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6 Reasons to Visit St. Lucia with Your Girlfriends

Beaches, snorkeling and rainforest hikes - St. Lucia has it all

On a normal day, a yoga class with your gal pals may be the only thing standing between you and a Girlfriend SupportGirlfriend Supporthomicidal wig-out on your boss. In St. Lucia, skip the yoga, meditation and IM chats and discover a whole new way to support each other.

Note to self: Leave Blackberry on the plane.

  • Diamond Botanical Gardens & Waterfall: Bushes and flowers in a wild assortment of colors line trails beneath towering trees. Follow the path to a natural gorge and waterfall and, beyond that, mineral baths where Josephine Bonaparte bathed as a young girl.
  • La Soufriere Drive-in Volcano: More than 20 belching pools of sulfur perfume the air - which is more overwhelming than tour companies usually admit. And while you can't actually peer over the edge of a crater, it's a fascinating way to spend a few hours.
  • The Pitons: The twin peaks covered in lush tropical vegetation symbolize St. Lucia. They're not identical - Petit Piton is actually taller than Gros Piton - and you can climb either with a guide.
  • Keyhole Pinnacles: Get out your snorkeling gear and don't forget your underwater camera. These 4 underwater sea mountains mimic the vibrant beauty of the Pitons. Colorful corals, vibrant sea sponges and fans decorate the thousand-foot peaks.
  • Beaches: Take your pick on St. Lucia - all beaches on the island are public. Our favorite is Reduit (pronounced red-wee) a long, luxurious stretch of white sand. If you feel the need to move your body, The Rex St. Lucian Hotel has a water-sports center.
  • Jump Ups: Join in the fun with islanders and tourists Friday nights in Gros Islet and Anse La Raye. Nosh on grilled chicken, down rum punch and dance in the streets all night long.
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    I recently went to St. Lucia as part of a medical mission to St. Jude's Hospital in Vieux Fort. The people were fantastic both in and out of the hospital. I made some life long friends, that I keep in contact with via email. We were kept pretty busy at the hospital. I normally work 12 hour night shifts, but at St. Jude worked 8 hour days. I don't know if I could have done 12 hour shifts because of the heat and humidity. We did find some recreational time on the weekend. I tried the Zip Line in the Rain Forrest. Initially I thought I wouldn't like it, actually had planned on just doing the tram up and back, but it was fantastic. Some of our party wanted to go fast, but I wanted to slow down and enjoy the view. WOW! :)Val

    I fully agree that St. Lucia is a great vacation spot. But a few important notes about the Pitons. First, hiking up Petit Piton is not permitted and is also dangerous. You are only permitted to hike up Gros Piton. Petit Petit is very steep, a tough climb, and does not feature a trail for hiking. Not only is hiking Petit Piton risky for all but experienced hikers and rock climbers, it is bad for the natural habitat since the lack of an established trail means that you will trample on the delicate flora on Petit Piton. I am sure that you can find a guide willing to take you up Petit Piton if you offer the right price (locals hike it regularly), but perhaps you should consider taking a miss. Besides, Gros Piton is well worth your efforts. Speaking of which, Gros Piton is actually the taller of the two Pitons, at least according to the St. Lucian government. There is a wonderful trail up Gros Piton that was created and is maintained by members of the village of Gens Fonds Libre (translated loosely, Valley of the Free People). You must be escorted by a guide up Gros Piton. You can hire an official guide from Gens Fonds Libre at the gate to the Gros Piton Park (if no one is there, just walk to the cabin at the base of the Piton or pop your head into the little snack shack). Last year (Nov. 2006), the rate was $20USD for the guide and the park fee--a very fair rate. We also tipped our guide after the hike.

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