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This article was written on 01 Aug 2010, and is filled under To: St-Lucia.

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Discover St. Lucia

Welcome to St. Lucia, a gorgeous Caribbean island popular for its romantic settings. Its beautiful landscape and welcoming atmosphere are sure to amaze any visitor. Don’t miss the jazz festival, which is held in May.


HISTORY

St. Lucia’s first residents were the Arawak Indians, but they were later driven off the island by the Carib Indians. European powers (Dutch, British, and French) made multiple attempts to establish settlements on the island, but were met with fierce resistance by the warring Caribs. The French finally managed to strike a deal with the natives in 1651 and began growing sugar cane on vast plantations. The Caribs were used to do the backbreaking work on the fields, but died in large numbers due to diseases and were eventually replaced by African slaves.

Throughout the colonial period the island was fiercely disputed by the French and British and changed hands 14 times. After 150 years of warfare, the French finally gave up their claim on St. Lucia in 1814. The island became a British possession and was integrated in the British Windward Islands. Slavery was banned in 1838 and East Indian workers were brought to St. Lucia in 1882 to cultivate the sugar cane. In 1967 the island was given a certain level of autonomy, and in 1979 full independence was granted.

Today St. Lucia is a volcanic island of 170 000 inhabitants, mostly of African descent. While the island is part of the British Commonwealth, it has a strong French flavor, particularly the language, food, town names, and surnames. Tropical rain forests, banana plantations, and towering peaks make up St. Lucia’s beautiful landscape. Most tourists spend their vacation in the capital Castries and the surrounding areas. English is the official language, but you’ll hear St. Lucians speak Antillean Creole as well.

ACTIVITIES

You’ll find plenty of good beaches in St. Lucia, including Pigeon Island, Marigot Beach, Vigie Beach, and Reduit Beach.

Diving off St. Lucia’s coast is exceptional, especially at Anse Chastanet on the southwest shore.

You can charter a boat and explore the island’s natural sites. Other water-based activities include deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, windsurfing, and kite boarding.

Exploring the island’s lush rainforest reserve is an exceptional experience. If you’re in a good shape, you can take a guided hike to the twin Pitons.

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