In our climate nothing beats getting outdoors and seeing the sights while the wind whips through your hair. Jump in an open-sided buggy, as a driver or passenger, and explore the favourite attractions as well as some lesser-known roads that your average tourist (and even local) has not heard of!
The ‘Island Buggy – Northern Sights’ tour operated by Adventure Tours St. Lucia is a fantastic way to see the beauty of the northern areas of Saint Lucia. With a choice of two- or four-seater buggies with 1,100 cc 16v fuel-injected engines, you’ll be fighting over who is in the driving seat. This tour is perfect for those who just love to drive!
The minimum age to participate in the tour is eight years old. In order to be behind the wheel, you must be at least 23 years old with a valid driver’s license (to be presented on the day of the tour) and a minimum of three years’ driving experience. The buggies are manual transmission but don’t stress if you are used to automatic as it’s easy to get accustomed to changing gear. Plus the tour guide demonstrates how to operate the buggy before you are let loose on the roads – safety is a priority.
I booked as a single person and preferred to enjoy the ride rather than drive myself. Adventure Tours St. Lucia easily accommodated this by teaming me up with the tour guide, Will. He drove and I leaned back in my seat and took advantage of being chauffeured, able to devote myself to the sights rather than the traffic and potholes (warning – roads and tracks in Saint Lucia are usually not as smooth as you are used to ‘back home’).
Led by the tour guide, the buggies proceed in a convoy; I was up front with Will while three buggies tagged along behind. We were looking forward to approximately two hours of adventure, visiting some of the more famous landmarks and venturing up and down hill slopes blessed with spectacular views of our beautiful island.
We left the starting point in Trouya and made our way north, passing through the beautiful, small, peaceful (it wasn’t Friday night!) village of Gros Islet. We made our first stop near The Landings beach for a brief history on Pigeon Island (see our Pigeon Island history article on page 12). Much to our delight, Will produced complimentary refreshments: bottled water, fruit juices and sodas. We then cruised along the causeway towards Pigeon Island for a closer look.
Next we made our way to the main highway and then roared through Cap Estate, the ‘Beverly Hills of Saint Lucia’, at the extreme north of the island. We reached Pointe Hardy and paused to take in the stunning outlook of the Atlantic coastline with the waves crashing against the shore. It was a clear day and we could easily see the neighbouring French island of Martinique which lies 21 nautical miles away. I’ll confess that even though I’m lucky enough to live in Saint Lucia, I felt moved by what I saw and felt – the breeze and untouched allure left me feeling renewed.
But onwards! We bounced down towards the flat white sand beach of Cas en Bas. On the way I marveled at the abundance of trees filled with silky white cotton. (This is why a local resort was named ‘Cotton Bay’.) This peaceful beach is often used by horse-riders but on this particular day we watched the kite surfers performing ‘aquabatics’ as they raced across the bay.
Trekking through back roads, we passed through Beausejour, where the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium stands, and into the community of Monchy. Switching to low gear, we zoomed up Morne Citron which offers, I must say, breathtaking panoramic views from coast to coast. Alas, time was passing and I knew that all good things must come to an end. We began making our way down the country roads, catching glimpses of local village life, before returning to base.
Will was an attentive guide, giving us plenty of information about the places that we visited and the history of the area. I’m glad that he was my driver as my favourite part of the tour was cruising along in the passenger side. As a lover of nature, I entered a tranquil state of mind with the constant breeze and sights of expansive blue waters, lush vegetation, wildlife and all that Mother Nature has to offer!