A spate of resort developments on St Lucia has made this high, green island one of the Caribbean's fashionable destinations, but it's still a long way from being sanitized and overdeveloped. Bananas are still bigger business than tourism in this archetypal island paradise.
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Situated on a peninsula with incredible Rondovals, this beautiful resort features a wealth of luxurious amenities.
Cathedral of the Immaculate ConceptionThe city’s Catholic cathedral, built in 1897, is a grand stone structure that has a splendidly painted interior of trompe l’oeil columns and colorfully detailed biblical scenes. The island’s patron saint, St Lucia, is portrayed directly above the altar. The church richly incorporates both Caribbean and African influences, including images of a Black Madonna and child, and the liberal use of bright red, green and yellow tones.
Anse ChastanetStretched out in front of the resort of the same name, Anse Chastanet could be the quintessential St Lucian beach experience. Though only a mile or so from Soufrière, it feels like a lost tropical world. The sheltered bay is protected by high cliffs, with towering palms on the shore. The sparkling ash-gray beach is great for a dip and the snorkeling just offshore is some of the best on the island.
Malgretoute & Jalousie BeachHeading south from Soufrière along the coastal road you soon come upon the tranquil beach of Malgretoute (take the road to Jalousie Plantation). It’s a pleasant stretch of dark-sand beach with some good snorkeling just offshore.
From the costume parades of Carnival to the bright spinnakers of 150 yachts sailing into Rodney Bay at the end of the Atlantic Rally yacht race, festivals add a splash of color to St Lucia's lush green background. St Lucia is also famous for its sometimes-organised, sometimes-spontaneous 'jump ups' - night-time street parties that involve music, dancing and plenty of rum.
Carnival takes place in July. It's celebrated with calypso music, costumed parades and band competitions. The biggest musical event of the year is the four-day St Lucian Jazz Festival held in mid-May. It often features international stars such as Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan and Chuck Mangione. The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, a giant transatlantic yacht race, ends at Rodney Bay Marina in December. About 150 boats manage to reach St Lucia from the starting line off the coast of Spain.
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