Friday, March 1, 2024

Tips for a Few Days in St. Lucia


We recently visited St. Lucia for a long weekend, the kids had a couple of days off and the flights were much more affordable than at Christmas. This amazing view was coming into land!
The International airport is in the South of the island so we decided to stay in this area as we had so little time. The capital Castries is in the North. But the famous Pitons are in the South. 

We stayed in an Airbnb in Laborie a fishing village in the South. This is a typical local village a little rough around the edges but we wanted a local vibe. Many come and stay in the resorts. By law, all can access the beaches including the famous ones like Sugar Beach home to Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort although the local part of the beaches including Anse Chastanet Beach are very small. But you can swim where you like! 

We hired a fun 4-wheel drive car a Suzuki Jimmy this car was perfect for taking the smaller local mountain drives, be warned some of these roads are not in great shape, but they are stunning. The landscape of St. Lucia is beautiful - green and lush. The few days we were there sadly it rained a lot and was very overcast off and on. The locals stated it was unusual for January as it's not the rainy season that is in summer. 






This sunset was in Laborie so beautiful. The village had a bakery and a few restaurants our favorite was Cafe en Ville next to the church, it was a pretty old building with a veranda and next to a stream. The staff were friendly and proud of the local produce they used and the health benefits the locals love fresh juice with lots of ginger. We ate breakfast here and an evening meal. Lovely pancakes, juices, omelets and curries, and local fish in the evening. On Sunday I enjoyed listening to folks singing in the church, next door.



St. Lucia is famous for its chocolate and we visited Hotel Chocolat 

Address: Hotel Chocolat Estates Ltd., Soufriere, St. Lucia

This is a large British chocolate producer and they have lots of stores around the UK. They have a hotel and a program where you can make chocolate. At $100 a person we decided not to do this but it would be a fun experience. As so much on the island depends on Tourism prices for tours can be expensive. But you are welcome to drive onto the estate and visit the restaurant that features items made with chocolate and buy chocolate. It is so good. 



Of course, any trip to the Caribbean means roadside fruit and vegetable stands and my Indian husband loves fresh coconut juice. In Chennai, they sell this close to my in-laws house. 


A great way to see the Pitons is the Tet Paul Nature Trail Chateau Belaire, St. Lucia
 Again it's much more affordable when you have a car and visit these places, it was 10 dollars each with a guide. I found the guide interesting we learnt that Soufriere,  the local town is famous for its sweet potatoes. In fact, root vegetables grow very well here, they have cassava, sweet potato, yam, dasheen, and more collectively these are called ground provisions. Breadfruit a cool-looking fruit that grows on trees that is eaten as a starch is also well worth trying. The guide also mentioned that she didn't feel the local government took great care of the people but a foreign country invests a lot. I just googled and found this fascinating article - In a Caribbean Paradise China and Taiwan Tussle for recognition
"Alexander hopes to attend one of the many workshops that Taiwan’s technical mission holds to introduce new crops and farming methods to St. Lucians. A typical workshop gives farmers seeds, planting and growing instructions, and recipe ideas. Among some of the new crops that Taiwan has introduced are wax apples, dragon fruit, Taiwanese bananas, and Chinese cabbage. Alexander said she’s especially interested in learning more about Chinese cabbage, given its high retail value.

It’s not a one-sided relationship. St. Lucia and other Taiwanese allies lobby on Taipei’s behalf, and regularly call for its inclusion in international bodies that exclude Taipei, such as the World Health Organization.

But some St. Lucians wonder how long Taiwan’s development projects will continue, should Taiwan no longer require such support in international organizations. Eugene, the former scholarship student, sees Taiwan’s need for international support as the entire reason behind its efforts in St. Lucia. “If one day Taiwan can stand on its own, I think these projects will disappear,” she said."

she stated that the investments have greatly helped the country both the Taiwanese and the Chinese ones it would appear. 



A wonderful local restaurant in Soufriere is Fedos new venture this was wonderful like eating in someone's home, we tried curry chicken and roti, goat curry, ground provisions, and fish so tasty. 

The views from the trail are lovely wear sneakers or hiking sandals and if it's rainy be prepared to get muddy. 



Not sure what our boy was doing here!



The little piton is spectacular, you can actually hike the pitons but it takes a few hours and you would need a guide.



Another place to visit is Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths also close by this is a stunning botanical garden with a waterfall. You can also bath in baths that the French used in the 1700s. The Island is now independent but it was ruled by the French and the British who fought over it. 





Diamond falls 



The Beaches close to the airport like Anse Des Sables Beach, are beautiful, there is a restaurant called the Reef right on the beach which I highly recommend, again local fish and curry roti. We ate here when we landed and just before leaving! I would recommend ordering a baguette to go as most flights are long back to the States with no food on board. 

The other beaches just north of here are lovely on the Atlantic side but seem rough and not safe to swim. Often resorts always take the best swimming beaches. 






The church in Laborie. 




This horse was cute


Traditional homes in Laborie the Village where we stayed. I loved this one. I will be honest though this may not be for everyone some homes were huts and on the weekends there is plenty of drinking and not so many foreigners. Most stay in resorts. I didn't feel unsafe though we did in Jamaica in places and even parts of the Dominican Republic and it was a nice local experience. 




Local market in the village. I asked about the oranges she said it was for juicing. Locals speak English and Saint Lucian French Creole (Kwéyòl), which is colloquially referred to as Patois ("Patwa"). 


This cute pregnant cat liked to sit with us at meals. 

I would highly recommend a visit to St. Lucia we would love to return and explore more of the island and visit the North.  The landscape and plants are so pretty and it is so much fun driving around. 




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2 comments:

  1. Great photos Rebecca. especially the one of the little piton in the distance. Karen (Back Road Journal)

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