Recommend July 2018 - 25

Opposite page: Visitors will have plenty of opportunities to taste the island's delicious cuisine.
Below: Festivals are a big part of the Saint Lucia allure, including the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival (right) at Pigeon Island National Park (courtesy of Bill Mortley).

Join a Street Party
✦ The Gros Islet Friday Night Street Party, the longest running
street party in Saint Lucia, is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
This little fishing village really heats up on Friday nights when the
weekly jump-up gets going. The streets are alive with pulsating
rhythms emanating from speakers manned by island DJs. Dancing
mixes easily with dining at a variety of bbq grills serving up chicken,
pork and seafood, prepared Lucian-style. It's known as the muststop for people who love to party.
✦ Located on the west coast south of Castries, the sleepy village
of Anse la Raye wakes up big time once a week for Seafood Friday.
It has become one of the highlights for Saint Lucians from all
over the island. Street stalls offer up the catch of the day, as well as
delicacies such as squid, octopus, shrimp or lobster. And of
course there is Caribbean music to keep everyone grooving most
of the night.
✦ It's Saturday night live at Dennery Fish Festival on the east coast
of the island, which keeps its fish heritage alive with a myriad of
dining options, from informal little venues to street food. Music
goes hand in hand with fish feasting, and this town makes loud and
clear its preference for soca, dancehall and reggae, mixed up with
a bit of R&B.

Take a Heritage Tour
The Heritage Tourism Association of Saint Lucia (HERITAS) is a
non-profit group dedicated to the marketing and provision of travel
products to natural and cultural heritage sites that offer a unique
Saint Lucian experience to the visitor. The group's commitment has

arisen out of broader efforts-including those of the Saint Lucia
National Trust-to preserve the country's heritage and to maximize
benefits to Saint Lucia from eco and heritage tourism. Tours include
visiting fishing villages, plantations, waterfalls, centuries-old estates
and historic gardens. Consider this Heritage Tour sampling:
✦ Fond d'Or Nature Reserve and Historical Park: Located in the
heart of the Mabouya Valley on the east coast, this park was first
settled by the islands pre-Columbian Amerindian inhabitants, and
was later used by European sugar planters. Within the park one
finds historic sugar mill ruins and an Amerindian site, as well as
various historic plantation buildings-a wind mill, a boiling house,
a steam mill and two cattle barns-dating to between the 17th
and 19th centuries. A guided tour includes a trail walk through the
estuarine tropical forest, mangroves and dry scrub woodlands, as
well as time on a broad white sand beach, which is a nesting site
for leatherback turtles between April and October. A half-day tour
includes lunch at the Interpretation Center and Museum.
✦ Lushan Country Life: Less than a 15-minute drive from Castries,
Lushan Country Life is on display at Anthony's Farm, at the
traditional and historic residence at Morne-Du-Don/Balata, and at
the 100-year-old family farmhouse. The tour includes birdwatching
(27 identified species) in the tropical forest. Along the Garden Trail,
one finds ginger, cocoa, cinnamon, mango and cashew nuts, and
stops are made to taste seasonal fruits and identify many of the 134
plant species. Additionally, local guides share their knowledge of
customs and herbal medicines, charcoal making, bee keeping and
cassava making. b

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