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Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

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Cape Cod, MA
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Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Hi everyone,

We have been in St. Lucia since Thursday night and now that it's Saturday night, it's time to share a little. First off, I have to say, southern SL is INCREDIBLE!! We are staying in a small private villa and loving every minute of it!! We hired Benton ( set up by the villa owner) to pick us up from the airport, bring us to the grocery store and then to our villa, Treehouse II. The cost was $65 US and we gave him a $15 US tip. He brought us to Super J, waited for us to shop, then over to the villa with a kind and polite demeanor.

The Super J selection was pretty good. We were able to buy 3 6 packs of Pitons, two semi-decent bottles of Chardonnay, one local chocolate liquor and groceries to last for a few days, all for $101 US.

We stayed in our first night, totally crashing. Our villa manager supplied us with 2 local dinners, so good and appreciated!

The next day (Friday) we walked up the hill from our villa to experience the most incredible view of the Pitons and Soufriere! Stunning! In the afternoon we walked down to Anse Chastenet Beach, had a foofoo drink at the beach bar, then continued on to Anse Mamin Beach for the rest of the day. We loved it there, despite not being able to rent chairs (due to not staying at AC), but had an awesome fish lunch for $20 pp ( it was large enough to split, which we did) and later made our way over to the deserted area as you first approach AM, where we just put down our towels and relaxed for the next couple of hours. We brought a small cooler for water, snacks and beer. St Lucia's beaches are all public so even though you may not be able to use the resort chairs, you certainly can put your towel down and no one bothers you. Definitely a day in paradise!!

At night we hired our airport driver, Benton, to bring us to Boucan, Chocolat Hotel for $30 round trip plus a good tip (20%). Boucan was incredible, especially the chocolate dessert! I loved the atmosphere, although my husband, not as much! We sat near the kitchen where the chef's cook, so he felt in the spotlight. I didn't. So worth the $100...make sure you have dessert! We loved the chocolate molten lava cake with coconut ice cream, yummy!!

Today we chilled most of the morning, swam in our private pool, bought local produce from one of the gardeners, then made our way to Anse Chastenet for a late swim, sunset and dinner. The water is so clear despite the dark sand and the area is gorgeous. It can feel a little wierd being an "outsider" as the guests have wonderful chairs and service, but we were quite happy rolling out our towels once again and sitting on the sand after finding shade. There are chairs under huts for the outsiders, but they are located on the left side by the boats and there are only a couple of them. The right side had decent shade so we took advantage of it!

Dinner at the beach bar was fabulous! We thought we could just have a quick dinner and make our way back up the road to the villa, but AC had a set time to begin dinner. Instead, we sat the the bar, caught the beautiful sunset, then at 6:30 we were brought over to our table. The entire place is lit up with tiki torches and candles. So beautiful!! Our fish dinners, (fish of the day which was tuna and mahi mahi ) were delicious!! Cost was approximately $100 for a glass of wine, beer, a cocktail and dinner. We will definitely be back!

We then had to make our way back up the dark, secluded road which in hindsight probably wasn't smart, but we have felt so safe that it wasn't until to were well on our way that we thought we should have taken a cab. Luckily all is well! I must say, the night sky and the stars burning brightly are amazing!!

Tomorrow, we are getting our jeep rental from Ben's West Coast Jeeps and it'll be interesting navigating the narrow roads. Hoping to water taxi to Jalousie but most importantly, hoping this report is helpful! To be continued......

England
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1. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Great report! I love Anse Mamin beach too.

pa
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2. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Great Report, glad you're liking it @ TH2.

Fri. was our last day of 12 on STL, finished our stay @ the Hummingbird at the start of the road to the TH & AC. I went for a hike early Fri. am, (7am ish) up the road the the TH and then on up the road higher to the Villas up above for the early morning view of the Pitons-Awesome in the Dawn glow!

Enjoy your stay!

pa
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3. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Great Report, glad you're liking it @ TH2.

Fri. was our last day of 12 on STL, finished our stay @ the Hummingbird at the start of the road to the TH & AC. I went for a hike early Fri. am, (7am ish) up the road the the TH and then on up the road higher to the Villas up above for the early morning view of the Pitons-Awesome in the Dawn glow!

Enjoy your stay!

Cape Cod, MA
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4. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Thanks SLE and PaC! PaChip, you passed right by us on Friday then. We did that same hike a couple of hours later! :)

Today we got our rental car but instead of the jeep wrangler we expected, a small Terios was delivered to the Treehouse and the jeep is supposed to arrive tomorrow. No worries, at least we got a car ($45 less than the jeep) which was perfect timing as it started to rain so we changed our minds about the water taxi for today. While eating breakfast on our balcony, we saw the most incredible rainbow with a 4 mast schooner gliding right under it. Have I said how much we love the Treehouse II and its drop dead gorgeous view of the Pitons and the ocean???

Taping a little "L" on the dashboard, we proceeded to drive with this visual to help us remember to stay left (the steering wheel is on the right). My husband has driven in a few countries, so he wasn't too concerned and overall it was fine. Yes, there are hairpin turns and I can understand why some get carsick, but everyone is was going slow, and the road to Rodney Bay is in good condition. We were expecting much worse.

Husband wanted to see Rodney Bay Marina so with that destination in mind, we set off. As we were driving along the coast, we spotted the natural bridge and pulled over to snap a few pictures. I was excited because I had totally forgotten about this and it was really by chance we looked over at the right time. We also drove up to Pigeon Island, but decided against touring it as we wanted to make sure we drove back while it was still light. Over to the Marina, stopped at the Boardwalk for a quick drink, then back on the road again. We decided we love the south and will stay in this area for the remainder of this trip. There were 3 amazing yachts in the marina though.

Tonight we stayed in, enjoying a simple dinner on the balcony. I brought little tealights from home which made it even more romantic. :)

surrey
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5. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Sounds like you're having a fabulous time - thanks for the trip reports.

Tennessee
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6. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

If you're still at treetops we passed by this morning around 9 walking from hummingbird to ac. We rented chairs for $10 us & stayed the day. Plenty of "outsiders" there & they let us eat at the restaurant where as jalouise would only let us eat at the beach grill! sounds like you're having a great trip!

St. Lucia
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7. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

If you get a chance, definitely head over to Laborie and the beach there - Rudy John Beach Park. you can see it from the highwya. Excellent beach area with bathlike swimming water and beautiful scenery. No chairs or facilities - it is a completely local beach, but lots of shade and a few bars in walking distance for restroom and drinks and snacks.

Also, take a trip over to Sandy Beach on the Atlantic side in Vieux Fort. Long, long stretch of beach, several beach bars for some great food, the Reef has chairs for rent, plenty of shade to camp out under and it's gorgeous to watch the kite surfers with the Maria Islands in the background.

Enjoy your visit - glad you are loving the real St. Lucia!

Cape Cod, MA
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8. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

mw104, thanks, we had such a great time, it was so sad to leave!

Delta4201, yes, we were still there when you passed by. We were the second treehouse up, hard to see it from Chastenet Rd but still visible when you look for it. We never did rent chairs, but we found out that you can also pay to use facilities for a few days or a week to get chairs with umbrellas on the straw hut side and use their boats. Hope you had a great time in SL too!

Reedprincess, thank you for your great suggestions, but we never had time to explore that area. We did see it on our way back to the airport and it looked beautiful! Maybe next time!

Well, we're now home but I am going to finish this report both so I can relive this fabulous trip and to help anyone looking for a similar experience.

Monday morning we decided to take in a few of the southern sights. We drove to the Fond Doux entrance to Tet Paul, a guided nature trail which offers spectacular views of the southern part of the island all the way to St.Vincent. This trail was very easy to walk and would be for most people, but there are rock and dirt stairs you need to climb throughout the trail. Our guide was very informative and this was a great way to spend an hour.

Leaving there, we decided to do the Drive-in volcano. We bought the combo ticket which included a guide for the sulphur springs and a soak in the mudbaths. He was very informative and his explanation of the springs and area lasted about 15 minutes. The smell is quite strong and I wouldn't want to be a guide there. :)

Even though by now it was midday and hot, we decided to do the mudbaths although at first I felt apprehensive to lather myself up with mud. Bravery won though, and I was able to relax in the water for awhile, covered with mud. There was a nice breeze, we took some silly pictures plus where else could we do this? I felt like Vienna and Jake from The Bachelor TV show as they did this too :) There is a changing area and showers to get most of the mud off, but we were definitely in need of lots of soap and suds so back to the treehouse quickly!

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the treehouse in the little plunge pool, then drove back down the brutal dirt Anse Chastanet Road to the bottom for dinner at the Hummingbird Restaurant. Once again, dinner does not begin until 6:30 so we sat by the Hummingbird pool with a drink in hand, feasting our eyes on the hummingbirds fluttering about with the massive Pitons in the background. Have I said how much I love this stunning island and its incredible scenery??? Views of the amazing Pitons at every turn! Our fish dinners were good, too.

Cape Cod, MA
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9. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Tuesday began with us driving to the Soufriere elementary school to drop off a bag of writing tools and art supplies I had brought from home. I was told this school was hit hard during the hurricane and I wanted to help even though what I contributed was just a drop in the bucket.

Back up the road again and on to Anse Chastanet so we could take a water taxi to Jalousie for the day. We went with Johnny and his boat Bismol and were glad we did. He was very informative, brought us up close to Soufriere and the bat caves then on to Jalousie after agreeing to pick us back up in 3.5 hours. I had been looking forward to visiting this resort since the beginning of the trip and was excited to finally be here. The resort provides free lounge chairs for the "outsiders" right by the snorkeling area, but I must say, it was crazy busy sitting there with so many cruise ship people coming and going that I didn't love the experience. The snorkeling was fair at best, but what was so fun was having lunch under the palm trees in the sand! I had originally wanted to have lunch at the beach restaurant but they turned us away because they were full. We were told we could eat at the little bar or at the tables in the sand which turned out to be such a treat! Sitting under the palm trees with our feet in the sand, drinking a fruity cocktail and eating a veggie pizza was the highlight of visiting Jalousie for us! Back to Anse Chastanet via water taxi and some good snorkeling!!!

That evening, after we saw the most stunning sunset at the Treehouse, we went to Gee's Bonmanje Restaurant for dinner. We loved it here, even though we were the only people in the restaurant for the first hour. The town of Soufriere was lit up brightly with the Pitons standing proudly in the background providing us with another gorgeous view from this restaurant. The waitress told us the sunsets from here are beautiful too. I ordered pumpkin soup, a shrimp dinner and my husband had fish, all delicious! Only one more full day left!

Cape Cod, MA
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10. Re: Loving southern St. Lucia! Trip report as we go!

Wednesday, our last full day was St Lucia's Independence Day! I hadn't realized this and planned to do some shopping in Soufriere, but all the gift stores were closed. It was also our last day with the rental car, so we never made it to any shops except for the grocery store and the gift shops in the resorts and at the airport.

We decided to take this morning real slow, enjoying every second of our beautiful view on the balcony. In the afternoon, we went to Anse Chastanet Beach for one last swim and snorkeled for awhile. The fish were plentiful especially the needle fish, at least that's what I think they were! In fact, there was such a large school of them that I started to get a little nervous, but they didn't bother us. On the way in, I definitely felt a little sting on my elbow, but didn't see anything in the water, so I asked about it at the dive shop and they said I encountered sea ants. Glad to know I didn't imagine this like my husband thought since I barely had a red mark on my elbow and the mild stinging only lasted about 30 minutes or so.

We found the best snorkeling on the left of the beach when facing the ocean although we snorkeled the right side by the rocks the day before and saw some nice tropical fish there also.

At night we decided to splurge and went to Ladera, first for cocktails and the sunset at the bar, then to the dining room for an outstanding dinner. This restaurant is located right between the two Pitons and the view is incredible! What a way to spend our last night in St. Lucia!

The next day we went for one last hike down the hill. We were picked up at the treehouse and brought to the airport after stopping at the grocery store to pick up some hot sauce and coffee for gifts. I rarely get motion sickness but I felt a little queasy on the way to the airport with all the twists and turns while sitting in the back seat. Everything went smoothly at the airport and we had plenty of time to do some last minute shopping for a couple more souvenirs.

We absolutely loved St. Lucia and the Treehouse II! The island is gorgeous, the people were very polite, kind and helpful. Many of the people of Soufriere are very poor and Hurricane Tomas hit the area hard in 2010 although most of this appears to be cleaned up. We saw men walk the roads carrying exposed machetes (tools of the trade) but never felt unsafe and had no encounters with aggressive vendors although I was worried about this before our trip. We loved this exotic island and hope to go back someday!

I decided to write this lengthy report because I didn't find a lot written about southern St. Lucia when I was researching it. If you have any questions, please ask. I hope I have been helpful.