After you have learned all you can about the island of St. Lucia, begin making important decisions on accommodations and itinerary. Consider your traveling companions and St. Lucia's regional differences.
Once you've decided that St. Lucia is the perfect island for you, choose the location that will be your home base during the vacation. The northwest area tends to be more developed, which makes it a good option for visitors who want to enjoy expansive resorts and familiar surroundings. Travelers hoping for a more authentic experience may prefer the southeastern region, where rental properties and quaint guest houses take the place of large hotels and restaurants.
Bear in mind that when you venture farther from the popular tourist spots you are more likely to encounter people and places that do not cater to vacationers. One of the most striking differences between "urban" St. Lucians and those who live outside the cities is the variance in local dialect. Although English is the official language of St. Lucia, the thick patois spoken by residents can be difficult for travelers to understand. Cultural differences of this nature should be taken into account when deciding on the areas you visit.
If scuba diving or hiking is at the center of your trip, research lodging and tours that cater to your interests. Check for areas that provide the best access to natural attractions: The shallow reefs of the West Coast make them perfect for divers. Hikers may choose to spend their time in the mountains and rain forests of the interior.
To get to St. Lucia, you can choose the convenience of air travel, the luxury of a cruise, or the adventure of sailing a private vessel into the island.
Flights are very popular, and you may fly directly onto the island or land on nearby Martinique, where a ferry can take you to St. Lucia. Cruises are another alternative, but the short time in port may not be enough of an opportunity to see all the island offers. Chartering or sailing a yacht allows visitors to enjoy the open sea while retaining full control of their own itinerary.
Take a few minutes to consider how you'll get around once you reach St. Lucia. If you opt to rent a car, for example, make reservations in advance; if you would prefer to catch your first glimpse of the island from the backseat of a taxi, learn what sort of fare to expect from the airport or marina to your lodgings.
Now that you know where you're going to stay and how to get there, you'll want to consider what you'll want to do on the island. You don't have to eliminate the spontaneity from your vacation, but if your plans include guided tours or other outings that require reservations, decide beforehand and make all the necessary arrangements.
When weighing activities to keep you occupied on St. Lucia, make sure you take into account the interests of your traveling companions. If your trip is a family affair, tours of the nature preserves will allow children the opportunity to learn about interesting plants and animals; travelers hoping to relax and unwind in the beautiful scenery, on the other hand, may prefer to sample the spa treatments available on the island.
There is no end to the excitement that St. Lucia offers visitors so don't limit yourself when deciding where on the island you'll go. Even if snorkeling is your passion, consider scheduling a day in the mountains or at a local history museum to help you get a feel for the amazing natural diversity. The stunning beauty and rich culture of the island ensure vacationers a great time, that no matter where they wind up.
Good planning and decision-making before you arrive will enable you to experience as much as possible, from hiking the mountains to spending the day at a local history museum, it's best to come home from your trip knowing you experienced as much of St. Lucia as you could. Or at least that you spent your time doing nothing at all in the best spot possible.
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