st lucia plantations and gardens

Note: On certain days, large tour groups visit these popular st lucia plantations and historic sites; to avoid them, call ahead or go before 10:00 am or after 3:30 pm.

Diamond Falls Botanical Garden, st lucia plantations in Soufriere

Perhaps one of the islands most well-known st lucia plantations. An extensive botanical garden whose signature feature is a sulphurous waterfall. The restored Mineral Baths were originally built in 1784, just before the French revolution, with funds from King Louis XVI. Adjacent to the historic baths are more modern chlorinated plunge pools where bathing is possible for an additional fee. Bathing under the waterfall is prohibited.

Mamiku Gardens, st lucia plantations in Micoud

The Historical Gardens of Madame de Micoud, set in 12 acres of natural woodlands, offer a colorful variety of gardens, some tucked away in the forest, including an orchid garden and medicinal herb garden. An abundance of birds, butterflies and Tropical Flowers continually surprise the visitor. Once the scene of fierce battles such as many other st lucia plantations, the gardens are now filled with tranquility and beauty.

Fond D’ Or Estate, St lucia plantations in Dennery

At this historic st lucia plantation, you can see three different sugar processing technologies: the cattle mill, the waterwheel, and the steam engine. The archeological findings of several Amerindian settlements are documented at the interpretation centre, where a delicious lunch is also served. Horseback riding, turtle watching, and bird watching are all part of the experience. The natural landscapes at Fond D’ Or are just as diverse as the man-made ones, ranging from estuarine forests on gently sloping hills to protected mangroves and a wide white sand beach (swimming with caution). Extensive hiking trails allow you to explore the undisturbed plant and wildlife at Fond D’ Or for several hours, in the company of a knowledgeable guide from the community. Fond D’Or is part of the st Lucia Mabouya Valley Development Project, a successful example of community-based resource management.

Balenbouche Estate, St lucia plantations in Choiseuil

Balenbouche estate, a heritage site and st lucia guesthouse, is one of the st lucia plantations which offers a very personal and authentic experience. The 19th century Estate house, residence of the Lawaetz family, is surrounded by an enchanting garden with many huge old trees and areas to relax. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the grounds, swim at one of the secluded st lucia beaches, and explore the remains of an impressive 18th century sugar factory. A collection of Amerindian artefacts, rock basins and petroglyphs tell of an ancient indigenous culture.

Fond Doux Estate, St Lucia Plantation Resort in Soufriere

This 250-year old working estate and st lucia plantation house built in 1864 near Soufriere offers spectacular views, beautiful natural landscapes, many birds, flowering trees and crops. You can see how cocoa is processed, still using the historic cocoa drying sheds and the traditional method of “cocoa dancing.” You can walk the st lucia plantation trails and explore military ruins, and climb the Maroon estate route. The estate, at an elevation between 1400 and 1660 feet above the sea is always cool. There are two restaurants, one built around a massive historic stone wall, for larger groups, and another more intimate structure which is open every day and offers local cuisine (US$ 15 – 25).

Morne Coubaril Estate, st lucia plantations in Soufriere

One of the few working st lucia plantations which allows visitors to experience first hand some of the island’s traditional agricultural activities such as copra (dried coconuts), cocoa, and cassava making. The authentically restored st lucia plantation village adds another time and dimension. A st lucia rainforest hike is also available, which must be booked in advance. The trek takes visitors on a two hour hike, starting at the Botanical gardens in Soufriere, and ending at the Coubaril Falls, which are a mixture of fresh water and warm sulphur water. Horseback-riding and lunches by prior reservation are available.

Soufriere Estate, st Lucia plantations in Soufriere

Soufrière Estate offers another glimpse into the history of st Lucia. The property, which holds one of the oldest st lucia plantations on the island, was part of a 2,000 acre estate granted to the Devaux family by King Louis XIV in 1713. The same family still owns this st lucia plantation, and has put much effort into preserving, restoring and enhancing it. The mill was built in 1765 for sugar production and later was used to crush limes. The old waterwheel has been restored to working order with the help of a diesel engine. The factory has been transformed into a restaurant, where you can have lunch by prior reservation.

La Sikwi Estate, st lucia plantations in Anse La Raye

One of the few sugar mills on the island constructed by the British. Built in 1876, it is more modern than the older French buildings. The 40 ft waterwheel, milling machinery, and building is very well-preserved. The sugar mill produced molasses as its final product, not sugar, and during the early 1900’s the factory was converted into lime oil production. There is a beautiful garden and small semi-outdoor theatre for cultural performances. La Sikwi is part of the organized Jungle Tours and Jeep Safari st lucia tours, and lunches for a minimum of 10 people can be booked in advance.

Fond Latisab Creole Park, Babonneau, Ss lucia plantations in the North

Situated on a river near the northern community of Babbonneau, this is a family owned smaller example of the many st lucia plantations, specializing in St. Lucia’s old traditions, such as trapping crabs made from bamboo, manual log sawing, and cassava making.

Lushan Country Life, Union, st lucia plantations in the North

This st lucia plantation offers the opportunity to see a wide array of birds, insects and 143 plant species including many local trees such as Bayleaf, Mahogony, and White Cedar used for furniture and boat making. Along the Garden trail, a flower garden and “love’ pond charmingly documents a couple’s love story. See and taste local fruits such as grapefruit, golden apple, sugar cane and mango.

Pigeon Island, St Lucia National Trust, Gros islet

Once an island and pirate’s fort, Pigeon Island is now a historic park with  ruins and old canons, joined by a causeway to the mainland. The interpretation center documents the many battles between the French and British as well as other chapters of St. Lucia’s history. Pigeon Island hosts special events such as weddings and the main stage event of the Annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival. The “Jambe de Bois” restaurant and café with its private pier and adjacent beach are a great place to hang out during the day.

La Plas Kassav (Canaries/Anse La Raye)
A fcassava bread bakery located between Canaries and Anse La Raye. Cassava bread is a local delicacy which the Amerindians already used as a staple food and which today comes in many delicious flavours such as banana, ginger, cocoa, and smoked herring.

Rhythm of Rum Distillery Tour, St Lucia Distillers (Marigot Bay)

The St. Lucia Distillers Rum distillery near Marigot offers a fantastic journey through the history of rum, including how sugar was grown on the many st lucia plantations around the island. In the tasting room you can sample all the different rums and flavoured liquors for a small fee.

 

CASTRIES

Around 60,000 people or over a third of the population lives in the vicinity of the bustling capital of St Lucia, Castries. Although much of the original colonial architecture was destroyed by two devastating fires, there are several historic buildings and parks of interest, including the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (constructed in 1894), the Derek Walcott Square, named after St Lucia’s Nobel Laureate in Literature (1992), the Victorian-style Castries Public Library, and several traditional fretwork houses.

The Castries Central market (constructed between 1891 and 1894 and recently renovated) and adjacent vendor’s market offer everything from exotic local produce to sweet-smelling herbs and spices, Creole food, incense, jewelry, local craft and other souvenirs.  Castries is a major cruise ship port, and on some days, there can be up to 4 ships in the harbor. St Lucia’s duty free shopping centers La Place Carenage (located in town), and Pointe Seraphine (located on the other side of the Castries Bay at the main cruise terminal) offers a range of local and imported items.

The Folk Research Centre, situated on historic Mount Pleasant overlooking Castries, stores and catalogues a vast collection of data and materials covering practically every aspect of Folk history in St Lucia, including dance, music, musical instruments, folk tales, life on the former st lucia plantations and the Creole/Patois language. The La Toc Battery to the West of Castries is one of the islands’ best-preserved stockades, now home to  the Bagshaws of St. Lucia, a local silk screen printing manufacturer and outlet.

The Morne Fortune Historic area overlooking Castries is riddled with remains of French forts. The Government House, the official residence of Dame Pearlette Louisy, St Lucia’s Governor General, can be visited by prior appointment. The St Lucia Sir Arthur Lewis Community College on the Morne offers 2 year degree programs in areas such as Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality, Business Management. It and also has a branch of the University of the West Indies which offers distance learning. On the college grounds, you will find the Inniskilling monument, which marks the bloodiest battle ever fought in St Lucia, when Captain Moore repelled the French revolutionary forces on 24 may 1796.