Choose from 20 Fun Things to Do in St Lucia
Saint Lucia’s pint-sized port capital Castries is usually experienced as a stopping-off point on the way to one of the island’s beaches or resorts. While successive fires and hurricanes have periodically devastated the city there are still traces of the colonial era, when Saint Lucia bounced between French and British control. The Castries Heritage Walk will point out the city’s historical highlights.
Otherwise the city’s greatest appeal lies in its relaxed lifestyle, providing an easy introduction to the leisurely pace of island life. Head for the Jeremie Street Market to savor the taste of the tropics or just wander the streets and start adjusting your body clock.
Castries is located in the north of Saint Lucia’s west coast. Cruise ships dock directly in the harbor and George F. L. Charles Airport is very close to the city center, though most long-haul flights land at Hewanorra in the island’s south.
One of Saint Lucia’s most beautiful beaches, Anse Chastanet enjoys a prime location in a sheltered cove within sight of the distinctive peaks of the Pitons. Much of the immediate hinterland is taken up by the Anse Chastanet resort, a development in harmony with its surrounds which still allows public use of the beach.
There are few better places in the world for sipping on something fruity than the beach’s bar, right on the sand. The walk back to your hammock or thatched hut might very well be the only exercise you care to indulge in. But the crystalline waters aren’t just there for resting your eyes on as you recline; you’re just a stone’s throw from a reef known by divers the world over for its superb visibility and huge variety of coral and sea creatures. The dive center at the southern end of the beach is your gateway to this sub-aquatic paradise.
Anse Chastanet Beach & Reef is on Saint Lucia’s west coast, a short drive or manageable walk from the lovely bay town of Soufrière.
- Bring a dark bathing suit for the mud baths—the volcanic mud can stain light colors.
- Pack sunscreen and plenty of water to bring with you.
- There are showers, change rooms, and restrooms on site.
- The La Soufrière volcano is not well suited to those with limited mobility as steep stairs lead to the pools.
- Soufriere is the french word for sulphur, and you’ll most likely smell the hot springs before you see them—the “rotten egg” scent comes from the sulphur in the mud and is all part of the experience!
- There is a small admission fee to access the falls, which is usually included in a tour.
- Bring sun protection, plus swimwear and a towel if you plan to take a plunge.
- Changing rooms and picnic tables are on-site.
- If visiting the waterfall on a tour, round-trip hotel transport, meals, and food may be included. Check specific tours for details.
- Pigeon Island National Landmark is popular among nature and history lovers of all ages.
- A small admission fee is required to enter the park. The fee is often included in the price of a tour.
- The islet features a restaurant and bar.
- Remember to bring sun protection, swimwear, a towel, and water for hydration.
Many visitors to Saint Lucia see nothing more than the coast, and only the Caribbean coast at that. But the rugged hinterland can offer more than just an exotic green background in your beach holiday snaps. Stretches of untouched rainforest are the green heart of St. Lucia, teeming with vegetation and local species such as the colorful St. Lucia Parrot.
Much of the mountainous, largely unpopulated interior comes under the auspices of the Forestry Department, who control the various trails. Popular routes include the Edmund Forest Reserve, from which you emerge in the shadow of Mount Gimie, the island’s tallest peak, and the more demanding Des Cartiers trail, which takes you right off the beaten track in the island’s east.
Many areas in the interior are protected and you will need express permission from the Forestry Department to enter them. In some cases you will be assigned a guide.
- Hiking the summit of Gros Piton is only possible with an official tour guide and can take up to three hours each way.
- An average-to-good fitness level is recommended for the Gros Piton hike, but no technical hiking or climbing experience is required.
- Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- Entrance fees are payable at the Interpretive Center in Fond Gens Libre village.
Could Marigot Bay be “the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean” as novelist James A. Michener described it? It’s certainly among the most photographed and filmed, its white sands, swaying palms, turquoise waters and verdant green hillsides ticking every box in the “tropical paradise” questionnaire.
Minimal development has ensured that this remains a dreamlike location, with the most obvious signs of life being the luxury yachts lolling in the bay or moored at the marina. The luxury Marigot Bay Hotel draws discerning guests but there is no charge to come to the beach for the day and enjoy this island idyll.
Marigot Bay is on Saint Lucia’s west coast, just 15 minutes’ drive south of the capital, Castries. It is also close to the Saint Lucia National Marine Reserve and the town of Anse La Raye, famous for its Friday Night Fish Fry.
- Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off.
- Be aware that island buses will wait until they are full before departing, so this may not be the best mode of transportation if you’re short on time.
- Be sure to pack your swimsuit, towel, and sun protection—most tours offer a chance for swimming or snorkeling.
Vieux Fort, as its name implies, was settled as a French fort, an installation which dates to the 17th century and can still be visited today. The town later came to prominence as the center of the agriculture industry and it remains a busy commercial center to this day.
The surrounding area is of more interest than the town itself. Start your explorations with stunning views at Saint Lucia’s southernmost point, where a lighthouse looks south towards Saint Vincent.
And on the Atlantic coast you’ll find the long Anse des Sables beach. Be prepared for bigger waves, stronger winds and fewer facilities than you’d experience in west coast resorts, but also far fewer people. The beach faces the Maria Islands, and there’s a meeting point at the southern end of the beach for expeditions to this protected off-shore habitat.
Vieux Fort is at Saint Lucia’s southern tip. It is adjacent to Hewannora International Airport, the arrival point for most long-haul flights to the island. From there, buses and taxis head out to resorts and hotels, concentrated on the west coast.
This once in a lifetime joyride allows you to experience St. Lucia from an aerial view as high as 120 feet (37 meters) above ground, and includes a narration on its plush fauna, waterfalls, tree orchids, ferns, and amazing animal-life.
The spectacular open-air tour, which rides through the forest treetops for two and a half hours, is not only a visually stimulating experience, but with the help of a handy professional naturalist, is an educational one as well.
The aerial tram is a comfortable experience that allows up to eight people per tram, perfect for bringing along the entire family. You can also feel free to enjoy drinks in the tram's bar, including one that is complimentary.
Rodney Bay, on Saint Lucia’s west coast, is almost completely enclosed but for a narrow channel leading out to sea. An ideal spot for mooring, in other words, and indeed this protected anchorage is Saint Lucia’s foremost marina. Consequently nearby Reduit Beach, a stunning white-sand stretch facing the Caribbean, is a noted hangout of the rich and famous.
Kite surfing is a local specialty if you can’t bring yourself to lie on the beach all day. In Rodney Bay itself, everyone heads for dining and dancing at Lime restaurant, and there are a number of bars and eating places around the marina.
Rodney Bay is on Saint Lucia’s west coast, just south of Pigeon Island National Park and near the town of Gros Islet, known for its Friday night parties. The capital Castries is half an hour way by car.