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St. Lucia

Updated: March 1, 2011 10:35 AM EST
St. Lucia offers volcanic rock beaches, lush fruity landscapes, and a lively nightlife of limbo, jazz and rum punch. (©PRNewsFoto/Jade Mountain Resort) St. Lucia offers volcanic rock beaches, lush fruity landscapes, and a lively nightlife of limbo, jazz and rum punch. (©PRNewsFoto/Jade Mountain Resort)
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By Christina Paulette Colón,

St. Lucia remains relatively unspoiled, a checkerboard of green-mantled mountains, valleys, wild orchids, and fishing villages. The island has a mixed French and British heritage, but there's a hint of the South Pacific about it as well. Music reverberates throughout St. Lucia, and the savory smells of a rich cuisine waft through Marigot Bay and Soufriere. A favorite stop-off for island-hoppers, yachties and jet-setters, St. Lucia offers volcanic rock beaches, lush fruity landscapes, and a lively nightlife of limbo, jazz and rum punch.

Things to Do

Roll out your towel on the beige sand of popular Reduit Beach or the seclusion of Marigot Bay, ringed by emerald hills. Try to spot whales off Vigie Cove, or dive below the surface at Anse Chastanet. The Atlantic trade winds make for challenging windsurfing in Anse de Sables Bay, while beginners can try Cas en Bas beach at Gros Islet . Away from the beach, take a therapeutic mud bath at the sulfur springs of Soufriere, discover St. Lucia's agricultural past at La Sikwe Historical Sugar Mill and Plantation or watch butterflies flit about at the Maria Islands Nature Reserve.

Shopping

In the capital city, Castries, you can stock up on hot sauce, spices, and luscious fruits and vegetables at the bustling public market or bring back pottery, wood carvings and silk-screened textiles from the shops along William Peter Boulevard and Bridge Street. Head to Rodney Bay for original artworks and antique prints, and Soufriere for batik clothing.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Hotels and resorts provide the mainstay of local nightlife, with DJs spinning everything from calypso, soca and reggae to hip-hop, Latin, and rock at clubs and discos. Drink with the yachting crowd and expats in Marigot Bay or dance the night away with the jet-setters at clubs in Castries. Friday-night jump-ups are weekly street parties, where rum, reggae, and grilled fish flow. Gatherings in Gros Islet and Anse la Raye keep it hopping until the wee hours.

Restaurants and Dining

Creole flavors inspire much of the local cuisine. Taste traditional dishes such as green figs, salt fish and callaloo soup along with curries and pepperpot stews. Fresh foods abound, from fruits like mangoes, papayas and coconuts, and fish, including lobster and marlin. Dine on haute cuisine at the higher-end resorts and restaurants in Castries, or join the locals in Dennery for their Saturday night fish fiesta.

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