Castries, Saint Lucia

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Cloaked in verdant rainforests, its skyline dominated by the dramatic twin peaks of Les Pitons and its gardens a riot of hibiscus and bougainvillea; St. Lucia is the epitome of a Caribbean paradise. Here you can watch parrots and hummingbirds skim through the trees, bask on beautiful beaches, visit charming fishing villages, view stunning volcanic scenery and glory in the Caribbean's best botanical gardens. If it is your first visit, an island tour to the dramatic Soufrire volcano will show you the island's full beauty. Boat trips to spot dolphin and whales are also available, as are biking, jeep and hiking tours of the rainforest. But do leave time to explore the shops of Castries, where you can pick up bread, wine and even ketchup made from bananas.

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