Agriculture is deeply rooted in St. Lucia's rich & complex history. When Europeans discovered the "New World" – now known as the Caribbean, they found that these islands had fertile soil that was optimal for cultivating highly sought-after exotic crops. This produce then became the core of the Caribbean economy. Touring the remaining plantations & estates on a luxury vacation to the island allows you a glimpse into St. Lucia's culture. While gleaning insight into the systems used to process local crops, you'll also get the chance to appreciate the remarkable diversity of St. Lucia's plant life.
Ready to get a history, culture & culinary lesson all in one? Then head to one of these attractions:
Errard Plantation It only takes a short drive from the village of Dennery to get to this former spice plantation, which is set in a valley on the island's east coast. Your tour starts with an overview of the different fruits that grow here, and afterward, you'll be ushered into the rainforest for a brief nature jaunt. Finally, you'll be treated to a home-cooked, traditionally prepared Creole lunch at the Victorian-style estate house, complete with fresh fruit juices. If the weather is right, you may want to wander to the Errand Waterfall & take a quick dip.
Marquis Estate Between the remainders of antique machinery, lush scenery & authentic 18th century water wheel, there is no shortage of intrigue at the Marquis Estate, which happens to be St. Lucia's largest working plantation. Located just outside of Castries, the plantation continues to produce some of the island's principle crops, such as copra & banana. After being greeted at the estate house, the hostess will offer you samples of coconut water, rum punch & fresh seasonal fruit. Then you'll begin your tour, which includes a drive along the north eastern coast to the countryside, a stop at an old sugar mill & even a boat ride on the Marquis River. Upon returning to the estate house, you can perch on the verandah for a view of the stunning grounds while enjoying an authentic buffet-style lunch made with local produce.
Morne Coubaril Estate The Morne Coubaril Estate, which faces Soufriere, offers a rare opportunity to observe a water & sugar mill & learn about the steps involved in producing cane syrup, cocoa, coffee & manioc. After a demonstration on the process involved in the making of these products, you'll visit an old worker's village & get a look inside the huts. Then you can savor a Creole lunch at the on-site restaurant, take a leisurely walk through the colorful botanical gardens & stop by the gift shop for a unique souvenir.