If it's just to get a glimpse of the two volcanic peaks that rise in majesty and splendor over the old capital of Soufriere, the British Commonwealth country of Saint Lucia is worth a visit for that reason alone. Yes, the island might offer all the same sights and water activities as the other tourist places in the Caribbean but the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton make Saint Lucia stand out from the others. Even if the Twin Pitons that rise 2,000 meters above sea level are enough, however, you might as well indulge in all that this fertile banana-filled land has to offer.
Begin by exploring the sights at Pigeon Island National Park, which seems more like a historical landmark than a reserve. Ruins of a fortress that include barracks and cannons lie amid gigantic banyan trees here. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that should not be missed is the Pitons Management Area. You can swim in the Sulfur Springs or climb Gros Piton itself. The Malgretout Waterfall, located south of Soufriere, is a quiet place for a dip. You can also join an organized hike of the Central Rain Forest Reserve to admire the vast diversity of flora and fauna. Snorkeling and swimming at the many beaches of Saint Lucia are other popular activities. You can take a water taxi from the Soufriere jetty to Anse Chastenet and Jalousie Beaches.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and stews are the most common fare in Saint Lucia. Friday night is chicken and pork barbecue night in most communities. Weekly parties are also great avenues for you to sample local food--but be aware that may be eating porpoise if you don't ask what's in the pots first. There are many restaurants scattered around the capital of Castries, in Soufriere and Vieux-Fort. Ask a local to recommend a place where you can find the best local cuisine. If you're in the mood for something more international, Rodney Bay has a lot of eateries and dining places that offer worldwide cuisine.
You can shop among a wide array of jewelry and souvenirs at the Castries Market or at La Place Carenage in the main harbor of Castries. In Rodney Bay, you can also find a lot of choices at JQ Shopping Mall. There is a duty-free mall at the dockside of Castries because a lot of cruise ships drop anchor at Saint Lucia. The shop offers rums, souvenirs and jewelry.
La Haut Plantation