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St Lucia frequented by Superman - this is where we would like your blog posts on St Lucia.

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park

The Pigeon Island National Park is located on the most northwesterly part of the island of St Lucia. In the 44 acres of beautiful tropical surroundings, expect relaxation, enjoyment and a healthy dose of history.

Pigeon Island, despite its name, is actually no longer an island! It is joined to mainland St Lucia by a man-made causeway that now houses Sandals Grande Hotel. Though it may be a place of tranquillity now, it wasn’t always this way.

Before Europe first made contact with the Caribbean islands, they were inhabited by two groups of Amerindians, the Caribs and the Arawaks. The Caribs were known to be more war-like and the Arawaks more peaceful. The Caribs inhabited Pigeon Island until the arrival of Norman Captain ‘Jambe de Bois’ (Wooden Leg) and his band of pirates.

The French took over in the 18th Century. When the French declared war on the British in 1778, the British decided to attack St Lucia, France's stronghold, and managed to seize control. Since then, St Lucia was fought over tooth and nail by these two nations, changing ownership no less than 14 times! The British were the final victors and remained in control of the country until Independence in 1979. This continual fight is reflected in that St Lucia’s official language is English, but that most of the country also speaks a French Kweyol and many of the place names in St Lucia are French.

The French and English both used Pigeon Island as a military base and many of the original ruins still remain here. The large hills offered excellent views of any incoming threats from both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Walk to the top of Pigeon Point to see the view these military strategists once saw. Thankfully now we can enjoy them in peace. Ensure that you wear suitable walking shoes and begin your walk before the heat of the midday sun, as there is no shade at the top of the hills or on the walk up. There are plenty of places on the path to stop, sit down and take in the view that only becomes more breathtaking as you make your ascent. Information placards along the way teach you the history of this many-faceted place. When you reach the top, stay for a while to fully appreciate the mesmerising views. On a clear day, Martinique can be seen in the distance.

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What is there to do in Castries?

What is there to do in Castries?

Castries is the capital of St Lucia, located in the northwest of the island and home to approximately 11,000 people. It has excellent transport links, with air, land and sea access. Those who come to St Lucia via other Caribbean islands will have a birds eye view of Castries as they descend into the George F. L. Charles airport. International flights land at Vieux Fort, and the main East-coast road leads directly from there to Castries, with no shortage of public or private-hire minivans to make the scenic one and a half hour trip.

Castries also boasts a deep harbour, which allows the city to play host to international quality cruiseships. Some of the major liners stopping at Castries include Aida and Celebrity X cruises, and it is not uncommon to see three cruiseliners in the harbour at any one time.

If your ship docks on the city-side of the harbour, the first place you will meet when you step off the ship is La Place Carenage, a duty free mall selling fine jewelry, Rolex watches, tobacco, alcohol and more tax free products. Upstairs it has two restaurants that overlook the harbour. Try Pirates for an open air dining veranda, an array of exotic cocktails and a mix of classic Caribbean cuisine amongst some familiar favourites.

Other ships dock at the far side of the harbour, near a white pyramid building and fishing boat moorings. Though La Place Carenage is only a ten minute walk from here, you may prefer to try Pointe Seraphine, another duty-free shopping haven. When you've had your fill of shopping, take a short walk past the sports complex and discover Vigie Beach, a welcoming stretch of white sand lapped by the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea.

Another popular option is to head down to the food market, where local farmers sell their produce through a network of friendly lady stallholders. If you strike up conversation, you will also find that some of the stallholders grow their own produce in their gardens. If you are staying in self-catering accommodation, you can pick up tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, chives, cabbage and bananas, to name but a few. Why not try some tropical fruit and vegetables? Depending on the season you might find golden apples, sugar apples or love apples (none of which are much like regular apples!), an abundance of mangoes, or creamy avocados. If you're feeling adventurous try a breadfruit, a large green food shaped a little like a football that has a beige centre. Boiled, chopped and deep fried, it makes an excellent alternative to french fries or potato wedges. Fried plantain is another delicious choice.

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Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in St Lucia, and you don't have to look too far to find the reasons why.

Marigot Bay is not a centre of busy activity and glittering nightlife like Rodney Bay. It is a tranquil and relaxing place that you can enjoy as the perfect place to stay and unwind, or as a base to come home to after a busy day exploring the many attractions St Lucia has to offer. Marigot Bay is a serene, small community based around a natural harbour. You will find stalls selling jewelry, St Lucian hand carved ornaments and all other kinds of attractive souvenirs. A full spectrum of boats, from tiny fishing boats to large yachts, call in here, and there is a friendly sense of community and hospitality that reaches everyone, St Lucians and tourists alike.

There are many options for accommodation, Marigot Bay having an excellent assortment of hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, and self-catering villas. Choosing where you want to stay may be difficult, as all of these options are of an excellent standard and have received outstanding feedback on TripAdvisor. A major factor in this decision will be whether you would like to cook for yourself at times, or would prefer to eat out during your stay. If you prefer to eat in, the supermarket in Marigot Bay has a very good variety but is more exclusively priced than other local supermarkets. Other accommodations may include whether you require Air Conditioning, a swimming pool, a spa, water sports or other facilities. It is advised to get accommodation with a good balcony or veranda to make the most of the idyllic view over the Caribbean sea.

Marigot Bay is about an hour and a quarter from the main airport in Vieux Fort (UVF). Before you arrive you can consider whether you would prefer to hire a car for the duration of your stay or rely on taxis. If you plan to use Marigot as a base to tour around the island, a hire car would definitely be advisable as taxis around the island can be expensive. A 4-wheel drive car is recommended, particularly for the road between Marigot and Soufriere. If you prefer to stay within Marigot Bay for your holiday, it might be better value for money to arrange for a taxi from the airport to your accommodation. As the taxis are usually minibuses, you could join up with another couple or group going to Marigot Bay and split the fare. If you do choose this option and are staying in self-catering accommodation, you might want to ask the taxi driver to stop at a supermarket to stock up on essentials at a cheaper price than you would be able to within Marigot Bay. The major supermarket chain in St Lucia is called Super J, and you can often find a pharmaceutical section and an ATM at their stores.

Another option for getting around the island is using the local minibuses. They are very cheap at about 1 USD a journey, though you must have local currency (Eastern Caribbean Dollars - XCD) to ride. They are generally not suited to luggage as they can be quite packed. These buses pass along the main road, which is about a ten minute walk from Marigot Bay.

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RELAXATION AT DIAMOND FALLS

RELAXATION AT DIAMOND FALLS

In St Lucia, Soufriere is well known as a must-visit tourist destination, but still manages to feel authentically Lucian. This small town is surrounded by rainforest trails, towering hills covered in lush vegetation, and Petit and Gros Piton, two huge hills jutting out of the Caribbean sea, that are a UNESCO heritage site and the namesake of St Lucia's local beer brand.

The atmosphere of Soufriere is a world away from the urban bustle of Castries and the sheen of Rodney Bay. A casual friendliness enhances the relaxed atmosphere.

And there is nowhere more relaxing to visit than the Diamond Falls Estate. On the site of a former plantation, it now holds sulphur rivers, extensive botanical gardens, a restaurant, and of course, the falls that give this outstanding place of natural beauty its name.

The sulphur springs are caused by volcanic activity tens of thousands of years ago that have caused the water to have high sulphur content and be naturally warm. The waters are said to have therapeutic powers, being helpful in easing rheumatism, respiratory problems and especially stress. King Louis XVI took advantage of this and erected twelve stone baths in the 1700s. These were later destroyed and remained in ruins until restored by Andre du Boulay in the 1930s.

There are now two indoor baths for private use. Each bath can hold two people and would be suitable for a family with young children to share. There are also a series of outdoor pools for communal use - remember to pack a bathing suit and towel! The slots to enjoy the baths are generally around half an hour, but if you arrive early (the Estate opens at 10am every day) you may be able to avoid the rush of tourists on day tours and have a little longer to enjoy the warm healing waters. At just 7 USD for the private baths and 6 USD for the public, it won't hurt your pocket to indulge.

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St Lucia All Inclusive Experience at the Rex Resort St Lucian.

St Lucia All Inclusive Experience at the Rex Resort St Lucian.

The main image here is not of Reduit Beach this is the view on the other side of what you can see looking left from reduit beach, various trails lead up this way to a fish pond believe it or not and some good views can be had. Also the segue tours run up here.

Location : Reduit Beach St Lucia. Close to Rodney Bay.

We stayed at Rodney Bay reduit Beach and the Rex Resort there called the St Lucian during the month of November. It’s hard to fault the beach here and the resort also has a great variety of watersports  on offer. Cruise ship day we felt a little relegated to one side as the resort welcome the cruise shippers to come and stay on the beach. The resort has no less than 3 pools but the third and largest pool is somewhat hidden away. Considering that it has a pool bar its strange that they don’t advertise it more. Facing the ocean this part of the resort is on your left side. Via the beach just walk up and notice the pavilion style building from the beach and cut in. It is your resort don’t worry ! To the right is a slightly more upmarket rex resort the Royal that is out of bounds apart from a paying restaurant you can frequent, virgin staff get to stay over here, but it seems a little quiet to me and the beach is no better. Back to the left hand side of the resort facing the sea you can walk through the resort to get to the dilapidated but functional tennis courts. They look rougher than they are in reality the surface is passable for any game you might have, though it adds to the overall feeling that the resort needs a makeover also some kit is needed like a proper volleyball for the pool as there is shockingly NO beach volleyball a big disappointment for me. The gym is decent enough and pernile I think his name was who also do the activities friendly fun and helpful. The room we had was not poolside and was perfectly fine but nothing luxurious either.

Being all inclusive here and eating in the same place for all the meals would get very tiring indeed past a week. We stayed for just the week and it was ok. The food was to a decent standard and varied enough to help me bulk up – on purpose of course. I did feel there was no one place that encouraged meeting so easily.

We both felt that it was a mixed reception from some of the staff members who seemed at times to be almost unhappy – clearly a fault of the management but it must be noted that mostly they were very happy to serve chat and not allow the management lacking’s to be passed on to us. I met Richard  whom I had encountered at the Rex in Antigua and if anyone can get a resort better it will be him. It needs some investment and some managerial attitude change. For example the Jacuzzi which is cold was left with leaves from the trees and it looked so uninviting as to be unused but it was left like this because no one uses it we were told…well heat a little the water with black coiled pipes or a heater and keep it leaf free  then people will use it.

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St Lucia Scuba Diving Resource

http://www.scubamom.com/st-lucia/ansechastanet.htm

There are some really good informations on scuba diving st lucia here - just thought I would share.

in fact there are good resources on other islands in the caribbean as well.

http://www.scubamom.com/caribbean/

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