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Natural Attractions of St. Lucia

St Lucia Eco Adventures St. Lucia possesses a topography and ecology of stunning beauty, matched by no other location in the Caribbean. The island's pride in its natural resources is evident in the country's ongoing protection and conservation efforts. In the mountainous interior lies the enormous National Rain Forest, and the island's protected coastal sights include the breathtaking, unforgettable spires of Les Pitons. All sorts of nature hikes, tours, and programs have been developed to showcase these peerless assets, allowing visitors to enjoy the island without harming its complex and fragile environment.

St. Lucia's environmental philosophy also extends beyond its shoreline to the protection of its beautiful coral reefs, with their rich and diverse tropical sea life. The government has created four preservation areas, encompassing all of the island's outstanding reefs. Watersports enthusiasts, divers, and boat owners are required to purchase a permit before entering the reserve, and the fees are used for repairs to the reef and preserving threatened marine species.

The Pitons

Located near Soufriere, these primeval twin peaks, topping 2,000 feet, are St. Lucia's most famous landmark. Only the most daring climbers have ventured an ascent to their summits, but they can be seen in all their glory from Mt. Gimie or from the decks of a boat offshore.

National Rain Forest

Of particular appeal to bird watchers, hikers and nature lovers, it covers 19,000 acres of lush mountains and valleys. It is home to giant ferns, birds of paradise and many other indigenous tree species, exotic flowers and fruits, and its paths are strewn with tiny bromeliads, wild orchids and mushrooms. Among the rare and beautiful birds adding color to the scene are the brightly-hued St. Lucia Parrot, known locally as the "jacquot," the White Breasted Thrasher, the St. Lucia Peewee, and the St. Lucia Oriole. For organized tours, contact the Forest and Lands Department at 450-2231.

The Sulphur Springs

Now dormant, it is the world's only drive-in volcano. A tour of its bubbly, steamy sulphur springs offers a direct and fascinating lesson in the violent geology of the Caribbean Rim.

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.

Diamond Falls

France's King Louis XVI had bathhouses built for his troops at these natural, mineral-rich falls. An invigorating shower under the cascading waters is still a refreshing break.

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.


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.

ST Lucia Eco Adventures

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, graveled 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 center 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.

Fregate 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 Fregate 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.

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.

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 birdwatching 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).

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.

Turtle Watching
Grande Anse Beach
, on the north coast, is the center 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 honor 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).






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