Things to do in St Lucia
Whether you’re staying in one of Saint Lucia’s luxury villas for your honeymoon, on a family holiday at an all-inclusive Saint Lucia resort or you have just one day in Saint Lucia on a Caribbean cruise, these are the best attractions to see in Saint Lucia, from rainforest to shoreline. You can do excursions to most of these sights or visit them independently.
Visit Marigot Bay
As you sail towards this tropical paradise, you’ll understand why Marigot Bay is one of the most popular places to visit in Saint Lucia. This picturesque bay is dotted with small beaches, and it’s the only ‘hurricane hole’ in the Caribbean, where boats and catamarans can shelter in bad weather. Marigot Bay’s picture-perfect looks got it featured in the original Dr Doolittle, so it’s worth visiting the DOOlittle’s Restaurant for a bite. You can snorkel in the calm water there and refresh with a coconut hacked straight from the tree afterwards.
Chase some waterfalls
Chasing waterfalls is usually a worthy endeavour – and Saint Lucia’s lush landscape has tons of them. The tallest waterfall on the island is called Sault Falls and it’s located in Dennery on the east coast. Sault Falls’ water cascades from 55 feet! You might prefer to visit the Diamond Waterfall at Diamond Botanical Gardens (swimming isn’t allowed here) or La Tille Waterfall, which is less touristy.
Take a Mud Bath
The world’s only drive-in volcano is a must-visit in Saint Lucia. The town of Soufriere is named after the French word for sulphur, and the rotten-eggs smell is strong at the Sulphur Springs. he baths are roasting and a bit crowded with a lot of men shouting instructions, but it’s a fun photo opp.
Party with the locals
The Gros Islet street party happens every Friday night and is an exciting chance to experience local life after dark. There’s a jovial mix of tourists and locals in attendance, and the music is blasted out of speakers into the packed street until late. Aim to arrive around 7.30pm to fuel up on street food, then grab a rum punch from one of the many pavement stalls and dance the night away.
Hike Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island is one of the top things to see in Saint Lucia. It was used as a lookout point back when the British and French fought over the island, and you can still see the crumbling Fort Rodney and bunkers. Entrance to the Pigeon Island National Park is 8 USD per person and you don’t need a guide. There are two peaks you can climb up for unique views over the island. Neither hikes take long – about 15 mins each – and only the larger peak (Signal Hill) requires actual climbing. The view over Reduit Beach and across to Martinique are well worth the sweat. And you definitely, definitely will sweat.
Sundowners at Rodney Bay
It’s busy, but this manmade lagoon is the one of the best spots for sunset in Saint Lucia. Head to Reduit Beach in the late afternoon for a golden hour swim and walk along the soft sand, then pull up a chair at popular bar Spinnakers for happy hour. Watch the sun go down with a cocktail in hand and order some seafood to end the day on a high note.
Shop in Castries
It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing Caribbean port, but there are still a few things to do in Castries and if you’re nervous, you can take a walking tour to explore the city safely. Castries Market is a must-visit, and at its best on a Saturday morning. Despite being directly opposite the cruise port it’s still an authentic local market selling fruits and vegetables in addition to the usual nick-nacks in the craft arcade. Pick up some banana ketchup, hot sauce, soaps and spices to take home, then head over to the nearby Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception if you’re interested in seeing that.
Hike the Pitons
he iconic pitons sit on the south west coast of the island in Soufriere and have UNESCO status. The Gros Piton trail, which takes approximately 4-5 hours and takes you to highs of 2617ft, starts at the hamlet of Fond Gens Libres (Valley of the Free People, so-called because it’s where escapes slaves settled) and will take you to the top of the mountain. If you’d like to hike with a local guide who will show you all the most scenic spots and even take you through some fishing villages and for lunch afterwards, it’s worth booking in advance.
Taste the local cuisine
Caribbean cuisine is always delicious, and in Saint Lucia the French, native and African cultures have fused to create unique flavours. The island’s bananas are some of the best in the world and seafood like lobster and conch is available in abundance. Saint Lucia’s national dish is green figs (unripe bananas) and saltfish, but other popular foods include plantain, accra and callaloo soup. Oh, and of course try the local beer, Piton!
The original capital of Saint Lucia is perhaps where the island’s French influence is most apparent. Multicoloured colonial-area facades line the busy streets and the waterfront is a peaceful place to escape, with the majestic Pitons guarding the town. A lot of the top Saint Lucia attractions are in or around Soufriere, but it’s worth having a walk around town in between sightseeing sessions.
Snorkel in the Caribbean Sea
The island’s volcanic landscape has created a generous smattering of underwater oases. The best places to go snorkelling in Saint Lucia are Anse Chastanet, Anse Mamin and Jalousie Beach. If you want to escape the crowds, Anse Cochon (which translates to ‘bay of pigs’), is only accessible by sea or a strenuous hike. One of the best and easiest ways to cram in all of the best snorkelling spots while you’re on holiday in Saint Lucia is to do a tour.
Indulge at the Rabot Estate
Hotel Chocolat’s famous cocoa plantation is a must-visit in Saint Lucia. You can stay at the Boucan by Hotel Chocolat and enjoy their spa, or book a 'Tree to Bar Experience'. The experience starts with a walk through the estate’s cocoa groves, where you can choose ripe cocoa pods to harvest from the tree, and it ends with making your own chocolate bar. The price for non-guests is about 88 USD. Alternatively, you can eat at the hotel’s restaurant, where every dish uses some form of the cacao grown at the plantation. Try the 9-stage tasting plate or the cacao marinated scallops. Prices are pretty reasonable, considering how this is such a unique thing to do in Saint Lucia.
Zip Line through the rainforest
Adrenaline junkies, this one is for you. If you want to immerse yourself in Saint Lucia’s tropical rainforest, book a 4.5 hour eco-adventure where you’re clipped into a harness to zoom through a 10-zipline canopy tour and enjoy a hike through the rainforest accompanied by an expert adventure guide. This high-speed day out is fun for all the family and you also get to ride the aerial tram.
See the Sea Life
If you’re a nature lover, you can go to Grande Anse to spot endangered leatherbacks, the largest of sea turtles which can weigh as much as a ton full-grown. They crawl out of the water and lay their eggs on the shores of Grande Anse from March until November. Alternatively, you can go on a dolphin and whale-watching boat trip for the chance to see sperm whales, pilot whales, humpback whales and dolphins.