Welcome to Julio’s PARADISE TOURS & Services, St.Lucia/West Indies

I AM VERY SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT WE ARE NOT OPERATING THIS SEASON !

St.Lucia 2018 / 2019

email: paradise@stluciatours.net

 

PARADISE TOURS, St.Lucia

INDIVIDUAL TOURS WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH

PARADISE TOURS is a small tour organiser and service provider on the beautiful Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. Our philosophy is it, to keep our tours always on a very individual and personal basis. Therefore we have a real dialogue with our clients to give them advice according to their personal wishes and ideas. Our tours develop in corresponding with our clients. We are interested in your wishes and needs and always eager to put the "perfect" tour together for you to give you un unforgettable experience of St.Lucia.

That's why Paradise Tours is focused on private tours and small group excursions, far from the madding crowd. "Julio", born and grown up in St.Lucia, is the head of Paradise Tours and at the same time your private and professional guide, who is always looking forward to show you the known spots and sights as well as the hidden treasures of his island. His wife Brigitte, originally from Germany, helps him in the organization of your special trip and is always ready to give you personal suggestions and answer all the questions you have about the different areas of the island, different types of accommodation, sports etc. Feel free to write her in English, German, French or Italian, for any kind of information you’d like to get about St.Lucia.

Cruise ship passengers who don’t want to go with the big excursion "flow", but are looking for a more individual way to discover the island, are in the right hands with us.

 Julio, Brigitte & daughter Naomi are looking forward to welcome you in Saint Lucia

Nous vous proposons les excursions sur Ste. Lucie aussi en francais.

Wir bieten unsere Ausflüge auf Wunsch auch in deutscher Sprache an.

 

 

 

  HOME

  ISLAND INFO

  ISLAND TOURS (Full day or half day)  

  LAND & SEA ADVENTURES

  NATURE TOURS 

  TOURS FOR CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS

  AIRPORT TRANSFERS

  TRIPS TO OTHER ISLANDS

 ST.LUCIA SPECIAL DISCOVERY

  EMAIL US

  MORE SIGHTS

  ACCOMMODATION

  LINKS

 

 

ISLAND INFO

SOME WORDS OF HISTORY

POPULATION

DIVERSITY OF THE ISLAND

CURRENCY

BUSINESS HOURS

CUSTOMS & DUTIES

CAR RENTAL

NUISANCE & DANGERS

 

SOME WORDS OF HISTORY

The historians are not sure when it comes to the facts concerning St.Lucia’s discovery, but it was the Spanish who certainly discovered the island around 1500 in connection with Columbus‘ discovery voyages. The first inhabitants on the island were the "Amerindians", indian tribes who came up from South America in their canoes starting around 1000 B.C. Around the time of the discoveries the tribe of the "Caribs", a rather warlike tribe was established in St.Lucia as well as on the other islands around. All indian natives were sooner or later wiped out by the Europeans. From the middle of the 17th century until the beginning of the 19th century St.Lucia was thrown like a ping-pong ball between colonial powers. Over a period of 150 years St.Lucia changed hands at least 14 times between the French and the British and was finally ceded to Britain in 1814. But the French were the ones, who had a much bigger influence on the island, as they kept their domination here over much longer periods. Creole ("Kweyol") or Patois, a spoken language developped from french basics, is the native language of St.Lucian people, while English became the official language on the island in the 19th century.

The "Kweyol" language started to develop when the French established their sugar cane plantations and had to find a way to communicate with the work force of West African slaves. Most names of towns and villages, beaches and baies are french and also the majority of family names are originally french names. St.Lucia became an independent, democratic state in 1979 and is a member of the British Commonwealth. Head of the country is the prime minister, elected for a period of five years.

 

POPULATION

St.Lucia has a population of about 156,000 people. In St.Lucia you will find no descendants of the native Amerindians any more. The great majority (85%) of the population are of pure African ancestry, descendents of the former slaves brought from West Africa to the Caribbean and forced to work on the sugar cane plantations. Around 10% of the population are a mixture of African, British, French and East Indian ancestry, while about 4% are pure East Indian descendants. Their ancestors came to St.Lucia in the second half of the 19th century to work as indentured labourers on the plantations after slavery was abolished. Only 1% of the population are descendants from the former white plantation owners.

 

DIVERSITY OF THE ISLAND

It’s important to get the right idea about the Caribbean. The Caribbean reveals so many different faces. Each island is different and special, according to history, economical development, size, beaches, nature and culture.

St.Lucia's North is the centre of tourism, you'll find most of the island's major hotels and popular restaurants north of the capital Castries, especially around Rodney Bay. In Castries town the local, colourful market and the cathedral are always worth a visit.

Soufriere in the south/west offers some fine and exquisit hotels, the most scenic landscape, rainforest, lush vegetation & natural attractions such as the Pitons, botanical gardens, waterfalls, the sulphur springs and is therefore the most popular spot for excursions.

The South of the island, where the international airport is located, has little touristic development so far, one major hotel, a few small hotels and one of the longest stretch of white sand beach on the island. The more windy south is the perfect spot for wind- and kite-surfing on the island. One of the the most beautiful rainforest trails is closeby.

Along the East Coast touristic accomodations are very rare. The Atlantic coast landscape is very savage with spectacular look outs and home of the Frigate Island Nature Reserve. The rainforest is just one step away.

 

CURRENCY

St.Lucia operates with the EC $ (Eastern Caribbean Dollar), which has a constant value in relation to the US $. At the market, street- or beach vendors, certain shops and restaurants the exchange rate is 2.5 EC for 1 US, while at the banks it’s a little higher. US Dollars are everywhere accepted and welcome. Euros are also very often accepted, but sometimes calculated as the US Dollar, while the Euro exchange rate at the banks is much higher (at this point of time & according to the daily rate).

 

BUSINESS HOURS
Banks are open Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm, Friday 8am-5pm; a few branches in Rodney Bay are also open Saturday 9am-noon. Post offices are open weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm. Most stores are open weekdays 8:30-12:30 and 1:30-4:30, Saturday 8-12:30; Gablewoods Mall shops are open Monday-Saturday 9-7; Pointe Seraphine shops (Duty free) are open weekdays 9-5, Saturday 9-2. Stores, with rare exceptions (such as hotel gift shops), and banks are closed on Sunday.

 

CUSTOMS & DUTIES
These rules generally apply throughout the Caribbean: you're limited to bringing in 2 liters of alcohol, 2 cartons of cigarettes, and a reasonable amount of duty-free goods for your personal use. More than that, and you'll be asked to pay a hefty import tax.

Departure Tax: 21.-US

 

CAR RENTAL

Car-rental rates are usually quoted in U.S. dollars and range from $45 to $80 per day or $250-$400 per week, depending on the car. Gasoline prices are quite high (currently more than 3US$ per gallon).

Requirements: To rent a car you must be 25 years or older and hold a valid driver's license and a credit card. If you don't have an international driver's license, you must buy a temporary St. Lucian driving permit at car-rental firms or at the immigration office at either airport. The permit costs $21 (EC$54) and is valid for three months.

Road Conditions: St. Lucia has about 500 miles (800 km) of roads, but only about half of these are paved. All towns and villages are connected by major routes. The highways on both coasts are winding and steep - and often scarred by potholes. Road signs are very rare.

Streets in towns and villages are usually very narrow and often lined with deep rain gutters and should be negotiated with caution. Always drive highly carefully, since traffic rules are not always respected, giving proper signals is not very common and most local drivers seem to be constantly in a hurry.

Rules of the Road: Driving in St. Lucia is on the left, British style. Observe speed limits, particularly the 30-mph limit within Castries. Respect no-parking zones; police issue tickets, which can get quite expensive. Wear your seat belts.

Special service: If you are renting a vehicle, Paradise Tours would be pleased to provide you with a knowledgable guide (in English, French, German or basic Italian) to accompany you on your island discovery. This service is available for half days (25.- US $) or full days (40.-US $).

 

NUISANCE & DANGERS

In some areas, people who want to serve as your guide or souvenir vendors can be a bit of a nuisance; if you are not interested, just decline the offer firmly but politely. If you get into the local partying scene, be cautious not to flash a wad of money or wear expensive jewellery, as theft is not unknown of course. Hikers should keep in mind that the poisonous fer-de-lance snake prefers brushy undergrowth. It's always wise to join a local guide for hiking and nature tours.

Note that swimwear is generally inappropriate away from beaches, resorts and hotels; topless is uncommon.

ISLAND TOURS (Full day or half day)

AROUND THE ISLAND (Full day)

ISLAND TOUR TO SOUFRIERE (Full day)

CASTRIES & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

SUGARMILL & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

WATERFALL & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

 

AROUND THE ISLAND (Full day)

On this great tour you will get an impression of the whole island and its local lifestyle in just ONE day! Experience the bustling atmosphere of the capital Castries, have a fantastic view over the harbour and the town and admire the idyllic setting of Marigot Bay. Along the Caribbean Coast you will pass through typical Caribbean fishing villages, where there is always time to stroll around. You'll get to explore Soufriere and its natural attractions - the volcano and the Botanical Gardens with its picturesque waterfall and of course you will have great views of St.Lucia's landmark, the Pitons. Reach the most southern point of the island in Vieux Fort with its long stretch of white sand beaches. Discover the savage and rugged Atlantic Coast and cross parts of the rainforest. A day full of new impressions and lots of great views along the way!

 

ISLAND TOUR TO SOUFRIERE (Full day)

After picking you up, we drive through the town of Castries and up the Morne for a most scenic view over the harbour and the city. Get an impression of the large banana cultivation, while driving through the Roseau banana plantation, before admiring the great view down on idyllic Marigot Bay. Explore the sumptuous nature and stop at a little fishing village along the Caribbean Coast. Have a breathtaking view of the two Pitons and visit the bubbling sulphur springs (drive-in-volcano), the Diamond Botanical Gardens with its beautiful waterfall (or another garden & waterfall) and the town of Soufriere. After lunch (optional) in town relaxing, swimming or snorkelling at the fantastic beach of Jalousie Bay –right between St.Lucia’s landmark, the two Pitons- is on for the rest of the afternoon. Please note: Various options and little changes in the itinerary are possible in that tour, please inquire about it.

CASTRIES & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

Have a drive through the town of Castries and stroll over the market before driving up the Morne, where you will get the most stunning view of the harbour and the cruise ships. In that area there is the possibility for you to stop at a Batik shop or a screen printing workshop, a woodcarving shop or at Caribbean Perfume's or at no shop/studio at all, according to your interests. Crossing St.Lucia's largest banana plantation we reach Marigot Bay for a fantastic view down on the bay and about 1 hr. time to relax and swim. (on the way possibility to stop at St.Lucia's rum distillery)

SUGARMILL & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

Visit the town of Castries and its market, before having an unforgettable view of the harbour on the Morne. Drive towards the West coast road and cross St.Lucia's largest banana plantation. Stroll around the fishing village of Anse-la Raye, and visit a former sugar mill in a beautiful, flowering surrounding, where you'll get to see tropical flowers and trees and at the same time get an impression of the colonial times, when sugar cane was dominating the island. On the way up you will enjoy the scenic view of Marigot Bay and take the ferry boat to cross the bay for spending some time to relax and swim at the beach there.

WATERFALL & MARIGOT BAY (Half day)

Pass through the city of Castries before having an unforgettable view of the harbour on the Morne. Drive towards the West coast road and cross St.Lucia's largest banana plantation. Stroll around the fishing village of Anse-la Raye and make your way through the lush tropical vegetation to view a beautiful waterfall. On the way up you will enjoy the scenic view of Marigot Bay and take the ferry boat to cross the bay for spending some time to relax and swim at the beach there.

 

LAND & SEA ADVENTURES (Full day)

DISCOVERY BY CAT AND LAND

LAND & SAILING DELIGHT

LAND & MOTOR BOAT TRIP

 

 DISCOVERY BY CAT AND LAND

Go down along the Caribbean coast by land, enjoying great views of Castries harbour, Marigot Bay, the Pitons and discovering typical fishing villages. In Soufriere we will visit the Botanical Gardens with its fantastic flora and then it's on to the bubbling sulphur springs. After lunch in town, you'll join a catamaran and enjoy the trip along the scenic Caribbean Coast from Soufriere up to the North. Have stunning views of the Pitons and stop for a swim in Caribbean waters. (Tour might also be operated vice versa)

LAND & SAILING DELIGHT

Admire the West Coast scenery and pass through typical fishing villages on the way to Soufriere. Get a dramatic view of the Pitons and visit Soufriere's natural attractions - the bubbling sulphur springs (volcano) and the beautiful Botanical Gardens with its picturesque waterfall. Then it's time to head out for a relaxing and truly delightful afternoon on a sailing yacht.

 

LAND & MOTOR BOAT TRIP

Make your way down the Caribbean Coast to discover the area of Soufriere which bears the most stunning landscape on the island. Visit the volcano and the Botanical Garden with its big variety of flowers and trees. After lunch in town you will take an enjoyable ride on a motor boat, stopping at Anse Chastanet for great snorkelling and exploring the Coast up to Marigot Bay. There you we'll meet again to bring you back to your hotel.

 

 

 

NATURE TOURS

RAINFOREST HIKE

WATERFALL DELIGHT

 

RAINFOREST HIKE (Half day or full day) 

For all nature lovers we offer a Rainforest hike to explore its marvellous flora and fauna. Enjoy great views on the way to the forest trail, where you should keep an eye out for "Jacquot", St.Lucia's colourful parrot. In the full day tour you will hike on a different forest trail and explore a little secluded tropical garden with waterfall.

 

WATERFALL DELIGHT (Full day)  

Spend a day of natural delight by discovering different waterfalls surrounded by dazzling vegetation. On this true nature experience we stop at various waterfalls on the island, drive through secluded areas admiring the lush vegetation. Sample fresh fruit, stroll through nature and cool out under the waterfalls! Enjoy an unforgettable adventure!

 

 

TOURS FOR CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS

If you are coming to St.Lucia on a cruise ship for only one day and you want to have a unique experience of the island, away from the big cruise ship flow, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

You will be most probably arriving in the capital Castries (Port Carenage or Point Seraphine). We recommend to take a tour that is heading down the west coast towards Soufriere, the area where you will be admiring the most beautiful scenery on the island, home of St.Lucia's landmark, the stunning Pitons.

HAVE A LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING TOUR OFFERS:

ISLAND TOUR TO SOUFRIERE

SOUFRIERE BY LAND & MOTOR BOAT

PRIVATE SAILING TOUR TO SOUFRIERE

WATERFALL DELIGHT

RAINFOREST HIKE

CASTRIES & MARIGOT BAY

RIVER ROCK & MARIGOT BAY

SUGARMILL & MARIGOT BAY

 

ISLAND TOUR TO SOUFRIERE (7-8 hrs.)

After picking you up close to the port, we drive through the town of Castries and up the Morne for a most scenic view over the harbour and your cruise ship. Get an impression of the large banana cultivation, while driving through the Roseau banana plantation, before admiring the great view down on idyllic Marigot Bay. Explore the sumptuous nature and stop at a little fishing village along the Caribbean Coast. Have a breathtaking view of the two Pitons and visit the bubbling sulphur springs (drive-in-volcano), the Diamond Botanical Gardens with its beautiful waterfall (or another garden & waterfall) and the town of Soufriere. After lunch (optional) in town relaxing, swimming or snorkelling at the fantastic beach of Jalousie Bay –right between St.Lucia’s landmark, the two Pitons- is on for the rest of the afternoon (according to time and your boat schedule). Please note: Various options and little changes in the itinerary are possible in that tour, please inquire about it.

 

SOUFRIERE BY LAND & MOTOR BOAT (7-8 hrs.)

Starting with a quick drive through the town of Castries we go up the Morne for a most scenic view over the harbour and your cruise ship. Get an impression of the large banana cultivation, while driving through the Roseau banana plantation, before enjoying the great view down on idyllic Marigot Bay. Explore the lush nature and stop at a little fishing village along the Caribbean Coast. Have a breathtaking view of the two Pitons and visit the bubbling sulphur springs (drive-in-volcano) and the Diamond Botanical Gardens with its beautiful waterfall (or another garden & waterfall). In Soufriere you will take a ride on a motor boat to Anse Chastanet for a great snorkelling (ca. 1 hr. snorkelling) and then continue by boat up the west coast to Marigot Bay, where we will meet you again and drive you back to your ship in Castries. (Tour requires a minimum of 4 participants)

 

PRIVATE SAILING TOUR TO SOUFRIERE (7-8 hrs.)

A perfect tour for small groups (up to 10 People), who want to enjoy in privacy and tranquillity the waters of the Caribbean Sea and experience the beautiful coastline and stunning views of the Pitons. The sailing boat will meet you in Castries by the cruise ship dock and you will enjoy a true sailing delight down the Caribbean coast until Soufriere with the stunning Pitons. The boat captain will bring you to great snorkelling spots and you will get a perfect treat on board, sipping rum-punch. In Soufriere you will get off the sailing boat and a taxi will bring you back up to Castries by land. (drinks & food included)

 

WATERFALL DELIGHT (7-8 hrs.)

Spend a day of natural delight by discovering waterfalls surrounded by dazzling vegetation. Close to the fishing village of Anse-la-Raye we'll go for a short hike through the lush nature to reach a beautiful waterfall. Then we'll continue down to Soufriere, where we'll visit a little tropical flower garden with waterfall. It's a great experience to bathe underneath! On this tour you will get great views of Castries harbour, Marigot Bay and of course St.Lucia's national landmark, the Pitons. (some drinks & fruits provided)

 

RAINFOREST HIKE (3-4 hrs. or 5-6 hrs.)

Get a great view of Castries harbour before crossing the island towards the East coast. All nature lovers will truly enjoy an unforgettable experience of the tropical rainforest and there is even a chance to spot "Jacquot", St.Lucia's parrot. If you choose the trail further down the East Coast, you will get great views of the rugged Atlantic Coast along the way .

 

CASRTRIES & MARIGOT BAY (ca. 4 hrs.)

Have a drive through the town of Castries and stroll over the market before driving up the Morne, where you will get the most stunning view of the harbour and the cruise ships. In that area there is the possibility for you to stop at a Batik shop or a screen printing workshop, a woodcarving shop or at Caribbean Perfume's or at no shop/studio at all, according to your interests. Crossing St.Lucia's largest banana plantation we reach Marigot Bay for a fantastic view down on the bay and about 1 hr. time to relax and swim. (possibility to stop at St.Lucia's rum distillery)

RIVER ROCK & MARIGOT BAY (ca. 4 hrs.)

Pass through the town of Castries and its market and have a stunning view up Morne Fortune over the harbour of Castries and the North of the island. Driving towards the West Coast, we cross the Roseau banana plantation. In the fishing village of Anse-la-Raye we head towards lush nature and spend some time at a little waterfall & garden, where you can bathe and admire the tropical sourroundings. On our return trip we view scenic Marigot Bay and you have the possibility to cross the bay with a little ferry to sepnd some time on the beach over there.

SUGARMILL & MARIGOT BAY (ca.4 hrs.)

Visit the town of Castries and its market, before having an unforgettable view of the harbour on the Morne. Drive towards the West coast road and cross St.Lucia's largest banana plantation. Stroll around the fishing village of Anse-la-Raye, and visit a former sugar mill in a beautiful, flowering surrounding, where you'll get to see tropical flowers and trees and at the same time get an impression of the colonial times, when sugar cane was dominating the island. On the way up you will enjoy the scenic view of Marigot Bay and take the ferry boat to cross the bay for spending some time to relax and swim at the beach there.

 

Please note that our tours are private tours. Most of the tours can be organised for 2 people, however for certain tours it might be more economic and more options might be available for you if you book a tour as a little group. Let us know if you’d like lunch to be included in the tour or if you would like us to provide some little snack.

 

 

AIRPORT TRANSFERS

If you arrive on an International Flight, you will be arriving at Hewanorra Airport in the very south of the island. Most hotels are located in the north of the island or in Soufriere (West Coast).To the North it is a 1 ½ hour drive from Hewanorra Airport and to Soufriere it is about 1 hour. We provide you with transfers to your hotel and from the hotel back to the airport.

One way transfer from the Airport to a hotel in Castries/Rodney Bay Area or Soufriere:

55.-$ US (for 1 - 2 persons) - for each additional person 5.-$ US

Return-Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport: 100.-$ US (for 1 - 2 persons) - for each additional person 8.-$ US

Email us at paradise@stluciatours.net

Or call us at (758)454-9876 or (758)384-3324

 

TRIPS TO OTHER ISLANDS (under construction)

Martinique

Barbados

Dominica

Grenadines

MARTINIQUE

St.Lucia's closets neighbour is the island of Martinique, just about 35 km (21 miles) to the North. Being a french overseas department you feel french and european flair everywhere. There are also some good shopping opportunities.

BARBADOS

The "Little England" of the Caribbean

DOMINICA

An outburst of lush nature and a true eco-tourism destination!

GRENADINES

Spend a day like a dream! White sand beaches fringed with coconut palm trees.

ST.LUCIA SPECIAL DISCOVERY:"FACES OF AN ISLAND"

(under construction)

ACCOMMODATION

(under construction)

MORE SIGHTS (under construction)

Mamiku Gardens (Link)

Balembouche Estate (Link)

Latille waterfall

Toraille waterfall

Pigeon Island

River Rock

LINKS