Pigeon Island National Park
The Villa Gina is only a walk away from Pigeon Island National park, which is home to many historical attractions and amenities. It was designated a national park in 1979 and this 44 acre natural reserve has been carefully protected and nurtured to give visitors both a cultural and recreational experience. The park is home to ruins of military buildings used during the battles of the French and British over the island, an interpretation centre describing the history of the island, beautiful beaches, restaurants and pub as well as a lookout point which gives a panoramic view of the coast.

Pitons
Near the town of Soufriere lies the Pitons, two volcanic spires rising side by side from the sea. Prominent within the volcanic landscape, these two eroded remnants of lava domes, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, occur with a variety of other volcanic features. In 1998, UNESCO recognised the unique beauty and value of the Pitons, and designated it a World Heritage Site.

The Pitons visual impact and aesthetic qualities come from two adjacent forest-clad volcanic lava domes rising abruptly from the sea to heights greater than 700m. The Pitons dominate the St Lucian landscape, visible from virtually every part of the island and providing a distinctive landmark.The combination of the Pitons against the backdrop of green tropical vegetation and a varying landscape combined with a marine backdrop gives the area its sublime beauty.

Coral reefs cover almost 60% of the site’s marine area. A survey has revealed 168 species of finfish and 60 species of cnidaria, including corals, molluscs, and sponges. Hawksbill turtles are seen inshore as well as whale sharks and pilot whales offshore. The dominant terrestrial vegetation is a tropical moist forest which changes to a subtropical wet forest with small areas of dry forest and wet elfin woodland on the summits. At least 148 plant species have been recorded on Gros Piton, 97 on Petit Piton and the intervening ridge, among them eight rare tree species. The Pitons are home to some 27 bird species (five of them endemic), three indigenous rodents, one opossum, three bats, eight reptiles and three amphibians.




Diamond Botanical Gardens
The tranquil Diamond botanical gardens located just south of Soufriere, is full of tropical fauna such as banana, cashew and cocoa trees, coconut palms as well as exotic flowers like wild orchids, lilies and birds of paradise. Visitors can also enjoy a soak in two mineral baths that are fed by nearby hot sulfur springs or follow the trail to the Diamond waterfall.


St. Lucia Rainforest & Jungle
Within St Lucia's lush interior lies 19,000 acres of rainforest and 29 miles of trails that run directly through it. The St. Lucia rainforest is a habitat for rare birds and plants, including parrots, orchids, hummingbirds and colorful heliconia and climbing palms.

Tropical Island Rainforest Walks

Barre De L’isle Trail (Non-Strenuous)
This trail takes approximately one hour to walk (one-mile) and another hour to climb Mr. La Combe ridge. The trail offers panoramic views from four lookout points. See the ragged Mount Gimie and the blue-green mountain rainforest, Cul-de-Sac valley, the Caribbean Sea and community of Aux Leon. View the expansive Mabouya Valley and Fond d’Or beach on the Atlantic coast.

Des Cartiers Rainforest (Strenuous)
St Lucia’s most hidden lush rainforest is just six miles inland from the east coast main highway through a secondary road. Here, you might see the rare St Lucia Parrot (Jacquot). Walk through the rainforest and view the incredible forest and discover some of St Lucia’s native wildlife on this 2-kilometer trail.

Edmund Forest Reserve (Strenuous)
This 3½-hour hike will take you through the heart of the tropical island into Edmund Forest Reserve on the western side of the island. Plants such bromeliads, orchids, mushrooms, lianas and others can be seen on large roots or branches on the spongy forest. Head westward for a magnificent view of Mt Gimie, St Lucia’s highest peak. An Agriculture ministry booth at the start of the trail sell permits, which is required for entry.

Enbas Saut (Moderate to Strenuous)
This trail is six miles East of Soufriere and at the foot of the highest mountain peak, (Mount Gimie) in St Lucia. The trail is a 4 km trail. Remote and scenic, it offers a variety of rainforest, cloud forest, Elfin woodlands and wildlife. Translated to English Enbas Saut means “below the falls”. The trail is famous for its two cascading waterfalls and pools at the head of the Troumassee River.

Forestierre Rainforest Trail
The Forestierre Trail is 30 minutes away from the City of Castries, and is situated in the community of Forestierre. The trail is part of an Old French Road, which traverses through mature pristine rainforest.  Perhaps some of the most distinctive features on this trail are the abundance of large spectacular figtrees, ephytes, and ferns. This (5) kilometer long trail begins as a gentle downward slope through natural, dense foliage meandering among l’encens trees (protuim attenatum) that produces a white sap with a highly astringent smell. Also common is the majestic chataignier tree, which is supported by a system of elegant buttresses spreading around its base like the gentle folds of a regal gown. The walk back to the main road allows time for peaceful reflection and simple enjoyment of nature’s green botanical wonder.

Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail
Located inthe heartland of St. Lucia, the Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail is a haven for birdlife. Over 30 species of birds can be found there, including five endemic species:  The St. Lucia Black Finch, St. Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Warbler, St. Lucia Oriole and St. Lucia Pewee.

It takes approximately one hour to complete the 1.75 miles walk which is moderate to strenuous, and perched at about 1000 feet above sea level. The trail provides a breathtaking view of the John Compton Dam, which is the largest in the Eastern Caribbean, at 2 kilometere long with an output capacity of 6.3 million gallons of water daily.

All those wishing to enter the forest must have a permit.
It is illegal
under the Forest Soil and Water Conservation Ordinance Act to access trails without the permission of the Forest and Lands Department. Permits are typically available for sale at the entrance of each trail. For information on Rainforest Walks call the Forest & Lands Department on 758 450-2231/2078.

A Villa Gina representative can book a tour on your behalf.

Union Nature Trail & Interpretive Center
Includes Medicinal Herb Garden and Wildlife Collection (Mini-Zoo)

Spend some time with nature on a looped trail which takes you through a secondary dry forest in about an hour. Many dominant tree species thrive here and birds can be spotted along the trail such as humming birds, finches, warblers and more.

Discover the magical wonders of herbs in the medicinal herb garden. Bush medicines are becoming an increasing form of alternative therapy. To complement your trail experience, satisfy your curiosity with close-ups of some indigenous and a few exotic wildlife at the Union Mini zoo.

An Interpretive Centre provides you with information on endangered species, vegetation zones and the forest. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to drive here from most hotels in the north to get to this trail. This is a half-day tour.

 
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Villa Gina — 34 Becune Point, Cap Estate, Gros Islet, St. Lucia   Phone: 1-303-695-9688 Site Map
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