The island of Saint Lucia is well known for the beauty of its sprawling beaches, sophisticated eateries, and deluxe accommodation. The vast majority of tourists who visit Saint Lucia choose to stay in the northwestern side of the island, which is home to well-known places like Rodney Bay, Soufriere, Marigot Bay, or Gros Islet. Unfortunately, relatively few visitors decide to stay, or even visit, the lesser known eastern coast of Saint Lucia so if you feel like doing something different during your stay on the island, read on for some useful tips.
Saint Lucia is divided into 11 quarters (or districts). Praslin district occupies a central position in eastern Saint Lucia. The capital city of this district is also named Praslin, and it is a quaint little fishing village where local fishermen still use Amerindian techniques to build their canoes. Just across the town is Praslin island. To the west, and further inland, the majestic mountains rise over the lowlands creating an unforgettable picture that few will be able to forget.
The locals in Praslin are well known for their friendly and welcoming nature. You will surely strike a conversation with many a fisherman or shop owner who may point you in the direction of local attractions. The town of Praslin is located on a bay, and trails go up the nearby hills where stunning views await the visitor. The beaches located on Saint Lucia's eastern, Atlantic coast are remarkably different from those found on the western coast which is popular with tourists. Tourists seeking a relaxing getaway to stunning Saint Lucia will not be disappointed can seek solace. The volcanic origins of the island are clearly evident here, and although white sandy beaches are not as common as in the opposite side of Saint Lucia, sunbathing is still possible, with the added advantage of having the beach to yourself. The best beaches in this area are Cobble beach and Fond Bay. If you are interested in discovering remote coves and dramatic scenery, you will need to arrange 4 x 4 transport, since the roads that lead to some of the beaches are not suitable for cars. Reception staff at your hotel will be able to help with this, and so will shop owners in Praslin town. Not far from Praslin town are the acclaimed Mamiku Botanical Gardens. These consist of 12 acres of stunningly beautiful woodlands and are a unique attraction in the Caribbean region. Guided tours are included in the admission fee, and these will take visitors through magnificent orchid farms, hibiscus gardens, banana plantations, and numerous examples of tropical flora, such as passion fruit, mangoes, tamarind pods, etc. The guides are extremely knowledgeable about the plants that dot the gardens, so the tours are an opportunity to learn about traditional Caribbean medicine too. There is a souvenir shop by the entrance of the botanical gardens, as well as a charming restaurant where hot and cold drinks and snacks are prepared using ingredients grown in the estate. Some of the treats you can enjoy are freshly baked banana cake, lemon and tamarind tuna sandwiches, and refreshing coconut water.
Not far from the town of Praslin, and only a few minutes away from Fond Bay, visitors will find The Immortal restaurant and lounge. The restaurant is managed by one of Saint Lucia's top chefs, and it serves delicious European and Caribbean dishes. Vegetarian options are also available. The venue has indoor and outdoor seating, so that you can enjoy a lovely dinner in its elegant restaurant and later have a refreshing cocktail while overlooking the bay.
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