1. Dancing in the street:
Food, music and dancing are a large part of Saint Lucia's irresistible appeal. Caribbean, African, English and French heritage unites for a multicultural vibe that's sure to get your mouth watering and your hips swaying. Restaurants and street stalls offer flavourful fusions that are a feast for the senses, while hearty rum is the traditional drink. Throw in the bouncing beat of a steel drum and you'll soon understand why this island loves to party.
2. Topping up your tan:
The beaches of this island vary from coast to coast. The golden sands in the north are certainly the most popular with tourists, though the dark, volcanic sands of the south west provide the idyllic tranquillity many desire. Whichever you choose, don't forget to bring a book and cocktail for the ultimate in relaxation.
3. The wonder of water:
The crystal clear waters surrounding Saint Lucia are a playground for marine life. Take a sailing tour around the island and keep your eyes peeled for seasonal humpback, sperm and pilot whales as well as dolphins. Below the surface, vibrant coral reefs can be snorkelled just a few metres from certain areas of the west coast. Plunging deeper, adventurous beginners and more seasoned divers can experience the underwater carnival of colour with a scuba or snuba trip.
4. Losing yourself in nature:
A lush green blanket of unspoilt rainforest covers most of Saint Lucia, including the twin volcanic cones of the Petit Piton and Gros Piton. Follow a walking trail around the UNESCO World Heritage Site and immerse yourself in nature. Look out for one of the 40 varieties of exotic fruit and endemic flora and fauna. Perhaps you'll meet a hummingbird, hear a tree frog or spot a Saint Lucia Parrot – the island’s national bird. During March and August, there's also a chance of witnessing the miraculous sight of a leatherback turtle laying its eggs on Grand Anse Beach.
5. Becoming an adventurer:
Saint Lucia is a magnificent setting for adventure. Explore the dramatic landscape on foot, canter along the coastline on horseback, or cover more ground with a helicopter or boat excursion. Alternatively, get your adrenaline flowing with a tour that's out of the ordinary. Mountain bikes, Segways and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) offer a fun way to discover the island, taking you through the rainforest, past the Dennery waterfall or even into a volcano. There's also an exhilarating zip-line, a scenic aerial gondola ride through the treetops or a chance to sail on a pirate ship.