You'll understand why some people never leave
St. Lucia isn't all jungle mountains and skinny roads. If you're into all-inclusive resorts with white sandy beaches and fruity drinks, the northern part of the island has you covered at Reduit Beach and Rodney Bay. But to see why St. Lucia can both relax you and challenge you, the south end of the island awaits.
There, even the top-end resorts plop you into the elements. The ultra-luxe Jade Mountain features mountainside suites with front-row views of the Pitons, four-post beds, and in-room infinity pools. And three walls. The sun is your alarm clock, and the only A/C is the breeze off the ocean. The Sugar Beach resort, Viceroy's offering between the Pitons, sits on the shore between the mountains, and requires a treacherous drive or climb to get in or out. If you live in a city, the mountains feel like dark condo towers at night and give the hotel an eerily remote and inescapable allure.
As an American accustomed to supermarkets and smooth roads, you’ll want to go home eventually. But you can also understand why the locals never do. And it was best summed up by a conversation I had with my dive guide as we watched the sun set after a dive.
"It takes me two days just to apply for a visa to the US," he told me as we stood on the beach at Anse Chastanet. "We have to go to Barbados, spend the night, do our interview in the morning, and we only get it if the customs guy is in a good mood. Last time he told me my application didn't convince him I wasn't going to say there."
"Were you?" I asked.
"Hell no, man," my guide said as he pulled his head back, shocked that I'd even ask. "America's cool, but look around you. Why would I ever want to leave this place?"
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