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News and Tips
February 7, 2013 at 02:11pm
You only have to watch the first minute of the included tourist board video, to get a glimpse of what the beautiful Southern Caribbean island of St. Lucia has to offer couples in search of a romantic getaway. On the Isle of Romance, you can spend your days exploring a volcano, hiking to a waterfall, or ziplining through the rain forest. Upon my visit in February, it was easy to see why St. Lucia is known as the "Hawaii" of the Caribbean.
One advantage St. Lucia has over Hawaii, however, is the All Inclusive resort option. Currently the most requested vacation feature, All Inclusive resorts allow travelers to pay for their meal and drink expenses up front. Eliminating the mental image of dollar signs $$ adding up with every rum punch ordered, and providing the freedom to truly relax.
All Inclusive resorts also include activities like sailing, snorkeling, and entertainment. At the Luxury Included Sandals properties, even Scuba Diving is included in your vacation price. The resort Scuba certification is a nominal fee (around $75), and you can dive once per day after completion. Or, take full advantage of the Scuba offerings at Sandals, and get your open water certification before you leave for vacation. Dive Master Ed Nelson at EDGE Adventures in Buffalo, offers special programs for new divers.
Another great resort is the Ti Kaye Village & Spa, located in Anse Cochon. At Ti Kaye, a Trip Advisor Excellence Winner, guests can also enjoy yoga, meditation, and spa services. While not all inclusive, they offer several meal plan options, that are a great value.
With flight options from Minneapolis a bit limited, you will want to plan your visit to St. Lucia far in advance. Delta offers flights with one connection through Atlanta, but they do sell out and prices remain high. This is not a destination where you will see fares drop at the last minute; expect air prices of $800-$1,000 per person.
When you factor in travel time, I recommend at least a 7-9 night stay. Allow for a few days of pure relaxation at your resort, but do not sequester yourself! The natural beauty of the island begs for exploration, and the people are absolutely lovely.
- Hire a Taxi. As I stated, the people are lovely. Hillary was my taxi driver during my stay. He was amazing, and filled with information about the island. You can hire a driver for the day instead of renting a car, and they take appointments. Let them know where and when, and they will be there on time, with a warm smile.
- Get on the water. It was my preferred mode of transportation vs. taking a traditional taxi through the winding roads. Negotiate a water taxi price to bring you to Soufiere, and hike to the top of Gros Piton. Spend the day sailing aboard Good Expectation with Jus' Sail. Better yet, do BOTH.
- Friday Night Jump Up. If you are visiting on a Friday, you can dance the night away this local party filled with loud music and BBQ. Everyone is there for a good time, but keep your wits about you. Arrange for a your taxi driver to pick you up at a specific time, so you don't have to worry about over imbibing.
- Take a Mineral Bath or Mud Bath. The volcanic island produces several natural hot springs. The healing properties are legendary with the locals. At Diamond Falls Botanical Garden, you can rent a private mineral bath built in 1784 for French troops, for a mere $8.00.
- Explore the Rain Forest. St. Lucia offers amazing ziplining. A hot vacation activity, this is theplace to experience it. If ziplining isn't your thing, there are several other rain forest adventures.
There is so much to see and do on this island, and an abundance of ways to do it. To save precious vacation time, consult with someone who has visited. They will be able to give you first hand accounts and valuable contacts on the island. Plan ahead! Make a simple itinerary of "excursion days" and "rest days". If there is a tour you have your heart set on, book it before you leave. For instance, Jus' Sail, can offer you custom experiences, like a romantic lunch on the beach and photography, but they need to know in advance.
In all of my travels, St. Lucia is definitely near the top of the list of favorites. This gem in the Southern Caribbean, is sure to offer you the romantic adventure of a lifetime.