Maria Islands Nature Reserve

The Maria Islands—Maria Major and Maria Minor—off the southeastern coast are among the region’s most pristine environments. You can visit the protected wildlife reserve via a 20-minute boat ride from Pointe Sable. On Maria Major, a verdant trail leads you past a variety of unusual tropical flora and fauna, most notably the habitats of six rare native reptile species. Look for St. Lucia’s whiptail lizard and the racer, a nonvenomous grass snake that might appear from a rock crevice. Snorkeling off the beach is part of the experience, too, as the island’s waters are rich with coral reefs. The reserve, a birder’s paradise most of the year, is closed to the public in the summertime to accommodate the nesting season of migratory birds that flock here from Africa.

More From AFAR