Part of the Windward Islands, St. Lucia offers a great balance of luxury and adventure. The island is known for its stunning and dramatic coastal landscapes, emerald green rainforests, and pristine ocean. The island’s colonial past is still reflected in its French cuisine – be sure to try a plate of green fig and saltfish!
There are plenty of opportunities to get into nature in St. Lucia, from ziplining adventures to helicopter rides! There are also plenty of things to do in St. Lucia involving water sports, like windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. To top it off, it boasts some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean.
The north of St. Lucia is best for lazy beach days and luxury holidays. Head to Castries or Rodney Bay and relax all holiday. But, if it’s the outdoors that has called you to St Lucia, then Soufriere in the south is where you want to be.
14. Marigot Bay
This pretty bay on St. Lucia island is secluded and intimate. There is a narrow stretch of white sand that runs the length of the bay, twisting its way along the ocean.
Marigot Bay is surrounded by thick green vegetation and tall palm trees line the beach. The bay has made it into Hollywood films like Dr Doolittle and Firepower because it’s picturesque, surrounded by nature, and tranquil.
The town, Marigot Village, is very small and quiet – there are a few shops and restaurants but not much more. The best things to do in the Marigot Bay area are rent a kayak or climb up to the top of the hill above Marigot Village and take in the breathtaking views of the bay!
13. La Toc Beach
This quiet beach spot south of Castries on St. Lucia island is little known to most tourists. It’s a bit tricky to find – but it’s worth the extra effort.
Once you arrive you’ll be rewarded with a long stretch of white sand beach almost entirely to yourself. The place has an air of luxury, and a few fancy resorts and hotels line the shore, mostly hidden away by lush foliage.
Spend the day catching a tan, snorkeling in the pristine blue water, and reading a book. It’s the perfect place to come and relax for the day – there’s nothing you need to do but be!
12. Castries Market
Castries market is a hub for market vendors selling everything from fresh fish to handmade crafts. It’s a great opportunity for you to connect with Castrie’s locals and buy the most beautiful souvenirs to take home to loved ones (or keep!).
The market has been running since 1894, and it’s open every day. If you want to come on the liveliest day visit the market on a Saturday. The stalls line Jeremie Street and fill it with exotic colors and smells.
You can purchase brightly colored fresh fruits to try from the open-air section of the market and then head into the indoor area and look for the most colorful beachwear and intricately carved calabashes.
11. Go Zip Lining
If you’re looking for something adventurous that the whole family can do, then ziplining in the rainforest might just be the answer! Hidden away in the depths of the Babonneau rainforest near Rodney Bay there is a vast network of zip lines to explore.
Swing above the forest canopy and soar through the rainforest to the sound of hummingbirds and the occasional call of a St. Lucia parrot.
Zip lining through the calabash, strangler figs, and other native flora is a great way to get the kids excited about the nature on the island! Rainforest Adventures run the ziplining tours.
10. Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens
The luscious Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens has a stunning waterfall that runs down a deep earthy-red backdrop and cascades into a shallow pool below.
The gardens are dense with bright green, jungle-like vegetation and an array of brightly colored tropical flowers.
Located in the south of St. Lucia In Soufriere, the center is also home to hot mineral baths and attracts many species of native insects and birds. It’s the perfect place to come and enjoy a serene and tranquil afternoon.
9. Helicopter Tour
Though it’s not the cheapest holiday tour, you can’t miss the chance to soar into the air on a little helicopter and get the best views of St. Lucia’s most famous destinations.
From high above you’ll be treated to bird’s eye views of the Pitons, the island’s notorious dormant volcanoes, and other top destinations, like Castries and its major beaches, Marigot Bay, and the island’s picturesque fishing villages.
There are different tours to pick from, like the North Island and South Island helicopter tours. Your flight comes with a friendly pilot who’ll tell you all about the island’s history!
8. Anse Chastanet Beach
Anse Chastanet Beach is the island’s best diving and snorkeling destination. The breathtaking Anse Chastanet reef that starts just off-shore is considered one of the best in all of the Caribbean.
You can bring your own snorkels, go on a diving tour, or sail further out onboard a boat tour and explore the deeper areas of the reef.
Even if you don’t want to dive or snorkel, this white sand beach shaded by vibrant palm trees and surrounded by rocky cliffs and mountains decorated in colorful vegetation is a must-see.
7. Rainforest Aerial Trams
The interior of St. Lucia island is a dense, emerald green rainforest. The jungle foliage is home to the island’s national bird, the St. Lucia parrot which is endemic to the island.
Incredibly, you can soar over the rainforest on an aerial tram. The trams start their trajectory in Castries and rise 120 feet in the air! They are open air and cage-like, giving you the best views of the fauna and flora below your feet.
You’ll be accompanied by a local nature expert on your round trip and hike through the Fern Nature Trail – where you’ll walk between giant ferns to the sound of bird calls. Check out Rainforest Adventure’s Aerial Tram Tour for more information.
6. Sulphur Springs
St. Lucia’s natural hot springs aren’t any old hot springs – they’re heated by a volcano. There are four natural springs you can soak in, as well as mud baths and cascading waterfalls you can wonder at.
The mineral rich water and mud at the springs are believed to have detoxifying properties that help with skin problems and are thought to alleviate an array of other issues like sore joints.
The best part? The springs are inside a dormant volcano! The volcano last erupted in the 1700s so you’re pretty safe. The island boasts that it has the only drive-in volcano in the world – you can’t miss it.
5. Diving and Snorkeling
St. Lucia’s diving and snorkeling hotspot is the Anse Chastanet reef. There are even occasional sightings of hawksbill turtles off the shore.
Plus, if you go just round the corner you’re at Anse Mamin, another great spot for snorkeling that is more tranquil and less busy. Another hit destination is Marigot Bay that has brightly colored corals.
But go pretty much anywhere on the island and the ocean is filled with an array of tropical fish, like trumpetfish and parrotfish. St. Lucia caters for tourists who want to get their PADI diving certificate as well as those who just want to muck about with a cheap snorkel set.
The best time for snorkeling and diving is from December to May, though the island doesn’t get much rain so the weather conditions are always pretty ideal.
4. Reduit Beach
Reduit Beach sits along the northwest coast of the island, at the front of Rodney Bay. It’s popular thanks to its golden sand, turquoise waters, and numerous cocktail bars and sun loungers.
The beach also boasts an inflatable waterpark, Splash Island, that is great for families and fun for all ages.
Come and enjoy a day relaxing on the beach in style, with views of the Pigeon Island National Park to top it off.
3. Pigeon Island National Park
This island nature reserve off the northwest coast of St. Lucia was joined to the mainland in 1972 by a long, man-made causeway.
The park has a fascinating history that is intertwined with people from all walks of life, from pirates like Jambe de Bois centuries ago, to the French military, and later on famous actresses like Josset Agnes Hutchinson.
There are two restaurants and two luxurious beaches on the island, as well as the ruins of abandoned military buildings that were used when the French and British armies were fighting over St. Lucia.
2. Tet Paul Nature Trail
This short loop is about 0.6 miles long and it’s great for all fitness levels. Weave your way along the little dirt path through the tropical vegetation, accompanied by the magnificent coastal and jungle-like vistas.
It’s not a hard hike, and it goes past a stunning lookout near Soufriere; keep a look out for wildlife along the trail.
If you want to avoid the heat, set off early to avoid the hottest hours. It’s the perfect way to spend a morning in the south of St. Lucia.
1. The Pitons
The Pitons are two ginormous peaks that sit side by side along the coast near Soufriere and Choiseul. They’re undoubtedly one of the most iconic natural wonders on the island. Steep and covered in vibrant vegetation, the peaks allure nature enthusiasts and hikers from all over.
If you’re up to the challenge you can hike the Gros Piton, the only climbable peak of the two. It’s not an easy climb, but the views from the top are second to none. Plus, think of how cool it’ll be to say you’ve climbed up a volcanic spire.
For visitors that aren’t up to the challenge, there’s the option of taking a sunset cruise along the shore where you can take in the dramatic views of the Pitons from afar. This way you’ll get the rewards without the strenuous hike!