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Helen of the West Indies

Aug 17, 2007
One of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain, between Martinique and St. Vincent, and north of Barbados. St. Lucia is only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, with a shape that is said to resemble either a mango or an avocado. The capital city is Castries, and where about one third of the population lives.

Saint Lucia is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" as the island switched between the British and French control so often it was likened to the mythical Helen of Troy.

In natural beauty, St. Lucia seems like an island plucked from the South Pacific and set down in the Caribbean. Its dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, soar 2,000 feet up from the sea. Brilliantly plumed tropical birds abound, including endangered species like the indigenous St. Lucia parrot. The rain forest is broken only by verdant fields and orchards of banana, coconut, mango, and papaya trees

Second only to bananas, tourism is vital to St. Lucia's economy and it is expected that economic importance of tourism will continue to increase as the market for bananas becomes more competitive. St Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical weather and scenery and for its large number of beaches and resorts.

The island's steep coast lines and lovely reefs offer excellent snorkelling and scuba diving. The rainforest preserves of St. Lucia's mountainous interior are one of the Caribbean's finest locales for hiking and bird watching.

There isn't much nightlife in St. Lucia besides the entertainment offered by hotels.

Most of the shopping is in Castries, where the principal streets are William Peter Boulevard and Bridge Street. Many stores will sell you goods at duty-free prices.

The lush Diamond Botanical Gardens are in the Soufriere region of St. Lucia. In 1713 Louis XIV gave this 2,000 acre estate to three brothers from Normandy their descendants are still the owners. Follow the gorge on the estate and it will leave you to the Diamond Waterfall. Next to the falls are the Diamond Mineral Baths. The water of this sulphur spring changes colour several times a day, and is said to have healing powers. The baths were built in 1784 for French soldiers stationed in the West Indies.
About the Author
Douglas Scott writes for The Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The St Lucia Villa Rental Site
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