Cruise and Beach Destinations
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St. Lucia

13 Best Things to Do in St. Lucia

St. Lucia Pitons
The St. Lucia Pitons are a popular tourist attraction for hikers. Credit: Pixabay public domain

Unique St. Lucia shore excursions start with the imposing Piton peaks, a beautiful coastline and plenty of shopping and dining in the capital city of Castries.

They also include Pigeon Island National Landmark with a history of Amerindians, piracy and battles between the English and French. Fond d’Or Nature Historic Park has more island history, nature and culture. Fond Doux Estate is an authentic working plantation.

Noteworthy standard attractions include an emphasis on touring the backcountry by hiking, biking, horseback and ATV mentioned above.

1) The Pitons

Gros Piton and Petit Piton are two giant volcanic plugs located south of Soufrière that top 2,000 feet. They are the most prominent natural attractions on St. Lucia and are especially popular with photographers.

The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highly fit visitors take a five- to six-hour hike up Gros Piton for the views. Less energetic visitors like my wife and daughter take a dip in warm mud baths at the base of the mountains and wash off in a nearby waterfall.

Casual island tours that include a visit to the Pitons usually cost between $65 and $95 per person depending on the length of time. Most tours last about four to give hours.

2) Soufrière

The tiny town of Soufrière at the base of the mountains is the gateway for hikers and mud bath enthusiasts. It is the location of resorts, stores and nearby waterfalls.

“Soufrière is also home to many unique cultural and historical tour destinations, including working cocoa plantations, former sugar estates and lush botanical gardens,” the St. Lucia Tourist Board says.

Island tours that visit the Pitons usually stop at Soufrière as well.

3) Tet Paul Nature Trail

Families or people with less time or energy can take advantage of St. Lucia’s beauty on the Tet Paul Nature Trail, a 45-minute hike near Soufrière.

The hike has views of Jalousie Bay and Gros Piton as well as the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent. It also has an organic farm, traditional house and exotic horticulture.

St. Lucia biking
Rain forest biking
© St. Lucia Tourist Board

4) Rain Forest Hikes

Rain forest hikes include Barre De L’isle Trail, a non-strenuous one-mile trail filed by an hour to climb Mr. La Combe ride, and Des Cartiers Rainforest, a strenuous two-kilometer trail.

Edmund Forest Reserve is a strenuous 3.5-hour hike into Edmund Forest Reserve. Enbas Saut is a moderate to strenuous, four-kilometer trail within the 19,000 acres of Central Rainforest Reserve at the foot of the highest mountain peak in St Lucia.

Mountain biking is available at Anse Chastanet Resort.

5) St. Lucia Coastline

The island has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Caribbean. Tour operators offer numerous ways of viewing the coastline including sailboats, ATV, jeep and horseback.

My son and I did an ATV excursion along the the coast and loved the beauty and adventure of it all.

6) Castries

Local shops are usually open weekdays 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. Duty-free shopping centers are located by the cruise docks at Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage.

7) Beaches

Reduit is the longest and most popular beach in St. Lucia. Marigot Bay beach is known for its beautiful cove. Other beaches include Vigie, La Toc, Anse Cochon, Anse Chastanet, Anse Des Sables, Sandy Beach and Grande Anse. Grand Anse is popular for turtle watching.

A quick shore excurion to nearby Vigie Beach will cost about $20 per person including a lounge chair and beverage. The beach is by the airport a little more than a mile from the cruise terminal, so energetic and budget-minded visitors can walk there.

8) Aerial Tram and Zipline Tour

Zipline facilities have become hugely popular throughout the Caribbean, and St. Lucia is no exception. It has a half-day excursion that includes both 10 ziplines and an aerial tram. Prices start at $110.

9) Pigeon Island National Landmark

Pigeon Island has been the home of the Amerindians, a pirate hideout and a military base.

Fort Charlotte, which is now a college, was the site of some of extensive fighting between the French and the British. The Choiseul Heritage site is a village with history, crafts and island views.

10) Fond d’Or Nature Historic Park

Tours combine historical St Lucia with the tranquility of a nature. The Fond d’Or Nature Historic Park has symbols of the Amerindian settlement and historical buildings from the sugar industry.

A hiking trail goes through an estuarine tropical forest to a wide white sand beach that is visited by nesting Leatherback Turtles.

Visitors also can tour the Interpretation Centre. Within driving distance is the Latille Waterfall, which is surrounded by vegetation and additional pools.

11) Fond Doug Estate

This tropical Caribbean-style working plantation has a variety of tropical fruits and plants.

After touring the plantation, visitors can return to the plantation house to enjoy St. Lucian rum punch, fruit juices and coconut water along with an authentic Creole lunch.

12) La Sikwi, Morne Coubaril and Marquis Estates

The La Sikwi Sugar Mill plantation has a museum, theater and a 40-foot water wheel on 400 acres.

The Morne Coubaril Estate has a workers’ village, sugar mill, manioc and cocoa houses as well as a museum, restaurant and botanical garden.

Visitors to the Marquis Estate can see the production of bananas and copra, which are St. Lucia’s most important export crops.

13) Fond Latisab Creole Park - Babonneau

Visitors to Fond Assau in Babonneau will see traditional practices such as preparation of cassava bread, cooking on macambo leaves, catching crayfish in the river and collecting honey from a beehive.

A Chak Chak band plays traditional music in the background.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
May 20, 2023

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