Dense tropical rain forest that stretches from one side of St. Lucia to the other, sprawling over 19,000 acres of mountains and valleys, is home to a multitude of exotic flowers and plants and rare birds—including the brightly feathered Jacquot parrot. The Edmund Forest Reserve, on the island's western side, is most easily accessible from the road to Fond St. Jacques, which is just east of Soufrière. A trek through the verdant landscape, with spectacular views of mountains,
valleys, and the sea beyond, can take three or more hours. The ranger station at the entrance to the reserve is a 30-minute drive from Soufrière and 90 minutes or more from the northern end of St. Lucia. You'll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to drive inland to the trailhead, which can take another hour. The trek itself is a strenuous hike, so you need plenty of stamina and sturdy hiking shoes. Your hotel can help you obtain the permission from the Forest & Lands Department to access reserve trails and to arrange for a naturalist or forest officer guide—necessary because the vegetation is so dense.
Soufrière, St. Lucia
758-450–2231; 758-468–5649-for Forest & Lands Department