Saint Lucia’s Northwest Coastline Is Perfect For Hiking
Saint Lucia is known as a haven for laid back luxury, sun, sea and sand, but the island is packed with things to do that are a little more energetic, if you’re that sort of vacationer. Hiking, for example; that most humble of healthy pastimes that requires only a decent pair of shoes and a sense of direction. There are hiking trails all around Saint Lucia, from the rain forests of the interior to the iconic Pitons themselves, which are perhaps the pinnacle of hiking on the island, if you’ll pardon the pun. shady trees allow for a rest before moving on to the wild and wonderful Donkey Beach, so called – we think – because the only way to reach it used to be by a four-legged, faithful friend. The Atlantic Ocean crashes on the northwest coast, but don’t be fooled by the whitecaps and rollers – the water is as warm as it is on the Caribbean side, so make sure to bring a towel for a restorative swim after the hike. There is sometimes a build-up of seaweed called sargassum, which is seasonal and affected by climate change, so in 2014 the challenge was to keep the beaches as clear as possible. You might also be surprised to see the edges of some of these beautiful beaches littered with plastic bottles, ropes and other detritus, mainly from yachts, ships and other marine vessels, which sweeps on land and accumulates until clean-up crews get to it. The northwest coastline offers some particularly scenic hiking routes, along cliff tops and grassy tracks overlooking the wild, sapphire-blue Atlantic Ocean and rocky headlands. Constant trade winds keep hikers cool, as well as carving some interesting shapes out of the constantly windswept shrubs and trees along the way. Some of the trails are easy and perfect for beginners to handle, and if you’re a seasoned hiker you won’t be disappointed by some of the more strenuous, hilly routes. One of the easiest ways to get a snapshot of our wilder side is to head to Cas En Bas Beach and take the path north towards Secret Beach and Donkey Beach; the trails are well defined and easy for any level of hiker, while the vistas are as breathtaking as the breeze. From Marjorie’s beach bar, turn left and follow the tracks up, up, up, taking in a bird’s eye view of Cas En Bas with its flocks of acrobatic kite-surfers and rocky outcrops. Cas En Bas is also the site of ancient burial grounds, where the remains of Arawak Indians were discovered and unearthed. Secret Beach is just that, a tiny, private spot where the
You might be surprised at the abundance of sargassum - the seaweed that has invaded the Caribbean over the past year.
TT Tip: GO GREEN- Bring at least one big garbage bag and pick up a little. Once bagged, garbage can be taken home and dumped, or at least removed easier by the waste management authorities.