Helen of the West Indies

Travel Stories

CASTRIES, ST.LUCIA – With easy access from Europe and the US, St. Lucia is a popular tropical destination for travelers. This beautiful island is an endearing tropical heaven that many visitors can’t help but fall in love with and keep coming back. First impressions of St. Lucia reveal lush rainforests, gorgeous beaches and volcanic mountains that literally drop into the sea.
English, French, Amerindian and African heritages have shaped an interesting and colorful past which is still evidenced today not only at historical sites and cultural centers but also in everyday life, in the cuisine, language, music and traditions. The foreign influence changed very often back in the past between French and English. That fact earned St. Lucia the nickname “Helen of the West Indies,” evoking the Helen of Troy figure, from Antic mythology.


Then of course, there’s the natural beauty of the island that you won’t forget. Much of Saint Lucia is still undeveloped, and it is this natural tropical environment that is so alluring. Just around the corner are magical waterfalls, bright flowers, birds, plantations, beautiful botanical gardens, beaches and breathtaking sceneries.

Marquis Estate, the largest on St. Lucia, is a working plantation that offers insights into the production of the island’s current export crops – bananas and copra- as well as the crops of yesteryear, coffee and cocoa.

Majestic, awe – inspiring and spectacular, this three words describe most people’s first impression of St. Lucia’s most iconic landmark, the Twin Peaks known as the Pitons. Indeed, they have put St. Lucia on the map and set it apart from some of the neighboring islands. So, what are they? In simple terms they are two volcanic spires that rise dramatically up from the sea, dominating the landscape just south of the town of Soufriere on the west coast on the island.
Gros Piton is 2619 ft (786 m) high, with diametar of only 3km at the base, and Petit Piton is 2461 ft (739 m) high, with a diametar of only 1 km at the base, making it much steeper, and even apearing taller. The Pitons sit side by side and are linked by Petit Mitan Ridge.

Pitons St. Lucia

The Pitons caught the attention of the World Heritage Committee and in 2004, the Piton Management Area (PMA) received global recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 2909 ha. area consists of the two Pons, Piton Mitan Ridge, and the surrounding land including the Sulphur Springs and 11 km of coastline running from Soufriere down to the Pitons.
In order to qualify as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place must represent special cultural or physical significance and meet at least one of ten defined natural or cultural criteria in addition to being of ,,Outstanding Universal Value”.
Many tour operators offer land and sea excursions that will bring you up close and personal to the Pitons. D ive companies take groups down the coast to explore what is known as ”Superman’s Flight.”

Land tours often include stop at the Sulphur Springs where you have the option to be daring and take a dip in the mineral mud baths. The naturally hot black water pool is approximately 38 C or 100 F and the mud will enrich your skin.

There are also several well placed hotels and restaurants in the Soufriere region, not least of which is Ladera Resort which sits atop the Piton Mitan Ridge directly between the two peaks, a perfect spot to enjoy lunch, dinner or just a cocktail and absorb the stunning scenery. Down below is the Jalouise Resort which makes for an ideal starting point to snorkel along Petit Piton.

It is also possible to actually climb these Pitons, the biggest challenge being to conquer both in one day! A visitor center can be located at the start of the Gros Piton and a contribution of the fee for the hike goes towards the maintenance of the Piton Management Area, helping to keep the UNESCO site status.
With Tourism being St.Lucia’s main economy, adventure activities have also become extremely popular, including, horseback riding, kayaking, zip lining, ATV tours, sailing, snorkeling and diving, all of which allow you to explore in exciting ways to suit you.

Pigeon island is a 40-acre islet connected by a causeway to St. Lucia’s west coast. The nature park reflects a thousand years of history – for example, at Fort Rodney, the British admirals spied on French ships.

Whilst the vast majority of hotels are located in the north of the island, the scenic, cultural and adventure attractions are located all over, so however you choose to explore join a tour, get on a boat, hire a car etc. just go and see St.Lucia and take home the mot special treasures of all, your tales to tell and long lasting memories.

Sandals Grande All Inclusive

Touted as one of St. Lucia’s most prestigious Resorts Sandals Grande All inclusive is beautifully set in Gros Islet 1.5 km from Pegeon Island Beach. A buffet, à la carte or continental breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. Experience the very best in service and atmosphere while savouring the internationally acclaimed cuisine.

There is so much more to St. Lucia than first meets the eye, but decide for yourself, and take a look as you travel around the island.

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7 thoughts on “Helen of the West Indies

  1. We were at St Lucia years ago on a cruise… it was about a four hour stop, just for shopping. I had no idea all this other cool stuff was there. I would be up for the mud bath 😂 Thx for a great post.


    1. Thank you dear Priti, there are numerous ways to fully enjoy this Caribbean pearl in terms of going on an excursion or simply trying to discover the island on your own. I’ve attached some Tour radar links of the most representative tours organized throughout the season. They are rated high and currently they offer 50 % discount on selection of bookings to the Caribbean and the rest of the world. As an idea for any of your future endeavors. 😃

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