In this episode, I talk to Keiwa Simpson. She is a vacation planner living in St. Lucia, and today she’s going to tell us about the beautiful, romantic Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
[01:42] Introducing Keiwa Simpson
Keiwa Simpson is a local St. Lucian vacation planner. She has been in the tourism industry for 3 years, and she helps overworked couples put together their dream vacation on the island of St. Lucia (some say it’s the most beautiful island in the Caribbean!). Prior to getting into the world of travel, she taught high school science and Spanish.
[03:49] Is there a “best spot” or are there several spots to vacation in?
Keiwa says this is an easy answer but also a tough answer. There’s “The Heart and Soul” of St Lucia, Soufriere. This is where you find the UNESCO Heritage Site, The Pitons – those famous twin mountain peaks that you
see on travel brochures for St Lucia.
There is even a “drive-in volcano”, mud baths that make you look 10 years younger, warm waterfalls, black waterfalls, and some of the most amazing snorkeling sites. This is for those who want to get to those natural attractions!
[07:10] Other authentic experiences in the area
At the Cocoa plantations, you’ll get to see the magnificent cocoa trees, the cocoa pods and seeds, and you even get to make your own chocolate!
[08:48] Local Medicinal Plants
There are plenty of local remedies made from the plants in the area.
Turmeric is used to treat inflammation, and the bark and roots from several trees are mixed with alcohol (when it’s mixed with honey and other flavours, it’s a medicineaphrodisiac-chilled rum combo).
[09:43] Is St Lucia only for couples?
When most people think of St Lucia, you might picture a romantic getaway. If you want to travel to St Lucia solo or on a girls’ trip and not feel out of place, no need to worry, St Lucia has something for everyone.
The locals are also known to be the friendliest in the Caribbean, so you’ll be well taken care of even as a solo traveler. If you’re going on a girls’ trip, the carnival season is the time to go!
There are music festivals, parties, and more rum than you could ever imagine. If you’re not keen on traveling in the June-July period, there’s a Creole Heritage Month in October where you can experience the old-style St Lucia.
[12:10] The Friday Street Parties
If you happen to be in St Lucia during the carnival season, and you want to turn up and dance in the streets (there will never be too much dancing in the streets), you need to make sure you have a Friday cleared on your schedule.
[13:04] The music festivals
The carnival celebrations usually happen from mid-June to mid-July. It’s on its way to becoming one of the biggest carnivals in the Caribbean.
Here you will find many Soca artists from all around the Caribbean performing at the festivals. Sometimes these festivals would be themed for those who want to dress up.
It ends with a 2-day street parade where people dress up in elaborate, colourful costumes and dance in the streets.
[15:02] What is Soca music?
Soca music is a fast-paced genre of Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the kind of music you want to listen to if you want to dance, relax, and live your best life.
[16:09] Getting the costumes for the festival
I had a client ask me where they could get the costumes to take part in the festival. If you need to know where to go, Keiwa has all the local connections so you just need to turn up and have a good time.
[17:35] Authentic food experiences
When traveling to another country, you want to experience the local cuisine. Keiwa suggests the Castries Market. Here you can sample all sorts of home-cooked local traditional dishes.
[19:55] Experience St Lucia outside the all-inclusive resorts
Many people don’t know who to trust in a foreign country, so they end up staying in their resorts and never experience the incredible island that’s right outside the resort.
Keiwa reassures everyone that St Lucia is safe for tourists, the locals are so friendly and hospitable, and you don’t even have to worry too much about transportation (there are so many options and, once again, it’s safe). The local taxi drivers have also had training so they could also be your tour guides.
[23:18] Nightlife in St Lucia
If you want to experience the nightlife, the north of the island has a more active nightlife scene with many popular bars and clubs.
[24:36] Your Dream Vacations St Lucia
Keiwa helps people throughout the entire planning process.
If you want a comprehensive list of things to do, the best place to stay, which currency you need, what clothing you need to pack, and whether or not the Instagram pictures are accurate, Keiwa has more answers than any questions you could possibly have.
Having a local person helping you on your vacation, from the planning all the way through till the time you leave, is the best way to have an incredible experience.
[30:02] Traveling between the islands
There’s a 30-minute flight between St Lucia and Barbados, but inter-Caribbean travel is quite expensive – this is something to take into consideration if you want to do some island-hopping.
Catamaran or boat is probably the best way to get around between the islands.
If you’re going from the US to St Lucia, you’re going to need a passport (but no visa).
[34:00] What Keiwa wants people to know about St Lucia
Vacationing in St Lucia is one of the best, most amazing experiences you’ll have in your life.
If St Lucia isn’t on your bucket list, you’re missing out.
The weather is amazing (except in hurricane season from July to November).
I hope that this episode inspired you to get to St Lucia for your next vacation!
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Check out the links to some of the things mentioned in this episode:
- The Erica James Travel Show Podcast Community
- Erica James on Instagram
- EJtheTravelDiva YouTube Channel
- Erica James Travel Facebook Page
- Keiwa Simpson’s You Dream Vacations St Lucia Website
- Keiwa Simpson on Facebook
- Keiwa Simpson on Instagram