Written by KCaribbean aren HastingsNov 17, 2020
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Crowned by the towering twin volCaribbean canic peaks of the Pitons, St. Lucia is the beauty queen of the Caribbean. Crescent-shaped beaches, small fishing villages, rainforests, reefs, waterfalls, geothermal attractions, and lush mountains are just some of St. Lucia’s many attractions.
Castries, the island’s capital and cruise ship port, offers a colorful slice of St. Lucian life. Shop at its lively market, and stop to snap some photos of its fascinating historic landmarks. At Morne Fortune and Pigeon Island National Park, you can learn about the history of the island’s many battles between the French and English, who fought savagely for its possession.
Beach on St. Lucia
Adventure seekers will find plenty of things to do on St. Lucia. Ziplining, climbing the Pitons, hiking the many marked nature trails, horseback riding, sightseeing cruises, and exploring the island’s active volcano are popular island activities. Diving is excellent on the west side of St. Lucia, with a rich diversity of corals, sponges, and reef fish.
After all the action, you can relax under rustling palms on St. Lucia’s golden beaches or soak in the island’s healing hot springs. For more ideas on things to do and places to visit on this idyllic island, read our list of the top attractions in St. Lucia.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pitons Management Area, the Pitons are St. Lucia’s twin towering peaks and prime topographic features. These distinctive peaks soar out of the sea to great heights. The Gros Piton (large piton) to the south is 798 meters high, and the Petit Piton (small piton) is 750 meters Caribbean high.
Formed by volcanic activity about 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, both the Pitons are considered difficult climbs. If you’re a diver, you can explore them as underwater cliffs. However, most visitors simply view them from afar for their Caribbean scenic beauty.
Wondering where to catch the best view of the Pitons in St. Lucia? The colorful fishing village of Soufriere affords a panoramic vista of the twin peaks – especially from the Tet Paul Caribbean Nature Trail. Some hotels also boast breathtaking views of them, including the luxurious Anse Chastanet and adults-only Jade Mountain Resort.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in St Lucia
Marigot Bay is arguably the most beautiful bay on St. Lucia. It is best viewed from a vista point on the road between the main Caribbean coastal route and the bay itself. Lush hillsides plunge to the pretty palm-fringed beach, and yachts bob on the bay’s blue waters.
The harbor is so deep and sheltered that the British fleet supposedly hid here from the French by covering their masts with palm fronds.
Marigot Bay was also the setting for the 1967 film Doctor Doolittle, a claim to fame that has left a permanent mark on the names of some of the local establishments.
Water shuttles ferry visitors across the bay to St. Lucia hotels on the opposite side. If you want to base yourself here, the luxury Marigot Bay Resort and Marina has lovely views of yachts bristling in the bay amid the green hills.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Marigot Bay
3.Snorkeling and Diving in Anse Chastanet Marine National Park
Diving in Anse Chastanet Marine National Park
Anse Chastanet coral reef harbors a treasure trove of sea life. On a plateau of two to eight meters, divers can see colored sponges, soft corals, boulder coral, and brain corals. Frogfish inhabit a large nearby cavern, and divers may spot many varieties of fish in the coral gardens, including parrotfish, goatfish, wrasse, chromis, and barracudas.
The edge of the plateau is a wall that drops 46 meters to a lace coral ecosystem inhabited by lobsters, crabs, and eels. Plate coral starts below 30 meters.
Above the surface, Anse Chastanet is a sheltered beach with beautiful views of the Pitons.
About a 10-minute walk from here, Anse Mamin is less crowded, with a lovely secluded feel and great snorkeling.
4.Hiking the Tet Paul Nature Trail
Tet Paul Nature Trail
Looking for a break from the sun, sand, and sea? Thanks to the island’s dramatic topography, hiking in St. Lucia can be especially rewarding, and the Tet Paul Nature Trail, near Soufrière, offers some of the most spectacular views in southern St. Lucia.
Winding through tropical forest in St. Lucia’s World Heritage-listed Pitons Management Area, this easy to moderate hike takes about 45 minutes. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Martinique and St. Vincent.
Along the gentle trail, you can learn about medicinal plants and trees, sample exotic tropical fruits, and discover the traditional Amerindian art of cassava production. You’ll see plenty of pineapples growing along the way as well. The highlight is the “stairway to heaven,” steep steps leading up to a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
Note that you have to pay a small entrance fee to hike the trail.
Guarded over by the towering Pitons, the colorful fishing village of Soufrière wraps around a beautiful bay. This quintessential St. Lucian village lies about an hour’s drive south of the capital, Castries, and makes a great base for a couple of days to explore the nearby attractions.
Founded in about 1745, Soufriere has an interesting history. Its main claim to fame is that Josephine, the wife of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, was born here in 1763. But Soufriere’s history also has a grisly side – the town square was the site of the guillotine erected during the French Revolution in 1780, and many plantation owners and their families were executed here.
If you’re headed out on a sightseeing tour, be sure to stop by the town square and see the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with its striking azure accents. You’ll also notice many colorful buildings in town with filigreed balconies and tin roofs.
Other things to see and do around Soufriere include hiking the spectacular Tet Paul Nature Trail, visiting Sulphur Springs Park, and strolling through the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. If you prefer something a little more laid-back, you can bask on the pretty palm-lined Anse Mamin beach.
Soufriere is also the best base if you want to tackle the tough hikes up the Pitons – the Gros Piton Nature Trail or the Petit Piton Trail.
For a beautiful view over Soufriere and its deep blue bay, head to the overlook on the main road to Vieux Fort.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Soufrière
6.Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park
Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park