Guide to Saint Lucia
Many holidaymakers come to St Lucia in search of the traditional Caribbean attractions of blue seas lapping on to golden beaches with palm trees swaying as a backdrop. St Lucia can provide this setting in lots of places but with its dramatic scenery, St Lucia cries out to be explored.
St Lucia has the usual Caribbean climate – bags of sunshine with temperatures around 28 degrees celsius year round and like all the islands it has the usual tropical rain showers which generally last for just a few minutes…weather like this obviously leads you to the beach…
A Natural Spa
At Sulphur Springs Park, near Soufriere, steaming pools, bubbling mud and a distinctive smell reveal the presence of a dormant volcano. Wallowing in hot, therapeutic, mineral-rich waters is possible in the pools here, and also at the lovely Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens nearby, whose restored baths were built back in the 18th century for French troops.
St Lucia’s beaches are an impressively varied bunch. They range from long and lively Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay, to the remote, jungle-backed silver sands at Anse Cochon. Our other favourites include Labas Beach, a spit of palm-dotted sand poking into Marigot Bay that you can reach only by boat and Anse des Pitons, a crescent of blindingly white sand between the Pitons, backed by the exclusive Sugar Beach hotel.
Diamond Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls
Situated in Soufriere, Diamond Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls is a nature lover’s dream with a wide range of plants and colourful flowers on display. An informative guide will take you on a tour of the gardens pointing out some of the medicinal uses of the plants. The waterfalls originate from underground thermal springs and the rocks that the water spills over are encrusted with minerals tainted yellow, purple and green. There are also mineral baths on site which have reputedly therapeutic benefits for rheumatism, respiratory complaints and ulcers. It is believed Josephene Bonaparte bathed here as a young girl.
This beautiful bay was the scene for the original Dr Doolittle film and is also famous for being the only bay in the Caribbean which forms a hurricane hole providing shelter for boats. Marigot Bay has a marina village offering various services and facilities including a boat repair shop, clothes shops, a bank and supermarket.
Pigeon Island National Park
The beautiful Pigeon Island National Park is a notable landmark in St Lucia. Once used as a lookout point and military base when the British and the French fought over St Lucia, visitors are still able to see remnants of the military forts and bunkers used during this time. There is also a small museum on site which houses relics and artefacts from the battles. A popular venue for picnics and weddings due to its stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Pigeon Island is also home to the main stage performances of the annual St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival held in May. One of the leading music events in the Caribbean, the festival showcases international artists in Jazz, RnB, Soul, Reggae and Pop.
More than 19,000 acres of pristine rainforest cover St Lucia’s mountainous interior. Hiking trails of varying difficulty and length, with options suitable for most, weave their way through a world of giant ferns, hanging Tarzan roots, sparkling waterfalls and rare colourful parrots and other tropical birds. There are also several places to zip-line over the trees and for the less daring, an aerial tram, with gondolas gliding serenly up and down a mountainside over the rainforest canopy giving an unbelievable dramatic view over this natural wonder of the world.
The magical twin Pitons are St Lucia’s iconic landmarks and sit majestically on the South West coast of the island in the town of Soufriere. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Piton Mountains are two famous volcanic cones that erupt from the sea. Many hotels in the south provide stunning views of the Pitons from their own sanctuaries, villas or rooms. The Pitons also provide the perfect backdrop for wedding ceremonies, film locations as well as a great spot for diving and snorkelling. The Gros Piton trail, which takes approximately 4-5 hours, enables visitors to climb to the top of the mountain to take in the breath-taking views of the island.
Dining and partying
St Lucia has a number of memorable restaurants, serving fantastic food in stunning locations – Boucan, Dasheene, The Rainforest Hideaway and The Cliff at Cap head the list. Utterly different, but just as memorable, are the Friday night street parties at the fishing villages of Anse La Raye and Gros Islet, with their winning combination of good-value barbecued seafood, local rum punches and very lively Caribbean music.
This is merely a sample of the many things to do on St Lucia. Just St Lucia provides clients with more detailed recommendations to take them on holiday with lots of ‘insider tips’ on where to find the hidden gems amongst the restaurants and attractions of the island.
Tet Paul Nature Trail
The Tet Paul Nature Trail is an easy to moderate 45 minute hike offering visitors a number of stunning views en route of Martinique and St Vincent, Sugar Beach and the Petit Piton among other attractions. There are traditional medicinal plants and exotic fruit trees along the way and you will also see a traditional house where the ancestors of St Lucians used to live.
Scuba diving & Snorkeling
Plunging into the crystal clear waters of St Lucia is a sparkling experience for both beginners and experts alike. Scuba St Lucia and other dive operators on island are dedicated to ensure exceptional diving experiences for all. From beginners’ courses up to more advanced certifications, most operators provide full instruction as well as boat dives and exciting and atmospheric night dives. St Lucia boasts a number of stunning dive sites that catapult divers into a tranquil world filled with secret nooks waiting to be explored.
Rainforest / Zip Line Adventure
More than 19,000 acres of pristine rainforest cover St Lucia’s mountainous interior. Hiking trails of varying difficulty and length, with options suitable for most, weave their way through a world of giant ferns, hanging Tarzan roots, sparkling waterfalls and rare colourful parrots and other tropical birds. There are also several places to zip-line over the trees, and, for the less daring, an aerial tram, with gondolas gliding serenely up and down a mountainside over the rainforest canopy giving an unbelievable dramatic view over this natural wonder of the world.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Enjoy the excitement of the search for one of the world’s greatest mammals. St Lucia has its fair share of visiting and resident cetaceans, pods of spinning and spotted Dolphins, Pilot & Sperm whales, False Orca and other whales can be seen in the waters and the success rate of sightings is good.
On and under the water
A must-do trip is a catamaran cruise down the dramatic west coast, passing traditional fishing villages, dropping anchor for a dip off an unspoiled beach, and ending up with sensational views of St Lucia’s extraordinary, pointed twin peaks, the Pitons. The reefs by the base of the Pitons and in front of Anse Chastanet offer some of the best close-to-shore snorkelling and diving in the Caribbean.