Fact: 5 days in St. Lucia is not enough.
But my mother and I made the best of it!
I had a to-do list a mile long, chocked full of great recommendations from St. Lucians. Beaches, restaurants, hikes, plantations…unfortunately, we weren’t able to get to it all, but that just means I have a great excuse to return. Of all I activities I was able to experience though, these are the top 6 things I believe you absolutely must do, while you’re on the island.
1. See the Pitons Up Close
The towering peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton are a sight I won’t soon forget. At 771 and 743 meters high respectively, these two mountains are one of St. Lucia’s greatest attraction for good reason. We took a day trip to Soufriere with Cosol Tours and spent some time on Anse des Pitons, the idyllic beach between both peaks. The beach is home to the ultra chic Sugar Beach Resort, and with a variety of fish and (harmless) jellyfish swimming close to the shore, it’s great for snorkeling. For the adventurers who don’t mind dedicating a few hours of their day to clambering up and down these magnificent mounds, a trek to the highest point of either or both pinnacles gives you an unparalleled view of the island.
2. Experience the Sulphur Springs
St. Lucia’s Sulphur Springs are the hottest and most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles. If that’s not interesting enough for you, they’re also located in the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. The biggest lure however, are the sulphuric pools that I must say provided the most therapeutic experience of the entire trip. Once we overcame the smell (very close to that of rotten eggs), we took the mandatory soak in the toasty water then happily slathered our bodies in gray mud. It was fun getting all messy on purpose, but the best part was the rejuvenating feeling we got after washing it all off in the steamy way. My skin felt brand new. So brand new that all I wanted to do after climbing out of the bath was cover myself from head to toe to preserve the baby-softness.
3. Go Diving
If you’re a diver, St. Lucia has the perfect underwater landscape for you to take in. Great visibility and vibrant reefs make the island’s dive sites some of the best I’ve had the privilege to explore. Spotted eels, lobsters, squirrelfish, blueheaded wrasse and blue chromis are just a few of the species I spotted on my dives at Superman’s Flight at the Pitons, as well as Keyhole Pinnacle. If you’re looking for an excellent dive outfit, Dive Saint Lucia is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center with a professional, personable and fun team. I highly recommend them. And added bonus was the lunch included in the package, which was greatly appreciated during the rest stop. Need a little more convincing? Check out this short video of my dive experience on the island.
4. Spend at least Half a Day at Pigeon Island
The Pigeon Island National Landmark can easily keep you occupied for an entire day. If you can’t spare that much time however, carve out half a day for this heritage site in Gros Islet ($19 EC entrance fee). I really wanted to see the much-talked-about view from Fort Rodney but I was concerned about ‘the hike’ because of my mother. It turns out, what people kept referring to as a hike was a cool 20 minute walk with an admittedly steep, but brief climb, at the very end. She breezed through it like a pro and we were treated to an amazing 360 degree view of the island and the ocean. While it wasn’t a challenging activity, we did work up a sweat under the mid-morning sun so we made our way to the beach and lounged on rented beach chairs ($7 EC each). The water is great for snorkeling and we were able to enjoy a delicious, local lunch at the restaurant, Jambe de Bois without leaving the compound. Bonus: If you spot an eclectic boat covered in national flags, patronize the colorful vendor selling fresh coconut water and St. Lucian rum punch.
5. Take in the Scene at the Gros Islet Street Party
Authentic St. Lucian cuisine, including a wide assortment of freshly prepared, homestyle seafood; soca music blasting through the speakers; handmade crafts; indigenous art; drinks and thousands of people clustered along the narrow streets of this charming fishing village…the Gros Islet Street Party is certainly not to be missed. Food and drinks are available from 8 pm but the vibes get real nice and the party atmosphere kicks off a couple hours later. Sample crab back from a street vendor, steel yourself and taste the powerful St. Lucian Spice rum, do some souvenir shopping and dance the night away under the stars. It’s an event that suits the tastes of everyone: visitors and locals alike, as well as the occasional stray dog who’ll befriend you in the hopes of getting a free meal.
6. Drink and Eat Local
If there’s one thing you must do in every destination you visit, it’s sample the local food and drinks. From green fig and saltish to breadfruit salad, ripe bananas to banana ketchup, St. Lucia has a lot of native eats and treats you don’t want to miss out on. Whether you’re tasting from the menu of a fine dining restaurant, enjoying the flavors of a market vendor, or biting into a fruit from a roadside stall, make sure you have at least a little taste of the local flavor. When it comes to beverages, you have to drink at least one beastly cold Piton, the local beer; have even the smallest taste of the 160 US proof spice rum, made from a variety of spices native to the island; and of course, the enjoy the sweet and festive rum punch that tends to creep up on you (so take it easy).
The island has so much more to offer than these six major highlights but, as I said, these top my list. I can’t wait to return to conquer the rest of my very extensive list. Have you been to St. Lucia, what activities did you enjoy the most while visiting this little slice of paradise?
I think eating and drinking local is all part of the experience too! I’m not a diver but it looked like there was plenty of areas for some great hiking with some fabulous views. Pigeon Island looks interesting and fun to wander through the old ruins. I will pin this for future visit, thanks for sharing.
You’re so right, there are soooo many trails, hiking is a really popular activity on the island. I made this trip with my mother so hiking wasn’t an option but I would love to return and attempt to hike up one of the Pitons 🙂
All these things to do sounds great! I like the sound of St. Lucia’s Sulphur Springs the most followed closely by diving and food and beer 🙂
Thanks for sharing these things, I will definitely check it out when I make it to St Lucia
Food and beer is always great, especially after a dive lol But the sulphur bath was definitely one of my favorite highlights!
Spent a day in St Lucia as a part of our cruise. What a beautiful spot. We had a great afternoon in Marigot Bay. Would love to return again someday.
It really is a beautiful island! I hope you make it back for a longer stay so you can see and do more!
St Lucia looks beautiful and your photos are stunning. The suphur pool must take a lot of getting used to with the smell, but worth it to get such soft skin! The authentic cusine looks very tasty and my mouth is watering just looking at it! I can’t wait to visit St Lucia some day, I had no idea there is so much to see and do! thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much for your positive feedback 🙂 I really did enjoy my time there and I highly encourage anyone who’s interested and loves sun, sea and sand vacations to visit St. Lucia. You won’t be disappointed 🙂
Your picture of Gros Piton is absolutely gorgeous! Seems like everything is coming together here… food, views, hikes, dives, clear water, oh heaven.
Thanks so much, it’s an easy view to capture as it’s positively breathtaking! So much to do in St. Lucia, I can’t wait to return!
What a lovely guid & I really appreciate your perspective Im beyond pumped to visit St.Lucia next week.
Thanks for your Blog,
Octavia (Callme _twoshoes)
Thanks so much Octavia! I know you’ll have a BLAST while you’re there! I’ll look out for your pics on IG!
St Lucia looks breathtaking and you have made me desperately want to go! Great post that has given me itchy feet!
Thank you so much! I do hope you can visit soon, you won’t regret it 🙂
Oh my goodness, I was just in St Lucia in July. I did most of these. My best friend is from St Lucia and the street party was my all time fave thing. I also enjoyed the Sulphur Springs and the food. I did not love the mosquitos. But other than that loved it. Also we did AIR BNB instead of a resort which was way more fun!
Yay to visiting St. Lucia! I really enjoyed my time there! We stayed at a B&B instead of a resort and I agree it’s a much better experience!
Drink and eat local always. This place looks perfect for some landscape photography.
You’re right, it’s absolutely ideal for landscape photography!
Amazing place! Yummy seafood…I truly enjoyed reading this article & I hope I will get to visit this as soon as possible.
I do hope you get to visit soon, it’s beautiful!
St. Lucia is on my travel “wish list”, which means I have savored these beautiful photos, and filed away the information for future reference. Thank you so much for sharing these great tips!
You’re welcome! I’m glad you found this helpful! I hope you get to check St. Lucia of your wish list soon 🙂 It’s definitely worth a visit
I have to add, drink and buy the local coffee Green Gold. The best coffee have ever drunk.
Thanks for the recommendation Helena! I’m not a coffee drinker so I didn’t try it but it seems to have made quite an impression on you 🙂
Wow – I need to become an Island girl just saying haha the diving spot looks incredible and the food divine! I love getting to know the best things to do and where to go, this place looks heavenly,
St. Lucia really is pretty close to heaven. I hope you can visit soon!
Good read! St. Lucia looks absolutely amazing and so much to do. Love your photos!
There really is a LOT to do on the island. This list doesn’t cover half of it, just my top picks! Working on a more comprehensive post based on recommendations from locals…hoping to complete and publish it this week!
What an incredible place, your photos look amazing! I love the idea of scuba diving, I’ve never done this before but it looks like the clean waters of St. Lucia would be the perfect place. I pinned your article for future reference, thanks for the great post!
Thanks for pinning this post! Scuba diving can seem intimidating at first but once you start, you’ll be hooked! I hope you give it a try soon 🙂
It looks like a real paradise!! The photos are so great, you have convinced us especially about go diving. St. Lucia may be our next destination 🙂
So I just recently found you on Instagram (gorgeous feed, BTW) and every time your photos come up I shove my phone in my husband’s face and demand we plan to go to St. Lucia next year when we’re back Stateside full time. Thanks for even more ammo! It would be our first time exploring the Caribbean – do you have any tips for us? When is the best time to go?
Awww thanks so much! I enjoy all your posts as well! The Caribbean is generally great for visitors year-round but the ‘dry season’ runs from December to June so you don’t have to worry about your vacation being rained out. In terms of Saint Lucia, the island is small but it’s still a trek to get to the various towns and villages, I stayed in Castries at a great B&B but when I go back I’ll probably find a place in Gros Islet or another town with more activity so I can save on taxi fares 🙂
The nature is so beautiful there as I can see in your pictures. And the food looks so tasty! Really interesting post, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing the post.i will definitely try these out when im’ll be at St Lucia. Always eat and drink as the locals to enjoy thr place to its fullest. 🙂
Diving and eating local food are my things 🙂 Anyway, I would definitely try the other stuff you recommend, especially the Sulphur pool. However, I think I won’t handle a minute there because of the smell :/ Great post!
If you love diving then you’ll def love Saint Lucia! The smell at the sulphur baths really is a lot to handle lol but I promise it’s worth it!
I seriously want to book a trip to St Lucia after reading this. It has been on my bucket list for years and I think it is high time I went there. I love these tips , especially about eating and drinking local which I think is essential wherever you go to get the full experience of a place.
Daydreams of Summertime
I hope you book that trip soon! You won’t regret it!
By the looks of it and from what you’ve said, there isn’t much NOT to love in St. Lucia! I personally would be fascinated to go diving there. It’s a goal of mine to dive at every island my husband and I visit. 🙂
Awesome! That’s my goal as well! So far I’m focused on the Caribbean but I’m hoping to venture a little further in 2017.
Looks amazing! I hope to one day visit St lucia.
It’s a gorgeous destination Pamela, I do hope you’re able to visit some day!
[…] hypnotized by them. We didn’t have a lot of time but we were able to do quite a few of the must-do activities. While I’m not a big fan of organized tours, we enjoyed a lovely trip to Soufrière with […]
When I saw your post via Pinterest I had to stop by and read your review!!! I must say that you did a FABULOUS job capturing the essence and beauty of my island home!!! I LOVE reading and hearing about people’s experience in St. Lucia! I am glad that you had a wonderful time and thank you for giving St. Lucia such high accolades.
Blessings to you
Thank you so much for your positive feedback! It means a lot! You have a beautiful home and I can’t wait to return!
Thanks for this article. We are going to St. Lucia next week and I was just looking to see what activities are recommended. We will definitely hike the Pitons and bathe in the Springs!
I am heading to St. Lucia next week. Thank you. Already booked the Pitons and Sulfur Springs.
So happy you found this helpful, I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Pitons and Sulphur Springs!
I went to Saint Lucia! I did everything on this list and all of them WERE GREAT! YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOO RIGHT ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD ALL DO THESE THINGS
Woohoo! So glad you had a blast doing all of these things in St. Lucia! Such an amazing island filled with incredible experiences!
looks amazing, I have a question can we go to Sugar Beach from cruise line, or we have to stay at that resort to enjoy that beach, please let me know… thank you in advance
There are a lot of tours that take cruise passengers to the beach for a few hours and then back to the ship 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Awe-inspiring white sand beaches and gorgeous rainforest hikes await you in the port of St. Lucia. A jewel of a Caribbean island that has a unique colonial history and draws crowds of visitors every year. French, native and African cultures have fused together here to create not just an exciting way of life, but a truly spicy and flavorful cuisine that includes special St. Lucian dishes that you just can t find anywhere else.