We’ve already spoken a bit about places you can visit if it so happens that you spend some time on the island, but I believe I haven’t given the proper attention to the historical monuments built here and to their significance, not only for the locals but for history in general.
Of course, the beaches and natural wonders of the place will attract a great number of tourists, especially if you take into consideration that the two volcanoes rising from the sea are both included one the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
However, Santa Lucia is such an interesting place due to its multiple cultural influences. It has gathered in time several cultural layers: the British, French and Caribbean peoples all play a part in the history and transformation of the island.
For example, if you’re interested in military history, you can visit the 18th century Fort Charlotte built by the French in 1764. Though it is nowadays only a ruin, it is interesting to see and preserves many original artifacts. However, if you’re interested in the British domination that followed a few decades after the French have imposed their administration on the island, you can go to Pigeon Island National Park and visit Fort Rodney from which you can admire the wonderful sight that the fort offers.
If you have a particular interest on local cultures and regional history and traditions, you can visit the St. Lucia Folk Research Center, where you can find out more about the life of the people inhabiting the island in the past, local traditions, but also read books and articles, watch videos and pictures related to the history of the island, because the museum has a library annexed. The museum hosts a souvenir boutique where you can purchase local art souvenirs. If you want to focus on official history, the second museum on the island, Le Pavilion Royal gathers a collection of official documents and other historical exhibits.
You may want to know that the island is the place where Derek Walcott, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, was born. Though the poet doesn’t live on the island anymore, you can visit the Derek Walcott Square, named in his honor. The square is located in Castries, nearby other touristic attractions such as the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. However, you should know that Walcott is not the only Nobel Laureate to have been born in Santa Lucia. Sir William Arthur Lewis is the first, winning the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979, and so, becoming the first black person to have won the Nobel in another category than peace at that moment. If you happen to be an economy graduate or passionate, you can visit Sir Lewis’s burial place on the grounds of the college that bears its name.
Santa Lucia is not only a place of past cultural reminiscences, but one that supports contemporary culture as well. If you’re interested in cultural events, the island hosts an annual Jazz Festival in the month of May where you can listen to world famous artists and enjoy traditional music genres as well.
Santa Lucia is filled with breathtakingly beautiful views, tasty dishes, and everything else you might want to experience during your vacation. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular places that you may want to visit when you’re in Santa Lucia, and these are downright mandatory if you don’t have any idea about how you can spice up your stay on the island. I’ve already talked about the reasons I decided to move to this amazing Caribbean island and I won’t go into too much detail as I want to share some of the best views with you.
If you love the beach and diving, there are two places you might enjoy visiting while in Santa Lucia. One of them is The Pitons, which seems to be the preferred destination for climbers and divers alike, since the sight has two towering peaks that are 798 meters and 750 meters high, respectively. The mountains were created naturally over 200,000 years ago by the volcanic activity in the area. Whether you enjoy the scenery, like to have your chance at climbing one of the peaks or perhaps want to explore the underwater cliffs in the area, one thing’s for sure. You’ll definitely love this place.
Marigot Bay is the second spot you might want to get to if you’re into beautiful beaches. The bay looks like it was taken out of a motion picture, and believe it or not, it actually was. This is the place where Doctor Doolittle was filmed back in 1967. It’s true that part of the popularity of the bay is due to the movie, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most enthralling beaches you’ll ever get to visit in your lifetime.
If what you’re trying to do is enjoy the beautiful sights while visiting a town, then what you need to do is get yourself to Soufrière. This is a fishing village that was founded around the middle of the 18th century. Given that religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular, are everywhere in Santa Lucia, you’ll have the chance to go to the town square, where the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located. Unfortunately, the place also has a rather dark history, considering that many plantation owners were executed in the village square, where there used to be a guillotine. Fortunately, these days such practices have become obsolete, and in spite of Soufrière’s rather grim past, the center of the town is nevertheless charming. It may be worth underlining that Soufrière is where Josephine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte was born. When in the area, be sure to go to Sulphur Springs Park, which is one of the most active geothermal regions in the proximity of the village. In spite of the fact that the risks of any volcanic eruption ever happening on the island are scarce, what with the last one having occurred over 40,000 years ago, the pit still vents sulfur, so you’ll be able to see it rise in the air.
Enjoying life on the island means many things, but, of course, among these many things, you will always find food on top of the list. At least, this is what we think after living in Santa Lucia for some time now. Traditional dishes can be found anywhere you go, so you cannot miss eating whatever the locals are enjoying. In this post, we want to get you acquainted with some of the most amazing traditional dishes they serve here.
Meet the national dish: bananas and fish
National dishes usually combine whatever can be found in great supplies, and you would most probably expect to find fish in a national dish for a Caribbean island. In Santa Lucia, the dish that the locals enjoy most, and, because it simply tastes so great, the tourists, as well, consists of a combination of green bananas and salted fish. The mix is quite palatable, although we did exchange a few unsure glances between ourselves before digging in for the first time.
First, they take the unripe bananas and sauté them with onion, garlic and other veggies like celery and peppers. Now, despite what you may think of combining bananas with garlic, you should know that green bananas are not sweet at all so you will not mind the mix. The fish used for the recipe is the kind that is kept in salt for preservation reasons. Before actually adding it, the locals make sure to drain away as much salt as possible. The fish is added to the sauté, and this is how you get the final taste. This dish is served at any moment of the day; you can have it for breakfast, for dinner, or for lunch.
Callaloo is the leafy green they grow in Santa Lucia instead of spinach or kale, to give you an idea about what is like. This leafy green is actually represented by the leaves of the taro plant, which is very popular here. The taro root is boiled and mashed, and then combined with the boiled leaves, so in the end, you get a thick soup base that can be combined with crab or other types of seafood. We ate plenty of Callaloo soup here, in various combinations and we think it is pretty representative for the island. We found this recipe on Kitchenettejen.com a website we’ve recently found.However, if you want to make Callaloo crab soup, be aware that it can take ages to extract the crab meat from those tiny legs.
Here is where we live: