Laidback in St.Lucia
- 12 January 2016
With weekly music festivals, rainforests to explore and dozens of world class restaurants and bars, it’s easy to forget that St Lucia is better known for visitors seeking peace on a beach. The turtle watching and bird watching are serene. But what better way to experience nature then by ziplining through the jungle from a 150 foot drop (at night). You’ll be quickly won over by the winning blend of adventure sports and laidback philosophy that makes St Lucia the Caribbean’s most spectacular destination.
The must sees
St Lucia is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, full of rainforests, making it a hiker’s dream. The Treetop Adventure Park is the best way to see the rainforest, by mountain bike, jeep safari or a series of increasingly fast and high ziplines. The Sulphur Springs are the perfect place to get down and dirty. You can enjoy a mud bath in the steamy volcanic pools, proudly known as “the world’s first drive-in volcano”. Of course, you probably want to spend some time at the beach, of which there are plenty. Reduit Beach is a good place to start. It’s right next to the cool nightlife of Rodney Bay Village.
The national dish of St Lucia is Salt fish and green fig (actually an unripe banana), which is served just about everywhere. The variation at The Rainforest Hideaway (green fig and salt fish croquettes accompanying a coconut encrusted sea bass) is stunning. The Hideaway is also a must for its location. You need to take a 20-minute ferry ride across Marigot Bay to the restaurant, which is built over the water. The Cliff at Cap Restaurant offers “nouveau French West Indian” cuisine with views so good you may forget to eat, but this would be a mistake. For more down-to-earth dining, the weekly “fish fry” at Anse la Raye is a great way to enjoy fresh seafood, listen to some live music and sample the local rum.
All work and no play
DJs, live bands and the Caribbean Bartender of the Year makes Delirius the bar of choice for visitors and locals. The cocktails are like walking through an alcoholic rainforest. Try the Angostura Papaya Punch, a Watermelon Martini or a Mango Passion Margarita. They also serve locally brewed beer Piton, plus locally distilled whiskies, including Kweyon Spice, made with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Try and have just one. It’s a challenge.
A great place to watch the world go by
The Derek Walcott Square in the centre of Castries is a peaceful spot to watch the locals and rest your feet. It’s right next to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Nobel Prize-winner Derek Walcott is one of two from the tiny island, which has the most Nobel Prizes per head of population worldwide. It’s also just a short walk from the air conditioned duty-free shopping of Le Place Carenage, or the Castries Central Market, for more authentic souvenirs.