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First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Burlington, Canada
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First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

We are looking ahead to March and are excited about missing some of the harsh canadian winter! We are a family of three ( 8 year old daughter ) and we are thinking of staying in gros islet for the week. We are a family that loves to explore and see the sites - in saying this would it be best to just stay put for the week and use this as our base or book at different hotels for the week? We are flying in and out of Uvf.

Woking, United...
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1. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

I would say split your stay definitely, or even stay in the south of the island as you are only there for a week. While we prefer staying in the North, as we find the people far friendlier and welcoming, the majority of the sites that you have to see are in the South of the island so you will spend at least 1 1/2 hours each way travelling to get to them, and although the drive is almost a tour in itself if you have a good taxi driver, it seems a shame to spend so much of your vacation travelling.

I would suggest you have a couple of days in the North to see Pigeon Island and to visit Castries & the craft market & then head south for the remainder of your stay to take in some of the waterfalls, rain forest, Marigot Bay, the PItons, Drive in Volcano, Mud baths, botanical gardens, snorkelling and all the other amazing things that St Lucia has to offer.

It also means that you will be much closer to the airport for your return flight home. Whatever you decide have a great trip!

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2. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

If you want to be out a lot exploring the natural sites (Pitons, waterfalls, local beaches and reefs etc) maybe skip GI and stay in the south near Soufriere. You can always take a day trip to visit the north.

Look for a local place to stay like Crystals, Stonefield, La Haut or Fond Doux to experience the special local hospitality. (Read the reviews to see how friendly these places are.) Lots to see and do in this area.

Soufriere, St. Lucia
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3. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Bon jou Travelbug2006-13,

Best stay in the spot - Soufriere, heart of The Pitons World Heritage Site - for a one week local adventure exploring the real Saint Lucia.

For accommodations check out vrbo.com and airbnb.com for alternatives to the hotel/resort experience in the South/Southwest...

Bless up! Paul

Burlington, Canada
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4. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Thank you all for your advice! Just to throw another idea out there-- I came across a great deal for a hotel ( coco palm)and flight for the northern part of the island . Would it make sense to stay there and then hire a driver/ guide for a few days to take us to some of the splendid sites mentioned in the north and in the south?

UK
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5. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

It's certainly doable that way, maybe worth exploring the costs of hiring a driver and of the wide range of land and sea tours. A lot of visitors do that. Taking a look at what's on offer will help figure out what's double in a day..Just bear in mind that although distances look small in a car they take much longer than you would expect.

Personally I enjoy travelling around in a car, the drivers I have encountered have been friendly and informative, and it's a good way to see the island.

Peaks Island, Maine
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6. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Where you stay kind of depends on what you want to do during your trip for the bulk of your time, in other words what do you want to have in your backyard so to speak. If you want shopping mall, tourist activities, plenty of international restaurants, and some nightlife and some nature then staying up north might be best for you. If you want the Pitons or local beaches to snorkel at, plantations to tour, or local waterfalls to explore than staying in the Soufriere area might be best.

Traveling from the north from the south for a day trip is certainly doable (and travelers take tours doing this all the time) but keep in mind that you are looking at from 2 1/2 to 3 hour travel time road trip on very curvy roads. In other words, you probably won't want to do this often.

Pembroke Pines, FL
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7. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Most of the best advise I see starts with something to the effect of "it depends on what you're looking for". I'm heading back to St Lucia in a couple weeks with my wife for the fourth time. The first time we stayed a couple days at the Villa Beach Cottages in Choc Bay. That location worked good for us. We would jump the public bus to go up to Rodney Bay (where there are plenty of great restaurants and it is a bit more "touristy"). We would then just take a cab back to the Villa Beach Cottages. The next day we took the bus down to Castries to check out the market and walk around a bit. Then took a cab up to the top of the hill to have a great lunch (and view) at the Pink Plantation House. Again, we took a cab back to where we were staying. We spent the second portion of our 1st stay at a place called Crystals (just up the hill from Soufriere). The people at Crystals are absolutely wonderful, the accommodations are splendid, the views are breathtaking, and the daily breakfast brought to your room (cottage actually) is outstanding. The last two times we went (and this time coming up) we just stayed the whole time at Crystals. We love the Soufriere area. I'm originally from Miami, FL and we live 20 miles north of Miami now. Rodney Bay area was not so unlike South Florida!! With the Soufriere area you can see some very nice waterfalls, botanical gardens, do some snorkeling, partake in some ziplining,, etc. Basically (to me) the south is nature and the north is touristy. Even so, if you're going to be there for a week, maybe spend 3 days up north and the last four down south. Either way, I'm sure you'll love St Lucia.

Woking, United...
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8. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

I would jump at it! We have stayed at Coco Palm around 16 times & trips 17 & 18 are already booked!! It has to be the friendliest hotel with amazing staff who can't do enough for you. OK it isn't on the beach but centrally located in Rodney Bay. It is an easy 5-10 minutes walk away to get to Reduit Beach which is known as one of the best beaches on the island.

There are plenty of things you can do that won't involve too long a drive everyday, by using a really good local taxi driver you should be able to plan some wonderful days that don't mean spending hours in a car..

We use Island Man Tour & Taxi Service. He has a small Company that specialises in Taylor made day trips. He is Lushan born & bred and there is nothing he doesn't know about the island I can guarantee you will have an amazing time with him. His Trip Advisor feedback speaks for itself. He is also one of the safest most considerate drivers you will meet important when the roads aren't that wonderful!

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

Thank you so much for all your help!!

Woking, United...
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10. Re: First trip to SL-- stay in one spot for wk or change it up?

TravelBug, I had a thought after I responded to your question about Coco Palm. If it is a deal make sure you DO NOT book a Creole room if you want to sleep! The Creole rooms are in the original building and are right on the Strip in Rodney Bay. A lot of people report that they can't get to sleep before 4.00 am when the last of the bars close! Make sure you get a room in the main newer part of the hotel where we have never found noise to be an issue.

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