St. Lucia's beauty isn't just there for the taking. It may, however, be offered to you. I first grasped the island's genuine charm as we pulled up to a dock in Soufriere (boating around the island is infinitely easier than driving around it). There, a group of young boys wearing nothing but basketball shorts approached our group, offering to sell us crafts made from palm fronds.
We told them no thanks. One kid pivoted. "You want weed?" he asked.
"No," I said, laughing. "But thank you." He smiled and handed one of the women in our group a palm leaf contorted to look like a flower. She blushed and declined it, but the boy insisted.
"Even if they don't buy it for you, I give it to you," he said, handing it to her and walking away. His game wasn't the nonstop peddling some travelers get accustomed to in developing tropical locales. Rather, it was a genuine friendliness, with an underlying tone of the hustle.