A mile-long (1½-km) trail encircles the nature reserve, which you reach from the East Coast Road near the fishing village of Praslin. In this area, boat builders still fashion traditional fishing canoes, called gommiers after the trees from which the hulls are made. The Amerindian people, who originally populated the Caribbean, used the ancient design. A natural promontory at Praslin provides a lookout from which you can view the two small islets, Frégate Major
and Frégate Minor, and—with luck—the frigate birds that nest here from May to July. The only way to visit is on a guided tour, which includes a ride in a gommier to Frégate Minor for a picnic lunch and a swim; all trips are by reservation only and require a minimum of two people. Arrange visits through your hotel, a tour operator, or the St. Lucia National Trust; many tours include round-trip transportation from your hotel.