Trade winds keep temperatures on the right side of sizzling in sunny St Lucia, where white sandy beaches, crystalline waters and luscious rainforests paint the quintessential picture of the Caribbean island idyll.
St Lucia is in the business of creating lasting first impressions: visitors to the island are greeted by the unforgettable sight of the Piton Mountains, which are fringed by coral reefs, sandy shores and swaying palms as they rise majestically from the rolling surf.
While other Caribbean islands lay claim to equally beautiful beaches, St Lucia will tempt you out of the sun-lounger and into the ocean with its bountiful marine life and exquisite reefs, which are a playground for scuba divers and snorkelers. St Lucia’s waters are also prime for kite-boarding and windsurfing, thanks to the aforementioned trade winds.
It’s not all about the coast, though. A trip to the island’s interior presents the opportunity to hike through verdant mountains, zip-line over forest canopies and watch boiling sulphur springs bubble away atop a volcano, all in a day’s work. If you’ve still got the energy for a night out, there are regular shindigs in the north of the island. Friday nights get particularly lively.
Here visitors can experience the relaxed flavour of island life, as well as the unique mixture of West African, European and East Indian influences that infuse the local cuisine. St Lucia is also known for its folk music and world-famous Jazz & Arts Festival, which takes place every year amidst much fanfare.
The island carries a unique cultural heritage, having changed hands between Britain and France no fewer than 14 times. The British eventually lost control in 1979, and St Lucia gained its independence. Various cultural legacies linger, from the colonial-style plantations that dot the landscape, to the French-influenced patois spoken throughout the country.
The result is a destination that will captivate visitors long after the emerald-green peaks of the Pitons have disappeared over the horizon.