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murrayskinner Castries - A travel report by Murray
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Castries,  St. Lucia - flag St. Lucia -  Castries
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murrayskinner's travel reports

St. Lucia - Stunning Carribean Treasure

  14 votes
Page: 1 2
St. Lucia is regarded as the most beautiful island nation in the Eastern Carribean. It is a subtropical paridise offering stunning beaches, rain forests, dramatic topography, and friendly people. It gained independance from Britain in 1979.

Soufrierre and The Pitons
Soufrierre and The Pitons
St. Lucia has a population of about 160,000 people and gained its independence from Britain after changing hand between the British and the French 14 times. The locals will speak English to you but seem to prefer a Creole Patois incorporating the French heritage when speaking to each other. St. Lucia is about an 8-hour flight from London and 5 hours from Toronto and New York. The capital city is Castries and it has a population of approximately 55,000. It has an excellent ocean port and plays host to many visiting cruise ships. Castries is the one area in the island that one should avoid in the evening. The island apparently had almost 40 murders in 2006, which is quite a large number when compared the relatively small population. Most of the violence is gang and drug related but innocents can gat caught up in the crossfire to caution should be used. That being said, avoiding Castries in the evening one can feel comfortable getting out and about to explore. Souffriere is the second city (town) on the island and lies at the base of the Pitons, the national landmark that was just granted Unesco landmark status. The Pitons are twin volcanic uprising that vault up from the shoreline and are beautiful. In the area you can also visit one of the world's only drive in volcanoes (Calderas actually) where you will see the black boiling water and smell the pungent sulphur smell reminiscent of rotten eggs... Further to the north on the western (Caribbean) side of the island you should visit Anse La Raye (quaint fishing village), Marigot Bay (Dr. Doolittle was filmed here), Rodney Bay (the main tourist area and busy beach if that is your thing), and further to the north past Castries you can visit Pigeon Island Gros Islet. The eastern side of the island (Atlantic) is wind swept with wave-pounded beaches. The rain forest lies in the middle and southern portion of the island. Some activities include scuba diving and snorkling, horse back riding.

Favourite spots:
Idyllic Marigot Bay (Dr. Doolittle was filmed here)
Idyllic Marigot Bay (Dr. Doolittle was filmed here)
I suggest you rent a car (left hand drive), take some gravol if you are prone to motion sickness, as the roads are potholed and windy and drive around the entire island. In doing so you can visit the following spots driving south from Castries and circling the island counter clockwise. In doing so you can visit Marigot Bay a sanctuary for yachts when hurricanes threaten the island. Then head on to Soufrierre where you can see the Pitons. If you are inclined, take a boat taxi ore take the rough road to Anse Castanet. It is a beautiful beach with phenomenal snorkelling and a scuba diving school. You will see fish in a myriad of colours and swim amongst many barracuda. You can drive through the rain forest and for the more adventurous take a zip line through the canopied forest. If you can, you should visit the Friday Night Jump Up in Gros Islet when locals and tourists alike join in for a street party with dancing and local food.

What's really great:
St. Lucia is colourful!!
St. Lucia is colourful!!
· Our resort at Almond Smugglers Cove was tremendous. · Deep-sea fishing on The Mako with Captain Ferdinand. · Snorkelling at Anse Chastenet. · The helicopter trip from Castries back to the International Airport (10 minutes versus a 90-minute drive and what stunning views. · The Unicorn Brig sailing trip (ship featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean) down the coast the Pitons with side trips to the drive in volcano and waterfalls and knock your socks off rum punch · Driving around the island and meandering wherever we chose pursuing photo opportunity after photo op. · The weather and short-lived rainfalls that cleared the humidity. · The people and the scenery.....St Lucia....You have to visit. The islands motto - NO PRESSURE _ NO PROBLEM!!!

Marigot Bay
Marigot Bay
The view of Martinique (27 miles to the north) or St Vincent and the Grenadines to the south both look so inviting.

The Pitons are a must see and the town of Soufrierre is authentic and worth exlporing.

Marigot Bay is beautiful and the quinticenntal carribean cove.

The foliage in the rain forest.

Th fish and coral we saw while snorkelling.

View fromHotel At Sunset
View fromHotel At Sunset
We stayed at Amond Smugglers Cove (Formerly Club St Lucia) on the northern tip of the island. It was fantastic with 4 restaurants, secluded beach, 4 pools, and wickedly friendly staff! Highly recommended....but try to get the larger 2 room unit if you can.

Farewll St. Lucia
Farewll St. Lucia
Caribbean sunsets ..... enough said! This was taken our last evening. So long St. Lucia. We will be back!

The Beach at Almond Smuggler's Cove
The Beach at Almond Smuggler's Cove
The beaches of St. Lucia were our favorite hang out places. Coming from Canada what else would you expect.

This was the hotels beach but the one at Anse Chasanet and the secluded hidden cove beach just beside the hotel were noteworthy as well. In addition the windswept beaches on the Atlantic side of the island are beautiful and less visited.

The sushi bar at the Edge
The sushi bar at the Edge
The Edge Restaurant - tucked away in Rodney Bar featuring EuroBBean fushion and a Sushi Bar.

Other recommendations:
Aboard the Brig Unicorn approaching the Pitons
Aboard the Brig Unicorn approaching the Pitons
Take the day sailing trip on the Brig Unicorn with stops at Anse Couchon, the drive in Volcano, waterfalls and featured in Pirates of The Caribbean. Crew members were extras and have photes with them and Johnny Depp!

Published on Wednesday November 21th, 2007

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Sun, Dec 02 2007 - 04:26 PM rating by zrusseff

The photographs in your report are awesome! Excellent eye candy and a great report too. but you know what they say: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Thu, Nov 29 2007 - 01:39 AM rating by downundergal

Sounds like Paradise.

Fri, Nov 23 2007 - 06:21 PM rating by bohicaaz

Great report Murray. Good variety of photos too!

Thu, Nov 22 2007 - 11:14 PM rating by bineba

I've really enjoyed your report. Sounds like you had a great time, too!

Wed, Nov 21 2007 - 05:29 PM rating by davidx

Fine report, Murray.

Wed, Nov 21 2007 - 04:56 PM rating by mistybleu

Murray, a really nice read; the Caribbean has a soft spot in my heart.

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