Maria Islands: The St Lucia eco-sanctuary mired in construction controversy; Claire Wrathall; Telegraph

Saint Lucia – Pitons Management Area

In the words of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott, who died in March, St Lucia’s is “a landscape furious with vegetation”. Its mountainous heart is cloaked in luxuriant rainforest: visitors can admire this lush interior at the Edmund Forest Reserve, for example, when hiking to the towering Enbas Saut waterfall that feeds a sequence of pools in which to cool off.

Its benign western beaches are ringed with coconut palms, and the cliffs of its wild Atlantic coast are spiky with cacti. Though the island is just 27 miles long, 14 miles wide and has an area of just 238 square miles, its National Trust oversees six national parks, excluding the fabled Pitons, the almost perfectly conical twin lava spikes, which have Unesco World Heritage status.

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