It takes about an hour and a half to journey from one finish of tropical St Lucia to the opposite – possibly one hour with gentle site visitors.
However don’t be fooled by the restricted actual property. A visit to this idyllic Caribbean island will hold you busy with actions from daybreak until nightfall, whether or not your style runs to cacao property excursions or jungle hikes.
Past the bone-white sands and turquoise waters, St Lucia affords an abundance of nature trails, family-friendly experiences and mouthwatering delicacies, plus general good vibes. That can assist you plan your itinerary, here is our information to the very best issues to do in St Lucia.
1. Go mountaineering on St Lucia’s pitons
As you may anticipate from an island with such mountainous terrain, St Lucia is a hikers’ paradise. Most walkers begin the journey on the dual volcanic plugs often called the Pitons. Gros Piton is the bigger of the 2, and the ascent will get progressively extra taxing as you get nearer to the summit. Although the climb is shorter, the trek up Petit Piton is unforgiving from the get-go.
The payoff is a panoramic, unobstructed view of the island that may go away you breathless. Wildlife fans ought to sort out the Piton Flore Path that loops by means of lush rainforest to the highest of Piton Flore close to Castries; endemic St Lucia parrots are sometimes noticed alongside the path.
Planning tip: When you’re simply after a leisurely stroll towards a superb backdrop, the Tet Paul Nature Trail climbs by means of an natural farm to a lofty lookout close to Soufrière. The route is achievable for hikers of all ages and health ranges, however an early morning begin is finest for protecting cool and avoiding the noon solar.
2. Take a cruise to admire the St Lucia sundown
There are few extra romantic experiences than watching the Caribbean solar dip under the horizon and feeling its orange glow kiss your pores and skin whilst you sip on a chilly drink and nibble on hors d’oeuvres. A sundown cruise might be a spotlight of any journey to the island described because the “Helen of the West Indies.” Most cruises provide two relaxed hours at sea, with the right trifecta of fine drinks, good meals and Caribbean music.
Planning tip: For a novel twist on the everyday St Lucia sundown cruise, Mystic Man affords a sundown cruise that sails alongside the interior bay of the Pitons, serving up dramatic coastal views. Improve the intimacy issue with a non-public cruise or hire a catamaran for a night sail with simply your nearest and dearest. You may even catch that elusive phenomenon often called the inexperienced flash, an optical phantasm attributable to the refraction of the solar’s gentle.
3. Take pleasure in St Lucia chocolate
St Lucia’s lengthy historical past of cacao manufacturing may be traced again to the 1700s when plantations have been established to provide beans to Europe to be remodeled into premium chocolate. At this time, the trade is flourishing as soon as once more with the expansion of premium chocolate manufacturers, and the complete month of August is devoted to occasions celebrating the confection.
The Rabot Hotel is the centerpiece of a 250-year-old cocoa farm, the oldest on the island, and it provides beans to the Lodge Chocolat model. Past the cocoa-inspired decor, the property’s meals are additionally chocolate-infused. Standouts at lunchtime embody cacao nib-marinated hen rotis and watermelon salad; for dinner, the meat tenderloin is paired with seasonal greens, cacao nibs and backyard mint.
For a candy addition to an intimate getaway, attempt a revitalizing “Chocolate Delight” spa therapy on the modern Jade Mountain resort, or a sensuous “Candy Give up Chocolate Wrap” at Kai Koko Spa contained in the tranquil Ti Kaye Resort.
For a extra immersive expertise, take a heritage tour with Fond Doux Eco Resort for a deep dive into all issues cacao, together with the cocoa-rina dance historically used to shine the beans. Cacao Sainte Lucie, within the village of Belvedere close to Canaries, takes guests by means of the gradual roasting and stone grinding course of that varieties the muse of its handcrafted small-batch chocolate. You’ll be able to even attempt your hand at making a bar.
4. Get pleasure from pure spa therapies at St Lucia’s Sulphur Springs
One oft-quoted piece of St Lucian trivia is the truth that the island boasts the world’s solely drive-in volcano. It isn’t fairly a Bond villain’s lair, however arriving at this steaming pure volcanic spa is actually an expertise, with 4 swimming pools fed by volcano-heated water the place you may soak.
The dormant volcano that produces all this geothermal warmth final erupted within the 1700s, however its mud baths, scorching springs and waterfalls proceed to attract a world crowd. The mud baths are believed to include detoxifying properties that soothe sunburn, joint soreness, arthritis and pores and skin situations like eczema.
Planning tip: Attempt to nab a spot within the first mud tub – the water flows from one to the following and will get a bit mucky by the fourth tub.
5. Get moist at Splash Island Water Park
Splash Island is the Caribbean’s first floating water park, and it is a agency favourite with households in St Lucia. The inflatable water park sits simply off of Reduit Beach on the island’s northwest coast, and it encompasses a kid- and adult-friendly impediment course with hurdles, monkey bars, a slide, swing and climbing wall, a trampoline, water volleyball and extra. Lifeguards are stationed shut by to make sure a protected aquatic journey.
Planning tip: After working up an urge for food, guests can tuck right into a meal from one of many small, cozy eating places lining the close by Rodney Bay strip.
6. Get above the rainforest on the aerial tram
A dense stretch of emerald rainforest covers the inside of the island, offering shelter for the nationwide hen, the St Lucia parrot (Amazona versicolor), discovered solely on this tiny Caribbean island. In native parlance, it’s referred to as the Jacquot, and chances are you’ll be fortunate sufficient to identify one from the aerial tram that crosses the jungle at Rainforest Adventures, inland from Castries.
The open, cage-like gondolas soar 37m (120ft) above the rainforest cover, offering an incomparable overhead view of the plush wildlife. Every gondola holds eight individuals, and a nature interpreter accompanies every group to level out noteworthy vegetation and wildlife alongside the way in which. At floor stage, you may seek for flourishing animal life, waterfalls and tree orchids on the fern nature path.
7. Be part of the enjoyable on the Gros Islet Friday Evening Road Occasion
St Lucia’s most well-known celebration will not be its annual carnival however the Gros Islet Friday Evening Road Occasion, which has been a staple on the island’s nightlife scene for greater than 50 years.
Held in St Lucia’s northernmost city, the weekly jump-up and jam session begins as quickly because the solar units. Residents pile up their coolers with ice, native fruit juice and Piton beers, and it’s not lengthy earlier than the telltale scent of barbecues and garlicky fish and hen begins wafting by means of the air.
Add in just a few hundred revelers and DJs spinning information starting from groovy soca to the “riddim-driven” sounds of Caribbean dancehall, and you’ve got a shindig lasting effectively into the wee hours on Saturday morning. If you wish to celebration like a real Lucian, there’s no higher place to strut your stuff.
8. Store for crafts and tropical fruit on the Castries Market
Since 1894, the Castries Market on Jeremie Road in Castries has been the island’s fundamental hub for the sale of contemporary fish and meat, produce, herbs and spices. It is an important place to browse for contemporary, sun-sweetened fruit and greens, displayed in neat piles.
Close by, the lined part of the market options rows of colourful stalls promoting handcrafted trinkets, adorned calabashes, woven baskets, straw hats, artwork, spicy island condiments and domestically produced beachwear. It is also a wonderful spot to pattern genuine St Lucian treats reminiscent of bakes (fried dough), cocoa tea and cow heel soup.
Planning tip: The market operates day by day, however Saturday is the busiest day of the week – locals collect earlier than 7am to have the decide of the contemporary produce.
9. Watch a cricket match on the Daren Sammy Cricket Floor
One of many holdovers from St Lucia’s time beneath British colonial rule is the nationwide obsession with cricket. This British pastime is tied with soccer (soccer for you Individuals) as the preferred sport on the island. When you’re unfamiliar with the sport, ask an area to speak you thru the principles.
St Lucians, like most West Indians, are obsessed with cricket, so don’t be shocked when you see locals strolling alongside holding small transistor radios to their ears to comply with matches. The very best place to see a match is the Daren Sammy Cricket Floor at Gros Islet, named after the primary St Lucian to be referred to as as much as the West Indies Cricket Crew.
Planning tip: For the final word Caribbean cricket-watching expertise, seize a seat within the celebration stands, the place the drinks are all the time free-flowing and the celebrations spirited and uninhibited.
10. Take a rum tour to pattern St Lucia’s spirit
Rum is the rockstar ingredient in a few of St Lucia’s best-loved culinary traditions, from the island’s well-known rum punch to the native fruitcake. Regionally produced Bounty Rum has even been described because the spirit of St Lucia in each means!
Planning tip: Bounty Rum is manufactured and bottled by St Lucia Distillers, which additionally produces the award-winning premium rum, Chairman’s Reserve. You’ll be able to comply with its manufacturing course of on a Rhythm of Rum tour, which additionally consists of tastings of its intensive assortment of rums and rum-based liqueurs.
11. Eat like an area in St Lucia
St Lucia’s delicacies is a mélange of Amerindian, British, French, African and Creole influences, boiling all the way down to a dizzying array of flavorful native fare. Starchy sides reminiscent of yam, candy potato and dasheen (a sort of taro) are usually accompanied by stewed meats or fish broth and greens. Legumes are a well-liked accompaniment, significantly lentils or pink (kidney) beans.
A standard breakfast begins with cocoa tea made out of cacao sticks and fragrant spices, with fried dough “bakes,” stewed saltfish and cucumber salad.
Planning tip: You’ll be able to pattern any of those dishes and lots of extra at native eating places across the island. Throughout Jounen Kwéyòl – a competition devoted to Creole tradition held yearly in October – you will discover many genuine native meals served in cities and villages, together with the nationwide dish: saltfish and inexperienced fig (unripened banana). Additionally, look out for bouyon (meat stew) and breadfruit with smoked herring.