St. Lucia Port
The port where our cruise ship docked was so pretty that I had to take few photos of it from our balcony. If you're visiting St. Lucia by land and not by sea, you may want to check out the duty-free shops in a lovely setting!Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Soufrière was the original capital of St. Lucia before Castries. The city is the hub where most tourists journey from to see the Pitons, Sulphur Springs, Volcano, waterfalls and Rainforest. the city is very lively with shopping and a large fishing trade.
Over the years it has been rebuilt due to fires and many hurricanes that have devastated the area. I would have never guessed the past destruction since the town looks intact and very quaint.
My wife and I travelled here by boat on one of our island tours. My wife loved the little town especially its French past. Napoleons first wife, Empress of France Joséphine de Beauharnais spent her childhood here in Soufrière.
Castries is the capital city of St. Lucia. The city of Castries was founded by the French and means safe anchorage. This is probably the season why so my vessels come here to port: ferries, container ships, cruise ships and fishing boats. During WWII a Nazi boat even sailed into port here to sink some ships....amazing.
Pointe Seraphine is a popular spot in Castries with tons of duty free shopping and restaurants. The spot is a brim of activity especially on Market days and when cruise ships are in port.
Marigot Bay is an upscale part of the island with a large numeber of mansions built into the hillside. The mansions are very beautiful and quite big in size. Oprah, George Forman and Mick Jagger have homes in these hills. The bay also is packed full of boats; many in the luxury class. Very nice vesseles including one that we have our eye on purchasing in the future.
During our stay in St. Lucia we visited Marigot Bay twice by boat. The immediate dockside area has a nice little shopping pavilion with shops as well as some small cafes. It is a nice little spot on the island and quite picturesque.
As well as being beautiful; Marigot Bay is a historic landmark. Many battles between the French and British navies were fought here for control of the island.
I love a jacuzzi. Especially after a day of being lazy at the beach or pool. I enjoyed our nightly ritual of hitting the jacuzzi after a night out. It's so relaxing and a great way to get all relaxed for sleep later.
Enjoy the Beautiful Beach
The beaches of St. Lucia are very beautiful and all unique. Depending on the location on the island the water changes color, clarity as well as the sand color and texture.
During our stay we found some beaches with soft tan sand and others with a more coarse texture. My wife prefers a softer sand and liked the sand of the beaches that were on the bay or tucked away in smaller coves of the island. The water can be rough in some spots where the surf can get quite high. The water by our resort was a bit on the rougher side but we managed to swim without worry. I enjoyed the beach at the Grande since the bay provided a calm almost flat water in which to swim
Take a Dip in the Piton Pool
The Piton Pool was the quietest of all the pools at our resort. I think the quiet was mainly due to the small size of the pool and lack of swim up bar. The pool area was smaller but had an infinity edge along with a hot tub. Along the rim of the pool were several wooden loungers with thick padded covers on top.
This pool seemed to be mostly occupied by the older set; the over fifty group. I can understand they wouldn’t want the loud music and bustle of activity by the main pool or the strong sun of the Sunset Bluff pool. We only used this pool once during our trip for a lazy afternoon swim after lunch. I liked the infinity edge and the views of the beach below.
Take a Dip in the Sunset Pool
The Sunset Pool was located at the top of the Sunset Bluffs overlooking the cliffs and ocean. This was one of the more quiet pools of the resort. What I liked most about this pool was that it had nice wooden loungers with thick padding on top. The chairs at the main pool were regular plastic mesh chairs that are standard at most pools.
Our Butlers reserved chairs for us several times during our stay at the Sunset pool. We requested seats out of the direct sun and with a nice shady umbrella. It was nice to arrive at the pool knowing there would be two chairs with our names on them along with some towel animals. The pool here has a swim up bar, pool floats and a small waterfall. Under the waterfall is a cave with seats that made a nice private escape for us when we wanted to be alone; no one ever ventured in when we were there (guess it was our little secret).
I enjoyed this pool especially the multiple levels of seating that ranged down the side of the cliff. The views from here were amazing.
Son of Man Sea Tours
After reading the glowing reviews of the Joe Knows Tour online I decided this was the tour for me. My wife and I were travelling with another couple for my wife’sBirthday trip. The second day of our vacation we found Jean Louis on the beach of our resort (Sandals La Toc). We put a deposit of $50($200 is the full price per couple) a couple for the Land & Sea tour for that Thursday.
Thursday morning we arrived on the beach at 8:45; all ready for our tour. Word to the wise; bring towels, a water proof bag, plenty of sunblock, water and an underwater/waterproof camera. The boat is a nice size and has seats in the front and back. I would suggest sitting in the back of the boat if you want a smoother ride. During our trip we had to have our friend Karen switch seats with someone so she wouldn’t be bumped around so badly.
Our tour started with a history of the island as well as some of the local stories. Our first stop was the bat cave. No, you don’t ride into a cave, so don’t get worried. The cave is a large crack in the Cliffside that is inhabited by a huge family of bats. They pull the boat up close to the crack where you can see and definitely hear the winged creatures. I love bats so this was a highlight for me.
Along the way we passed several small towns, villages and resorts along the coastline before we arrived at Soufrière. From here we disembarked and got into two vans that were waiting at the docks. A short ride up some winding rods brought us to the Qualibou Volcano. I knew we were there when the sulphur smell of hard boiled eggs hit my nose. From there we got out of the vans and took some stairs down to the mud bath and sulphur springs.
We all lined up in our bathing suits and we all waded into the hot inferno of the sulphur springs to get to the mud bath. Our guide disappeared to go get us our bucket of mud. He soon appeared with the large black mess of goo for us to slather ourselves in. We all dug into the mud and began to rub it all over ourselves making us look like some tribe that just climbed out of the rainforest primevil. A small hint: DO NOT WEAR A LIGHT COLORED OR WHITE SWIMSUITs. My swim trunks never came clean.
After some pictures of us in our Mud suits it was time to get back into the Sulphur springs to wash off. A word to the wise; don’t do this when you have sunburn. I was a bit sunburned when I did this and the heat of the sulphur springs make me want to die. After a good wash off we headed to the freshwater showers for a second rinse. I must say I did feel well moisturized after our mud bath.
We then piled back into the vans and stopped at a scenic overlook of Soufrière. The view was beautiful of the town, water and mountains. There was also some local vendors here selling beverages and souvenirs such as spices and homemade soaps. From here we drove to a waterfall. At this point it started to rain heavily my wife went ahead decided to just shed her coverup and plunge right into the waterfall. I was just too tired to want to get in. She said the water was amazing; so cool and refreshing. I watched her and our friends splashed around; taking pictures and having an all around great time.
After our the waterfall dip we headed out for lunch. Lunch was at the Aunt of the Tour operator’s house. The lunch was served on the first floor of the house in two dining room areas with tables. A third room house the buffet of local food: chicken, local fish, macaroni and cheese, salad, curry rice, Chow Mein and vegetables. The food was incredibly good and tasty. I loved knowing that this was homemade food served in a real home and not food you’d find in the resorts.
From here we went into town for “shopping”. Now this was my only disappointment. Shopping meant we were taken to one shop in town that sold a mix of every type of souvenir imaginable as well as liquor. Shopping to me means I get a variety of shops to chose from and some real time to shop in them. After our “shopping” we walked back to the pier and back onto the boat.
The boat then took us to Jalousie beach for some snorkeling in between the Pitons. The Pitons are incredible to see especially from the water. They are so majestic to look at with the peaks soaring so high into the sky. Jalousie is a resort but they have a separate side of the beach for tours doing snorkeling; we were told not to cross into the resort side. At this point in the trip I was getting tired so I decided to decline snorkeling and just lounge out on one of the beach chairs provided in the snorkel area of the beach. Our friends partook in the snorkeling and said that the water was very clear with a variety of marine life to see.
After snorkeling we got back onto the boat and were taken to a large rock formation in the sea that looked like an arch. Children and adults were climbing it and plunging into the sea below. We stopped here for a swim in the cool waters. My wife is normally normally not the daring type and would usually have just stayed in the boat. She surprised me by going into the water and leaving her comfort zone behind. After she was in Chris and I jumped in to join her. It was an amazing feeling floating in the water and seeing the incredible cliffs in front of me. So if you go on the tour; don’t be a wussy man and just jump in!
From here we cruised along the coast and sailed into Marigot Bay to view the cliff homes of the stars. We saw house of Mick Jagger, George Forman and even the rumored second house of Oprah. We then sailed along the coast and back to the resort.
I loved the relaxed yet party feel to this tour. Everyone was happy and having a good time…it might have been all the free flowing rum punch and Piton beer on board. I know so many people at our resort went for the “Joe Knows” resort sponsored tour but to me Son of Man is the only way to see the island properly and with the right guides. And by the way on the way back to the resort we saw a broken down Joe Knows Boat…guess Joe doesn’t know how to repair and maintain boats.
Vacation to me is complete when I find myself a Hammock. Hammock time has become a ritual for me on every island vacation. I’ve been fortunate to find a hammock and enjoy swinging away with a beach view. Ahhh…there is nothing like it.
Ejoying the Sunset
My wife and I prefer a nice sunset over a sunrise any day. The sunsets in St. Lucia are not as dramatic as others I have experienced in the Caribbean but they are quite nice. We enjoyed watching the sunset daily with some drinks from one of the many bars, terraces and our patio. It's a nice way to begin the evening with the sun going down and a drink in hand.
Relaxing in the Waterfall
There is nothing better than having some “alone” time together. During our stay at the Regency La Toc we found that the Sunset Pool has a little hidden cove under their waterfall. Underneath the flowing water was a cave complete with seats. My wife and I grabbed some drinks form the pool bar and found this to be our little hideout. It was an amazing time enjoying the cool water, the splashing of the waterfall and each other undisturbed. Fortunately for us no one else discovered our little hideout and we could have it all to ourselves….
Play some Pool
Our resort had several billiard rooms across the resort for guests. Chris and I enjoyed playing a few games to avoid the noon day sun one day at the Sunset Bluffs. It amazed me that despite the availability of this activity; I saw no one playing but us during our trip.
My wife and I also enjoyed some games after a night at the Pub. My wife claims she is not good at pool but she held her own. It was a bit weird playing for me since this was my first time playing pool since I lost my sight in my right eye. I can still play but I know I'm not as good as I once was.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
As Sandals Select Members we were entitled to a free Sunset Cruise; so of cource we were game. We were fortunate to have some friends on board with us; Bob and Cindy (a couple we made friends with during the week). The cruise departed from Castries at 5pm sailing south along the coastline and into Marigot Bay. During our cruise the Champagne, Rum Punch and Piton Beer flowed along with some tasty snacks.
St. Lucia truly is a beautiful island and especially from the water. We had perfect weather with calm seas to fully enjoy our cruise. We even stopped for a small excursion of Marigot Bay before heading back up the coat to Castries. As we left Marigot Bay the sun began to set; absolutely beautiful.
The Sulphur Springs were a stop on our Son of Man Tour in conjunction with the Mud Baths. A dip in the Sulphur Springs were a requirement before we got all dirty in the mud and a way to wash clean after we were dried up with mud.
The Sulphur Springs stink like the worst rotten eggs ever so be ready for the smell. The water is un- Godly hot so be prepared to feel boiled alive. You do feel smooth and hydrated though after this process but is it really worth it...
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