The wealthy volcanic soil and tropical heat make St Lucia a haven for wildlife, the place each patch of soil appears to burst with life. Within the Caribbean, crops usually have a medicinal in addition to culinary use and gardens are handled as ‘nature’s pharmacy’, with one thing to remedy each ailment. Plantations that after grew sugar cane, espresso and cocoa are actually open to guests to stroll among the many crops of St Lucia and uncover how life was lived up to now. Learn on for the St Lucia botanical gardens and plantations that you just’ll wish to go to, to take in the island’s pure magnificence.
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Prime St Lucia botanical gardens and Plantations
Right here’s a fast overview of the very best botanical gardens in St Lucia in addition to some plantations which you could go to.
1. Diamond Falls Botanical Backyard and Mineral Baths (Soufiere) – the island’s finest identified botanical backyard and residential of the a lot photographed Diamond Falls which have featured in a number of movies. You can even take a dip within the mineral baths fed by close by sulphur springs.
2. Tet Paul Nature Path (Soufriere) – a straightforward strolling path alongside a ridge, with loads of attention-grabbing botanical crops and wonderful views of the Pitons.
3. Fond Doux Plantation and Eco-resort (Soufriere) – a working plantation the place cottages nestle among the many foliage, a gorgeous place to see botanical crops and timber in addition to plantation crops like cocoa.
4. Morne Coubaril Historic Journey Park (Soufriere) – the tour of this historic plantation covers actions similar to processing sugar cane, cocoa and copra that have been typical of life on the property. Additionally they supply zipwire experiences.
5. Maranatha Gardens and Prayer Sanctuary (Soufriere) – a small however fantastically planted backyard on the hillside above Soufriere. Entry is free for this backyard that’s designed as a spot of prayer and reflection.
6. Balenbouche Property (Vieux Fort) – an unspoiled and genuine previous plantation, now an natural farm and visitor home. Take a self guided stroll, to find the atmospheric ruins of an previous sugar mill and Amerindian rock carvings.
7. Rainforest adventures (Babboneau) – within the centre of the island, take the aerial tram by way of the rainforest, adopted by a guided stroll to study concerning the forest wildlife. Additionally they supply zipwire experiences.
8. Mamiku gardens (Micoud / Dennery) – a gorgeous botanical gardens on St Lucia’s east coast, set on a hillside overlooking Praslin bay. It’s well-known as the location of a battle with Brigands through the 18th century occupation by the English army.
9. Latille waterfalls and backyard (Micoud) – a small backyard with flowering crops and timber across the proprietor’s home, with entry to the Latille Waterfall and additional pure swimming pools downstream.
10. Challenge Chocolat on the Rabot Property (Soufriere) – at Resort Chocolat’s Rabot Property, take a ‘bean to bar’ chocolate tour that covers all elements of cocoa rising and chocolate making, together with the grafting of younger cocoa crops and a stroll within the plantation.
11. Anse Mamin Plantation (Soufriere) – a personal plantation for friends of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts, but in addition open to different guests who e-book a mountain biking tour across the plantation paths and previous property buildings.
Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths
Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is the most well-liked of the St Lucia botanical gardens. Positioned near Soufriere, the 6 acre gardens are identified for the scenic Diamond Falls, fed by the close by Sulphur Springs, which have featured in movies similar to ‘Romancing the Stone’.
The gardens are a part of the Soufriere Property that was granted to the Devaux household by King Louis IV of France in 1713. The working plantation as soon as produced limes, copra and cocoa. Therapeutic mineral waters from the new springs have been channelled into open air baths, constructed for the troops of King Louis XI in 1784.
The Diamond Falls St Lucia are actually privately owned by Joan Devaux, daughter of the plantation’s proprietor Mr Andre du Boulay. It’s Mrs Devaux who has restored and replanted the botanical gardens with native St Lucian crops and timber.
Our go to to the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens took us alongside fairly pathways, lined with lush plantings of torch ginger, heliconia and ginger lily. They offered splashes of vibrant pink, pink and yellow towards the backdrop of shady inexperienced timber and creepers.
By way of the gardens run the Diamond Falls River, colored orange from the sulphur and different minerals similar to iron, copper and manganese. The nice and cozy mineral waters are used within the public baths, with altering rooms alongside them, so carry your swimsuit and towel if you happen to’d like to make use of them. There’s additionally a personal bathhouse constructed on the location of the unique baths from the 1700s.
Persevering with past the mineral baths, we arrived on the 17 metre excessive Diamond Waterfall. Pure minerals from the volcanic springs upstream color the rocks an orange color. Though there’s a shallow pool right here, you aren’t allowed to swim, so it’s only a place for a photograph cease in entrance of the falls. The return path takes you previous a restaurant and reward store, then by way of extra planted paths in the direction of the exit.
On the backyard entrance you’ll be able to interact a information if you happen to’d wish to study extra concerning the totally different crops and historical past of the gardens. There isn’t any set price for a information however a tip is anticipated on the finish.
Test the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths website for opening occasions. Entrance $7 US and use of mineral baths a further $6 US. Our go to took round 1 hour.
Tet Paul Nature Path
Often known as the “Stairway to Heaven”, the Tet Paul Nature Path close to Soufriere is a straightforward strolling path that offers you most surroundings for minimal effort. The stroll runs alongside a ridge with views in the direction of Choiseul and Vieux Fort within the south in addition to Sugar Seaside and the Pitons to the west. We took up the supply of a information to accompany us on the path, however you’ll be able to simply make the stroll by yourself because it’s tough to get misplaced. A guided tour is included within the entrance price however a tip is appreciated.
Near the doorway is a Conventional Home, exhibiting the small picket cabins the place complete households would stay whereas engaged on a plantation. Within the residing space have been pots, pans and kitchen tools whereas two small and sparsely furnished bedrooms would most likely have housed mother and father and several other kids.
Close by, an space with massive copper pans is used to exhibit how Cassava is ready. The tubers are soaked to take away toxins, then grated and dried earlier than being floor right into a flour often known as ‘farine’ for cooking.
Study concerning the hiking, volcanoes and waterfalls in St Lucia
Our stroll continued, with the information mentioning many crops which are used for medicinal or culinary functions, usually each, since the whole lot within the Caribbean appears to have a number of makes use of. We realized how papaya is used when inexperienced to tenderise meat, eaten as a candy fruit when ripe, whereas the roots are helpful for bladder illnesses.
Sarsaparilla roots are made right into a drink which is taken into account to have cleaning properties, the cooling juice of Aloe Vera is used for sunburn and mosquito bites.
Additional up the trail, our stroll took us alongside a small natural farm, the place crops similar to spring onions and bell peppers have been being tended. The Soufriere basis works on many neighborhood initiatives similar to this within the space, to advertise sustainable tourism and enterprise ventures, together with organising native guides to hike up Gros Piton which begin close by.
The Tet Paul Nature Path is a good place to see totally different culinary crops being grown, from a plot of spiky pineapple crops, to cashew nuts and palm fruit which are crushed to launch oil.
One of the best a part of the go to comes on the finish as you skirt again alongside a better path, with platforms providing beautiful views of the Pitons, twin volcanic peaks which are the very best identified landmark of St Lucia. This is likely one of the finest locations to get a selfie with the Pitons within the background. You will have the selection of photographing each Gros Piton (the one with the broader base) and Petit Piton (the steeper and extra pointed).
The benefit of getting a information is that they’re professional at getting all these tacky “pointing on the Pitons” pictures. It was our information’s suggestion to take a enjoyable panorama, with each Gros and Petit Piton (by working across the again of the photographer to seem at each ends of the shot). On the viewpoint there’s additionally a handy stall promoting drinks and souvenirs, the place we tried a slug of native spiced rum.
Though there are fairly a couple of steps on the path, none of them are particularly arduous, so it is a nice stroll for households or anybody of reasonable health. The bundle of cultural heritage, botanical curiosity and beautiful views inside a small space, makes this a terrific stroll for all ages and skills.
Tet Paul Nature Path Entrance $10. Our go to took round 1 hour.
Fond Doux Plantation
Subsequent door to Tet Paul Nature Path is the Fond Doux Plantation and Resort, the place an previous plantation has been transformed to an eco-resort with fairly picket cottages scattered all through the grounds. The identify “Fond Doux” means candy valley.
As one of many oldest working plantations within the Caribbean, the eco resort combines natural farming of plantation crops, with 16 luxurious cottages which were constructed from conventional picket buildings, rescued from across the island.
The Fond Doux eco-resort runs quite a lot of totally different excursions which are open to guests, in addition to friends on the lodge. We tried the Fond Doux Heritage tour, with a information to take us across the 105 acre plantation and inform us concerning the totally different fruit timber, spices and medicinal crops that may be present in Saint Lucia.
We realized how Big Heliconia acquire water that pulls hummingbirds to return and drink, how lime leaf tea helps calm you earlier than going to sleep, and noticed Mimosa often known as the ‘delicate plant’ shut their leaves on the lightest contact.
As we adopted the paths that meander by way of the resort, we have been in a position to style fruits picked recent from the timber, just like the bananas, wax apples and star fruit that have been in season. Spherical calabash as massive as melons hung down from the branches, able to be dried. They have been used to make cups and bowls within the days earlier than plastic was accessible. You can pre-book your private Fond Doux walking tour here.
A giant a part of the tour explains how chocolate is made, beginning with the wealthy pink and yellow pods that develop straight from the branches and trunks of the cocoa timber. Historically cocoa, nutmeg and different fruit timber are grown in blended plantations, in a symbiotic relationship the place the totally different varieties present shade or vitamins for one another.
As soon as a cocoa pod is cut up open, it reveals as much as 50 seeds, surrounded by a membrane that has a tangy, fruity flavour. The “Jungle M&Ms”, because the fleshy seeds are identified, are nice to suck – simply bear in mind to not crunch into the seeds themselves which have a bitter style. On an natural plantation similar to this, the outer husks of the cocoa pods are left to rot down and used to make compost, as soon as the seeds have been extracted. You can pre-book your private Fond Doux walking tour here.
Our tour concluded with a go to to the cocoa home the place the beans are fermented, earlier than being dried within the solar and polished in a copper pot, a course of utilizing naked toes, often known as the “cocoa dance”. The beans have the shells eliminated and are roasted to make the cocoa nibs, which as soon as floor and blended with sugar are poured into moulds for the completed chocolate bar.
Though we didn’t make our personal chocolate bars, which is included in a separate chocolate tour, we visited the chocolate kitchen the place the candy cocoa combination was being blended and tempered, to make the property chocolate that’s offered within the reward store.
Our Fond Doux Plantation Tour prices $25 US per individual together with snacks of fruit or $40 US together with lunch. The tour lasted round 1.5 hours plus time for lunch. You can pre-book your private Fond Doux walking tour here.
Morne Coubaril Historic Journey Park
The Morne Coubaril Property, near Soufriere was owned by the Devaux household for over two centuries. Within the 1740s, the De Vaux brothers moved from Martinique to St Lucia which was then administered by the French, taking a concession on essentially the most fertile volcanic soil round Soufriere to ascertain a plantation. The property handed down the generations, rising espresso, sugar cane, coconuts and bananas at totally different occasions, till it was offered within the 1950s to the Monplaisir household who nonetheless personal it.
Cocoa, espresso and copra are grown right here, in addition to many tropical fruits which are used to make juices offered within the cafe and store. The plantation home is used because the household’s personal household house and is rented out as vacation lodging. Morne Coubaril Historic Journey park now runs as a industrial plantation, mixed with actions similar to zip wire, historic and culinary excursions.
The ‘journey’ on supply is an adrenaline stuffed expertise of zipping beneath Petit Piton peak, with views over Soufriere and the Caribbean sea. We determined to attempt the extra ‘historic’ facet of Morne Coubaril, of their Historic Property Tour.
This tour offers an attention-grabbing overview of life on a Saint Lucia Plantation, beginning with a go to to the small village space. Buildings have been reconstructed in conventional model to point out how slaves and employees on the plantation would have lived.
Simply past the normal homes is a herb backyard, the place each plant has a medicinal use, used as ‘nature’s pharmacy’ within the days earlier than different medicines have been available. Strolling past the imposing plantation home, we stopped to see coconuts being de-husked and have been provided a drink of the recent coconut water from inexperienced coconuts expertly sliced open with a machete.
Book this tour that features a catamaran journey out of your lodge and a go to to Morne Coubaril plantation, with lunch and a go to to close by Sapphire Falls.
Within the previous days, coconuts that had been left on the bottom have been loved like a sweetmeat, because the juice was absorbed to depart a jelly-like ‘coconut marshmallow’. Close by we might benefit from the viewpoint over the city of Soufriere, a spot the place a battery of canons have been situated within the 1770s, to regulate and defend the city.
One of many previous cane presses is used to exhibit how juice was extracted from the sugar cane, powered by Noel the donkey, who obtained a deal with of sugar cane for his efforts. Within the cocoa home, we adopted the method of cocoa beans being fermented, dried and polished within the ‘cocoa dance’.
Book this tour that features a catamaran journey out of your lodge and a go to to Morne Coubaril plantation, with lunch and a go to to close by Sapphire Falls.
The Morne Coubaril tour gave us a great overview of the actions on this historic plantation. Every group will get their very own information and though bigger teams ought to pre-book, we simply turned up and have been allotted a information inside a short while.
Morne Coubaril additionally supply a Rum and Chocolate tour which covers related actions however consists of chocolate and rum tastings in one of many conventional buildings. Different group excursions can be found that embody lunch within the property cafe by prior association.
Morne Coubaril Historical Estate Tour prices $11 US, Rum and chocolate tour $35 US. The historic property tour took round 1 hour.
Maranatha Gardens and Prayer Sanctuary
One of the crucial stunning and peaceable gardens we visited in St Lucia was the Maranatha Gardens and Prayer Sanctuary, on the hillside above Soufriere. This compact backyard is packed filled with flowering shrubs and timber, with quite a few locations to take a seat and loosen up. Better of all it’s free to go to. The identify ‘Maranatha’ means ‘Come Lord’ and the backyard was created by the homeowners of the close by Beacon Restaurant as a spot of prayer and reflection.
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Scattered by way of the gardens are quotations from the bible similar to “Delight your self within the Lord and he offers you the needs of your coronary heart”, designed to assist with meditation and prayer. However even if you’re not from a Christian custom, there’s a lot to get pleasure from on the Maranatha Prayer Backyard.
We first walked by way of the higher a part of the backyard, resulting in a viewing platform with a stunning view of the Pitons showing above a cover of timber. The trail then wound all the way down to a grassy terrace with shady picket pergolas and seating areas, locations that might be used to take a seat and benefit from the backyard or for group actions.
On the decrease degree are water lily gardens constituted of copper boiling pans and a shallow pond. Steps lead as much as a viewing platform entwined with flowering creepers. In contrast to the busy city of Soufriere, there was no-one to hassle us, and we seemed to be the one folks having fun with the backyard.
To go to the gardens, first find the Beacon restaurant and park on the grass outdoors it. Then stroll a brief approach down the hill and cross the street to the gardens, taking good care of site visitors because the street is steep and curves sharply at this level. The Beacon Restaurant is an efficient place to have lunch if open and is a well-liked cease for tour teams. The views of the Pitons from listed here are spectacular and the restaurant serves a St Lucian set value buffet at lunchtime.
If you wish to discover a gorgeous and fewer industrial plantation for an hour or two, head to the south of St Lucia to Balenbouche Estate which is situated between Choiseul and Vieux Fort. We stayed on the plantation in one of many fairly picket cottages and as friends had free run of the grounds. You can even go to independently and pay a price of $10 US per individual to wander round and discover in a self guided tour.
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The earliest inhabitants of this space have been Amerindians and there are rock carvings at Balenbouche alongside the river banks. An property was created within the 1740s to supply first espresso, then sugar and rum. It modified fingers with totally different English and French plantation homeowners through the years, lastly being acquired by the Lawaetz household in 1964.
Balenbouche Property is now run by Mrs Uta Lawaetz collectively together with her two daughters, as an eco-friendly visitor home, natural farm and retreat centre. For those who cease by on the Plantation Home the place the homeowners stay, they’ll offer you a plantation map, or if you happen to e-book forward, they can information you round in individual.
There are stunning tropical flowers and grassy areas across the previous Plantation Home, which has been furnished by the household through the years with elegant antiques. The grounds prolong previous the previous Banyan tree to a Cotton Barn that was used to retailer sea-island cotton and copra however is now accessible for occasions or yoga retreats. A stone sugar cane retailer is being restored to make an space the place artefacts from the property will be displayed.
Probably the most atmospheric spot that we found was the stays of the ruined sugar mill, hidden among the many vegetation on the facet of the hill. Water was as soon as channelled right here by way of an aqueduct to show the large waterwheel that powered the mill and sugar cane presses. Clambering all the way down to take a better look, we observed a rusty steel instrument wedged tightly between the rollers of the sugar cane press – actually a “spanner within the works”.
From the previous sugar mill, a brief stroll down the hill brings you to Balenbouche Seaside, a rocky cove with heavy surf, from the place the barrels of rum have been transported by boat. A second path results in Center Seaside, one other personal cove that’s extra appropriate for swimming.
Take into account that that is the windy coast of St Lucia, so the waves will be fairly excessive. From Balenbouche Seaside, the adventurous can wade alongside the course of the river right into a shady wooded gorge, to search for the small bowls carved into rocks by Amerindians who have been the unique inhabitants of St Lucia.
Balenbouche Property is a well-liked spot for locals to take wedding ceremony images, you may as well spend a couple of hours right here exploring, or organize a vegan / vegetarian lunch cooked by the homeowners utilizing natural produce from the property. We are able to additionally advocate staying within the visitor homes of assorted sizes which are scattered across the property (we stayed in Frangipani), designed for an eco-friendly keep.
Balenbouche Plantation Tours value $10 US to go to independently or $20 US for a guided tour which must be booked prematurely. Name in on the Plantation Home to pay and decide up a plantation map.
Rainforest Adventures St Lucia – aerial tram
A lot of the inside of Saint Lucia is roofed by rainforest and to expertise this shut up we took the aerial tram at Rainforest Adventures St Lucia in Babonneau. Boarding the shaded steel gondola in a gaggle of 6 folks, our naturalist information gave us a commentary of the crops and timber we have been seeing as we slowly moved up into the tree cover.
The identify of Babonneau means ‘ridge of fine water’ and we noticed loads of small streams working down the hillside under us. This space was a part of the Castries Waterworks forest reserve that initially provided ingesting water to the island’s capital.
As we rose by way of the understory, we might see liana creepers weaving by way of the bigger timber, and fiddle head ferns on the forest ground. Their younger shoots that may be picked and served as a vegetable. We realized about among the makes use of of the forest crops, such because the flowering Magnolia tree utilized by Chanel to create their perfumes, the towering Gommier tree whose wooden is carved into canoes and the flowering Hibiscus that can be utilized to make a pure shampoo.
Sometimes the rainforest aerial tram would come to a halt, permitting different folks to board decrease down. As we waited excessive within the cover, our information’s sharp eyes helped us to identify among the native birds that stay within the rainforest. Iridescent black and inexperienced hummingbirds darted between the branches, and we noticed a banana stop with its yellow breast and the native St Lucian parrot flying excessive above us.
Turning round on the aerial tram’s high station, our descent gave us among the finest views as we seemed down on the forest cover, with views in the direction of the coast. The entire aerial tram ride took round 45 minutes and as soon as we had reached the bottom once more, we adopted the optionally available fern nature path with our information for an extra 30 minutes.
On this straightforward path, we handed alongside the flowing stream, recognizing lizards and birds – together with “Dave” the hummingbird who has staked his declare to this space of forest and tends to chase the opposite birds away. Across the decrease station, we loved the plantings of tropical flowers such because the heliconias, ginger lily and the stately wax rose or torch lily. Click here to pre-book your aerial tram tickets.
For those who fancy a extra adventurous approach of seeing the rainforest, there are zip line programs additionally accessible by way of the cover, or you’ll be able to hike Jacquot path, a nature stroll that takes you up by way of the rainforest with a information to the highest aerial tram station.
Rainforest Aerial tram prices $65-85 US relying on the season and is commonly provided as a gaggle tour, the place transport out of your lodge or cruise ship is included. It’s finest to e-book a slot prematurely as it is a standard tour in St Lucia.
Mamiku Gardens – close to Micoud
On Saint Lucia’s east coast, between Micoud and Dennery lie the Mamiku Gardens. This facet of the island tends to be much less touristy, so the gardens are usually not as a lot visited as these round Soufriere, however price together with on any tour you may make alongside this shoreline.
The property was acquired in 1766 by Baron Micoud, a colonel within the French military and former governor. After 1796 when the the English took over the island, Frenchmen weren’t allowed to personal land. Nevertheless the Baron managed to switch the property into the identify of his French Creole spouse Anne Marie, of the Devaux household who owned Morne Coubaril and different property round Soufriere.
The land was then named after Mme Micoud, being ultimately shortened to the present identify of Mamiku. A plantation home was taken over by the British Navy, who had a well-known battle there in 1796 with the ‘Brigands’. These free and escaped slaves have been impressed by the French revolution to struggle towards the French and English, attempting to ascertain freedom from colonial rule. Throughout this battle, the plantation home was burned to the bottom, and was by no means rebuilt. We climbed the hill to see the ruins of its stone foundations.
In the present day the Mamiku property is a working plantation, rising bananas, cocoa, tropical flowers and fruit. A botanical backyard has been established by proprietor Veronica Shingleton-Smith, whose household acquired the plantation in 1906. Mrs. Shingleton-Smith is understood on St Lucia as a number one horticulturalist and panorama gardener, creating the backyard within the 1990s as a 12 acre oasis of flowering botanical crops, shrubs and timber.
Strolling up from the automobile park we discovered no-one manning the doorway kiosk, so walked up the meandering path to the customer centre, the place there’s a small museum room and cafe. We obtained a leaflet with map concerning the gardens, which is split into a number of totally different backyard areas.
To the left of the centre, the Secret backyard is filled with medicinal and culinary herbs, whereas the Mystic backyard reveals off a set of orchids of their pure environment. Close to an previous Banyan tree is the ruins of “Grandpa’s home”, the place a waterlily backyard has been created in an previous copper pan.
As we hiked up the steep path on Tamarind Hill, the view over Praslin Bay was revealed by way of a clearing and close by we discovered the stone foundations of the previous Micoud plantation home, web site of the Brigand’s battle.
After a stroll across the backyard trails, there’s a small bar serving drinks and snacks, and an opportunity to have a look at among the artefacts which were discovered on the property, with details about the historic occasion that happened there.
This peaceable and vibrant botanic backyard in St Lucia deserves to be higher identified and visited, so be sure you cease by if you’re exploring the wild and unspoiled east coast of St Lucia.
Mamiku Gardens prices $10 US to go to, group excursions must be organized prematurely however in any other case you’ll be able to arrive day by day 9am-5pm for a self guided tour.
Latille Waterfall and Backyard
In the identical space of St Lucia because the Mamiku gardens is the LaTille waterfall and backyard, so it’s price attempting to go to each on the identical journey. The backyard is privately owned by John Selie, who practiced horticulture on St Lucia for a few years. Round his house he has created a quiet and shady natural backyard with plantings of herbs, flowers and fruit timber. Whereas we have been there it was mango season and the timber across the buildings have been dropping their fruit onto the bottom.
John is Rastafarian and there’s an open sided shelter full of Rastafarian colors and ornament, with crafts on sale and an space the place refreshments will be organised for group visits. After paying the $10 US entrance price, we wandered down the trail and steps planted with big heliconia, to see the Latille waterfall. The realm was shady and surrounded by forest, the pool beneath the falls wanting fairly muddy.
I wasn’t very tempted to paddle or swim, though on scorching days you may wish to cool off beneath the waterfall. We learn there are trails which you could observe alongside the course of the river under the waterfall, resulting in additional swimming swimming pools, however you’d want swimming footwear or trainers at all of it seemed fairly slippery.
After taking some images on the waterfall, we returned up the trail to the backyard for a nice chat with John, who confirmed us among the totally different natural crops and heliconia varieties across the backyard.
There’s additionally an oblong pool the place you’ll be able to sit on picket benches and dangle your toes within the water, with small Tilapia fishes that nibble the lifeless pores and skin off your toes for a pure pedicure. Latille Falls St Lucia is a nice cease on any journey across the island’s east coast, and one that’s simply mixed with the Mamiku gardens.
LaTille Falls and Gardens entrance $10 US – we spent round 45 minutes to see the gardens and falls however you can keep longer.
Rabot Property – Challenge Chocolat expertise
The 140 acre Rabot Property is situated near Soufriere, with views of the Pitons, rainforest and Mount Gimie, St Lucia’s highest peak. In 2006, the property was bought by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, of Resort Chocolat, who’ve invested closely in restoring this natural cocoa property with bean to bar manufacturing.
The property is run in partnership with native growers, who’re provided with coaching and subsidised seedlings, in addition to a assured marketplace for their cocoa beans at a set value above the world market value.
By way of their Challenge Chocolat excursions, you’ll be able to find out how cocoa is grown on the Rabot plantation and have some enjoyable making your personal bean to bar chocolate. Excursions begin on the stylish Challenge Chocolat centre which is subsequent to the unique Rabot Resort, providing 25 personal eco-lodges. We entered by way of the herb backyard, previous the murals by native artist Sakey and up steps to the Challenge Chocolat bar and road meals cafe space. Click here to pre-book your tour.
Our tree to bar tour began within the Seederie, the place the younger cocoa crops are propagated and we had an opportunity to graft our personal seedling and provides it a reputation. Then we wandered by way of the plantation space, studying about all of the totally different botanical crops and crops, though a rain storm meant that we needed to search shelter fairly than discover the total space.
On returning to the centre, the “bean to bar’ a part of the tour started as we floor the cocoa nibs by hand in a pestle and mortar. Sugar and cocoa butter was added with heaps extra mixing, earlier than our fairly grainy combination was deemed able to pour into moulds and make the chocolate bar. The Tree to Bar tour ended with a wonderful lunch from the road meals model cafe, the place plenty of the dishes have been flavoured with cacao, together with the scrumptious cocoa infused ice cream.
Though Challenge Chocolat St Lucia supply extra of a chocolate tour than a plantation tour, it’s an attention-grabbing perception to how cocoa is grown with a enjoyable chocolate making expertise thrown in.
The Challenge Chocolat tree to bar experience together with lunch prices round $119 US. The bean to bar experience prices round $69 US and covers related actions, however doesn’t embody the lunch. Book your Project Chocolat tour here
Anse Mamin Plantation
Whereas staying at Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet Resort, we had an opportunity to discover the beautiful plantation at Anse Mamin. This 600 acre French colonial plantation is about instantly behind Anse Mamin Seaside. It options strolling and biking trails that result in the ruins of the previous sugar mill and different plantation buildings.
Whereas the seashore is public, the plantation is privately owned by the resort and for the usage of friends solely, with complimentary guided hikes organized by the lodge. Throughout the plantation are atmospheric ruins of the previous sugar mill, cocoa shed and stables, with additional paths main as much as the reservoir that provides the resort with water.
A method that guests not staying on the lodge can expertise the plantation is by renting a mountain bike by way of Bike St Lucia. There are a variety of biking trails inside the plantation, many which are appropriate for novices, others just like the Tinker Path which are just for the decided rider. Whereas desire is given to resort friends, you’ll be able to contact Bike St Lucia if you happen to’d wish to make a motorcycle rental reservation prematurely to test on availability.
In case you are not staying on the resort, entry to Anse Mamin plantation is by taking the mountain street from Soufriere to Anse Chastanet resort (there’s a carpark simply earlier than the resort entrance), then strolling onto Anse Chastanet seashore. From right here a path runs across the coast in a 15 minute stroll to Anse Mamin seashore. You probably have a reserving there’s a lodge shuttle boat that goes from Anse Chastanet seashore to Anse Mamin. Alternatively, water taxis can be found from Soufriere.
Saint Lucia Botanical Path
St Lucia’s tourism board has created a Botanical Path, with a map of among the main plantations and gardens in St Lucia. You may examine medicinal crops similar to Lemongrass used as a mosquito repellent, Moringa which is likely one of the most nutrient wealthy crops often known as ‘the tree of life’ and Bitter Melon used to strengthen the liver. The map under reveals the situation of most of the gardens we visited and you’ll find extra on the web site concerning the St Lucia Botanical Trail.
Plan your journey
You’ll discover extra info to plan your journey together with lodging, issues to do and final minute offers at Travel Saint Lucia
In case you are on the lookout for inexpensive, native lodging that’s nice for impartial travellers, try the Saint Lucia Collection de Pepites, with listings of smaller scale properties, flats, villas, visitor homes, B&Bs.
For those who want a switch from the airport to your lodge try this Private transfer to/ from Hewanorra Airport
For those who want a guidebook to assist plan your keep, we advocate the Mini Rough Guide to St Lucia
The place to remain in Saint Lucia
Listed here are some extra of the inns in St Lucia that we stayed in and may personally advocate – you may as well seek for different hotels in Saint Lucia
Heather’s press journey to Saint Lucia was hosted* by Saint Lucia Tourism, who offered among the experiences talked about.
* Extra information on my policies page
This text is initially revealed at Heatheronhertravels.com
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