Both the parrot and Saint Lucia were attacked repeatedly – by humans, hurricanes and habitat loss; the island changed hands over a dozen times, and the parrot’s numbers dwindled to just 100. They both finally gained recognition in 1979: Saint Lucia as an independent nation, and the parrot as its national bird – and have, happily, thrived since. Both are now major tourist draws, though not just for the average Caribbean sun seeker. The parrot, along with five other endemic birds, draws nature lovers from across the globe, who immerse themselves in Saint Lucia’s lush forest reserves and protected islets, scaling the UNESCO-listed Gros Piton and snorkelling the surrounding reefs.
The island’s economy revolves around banana plantations, not tourism; away from the resorts of the north, Saint Lucia remains rural and rustic, a peaceful Creole haven visited by whales and dolphins, nesting sea turtles and migrant birds. Its beaches are world class yet largely understated and undeveloped – total castaway bliss.
Our Saint Lucia travel guide leads you through this island’s unspoiled nature.