I spent nine days in St. Lucia in March with family.
I have been to the Caribbean six times now. After a visit, I like to describe the experience for those who have been before and for those contemplating a visit.
Being from New England, it is nice to get to a warm place during our cold months (November-April).
This trip was the perfect getaway because the day
before we left Connecticut it snowed. Wasn’t deep but a reminder of what we wanted to get away from.
St. Lucia is part of the British West Indies and was about a 5-hour direct flight (United) from Newark (NJ).
We landed in Hewanorra International Airport on the southern end of the 27-mile island. It took us about an hour to get to the place we stayed at: Arc En Ciel. The roadway was steep and narrow and more than a bit scary.
I had seen a video of Arc En Ciel and it was no understatement to say that it was beautiful. Sometimes a place looks good in the advertisements and then disappoints when you actually get there. Not this place.
Palm trees everywhere greeted us with temperatures in the 70s and low 80s.
The view was different from any other Caribbean place I had been to because we were not at sea level. We had an “overlooking” view of the beach below. No wonder the video of Arc En Ciel didn’t show water nearby. Water was indeed nearby but it would necessitate walking a very steep road close to a quarter mile in length to get to Sugar Beach………..and then there’s the walk back!
I ended up getting to Sugar Beach only three times during our visit. This was certainly not to be the usual beach-walking vacation we had experienced in Turks and Caicos, Barbados, and Anguilla.
But what Arc En Ciel lacked in beach access it made up for in on-site perfection. A wonderful pool was in our midst with plenty of lounge chairs available.
The temperature at night surprised me some. It was cooler, probably high 60s, than I figured and I was glad that I had a running suit with me.
The daytime temps were in the 80s which sure felt good to us New Englanders! I am a fanatic about avoiding sunburns so I spent considerable time in shaded areas.
Arc En Ciel had amazing porches to soak in the warm air and the views from. Plenty of reading got done there as well as sleeping.
The internet worked and there was TV. My relationship with TV is not a good one so I was glad to avoid any use of it for the nine days.
The view was remarkable. We were situated in between the Gros and Petit Pitons. They loomed large on either side of us. One of them apparently could be hiked but the thought of trying it never entered my mind.
Boats of all types sailed past checking out the Pitons. One day a five-story tour boat was out there and you could see many flashes go off from cameras. Then the boat turned around and the flashes came from the other side.
Some of the boats anchored off Sugar Beach for overnights. I have a picture of a nicely lighted one.
We brought some food with us because the price of food in the Caribbean is very steep.
All the meals at Arc En Ciel were prepared by staff. In some of the meals they used the food we brought.
I had recently switched to a Nutritarian Diet and so I was avoiding meat, pasta, alcohol, bread, and dairy products. I feared that there would be little that I could eat. I would be proven wrong. I dined on an amazing assortment of salads, vegetables, and fruit. For those eating differently, there were plenty of meat meals and fancy desserts.
I walked down to Sugar Beach several times. I wanted to get my feet in the Caribbean and I hoped to find a souvenir shop to get a St. Lucia shirt. Accomplished both. I did make sure that I was wearing my running suit to avoid sunburn.
While I was on the beach I watched folks getting instructions for scuba diving. I also saw a boat on shore filled with local fruit that I assume was for sale.
The sunsets were awesome on a nightly basis.
Most surprising thing about our St. Lucia visit? We saw almost none of the island. The roads were very limited and to get to-and-from places would have taken hours. Besides we were at this perfect place from which you didn’t really need to leave.
Best part about St. Lucia, other than having extended time with family? The rainbows. Arc En Ciel means, “arch of color.” Sometimes you think of rainy conditions as being a downer. Not this place. What rain meant was that there would be another rainbow. And from the elevated spot we were at, we had marvelous views from the porch of each rainbow that came along.
St. Lucia is not a place that allows itself to get easily explored. Rugged terrain prevents it. This makes St. Lucia a perfect fit for the stay-at-home tourist. Once we figured that out we did indeed stay-at-home at wonderful Arc En Ciel and enjoyed every minute of it.
(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)