colonial possession of St. Lucia. Begun by the French as a strategic outpost in the 17th century, it was the British who finished it when the French surrendered in 1796.
Marigot Bay: Once a vital wartime base, where a British Admiral once ambushed the French by camouflaging his fleet with palm fronds, this picturesque bay is now a yacht haven and one of St. Lucia's most beautiful spots. Many of the Exteriors of Dr. Doolittle were filmed here and you can eat in the Dr. Doolittle restaurant seen below left.


Derek Walcott Square: Dominated by the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1897, the square is also home to a 400-year-old Samaan tree.
Anse-le-Ray & Canaries: I never know whether this beautiful village should be called Anse de le Ray, which means beach of the rays, alluding to the large bat like fish that appear here, but most local leave out the "de" and just use Anse le Ray.
Soufriere: One of my favourite villages, located in the south, around the corner from Anse Chastenet it is the oldest town in St. Lucia, established by the French in 1746. From a cameraman's perspective it is a fascinating place to film, especially the buildings around its unusual marketplace, decorated with colourful murals and gingerbread trim.

Choiseul: Guarded by a single remaining canon at Fort Citren, Choiseul lies midway between Soufriere and Vieux Fort on the southwest coast, and is rich in history, being home to a petroglyph carved centuries ago by the island's early inhabitants.
Gros Islet: A place for the young at heart, this fishing village erupts every Friday night into a colourful carnival scene, featuring soca and reggae music and a "jump up" (dancing in the streets).
Pigeon Island: Pigeon Island, a 40-acre islet connected by a causeway to St. Lucia's west coast, is a beautiful nature park which reflects a thousand years of history.


Our evening water taxi adventure to Soufriere departing from Anse Chastenet

 There are marked trails with a number of historical sites, like the remains of an 18th-century British fort and Fort Rodney, where the Admiral for which it is named spied on the French ships from its strategic viewpoint . The island also has two secluded beaches and is the major venue of St. Lucia's annual Jazz Festival. The Pigeon Island Museum & Interpretive Centre, displaying the island's history, is housed in a landmark former British officers' mess building, restored to its 1808 elegance. Through interactive audio/visual aids and ancient artefacts, visitors learn about the first Carib Indian settlers and the island's role in the French/British battles during colonization. A highlight is Admiral Rodney's victory in 1782 at the famous "Battle of the Saints." The museum opens daily 9:00am to 5:00pm; admission is EC$5.00 for adults and EC$.50 for children. For information, contact the St. Lucia National Trust (452-5005).Pigeon Point web gallery

Plantation Tours

Errard Plantation: The drive to Errard, near the village of Dennery, crosses the interior of the island and borders the rain forest. The tour includes an introduction to the various fruit crops, a "cocoa dance," which polishes the beans, and a Creole lunch featuring local fruit juices. For arrangements, call 453-1260.
La Sikwe Historical Sugar Mill & Plantation: Bordering the village of Anse la Raye, the 400-acre estate is set in a beautiful botanical garden. The tour features an onsite museum and cultural theatre with a 40-foot water wheel depicting the sugar-growing years of the 18th century. Tours must be scheduled in advance and can be arranged through any hotel.

Guided plantation tour at Anse Chastenet

Marquis Estate: St. Lucia's largest estate is located just outside of Castries. This working plantation offers insights into the production of St. Lucia's present export crops, banana and copra, as well as the principal crops of previous years, coffee and cocoa. The tour includes a scenic drive along St. Lucia's northeast coast to the countryside, a visit to an old sugar mill, a boat ride on the Marquis river and lunch at the plantation house. Call 452-3762 to arrange a tour.
Morne Coubaril Estate: Overlooking the picturesque town of Soufriere, the tour includes a demonstration of cocoa, copra, and manioc processing, a walk on an original street formerly used by mule carriages, and a visit to a workers' village. To arrange a tour, call 459-7340.


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