Barefoot Holidays, an on-island travel company in St. Lucia, recently announced the opening of its "Greenwood Terrace Heritage Experience," a cultural attraction comprised of tropical gardens, a culinary facility and a mini-museum.
Located in the north of the island and within easy reach of most major hotels, the attraction encapsulates St. Lucia’s history, cultural legacy and natural bounty in an intimate setting. Barefoot Holidays offers excursions and private tours, as well as reservation opportunities for weddings and special events.
Located on more than a half-acre of rich, gently sloping land, the Greenwood Terrace Heritage Experience is home to more than 250 species of tropical fruit and exotic flowering trees and plants, including orchids, hibiscus, frangipani, aloe and birds of paradise.
The indigenous fruit trees include several varieties of mangoes, as well as guava, bananas, avocadoes, and cassava. The area is also a natural habitat for more than 20 species of tropical birds, a number of which can only be found on St. Lucia.
Among the many attractions is a traditional “kitchen garden” where the herb seasonings that are essential to St. Lucia’s special culinary flavors are grown. There is also a garden displaying indigenous medicinal herbs and plants that St. Lucians have used for generations to aid digestion, help relieve nausea and other symptoms. Some of the herbs are still favored by the island’s residents.
St. Lucia’s cultural heritage and history is also brought to life at Greenwood Terrace’s mini-museum, where highlights include a pictorial display of how the clay “Coalpot”, used for cooking, is made. The process requires a rare skill that was handed down from St. Lucia’s Amerindian forefathers and is practiced today only by the residents of the Village of Choiseul in the south of the island. An actual “Coalpot” will be shown, and there may even be a chance of seeing one in use. Other relics, artifacts, weapons, and craftwork are on display throughout the museum that showcase the early settlements of St. Lucia’s indigenous peoples, the perpetual struggle for control of the island by European nations, and the changing lifestyles of the island nation’s people.
Barefoot Holidays offers two excursions to the attraction, each appealing to the special interests of travelers. “Flavors of St. Lucia (A Culinary Experience)” introduces visitors to the secrets of the island’s cooking under the personal guidance of a renowned master chef. Available to a limited number of participants per session, it lets guests create, smell and taste some of the island’s specialties. Guests receive a certificate, signed by the chef, after which they are welcomed to stroll the gardens and visit the museum. Cost is $110 per person. Barefoot Holidays also offers private culinary excursions upon request.
A second excursion, the “Essence of St. Lucia”, takes guests on a guided tour through the attraction’s gently sloping gardens and includes a visit to the museum. Artifacts throughout the grounds tell the varied history of the island. Guests can also enjoy a variety of fruits, island delicacies and juices, as well as taste the local rum. The cost is $55 per person. Exclusive tours for families and groups are also available upon request.