Saint Lucia Travel Guide
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
Your first reaction to banana ketchup may be "eww," but it should really be "ooh!" This atomic yellow substance is just one of the local products that comes out of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and it's probably the easiest take-home souvenir aside from a stupid hat or T-shirt.
The good news is, if you're not in love with ketchup, then the island makes banana-tinged versions of barbecue and hot sauce as well. Mmm.
The taste: it's okay if you go into trying banana ketchup thinking it'll be too sweet or too banana-y, because the taste will banish those thoughts right away. You know how ketchup is super tomato-tasting? Well, banana ketchup isn't super anything. It's actually quite mild and thin, and tastes more like a light tropical chutney. Note: there are no tomatoes in it; it's only bananas, vinegar, "spices," and fresh garlic.
Reality TV Travel / Television Travel / St Lucia Travel / Island Travel / The Bachelor / Romantic Travel / → All Tags
We have a confession to make. We didn't start watching this 14th season of the reality TV show "The Bachelor" until we heard that they were taking the final few episodes on the road to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. It also helps that the Bachelor himself, Jake Pavelka, is a commercial airlines pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airlines (yea, we've never heard of them either). Jake whisked his last three girls, Tenley, Gia and Vienna, to the island known as a honeymoon paradise, in order to make a decision.
Since we were recently on St. Lucia as well, we've got a bit of a behind-the-scenes with some of the major locations from this "Bachelor" finale.
Check out our "Bachelor" in St. Lucia extras after the jump! SPOILERS ALERT!
Prime-Plane-Spotting-Map / Plane Spotting / St Lucia Field Trip / St Lucia Travel / Caribbean Travel / Islands / Island Travel / → All Tags
Seeing as how it's been a little bit since last we focused on the lovely pastime of plane spotting, we decided to turn our recent Saint Lucia island experience into some useful (not to mention scenic) plane spotting advice for when you too are on the island.
Whether you're heading down on the new Jetblue flight from New York-JFK like we did, or coming all the way from London-Gatwick on the direct Virgin Atlantic flight, you'll want to get a load of the air traffic that sporadically makes its way into St. Lucia's Hewanorra airport at the very southernmost tip of the island, and here's how...
St Lucia Field Trip / Jetblue St. Lucia Inaugural / Chocolate Travel / Ecotourism / St. Lucia Travel / Caribbean Travel / Sex Travel / Ecology / → All Tags
In case you haven't yet noticed from our last few stories, we're kind of stuck on a tropical island right now. You see, the inaugural Jetblue flight to the island dropped us off here back on Monday, and it won't return until later today, since they're only running flights between JFK and St. Lucia's UVF airport on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.
With the time we've had on this lush island, we've done what any castaway would: stare at the horizon and space out, go barefoot, snoop around an active volcano, and befriend the locals. But yesterday's trekking not only had us foraging for foodfresh soursap or blackcurrant cheesecake, anyone?but also we began to take notice of exactly how lush the foliage, fruit and flowers are...and how suggestive.
Mother Nature has a dirty mind down here...The Top Three Sexually Suggestive Plants Of Saint Lucia are after the jump. It's a weird idea, we know, but just wait until you see number one!
St Lucia Field Trip / SCUBA / Scuba Dives / Jetblue St Lucia Inaugural / St Lucia Travel / Caribbean Travel / Beach Travel / Water Sports / Amy Winehouse / → All Tags
Now that all the hubbub surround Jetblue's inaugural flight to Saint Lucia is over, we're free to focus on the important things, like getting on the beach and into the warm Caribbean waters, and that's exactly what we did yesterday afternoon during a scuba dive at the northern tip of the island, from the Cariblue Beach at the BodyHoliday LeSPORT resort.
It's weird to think that we've been diving for over 11 years now, and yet we learn new things each time we let out all the air and sink beneath the surface. And so for all you seasoned and wannabe divers, we'll let you in on a few things you've just got to know about diving here in the southern Caribbean, but specifically Saint Lucia because duhwe've got the recent firsthand experience.
Our top tips for free and easy SCUBA in Saint Lucia, after the jump.
Jetblue St Lucia Inaugural / St Lucia Field Trip / St Lucia Travel / Caribbean Travel / Jetblue / → All Tags
Yesterday morning while the majority of New York still slumbered soundly in their beds, we were already swilling coffee at Jetblue's Terminal 5 at JFK, prepping for the LCC's inaugural flight to the Southern Caribbean island paradise of Saint Lucia.
As we already said (in a story published from the airport at 6:30am), the beginning of Jetblue flights is a huge deal for both the airline and the island. In the past, airlines like American and Delta owned these routes and as a result, could charge through the nose for them. Those planes might also still land at Saint Lucia's Hewanorra Airport (UVF), but their passengers are paying more for the flights and not getting the seatback TVs, unlimited free snacks, and je ne sais quoi that Jetblue brings to the party. Oh, and did we mention that the Jetblue flight arrives before the others? Yea, so we felt a little superior going through passport control yesterday.
Full photo gallery after the jump!
Her rep says the concert was cut short because of heavy rain. However, she did make it on stage as this video from YouTube shows. Except it took her quite some time to get it started (around the 1:50 mark.) BV Newswire reports:
Adorned in her trademark beehive, heavy mascara and a slinky electric blue minidress, the 'You Know I'm No Good' singer seemed to struggle to remember some of her best known recorded material, mumbled through a few verses and guzzled an unknown concoction while on stage. Although audiences seemed to weather the storm, one thing became apparent: Winehouse didn't.
Amy reportedly walked off midway through the set, never even performing "Rehab." That's when the "Blame it on the Rain" excuse came in, even though the stage was encased and covered by a roof. Note to all future Amy Winehouse concert ticket-holders: Please try to get a refund now.
[Photo: NRK P3]
It's been quite a while since we've heard anything about Amy Winehouse's travels, when actually we could say the same for Amy Winehouse herself. The drug-addled crooner may still be persona non grata in the United States, but next week will find her on the fringes while performing at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival.
Due on stage next Friday alongside, of all people, KC and the Sunshine Band, La Winehouse will no doubt be the lowlight of the festival as tickets for her are only $50. This is compared to the $70 premium shows the following nights featuring Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Bebe Winans and Estelle.
Awful Trends / Airport Hell / Luggage / Baggage / UVF / American Airlines / → All Tags
After Tucson and New York, we were hoping to be done with faulty luggage scales at airports. But the scourge is now menacing the Caribbean, at least according to one tipster who hit us up on the complaint line:
My honeymoon cost me $50 more than expected due to what I'm sure were faulty scales at the American Airlines counter in St. Lucia's Hewanorra International. Somehow between arriving in St. Lucia and leaving, our luggage gained 15 pounds. I actually removed some items from our luggage that weren't needed anymore, and we didn't buy much of anything to bring home.
I would say we probably added five pounds of souveniers and removed the same in items that were not returning with us, such as some toiletries we came with that were full on arrival but almost empty on leaving. If my baggage weighed five pounds more, I'd be fine with it, but 15 pounds more is another story--especially when that extra "weight" requires me to shell out money!
Obviously we haven't checked all of American's scales in the Caribbean, but given the carrier's track record, it seems possible there are some shenanigans afoot. This being the third instance of faulty scales we've heard about in less than a month, this is now officially an awful trend.
· New York Airport Scales Now Accurate, No Thanks To American [Jaunted]
· Airport Hell coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Noël Zia Lee]
Caribbean / Islands / Hotels / Travel Media / New York Times / Travel + Leisure / Travel Trends / → All Tags
St. Lucia made it onto at least two high-profile "what's next"-type lists this year. Travel + Leisure named it the "next Caribbean hotspot," and the New York Times put it on its "Where to Go in 2007" map.
You know what that means: St. Lucia is dead.
The Times chalked St. Lucia's hotness up to the slew of high-end resorts that are opening or have already opened there, while T+L praised its hotel forecast as well as welcoming residents. They say it's one island where the locals aren't totally sick of tourists yet. Perhaps that translates into better service at sites away from your hotel?
Everyone seems to be most excited about Jade Mountain, a resort within a resort at the Anse Chastenet hotel, and it does look gorgeous. But while it may not have the beaches that St. Lucia does (and a "new" Caribbean beach destination will always be in demand), we'll be watching Dominica more closely this year.
· Making a Caribbean Hot Spot [T+L]
· Eco-Hedonism, and Tee Times Galore in St. Lucia [NYT]