The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia

A beachside view of the small eastern Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, an eastern Caribbean island nation close to Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Editor’s Note: This content is brought to you by The Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel Agency.

Some call Saint Lucia the perfect destination ideal for romance, rejuvenation and adventure — and it’s hard to argue with them.

Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation, located about halfway between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, with two perfectly tapered mountains, volcanic beaches, plenty of reef-diving opportunities and fishing villages.

The island’s gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, unspoiled rainforest and dramatic Piton mountains endear this laidback island to almost everyone who visits.

And while it’s just fine to spend your time lounging on one of the island’s famous black-sand beaches or admiring the views with a rum cocktail in your hand, Saint Lucia is also a paradise for those who love to balance their leisure with a bit of time in the wild.

The iconic twin peaks of the Pitons rise in dreamlike grandeur from the glittering Caribbean Sea.

Covered in lush, emerald green forest, these volcanic spires create one of the most inspiring vistas in the Caribbean.

For those who dare, the strenuous two-hour hike to the top of Gros Piton rewards the athletic with an extraordinary view of the rugged Petit Piton and the Caribbean Sea.

For those looking for something more relaxed, the Tet Paul Nature Trail is a great alternative.

This 45-minute guided walk is perfect for families and includes breathtaking views nd provides an introduction to the island’s history and culture.

Saint Lucia is home to an amazing diversity of exotic plants and rare birds, many of which can only be found on the island.

Birdwatchers from all over the world flock here in hopes of catching a glimpse of the colorful Saint Lucia Parrot as well as local species of warbler, oriole and peewee.

If you’re a birding novice, the Millet Bird Sanctuary is a great place to start. The reserve has a two-mile loop through the rainforest with a stunning hilltop overlook and friendly forest ranges to answer questions.

For a more in-depth experience, ask your hotel to arrange a private birdwatching tour with one of the island’s knowledgeable naturalists.

If hiking or birding aren’t your thing, norkeling in Saint Lucia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.

The surrounding sea is home to some spectacular species; such as the hawksbill sea turtle, which hatches on the island’s shores; and the magnificent giant eagle ray, the wingspan of which can reach up to 10 feet.

While the island’s east coast gets battered by the Atlantic Ocean, the protected waters off the west coast are calm and clear, making them perfect for amateur and experienced snorkelers alike.

One of the best spots can be found at Anse Chastanet, where colorful reefs teem with tropical fish, and the beachside hotel by the same name rents all the equipment you’ll need. Another great spot is Anse des Pitons, a gorgeous white-sand beach that combines excellent snorkeling with excellent views of Gros Piton and Petit Piton.

For information on a trip to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, contact Travel Leaders / Fly Away Travel in Roseburg at 541-672-5701.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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