Fabulous beaches and varied water sports

In addition to its fabulous beaches and varied water sports, St. Lucia’s gorgeous, unspoiled terrain provides a number of land activities to keep you busy, should you so desire.

VisitPigeonIslandNationalHistoricPark to get a taste of St. Lucia’s history. The military ruins of Ft.Rodney, where Admiral George Rodney built and managed a naval base lookout in 1778, are here.

There are endless opportunities for hiking on St. Lucia. Try the diverse path of the Eastern Nature Trail or Maria Major Nature Reserve in the southern part of the island. Although the St. Lucia Forest Reserve is a bit more commercialized, it’s worth the trip to see the rainforest and the brilliantly colored jacquot and other rare birds. These are just a few options – if you’re into hiking, be sure to check around for more information.

A horseback ride is a great way to sightsee “off the beaten path.” You might discover the Fond D’Or Historical Park or Cas En Bas beach, or take your horse for a sea bath. Call Atlantic Shores Riding Stables ((758) 454-8668) or International Riding Stables ((758) 452-8139) for reservations.

Hackshaw’s Boat Charters ((758) 453-0553 or (758) 452-3909, www.Hackshaws.com) runs a whale and dolphin watching trip, an unforgettable experience where you may even be able to spot a rare orca.

Arrangements can be made through the St. Lucia Forestry Department ((758) 450-2078 or (758) 450-2231) for bird watching trips. You can observe some of St. Lucia’s rare indigenous species, such as the St. Lucian Parrot, White Breasted Thrasher, St. Lucia Peewee, St. Lucia Oriole, and St. Lucia Wren. Try visiting the Bois D’Orange Swamp, the Rain Forest, and Boriel’s Pond.

For a rare experience, visit Grande Anse Beach for a night of turtle watching. From mid-March through the end of July, Jim Sparks leads a camp-out wherein you sleep in a little tent city and (hopefully) enjoy the spectacle of leatherback turtles rising from the surf. Call Jim ((758) 452-8100 or 452-9951) before Friday night if you’re interested in joining him from 4:00 PM to 6:30 AM. Cost is EC$10 per person.

Visit the LatilleGardens ((758) 454-0202), a wonderful hidden treasure filled with delicious fruits, beautiful flowers, thriving plants, and vibrant waterfalls.

St. Lucia has several private tennis facilities, some lighted for night play. The St. Lucian Hotel ((758) 453-8351) has two courts, which are available to the public at reasonable rates, and the St. Lucia Racquet Club at Club St. Lucia ((758) 453-8351) has nine lit courts. The St. Lucia Yacht Club ((758) 452-8350) at RodneyBay also has two squash courts, open every day except Monday, and racket rentals are available.

There are several well-equipped gyms around the island, many with aerobics classes. Contact Body Inc. ((758) 451-9744) at the Gablewoods Mall, Gonard La Borde’s Gym ((758) 452-2788) on Hospital Road, or Caribbean Fitness Expression ((758) 451-6853) in Vide Boutielle, Castries.

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