Romantic St. Lucia

Romantic St. Lucia
Nestled on one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, St. Lucia is the sort of island that dreams are made of - a compact lush tropical gem, which has - at least for now - been undiscovered by mass transit travelers.

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 and it promises the perfect honeymoon escape in a host of posh all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and spacious villas. The Atlantic Ocean hugs its eastern shore, while the beaches of the west coast are stroked by the serene Caribbean Sea.

As far as natural beauty goes, this tiny jewel seems more like a piece of paradise plucked from the South Pacific and plopped down in the Caribbean, with dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, soaring high above the sea; dewy rain forests bursting with sinewy wild orchids; giant ferns and brilliant birds of paradise.

As you would expect, water sports make a big splash here, with sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and wind surfing leading the list of seaside possibilities.

For landlubbers, plantation tours and hikes through lush rain forests, punctuated by verdant fields and orchards of banana, coconut, mango and papaya trees, promise a peek at flora and fauna at its best.

Naturalist tours and safaris are available through dense jungles, ending in mineral-rich waterfalls and visits to the secret habitats of the island’s rare indigenous birds or elusive turtles. Cultural treasures provide a fascinating image of the area’s rich past and are reflected in handicrafts found in several colorful open-air markets.

The island’s people have earned a well-deserved reputation for their warmth and charm, affording you the perfect respite from life on the cyber highway. Sports enthusiasts will delight in the range of athletic options, such as tennis, horseback riding, hiking and golf.

Nearby Soufriere Volcano supplies mineral rich mud which resort spas harvest for use in their sophisticated spa treatments. These treatments are often enhanced by aromatherapies and massages.

Among the ranking favorite honeymoon choices are: the boutique Jade Mountain and Cap Maison Resort; Cotton Bay Village and the all-inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Sandals Resorts.

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