"An idyllic fishing village
nestled in a picture
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t may be one of our more over-looked villages, but make no mistake, Canaries is well worth a stop and casual stroll through its streets. Called Kanawe in our Kwéyòl language, it is Saint Lucia’s smallest but still a vibrant one, with a population of 1,862. Canaries is located on the west coast of the island, is between Anse La Raye and Soufriére with stunning views from the north and south. The creole name for the village derives from the Amerindian word that means ‘clay cooking pots’. These metal cauldrons are still being used in the homes of Saint Lucian’s and roadside food stalls such as Plas Kassav located near the Canaries village.
Fun Facts about Canaries
- The village did not have electricity until 1964.
- Until the 1960’s the tiny village was only accessible by boat.
- The French discovered Canaries in 1725.
Though Canaries is an Amerindian name, there is no evidence of Amerindian settlements in the area, unlike other districts such as Soufriére, Vieux Fort, Micoud and Choiseul. Sugar plantations were in operation in the Canaries area in the early to mid 1800s; however by 1887 most of these were abandoned because of the fall in sugar prices, causing the estates to go bankrupt. In more recent times, the villagers made their living on the sea; if you meander down to the beach you can see all the fishing boats lined up on the crisp, white sand.
Canaries may be off the radar; but perhaps this is what has kept the pristine quaintness of the buildings and streets. Each tiny street, barely wide enough to fit a car is lined with homes so adorable you can’t help but gasp and squeal. So if you’re in the area, hop out of your car and explore Canaries, it’s definitely one of Saint Lucia’s hidden treasures.
Things to do in Canaries
- Stop at a viewing points north and south of the village.
- Look out for the snake man at just before you reach the village and hold a boa constrictor!
- Visit Plas Kassav for delicious cassava bread – there are cinnamon and chocolate flavoured ones!
- Visit the Canaries River.