An off the beaten path adventure in St. Lucia
Rising tall from the sea and covered in emerald-colored vegetation, volcanic land formations called the Pitons are the most iconic sight in all of St. Lucia. Only 27 miles long, this Caribbean island not only boasts this UNESCO World Heritage Site but is home to crescent-shaped beaches, small fishing villages, rainforests, and geothermal attractions.
A hike to Gros Piton, standing at a remarkable 2,619 feet above sea level, is considered a challenge. Despite its long ascent and uneven terrain, it is one of Saint Lucia’s most popular tours. The trail begins in the quaint countryside village of Fond Gen Libres, and the reward for this four to five-hour hike is the sweeping views of Caribbean waters, coupled with long vistas of the lush island mass.
Catamaran Sailing Tour in St. Lucia
For those would like an alternative to hiking, a catamaran sailing tour is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty of the island. As the sails of the catamaran gently flap in the gentle breeze, hidden coves and golden sand beaches pave the way toward one goal. Viewing the Pitons up close.
Sailing along the coast, our catamaran tour made a stop in Marigot Bay. Also known as hurricane hole, it’s sheltered from the worst of weather by steep hillsides surrounding its small, deep harbor.
Tall billowing palms, a charming, serene ambiance, and lush jade colored hills make this bay feel otherworldly. Reminiscent of a surreal movie set, I discovered the area featured a large pink snail from the 1967 movie Dr. Doolittle, starring Rex Harrison.
It’s been said that French ships would sail deep into this dazzling bright blue bay and hide behind the sand spit to escape the British fleet. They would then lower their sails and tie palm fronds to their masts to blend the ships into the palm trees. The British in turn would sail right past the bay without seeing the French hiding within.
Today, kayaking is popular among the mangroves. Free water taxis make it easy to visit the breezy bars and restaurants along the cove. Atop the mountain sits the village of Marigot, several resorts, and private residences. With an idyllic and peaceful vibe, Marigot Bay is a true treasure.
Anse Cochon Bay
Conch fisherman and local vendors sell handmade trinkets from their kayaks from another cove called Anse Cochon Bay.
The dark-sand beach, calm water, and adjacent reefs, part of the National Marine Reserve, makes it superb for snorkeling or for a relaxing swim in the Caribbean’s tropical waters.
The Pitons in View!
Our catamaran excursion continued its sail along the west coast of St Lucia as the Pitons peeked their heads from around the bend. Anticipating their full presence, they truly dominated over the St. Lucian landscape as they came into full view. Their superlative beauty, indescribable.
Whether you travel by land or by sea, dramatic natural wonders prove that Mother Nature can wow even the most seasoned travelers. Next month I’ll be taking you to the island of Bonaire for a unique underwater snorkeling adventure.
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