St LuciaSt Lucia – Caribbean Islands
Wallet friendly: Don the snorkel and fins
How far will a tenner get you in St Lucia? Pretty far as it turns out — and it’ll keep you occupied for days. First stop — the supermarket, for a snorkel and fins. Because it’s not just what’s above sea level in St Lucia that’s breathtaking — the crystal-clear waters are packed with marine life and it won’t cost you a fortune to see it. Head to Soufrière in the south west, and don your rubber gear to explore the reef below. Look up and you’ll see the magnificent Pitons rising out of the sea above you. Seeing fish doesn’t get much more epic than this.
DETAILS: If you like to do things your own way, airbob.com has some good self-catering options (book ahead for a decent choice). Virgin Atlantic offers return flights from £510, virgin-atlantic.com
Splash the cash: Take a helicopter tour
Travelling in a helicopter is a treat in itself; combine it with the lush, mountainous landscape of St Lucia and you’re in full-on Jurassic Park helicopter scene territory. Take a 30-minute tour of the island and you’ll be cruising over all of its spectacular sights — from the city of Castries to the sleepy fishing towns along the coast, and the mountainous, rainforest-packed interior of the island where you’ll see numerous waterfalls, rivers and valleys.
A tour of the north and south of the island will also have you hovering over the sulphur springs of the Soufrière volcano. Let’s not forget the island’s most famous site — so famous that you’ll find them on everything from postcards to beer bottles — The Pitons (These impressive peaks dominate St Lucia’s skyline and will take your breath away. Quite literally if you attempt to climb up one of them – it’s quite a hike to the summits). The 771m-high volcanic plugs look pretty cool from ground level — add a few rotors and you’ll have your mind blown.
DETAILS: Try open-air rooms at Jade Mountain. Nightly rates from £833, jademountain.com. BA offers return flights from £550, ba.com