As one of the most beautiful islands on the Caribbean, St. Lucia is truly a beauty queen. Exploring crescent beaches, lush forests, mountain views and small fishing villages are just some of the things to do in St Lucia. Keep reading to learn about this Caribbean island – the only country in the world that’s named after an actual woman – as well as all the best things to do in St Lucia.
1. See (or hike) the Pitons
St Lucia is most famous for a duo of spires known as the Pitons. The volcanic peaks – Gros Piton and Petit Piton – are the most iconic landmarks of the island. Formed by volcanic activity about 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, most visitors take in their scenic beauty from afar. Gros Piton is the higher of the two and it is possible to hike to the summit with a guide. The views from the top will easily make the effort worth it. Petit Piton is for serious climbers only. Even though it’s shorter, the climb is much steeper. If you’re a diver, you can also explore the Pitons as underwater cliffs!
2. Take a dip in Sulphur Springs
Apart from having the spectacular Pitons, St Lucia is also home to the only drive-in volcano in the Caribbean. A road traverses the edge of the 274-meter crater, making the drive one of the most unique things to do in St Lucia. After exploring the bubbling pools from observation platforms, go on to take a truly unique mud bath experience. Soothe your skin (and soul!) with a dip in the mineral-rich waters of Sulphur Springs. Cover your body with the warm grey mud (make sure to wear an old bathing suit), wash off in the spring-fed thermal pool, and then cool off under a nearby waterfall.
3. Kick back at Marigot Bay
Marigot Bay is arguably the most beautiful bay on St Lucia. Lush hillsides descend to the palm-fringed beach, and yachts bob about on the water. If you join a daysail excursion along the island’s west coast, they all make a side trip into Marigot Bay. Or, come by yourself to hang around Capella Marina, enjoy a lunch by the water, toast to the sunset, or simply have a nice dinner. There is also a small ferry that takes passengers back and forth across the bay to a tiny beach. If you want to base yourself here, the luxurious Marigot Bay Resort offers spectacular views and exceptional service.
4. Hike the Tet Paul Nature Trail
St Lucia’s dramatic topography means that hiking can be an especially rewarding activity. The Tet Paul Nature Trail near Soufrière not only offers some of the most spectacular views of Jalousie Bay, the Pitons and the neighbouring isles of Martinique and St Vincent. It also teaches you the island’s original Amerindian people, and the local medicinal plants, exotic fruits and trees. Make sure to climb the ‘stairway to heaven’, steep steps that lead to a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
5. Do a chocolate tour
Cacao pods grow all over St Lucia, and the best way to see how they go from tree to chocolate is to do a chocolate tour. There are plenty of opportunities to visit cacao plantations, learn about chocolate-making and try your hand at it. You can even learn which wines will go best with it! Boucan by Hotel Chocolat offers Tree to Bean and Bean to Bar tours. It is an exclusive opportunity to learn about cacao like never before. You’ll take a walk through the estate’s cacao groves, harvest ripe cacao pods and learn all the fascinating stages like fermenting, drying, grinding, mixing and lots of tasting!
6. Learn about St Lucia’s history at Pigeon Island National Park
A designated Historic Landmark, Pigeon Island’s history dates back to pre-Columbian times, but it is most famous for the 1782 Battle of the Saints. This national park has ruins of military buildings and battlements, a museum and interpretation center. There are also white-sand beaches, a look-out point and walkable path to Fort Rodney. Other popular activities that you can do just off the shores here include snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and diving.
7. Shop at Castries Market
Castries is the island’s capital and popular port city. Right across from the harbour in downtown, you’ll find a lively market where you can buy souvenirs and local goods. Merchandise includes everything from handicrafts to local fruits and vegetables! You can buy batiks, woodcarvings, textiles, handmade brooms, spices, banana ketchups and oils, hot sauces, and many more! The market is open every day, but the liveliest day is Saturday.