Saint Lucia: The Blessed Island

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The soothing sound of calm waves politely slap the side of our anchored boat. Perched on the bow, our feet dangling below us, we watch the sun’s golden rays on the skin of the ocean, ever-moving and masterfully mesmerizing. The warm island water beckons us and within one splashing moment, the feathery touch by a school of fish swim through our fingers and hide among the pink coral. Only our breath – slow and methodical – can be heard through the plastic snorkel in this underwater world. We emerge, grinning like wet fools, to drink rum punch as the sun quietly retires. The kiss of warm, humid air on our freshly-freckled faces is evidence of hours spent under the heat of the sun. These are our memories of Saint Lucia.

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Saint Lucia is a tropical jackpot. Found on the other side of the rainbow, the island is full of hidden beaches, rich culture, and unapologetic natural beauty. This paradise country can be found in the eastern Caribbean Sea. We stayed in a treehouse resort, just outside Soufrière, tucked away in the rain forest where the passing downpours are a daily occurrence and the banana trees sway in the gusts of whirling wind. Early mornings were spent eating fresh eggs and biscuits among the towering palms as the cumulous clouds quickly marched past our heads, nearly touching our strands of blonde hair. The balcony, made of local wood and stone, provided us sight to the island’s most acclaimed and grand landmark, the Pitons. The Pitons (French for peaks) are two volcanic spires, or plugs: the larger peak named Gros Piton and the smaller, Petit Piton. The two magnificent mountainous spires, elegantly powerful, provide an impossibly perfect background to the colorful town of Soufrière. Snoozy fishermen, in their sun-drenched painted skiffs, nonchalantly kick their feet up and enjoy the mountainous green view. The west side of the island effortlessly flaunts the world’s only active drive-in volcano, Sulfur Springs. The steam carelessly snakes upward, rising high above the canopy of trees. It is visible from miles away and subtly tempts tourists and locals to take a dip into its healing waters.

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On our first afternoon on the island we met Maurice, a local man with a strong build and a magnificent smile that could open heaven’s gates. “Saint Lucia is considered ‘the blessed island,’ he proudly told us, as we peppered him with touristy questions. Seems like a serious understatement when you think about the endless impressive native beauty. Maurice went on, “it got its nickname because the island has never officially been hit by a hurricane.” The island has had many close calls but unlike its Caribbean island neighbors, Saint Lucia, the only country named after a woman, has always been protected. Blessed, indeed.

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Mini Guide for the Soufrière region in Saint Lucia

Stay: Crystal’s Saint Lucia, a beautiful, charming and laid back, treehouse resort tucked away in the rainforest. Monica, the owner, will ensure you are taken care of in a mellow island-kind-of-way. This hideaway resort is for travelers who prefer to be off the beaten path.

Eat: Hummingbird Cafe, a lunch and dinner spot featuring French Creole cuisine. Hot tip: order the ceviche and a cold local beer called Piton.

Play: Anse Chastanet offers tiki umbrellas, lounge chairs, incredible views, snorkeling, and fresh food and drink.

Go: Visit the healing hot water of Sulfer Springs. Rub the mud and clay from the springs on your body for a true exfoliating experience. Go at night – less crowds, perfect water temp, views of the stars. During the day, venture to Marigot Bay. The colorful area boasts many food and drink options on the water, boating, magnificent views, and a beach rope swing.

All photos by Derek Wood and Joanna Rentz. Read the travel feature on So It Goes Online here…

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