Caribbean Island Guides: St. Lucia

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About St. Lucia
Famous for its annual Jazz Festival St. Lucia offers a get away for family, couples and honeymooners alike. Enjoy the unspoilt beauty, visit the famous drive in volcano and see the bountiful fields of bananas. St.Lucia has a variety of accomodation from the all inclusives to the simple bed and breakfast type lodging. Castries is well worth exploring and the French influence on the island provides interesting architectural styles and customs.
St. Lucia is certainly a place of natural beauty. It has been called the Helen of the West Indies. There is the drive in volcano at Soufriere and the majestic Pitons, the Grand Piton and Petit Piton which tower over 2,000 feet straight from the sea, a majestic sight indeed (this is now a WORLD HERITAGE SITE). St.Lucia is known for its eco tourism product and has interesting rainforests where such species as parrots, lizards etc abound. Hiking trips can be arranged to various area, or there are the many beautiful beaches such as Reduit, in Rodney Bay, and the close by Pigeon Island which is now joined to the mainland.
Exploring the island can be great fun. Stops should be made to the drive in volcano in Soufriere and along the way the Pitons will be viewed and definitely make an impression on the mind. If you are in the island in May you must go to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival which has become world famous over the years. St.Lucia is a haven for yachtsmen and the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers which takes place in November from Gran Canaria and arrives in St. Lucia in December. The Rodney Bay Marina welcomes the many boats which have travelled across the Atlantic. The luxurious hotels with their attractive beaches and after dark entertainment should lure the visitor to this island.
The island, like many others in the Caribbean, were originally inhabited by the Caribs and Arawaks and was known as Hewanorra.By the 1600's a tug of war struggle between the British and French for the possession of the island took place and in fact the island changed hands no less than 14 times! In 1814 it was finally seceded to the British but the French influence has remained to this day in the culture and language of the island. St.Lucia was a member of the illfated British Federation of the 60's but like in most of the islands the desire for independence prevailed and on February 22,1979 St,Lucia became a fully independent country but remains a part of the British Commonwealth.

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