The west coast has some of the most stunning and beautiful scenery in the Caribbean, principally around the Pitons, green volcanic cones whose slopes plunge dramatically into the sea and provide endless photo shoots for travel brochures. In June 2004 they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Pitons Management Area includes Gros Piton, Petit Piton, the town of Soufrière, the sulphur springs, the coral reefs and all the fauna and flora living in the area.
The natural harbour of Marigot is picture-book pretty and the Roseau valley around it is one of the main banana growing areas. Anse la Raye is a small fishing village notable for its Friday fish fry, while inland, Millet is one of the best birdwatching places, in the forests and fields around the Roseau dam. Soufrière, once the capital of the island, is a typically West Indian town of old wooden houses set on the beautiful bay at the foot of Petit Piton. Offshore is the marine park, providing an underwater safe haven for sea creatures and some excellent snorkelling and diving.
The Edmond Forest Reserve can be reached from here for some excellent forest walking in the mountains, but most impressive of all are the Soufrière sulphur springs in a volcanic crater referred to as the world's only drive-in volcano. Further south, the terrain becomes less mountainous and more agricultural as you head round the south coast via a few fishing villages to Vieux Fort. The lush plantation at Balenbouche is known for its Amerindian petroglyphs and other artefacts as well as being a venue for the Jazz Festival.
Petit Piton is 743 m (2437 ft) high, a volcanic plug rising sheer out of the sea and since June 2004 a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with its sister, Gros Piton. It is a focal point of all views around Soufrière and because it is closer to the town, people often think it is higher than Gros Piton, which is squat and fat compared with Petit Piton, but is in fact higher, at 770 m (2526 ft). Some 148 plant species have been found on Gros Piton, together with 27 species of birds. Four species endemic to the island live here: the St Lucia oriole, St Lucia black finch, St Lucia warbler and the St Lucia wren.