Meandering on St. Lucia

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 15-21, 1998
Meandering on St. Lucia
Off-roading in Georgia
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Meandering on St. Lucia

By Amy Marr

Question: We’re heading to St. Lucia. Where should we dive — and what else should we see?

Jackson Corcoran
Duluth, Georgia

Plan on a hiking excursion up the half-mile high Pitons
Adventure Adviser: There’s some great diving — and a reef a mere 60 feet from shore — on the island’s southwest coast. Here you’ll find a serene bay where you can get certified, rent equipment, or arrange trips through Scuba St. Lucia, a Scuba Schools International/PADI training facility. Anse Chastanet, a collection of cottages built into the above-mentioned coastline’s sheer cliffs, can also help you arrange dives and rentals.

Plan on a hiking excursion up the half-mile high Pitons (Petit and Gros). Amidst the greenery, keep an eye out for the endangered St. Lucian Green parrot. It’s a three hour climb to the top of Gros Piton, past opossums, agoutis and other creatures. I’d suggest booking a guide (landslides are ever-present) and be sure to register through the Forestry Department (809-450-2231) pre-hike. Barefoot Holidays (809-450-0507) is a good source for guides, and plan on spending $50 to $100 for a half- to full-day tour.

Other visit-worthy sites include the Fond St. Jacques trail, which winds through the island’s 19,000-acre mountainous rainforest, and the Maria Islands Nature Preserve, home to some great other-worldly cactus gardens. Don’t miss the St. Lucia Tropical Rain Forest, a dripping, species-rich 29,858-acre terrarium.

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