Saint Lucia: The Patron Saint of Relaxation

St. Lucia's Twin Pitons are lit by the later afternoon sunset glow and framed by lush foliage and tropical flowers.

This mango-shaped island should definitely be one of your five-a-day! Situated North of Barbados and South of Martinique, there is no finer island in the Caribbean to kick back and relax with some rum and saltfish.

The “Helen of the West”, as it has been known, is the perfect combination of adventure and romance, rainforest and palm trees, luxury and laughter. you’ll become immersed in its rich culture as soon as you step foot on the scenic island. Whether you’re rocking out at a street party with the locals or paddling in an infinity pool with your lover, St Lucia is nothing if not paradise.

Activities

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Explore the World’s Only Drive-in Volcano at the St Lucia Sulphur Springs The entire island is rich and fertile due to the volcanic activity (don’t worry, the last minor eruption was back in the 1700s) and tourists and locals alike come to this stunning region to bathe in the thermal springs; it truly is nature’s spa treatment.

Feel the Rhythm of Rum at the St Lucia Rum Distillery From its humble beginnings as sugarcane through to the memory of a good time (aka rum), Roseau Valley Distillery gives you a rich and tasty insight to the history of this most famous of Caribbean brews. Both tours are tastings are available; just decide on who’s designated driver before you begin!

Sugar Beach Needs to be Seen to be Believed White sand, fresh green palm trees and emerald sea…lay back on this gorgeous expanse of sand and let your cares wash away with the tide. Oh, also keep your eyes peeled for the two mountainous volcanic plugs, The Pitons; they shouldn’t be hard to miss.

This Island Couldn’t be a Paradise Without a Chocolate Plantation Now Could It? With multiple tours educating visitors on the process, from tree, to bean, to bar, it is not to be missed by any chocoholics. The tours usually include a hike, so don’t feel guilty about how much you eat.

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Diving Off the Coast of St Lucia This is an incredible experience that covers both snorkeling or scuba; whether you’re after beginners, night, drift, or adventure diving, St Lucia does it all.

Take a Trip to Pigeon Island The living museum of St Lucia, where beautiful beaches, stunning views and rich historical ruins tell the story of this national landmark.

Spa Resorts and Treatments are aplenty on St Lucia No matter where you are on the island, you will be able to find a tranquil spot to let any worries melt away. If you are finding the amount of choice s a bit overwhelming, the north of the island has a few awards under its belt.

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Diamond Botanical Gardens has Got it All A majestic waterfall, rich and beautiful rainforest, natural mineral baths and an explosion of colorful flowers, birds and insects. Be it strolling through the nature, losing yourself in the falls or trying to spot the gorgeous St Lucia parrot, a day spent in the gardens is a day neither wasted or easily forgotten!

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Fly Through the Jungle on a Zip-Line In between all the beaches, sun, spa and relaxation, why not get the blood pumping with this truly exhilarating experience that provides stunning views of the island at lightening-quick speed. Staff are attentive and fun; make sure you bring a camera for them to catch you in action!

Accommodation

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High End Jade Mountain Resort rises high above the Anse Chastanet beach and is one of the most picturesque and private places to stay on the whole island. Beyond the incredible services, delicious dining and private infinity pool, it is the views of the majestic Pitons that set this place apart.

Medium St James Club Morgan Bay is like something out of a postcard…only this postcard is real and just minutes away from the vibrant capital, Castries. The resort itself has everything from white beaches to palm trees, if somehow that’s not enough it comes jam-packed with water sports, spa treatments and restaurants to boot!

Budget While budget accommodation is plentiful, Airbnb is the way to go. Living like a local gives you the flexibility on price, location and amenities. After spending time with the charismatic locals, you might find it tricky to go back to regular old city life.

Food

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St Lucia has a Trifecta of Cuisines and Flavors to Experience: French, West Indies and seafood. This is due to its colorful history and its colorful location. There is no better place to start your culinary journey than Flavours of the Grill, a friendly grillhouse with humble beginnings that will welcome you with open hearts and send you on your way with a full stomach. Sample all the local favorites of chicken, goat, plantain and lobster (although make sure it is in season), served with flame-licked tongs.

Situated in the northern end of the stunning Soufrière region of the island, you can find Orlando’s Restaurant & Bar. The goal of the eponymous head chef and owner is to deliver the freshest (are you starting to notice a theme with food of St Lucia?) food around, with Orlando sourcing all of his ingredients locally and served as “Ti Manje”, which translates to ‘small plate of food’ in the local tongue. High quality is guaranteed.

While on this island, keep your eyes peeled for one of the most famous dishes around: green fig (banana) and saltfish, blended with spices, onions, garlic, tomatoes…and anything else you like. This is the national plate for this stunning country and while banana and fish may seem a little alien, don’t worry – St Lucians know what they are doing! This dish brings families together and is reserved for the weekend or special occasions, particularly Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day) Festival in October, which is a celebration of the island’s heritage.

Drinks and Nightlife

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First stop, Rodney Bay Located 20 minutes from the capital city, this horse-shaped bay will have something for everyone, day or night. The area hosts many shops, restaurants, malls etc., but the nightclubs and bars are not to be missed. Make a start with Delirius; this open-air spot is perfect for grabbing a bite and kickstarting the evening with some award-winning cocktails.

Next up you’ll be talking with animals at Doolittles, Marigot Bay (set of the original Dr Dolittle film). This joint is popular with tourists and locals alike. The views are incredible, especially when dancing to live music that ranges from calypso, salsa, soul and limbo!

During your visit, make sure you keep one Friday free for the Gros Islet Jump Up. This Caribbean village street party means loudspeakers, BBQ, lots of rum, lots of beer, lots of FUN! This is an authentic St Lucia Friday night; the locals are going to be having a good time, so feel the vibes and get your two shoes ready for dancing.

Tips and Culture

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When renting a car, remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road. This can require a little getting used to, so for the first few days you could hire a driver and sit back, relax and soak in the sights.

Mosquito spray is an absolute must; apply it every morning and night and especially after swimming, as the last thing that you want to be doing during your time in paradise is scratching!

Plan your trip around mid-December to April to make the most out of the perfect weather. But bear in mind that accommodation will be more expensive during this high period. Things can get rather windy – like ‘hurricane windy’ – from June to November and majorly wet from September to October. This may seem like a lot of planning to find that perfect window of paradise so to save you the trouble, mark May down in your BUCKiTDREAM planner and take it from there.

Must See

While this island is 240 miles of romance, sun, sea and saltfish, there is one thing that absolutely needs to be done and that is to take a trip to the most photographed part of the island, The Pitons. These twinned mountaintops are a sight to behold and play host a wide range of activities (once you manage to take your eyes off them)

Gros Piton the larger of the two volcanic plugs and it’s about a two-hour hike to the summit (a guide is mandatory, as it is a World Heritage Site). The trek itself is an incredible journey through the rainforest and woodland of this distinct cone-like mountain. At the end of your climb, you are greeted with the ultimate reward, a ‘You had to be there’ moment, when you look out over Caribbean sea and its mesmerizing white beaches. Bring your camera and fill your BUCKiTDREAM journal with as many snaps as you can.

sugar-beach

So if you are already feeling your tension slipping away, grab your sandals, fire up your BUCKiTDREAM planner and make all of your friends super-jealous by sharing your slice of paradise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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