St Lucia Estates, Gardens & Plantations
Overview of St Lucia Estates offering guided tours. At Balenbouche Estate you can visit the original estate house, the 18th century sugar mill, tropical gardens and beaches. We also offer guest cottages at affordable rates.
St Lucia Estates, East & South
St Lucia Estates: Balenbouche Estate, Choiseul
A visit to Balenbouche estate, a heritage site and guesthouse in the south of st Lucia, offers a very personal and authentic experience in one of the most beautiful st lucia gardens. The 19th century Estate house, residence of the Lawaetz family who purchased several st lucia estates in the 1960’s, 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 beaches, and explore the remains of an impressive 18th century sugar factory. A collection of Amerindian artifacts, rock basins and petroglyphs tell of an ancient indigenous culture. One of the owners will personally take you around the Estate. Lunches and dinners can be arranged by prior appointment.
Mamiku Gardens, Micoud
Mamiku Gardens is located on the East Coast of St Lucia in the community of Praslin, near the Latille waterfall and the Descartiers Rainforest Trail. Set in 12 acres of natural woodlands, mamiku offers a colorful variety of gardens. Some are on hilltops, 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 the gardens are now filled with tranquility and beauty. You can hike up to a viewing point which overlooks Praslin Bay. A collection of artifacts can be viewed at the small interpretation center and refreshment bar.
Fond D’Or Estates, Dennery
At Fond D’ Or, you can see three different sugar processing technologies once used in st lucia existing side by side: the cattle mill, the waterwheel, and the steam engine. The area is also the archeological site of several Amerindian settlements. These 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 community based st Lucia Mabouya Valley Development Project.
St Lucia Estates, West Coast
Soufriere Estate and Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens
One of the oldest st lucia estates on the island. It was part of a 2,000 acre estate granted to the Deveaux family by King Louis XIV in 1713. The same family still owns the estate, 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 was restored to working order with the help of a diesel engine. The factory is now a restaurant, where you can have lunch by prior reservation.
Part of Soufriere estate is the adjoining Diamond Falls botanic garden whose signature attraction is a sulphurous waterfall. The restored Mineral Baths were built in 1784 just before the French revolution. Adjacent to the original baths are more modern chlorinated plunge pools where you can bathe for an additional fee (bathing under the waterfall is prohibited).
Fond Doux Estate, Soufriere
The Fond Doux Holiday resort is also a 250-year old working cocoa plantation with a st lucia estate house built in 1864. For visitors, it 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 estate 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, Soufriere
One of the st lucia estates best known for its zip lining, Coubaril also 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 plantation village adds another time and dimension. A rainforest hike is also available, which must be booked in advance. The trek takes visitors on a two hour hike, starting at the Diamond Falls st lucia 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 is also available.
La Sikwi Estate
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 found on most st lucia plantations. 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 tours. Lunches for a minimum of 10 people can be booked in advance. Walk-in visitors are also welcome.
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“Balenbouche is indeed a world within itself exuding a tranquil presence of warmth, hospitality and harmony.”
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