Saint Lucia edit

Get the true Caribbean experience without the tourist traps

When you visit St. Lucia, you might hear that everyone is in such a good mood because they all eat so many bananas, a local folk remedy for depression. And it is true that the banana industry far outstrips the tourism trade on this lovely East Caribbean island, which might be exactly why you should go there. Other than a few small pockets of resorts and an easily avoidable cluster of massive luxury hotels, St. Lucia still possesses the easy rhythms of an agricultural community. You'll encounter few garish tourist traps, while the pristine beaches and welcoming azure waters are abundant and largely unpopulated. Days here are spent snorkeling above coral reefs, biking through mountain trails, and relaxing in the sleepy towns. The island's biggest sight is the Twin Pitons, a pair of ancient volcanic cones that tower precipitously over one edge of the island like a set of giant fangs. St. Lucia's local beer is named after them, and it goes down easily with a jerk chicken sandwich spiked with dangerous levels of the fiery local hot sauces. Dusk usually signals the start of a street party, during which the locals will gladly attempt to teach you the frenzied gyrations that best accompany the booming soca music. St. Lucia is an unselfconscious paradise where those looking for a unpretentious good time will surely find it, bananas or no bananas.

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