The northern half of the island has more people and is touristy. The capital, Castries, is a big cruise ship stop. From there, the busloads of day trippers head either north to Rodney Bay and Pigeon Point or south to Marigot Bay and Soufriere and The Pitons.
My experience with lush, dense jungle is the monotonous green–-not so in St. Lucia. The island is overrun with bougainvillea and all kinds of colorful flowers. Since there are very few industries and even fewer rivers, the water remains clear and is great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
All beaches in St. Lucia are public beaches, so don’t hesitate--you won’t be trespassing. Once you get away from the touristy northwestern part of the island, the beaches are completely deserted. Also, because of the hills and mountains rising out of the sea, there are many isolated little coves and inlets.
Always have a camera handy. One morning, it was raining when we started out, and our camera was in the trunk. What do you know–-in 10 minutes, the sun was out, and Gros Piton was bathed in a brilliant rainbow. By the time we stopped, got the camera out and going, the rainbow had faded. Also, I saw hummingbirds four times in six days–-there was never a camera around.
Also, if you can, go beyond the tourist recommendations. Before we went, I had read so much about the views from Morne Fortune in Castries. When we finally got to Morne Fortune, the views were nothing compared to some we saw in other parts of the island.
The jump-up at Gros Islet (pronounced ‘grosle’) on Friday night was a little bit of a let-down. To start with, it is not really close to the beach, the food was atrocious, the drinks were expensive... and in general, we felt it was very touristy. Also, while we were there, we saw some young women being followed by some local guys–-they didn’t do much, just stood really close and stared them down. The food starts around 8pm, but the party doesn't pick up speed and strength till around 11pm.