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  • Elaine Philbrick

St. Lucia

Dramatic scenery, very safe, friendly English-speaking locals, can practice French St. Lucia is one of the most expensive islands in the Caribbean for reason – the Pitons make for spectacularly beautiful scenery, the island is welcoming and safe for tourists, and that same scenery makes transportation difficult so increases costs.

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Local Fishermen. In the morning watch for local fishermen in their brightly colored wooden boats who stand when ‘under way’ and heading out to sea. It makes a stirring sight.

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Splash Island Water Park. The kids loved the Splash Island Water Park, which is an inflatable obstacle course sports park in open water a few hundred feet off the beach. It’s a good deal at $10/hour and certainly gave them a great workout! They also loved ATVing there, because as is often the case in the Caribbean they were allowed to drive their own ATV which they can’t do at home.

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Cap Maison Resort. While we have friends who have stayed at the popular St. James Club Morgan Bay and loved it for its convenience to the airport, all-inclusive format, and lots to do including a kids club, we prefer the Cap Maison Resort. It has everything that we appreciate most: extensive grounds with lush gardens, idyllic beach on the Caribbean not Atlantic Ocean, incredible on-site restaurants, stunning views, and a relaxed and charming ambience. Cap Maison is a very special place, and stands out even among other wonderful tropical resorts. Its views are of a particularly large dramatic Piton, and on the horizon the island of Martinique. Its beach is exquisite: it’s a private cove below a cliff so flanked by tall rocky cliffs on all sides, great sand with no rocks, long gradual beach, and the characteristic rolling waves of the Caribbean that make it very fun to jump or body surf (St. Lucia’s east coast is the much less pleasant Atlantic). The beach is ringed by palm trees and natural shade trees as well as thatched umbrellas, so you can choose to be in the shade or to place your lounger in the sun directly on the tide line with the water flowing under your lounger. To add to the Eden, tucked against the cliff is a charming bungalow restaurant with great ambience (weathered wood decks, overhead fairy lights, wicker furniture loungers including a swinging loveseat) that serves great and healthy food and all the tropical cocktails you can think of! For our kids, besides jumping and riding the waves, their favorite memories involve the two cats that freely wander the property and visited us each day on their rounds. They joined us on our veranda and even walked through our house when we left the louvered doors open. Cap Maison has high quality air-conditioned apartments with open floor plans and private pools. Their comfortable and romantically draped four poster bed is hard to get out of in the morning!

One of the many pools at Cap Maison
Restaurant view at Cap Maison

SUNDAY Arrive in the early afternoon, pick up the rental car, and drive two hours to the hotel. Admire the impressive views along the way. Enjoy the exquisite 4-star dinner at the resort with one of the most dramatic views of the Pitons in St. Lucia.

Grand Piton views at Cap Maison

Kids having fun in our room's pool!

MONDAY Relax beside the resort pool and beach all day recovering from your trip. Unlike on the Atlantic Ocean side, the beach here on the Caribbean Sea has warm clear water with curling waves that are ideal for boogie boarding and wave jumping. What a treat to walk through the lush grounds with gorgeous vegetation and beautiful buildings to another exquisite dinner with stunning views.

A beautiful Cap Maison pool
Start of the walk to the Cap Maison beach

TUESDAY Drive 15 minutes to Splash Island Water Park and have drinks and food in the shade on the patio of Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa while watching your kids play. Then enjoy great shopping at the Rodney Bay Commercial Centre mall, and back to the resort for the afternoon. We picked up soap that looked like real sliced coconut and mango with scents to match, quality beach totes for $24, and other good souvenirs for a reasonable price. Relax back at the resort, enjoying more of their wonderfully prepared meals.

Splash Island Waterpark

WEDNESDAY Drive half an hour to Marigot Bay, which author James Michener declared the prettiest in the Caribbean. There’s good sightseeing along the way, and then back to the resort for the afternoon.

THURSDAY Drive 35 minutes to Aanansi ATV Tours for a 2-hour ride that will take you through lots of rainforest, fields, and a scenic outlook to the distant Atlantic Ocean. Along the way we rode past an elementary school, and the uniformed schoolchildren who were at recess all ran to the playground fence and cheered us as we went by! Just one example of the islanders’ good nature and friendliness.

ATV riding in Castries
ATV riding!

Then drive 45 minutes to Treetop Adventure Park for their Canopy Tour, which consists of 12 zips, rope bridges, a relaxed walk through the rainforest, and even a tiny hummingbird nest! Head back to the resort and relax.

Getting ready for ziplining
Zip-lining is always fun!

Ziplining Fun

FRIDAY Relax on the resort beach under palm trees, body surfing the curling waves, reading, and enjoying the beach bungalow restaurant.

SATURDAY On the way to the airport, tour the Diamond Botanical Gardens ($7/person) and do a short walk to Toraille Waterfall.

We considered but ultimately did not have enough time to do:

  • Soufriere Sulphur Springs, a notable St. Lucia activity where you can wallow in the hot springs mud and rub yourself with the white volcanic mud.

  • Aerial Tram and Rainforest Tour ($80/person) in Castries

  • Fond Doux Plantation Resort, an operating cacao/chocolate farm where you can walk the grounds and dine at The Creole Pot or Bamboo.

  • La Soufriere drive-in volcano

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Nov 02, 2023

Love this!

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