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Natural Attractions of St. Lucia
The setting for a scene from a Superman movie, one of several films made on the Island


Diamond Falls: "The Diamond Botanical Gardens, Mineral Baths and Waterfall" is a portion of the 2,000 acres granted to three Devaux brothers by France's King Louis in 1713, to recognise their services to the French Crown and country. It is claimed that as a child, Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte bathed in the original baths built by King Louis for his troops at these natural, mineral-rich falls. while spending holidays at her father's plantation in Soufriere called "Mal Maison".

In 1928 Mr. Andre du Boulay, owner of the site, restored 2 baths out of the original 12 that had been destroyed by "the Brigands" during the French Revolution. These baths are fed by the original spring water, similar to the waters of "Aix le Bain" in France. The original housing, built in 1784 is still in use.
In 1983 on the death of her parents, their daughter Joan became manager of the estate and began restoration of the gardens that are so pleasurable today.

Hearing that the waters have rejuvenating qualities, I take a break from filming to try the baths

Mt. Gimie: At 3,117 feet, it is the highest point on St. Lucia. One of the best eye-filling views of this peak is to be had on emerging from the rain forest. Guided tours are conducted up the mountain.
Latille Gardens:
This beautiful hidden treasure of St. Lucia is filled with luscious fruits, blooming flowers, thriving plants, shading trees, and vibrant waterfalls. A walk on the waterfall trails or a relaxing night under the moon and stars, amidst the scent of healthy vegetation, are adventures not to be missed. For more information, contact the Gardens at (758) 454-0202.

Wildlife: Two small islands off the coast of Vieux Fort, the Maria Islands are a nature reserve and the refuge of two species found nowhere else in the world. The Kouwes Snake, noted as the world's rarest snake, and the Zandoli Te, a ground lizard whose males display a brilliant blue tail. Frigate Island is a haven for frigate birds during mating season. Click here for the St Lucian Parrot


Nature Hikes, Tours, and Programs:

Barre de L'isle Rain Forest Trail: The highlight of this trail, which runs along the perimeter of the rain forest, is a climb to the top of Morne la Combe that is only for the stout of heart. The mountain, towering 1,446 feet, lies on the Barre de Lisle ridge and offers panoramic views west to the Roseau and Mabouya valleys. The walk takes approximately three hours. For more information, call 450-2231/7-8.

Union Nature Trail: A beautiful, looping, gravelled path parades through a dry forest punctuated by hummingbirds, warblers, and finches. The nature of the trail allows up close and personal views of several spectacular introduced tree species, medicinal herbs, and local fruit trees, plus exotic wildlife at a miniature zoo. There is also a centre that provides information about the island's endangered species, vegetation zones, and life in the forest. The tour lasts just over one hour.


Naturalist Tour: This tour is particularly appealing to those interested in horticulture, biology, entomology, ornithology, and native flora and fauna. Though it is guided, the tour will venture off the beaten track to wherever the participants desire to go, including up and down mountains, into the forests and bushes. The schedule and prices vary, depending on the type of tour and the number of participants. For further information contact the Forestry Department.
Frigate Island Nature Trail: This tour along St. Lucia's Atlantic Coast offers several scenic views on a mile-long trail circling the national park. The tour calls on the breeding ground of St. Lucia's Frigate bird population, a locale that is also home to a number of rare species of birds, Boa Constrictors, and some unusual forms of vegetation. Tours are arranged through the St. Lucia National Trust.
Morne Le Blanc/Laborie: Morne Le Blanc towers over the coastal community of Laborie and the southern plains of St. Lucia. The mountain's summit affords a view of distant St. Vincent and a scenic, shady rest spot for picnics.


I am never more aware of the limitations of my video camera than when filming birds

Bird watching: In areas such as the Bois D'Orange Swamp, the Rain Forest and Boriel's Pond, visitors can observe some of St. Lucia's rare, indigenous species, like the St. Lucian Parrot, White Breasted Thrasher, St. Lucia Peewee, St. Lucia Oriole, and St. Lucia Wren. Arrangements can be made through the St. Lucia Forestry Department for early morning or late afternoon trips. Four-hour excursions cost US$40.00 per person and accommodate a maximum of ten persons, minimum of three.
Southern Safari: This tour by bus travels through St. Lucia's interior with stops at historic sites, including a working still at an old plantation house in Balembouche, interesting remains of a waterwheel, and ancient Amerindian "potholes." Another version of this tour includes a visit to the Pitons and a petroglyph site, returning by boat along the west coast. Lunch is included in the tour. For further information, call 452-5005.
Hardy Point Cactus Valley Walking Trek: This walking tour (which can also be taken by bus) begins at Hardy Point, a natural outcrop with splendid views of the entire Esperance Bay, the northern coast and the La Sociere mountain range. There are stops in Cactus Valley (aptly named because of its numerous resident species) and at several of the "blowholes" created by the force of the Atlantic Ocean. Across Donkey Beach, the trek visits Pigeon Island for sightseeing and swimming. Lunch at the Jambe de Bois Restaurant is included.

Turtle Watching:

Grande Anse Beach, on the north coast, is the centre for this activity during mid-March to the end of July. Housed in a little tent city, and soothed by the sea aglow in the starlight, campers can enjoy the spectacle of leatherback turtles rising from the surf. It is a great experience even if the guests of honour don't show. Watches are held on Saturday nights between 4:00pm to 6:30am and the cost is EC$10 per person. For more information, contact Jim Sparks at 452-8100/9951 (before Friday night).


Mankote Mangrove: Located on the southeast coast, just outside of Vieux Fort, it is the principle source of nutrients for the island's natural fish nursery in the nearby Savannes Bay. A viewing tower provides an excellent vantage point for bird watching and a diorama and brochures provide information on the unique features of the Mangrove. Guided tours can be arranged through the St. Lucia national Trust (452-5005) or the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (454-6060).


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