Every May St Lucia moves to the beat of the jazz festival
Official festival site

Each year in the capital, Castries, throngs of people jam the streets in colourful costumes
Official carnival site

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St Lucia's top attractions

Heritage tours

With an abundance of natural beauty, it is no surprise that St Lucia is home to so many stunning heritage sites. James Burgess picks out the top attractions...

© St Lucia Tourist Board
Botanical Gardens
Tranquillity, shaded trails, lush vegetation and acres of rare flora of all colours of the rainbow: visiting one of St Luciaís three botanical gardens is like stepping into a Monet landscape, with the added bonus of the sounds of birds and a breeze. The Diamond Botanical Gardens is nestled under the imperious Pitons and youíll have the chance to watch the world go by in the therapeutic, mineral-rich baths, once used by Franceís King Louis XVI ... A feeling of finding yourself in a private world is what is so special about Mamiku Gardens. From the dense trees to the enchanting views of the ocean, this beautiful habitat found off Veux Fort highway is a real getaway- from-it-all attraction ... Perfect if youíre heading north is a visit to Tropica Gardens, combining banana fields, great views of Castries and a wooden craft studio.

Cultural Heritage Tours
Kicking off with a spot of urban culture, the Castries Heritage Walk brings the islandís sense of colonial history to life. Guides really know their stuff, and itís no surprise they appear to be brimming with enthusiasm Ė the blend of English, French, African and Caribbean architecture is enough to get the oldest cynic relishing the sights ... If you fancy learning about the old customs of St Lucian cuisine in a picturesque setting, then Fond Latisab Creole Park in Babonneau is a real must. A local community delight in showing you cooking on macambou leaves, how not to get stung when collecting honey, fishing for Crayfish and the process of making cassava bread. Itís undeniably bohemian and wonderful fun ... Pigeon Island National Landmark, at different times home to pirates and the British military, is one of the highlights of St Lucia.

Plantation Tours
With buildings dating back to the sugar age and remains of Amerindian settlements, Fond díOr Nature Historic Park is great for history buffs and those who love a decent hike. Waiting for you is a gorgeous white sandy beach where you often find the magnificent sight of leatherback turtles ... Treat your taste buds with a fruit-tasting session at Fond Doux Estate, a working plantation. If that leaves you hungry, thereís no need to worry: a sumptuous Creole lunch is provided in the plantation house ... Morne Coubaril Estate has a museum, botanical garden and restaurant among the authentic workersí village and sugar mill.