As I peer out the airplane window the twin peeks of St. Lucia come into view. Two statuesque volcanic Pitons known as Gros Piton and Petit Piton are the crown jewels of the island creating one of the most beautiful scenes in the Caribbean. The Pitons are just two of many things to do in St. Lucia and once you visit this captivating island of the West Indies, its captivating beauty will call you back again and again.
Things to do in St. Lucia
St Lucia is part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, a long arc of islands on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. With the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, it is a beautiful vacation destination. There are two sides of St Lucia, the South is the mountainous more rugged region that is perfect for a couples retreat, while the north is filled with all-inclusive resorts, nightlife, and beaches that are perfect for the whole family.
Staying at two incredible resorts – Calabash Cove in North St. Lucia and Stonefield Villas in South St Lucia. We had the opportunity to see the different sides of the island. One is filled with lush jungle and mountainous terrain while the other is the busier resort area with long sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. These are the best things to do in St Lucia from South to North.
South St. Lucia
We began our trip on the south side of St. Lucia. For couples seeking a secluded luxury escape, this is the place to make a base. South St. Lucia is also the place for nature lovers and adventures with the pitons standing proud above the jungle and clear blue waters. Here are the top things to do on St. Lucia’s south side.
This private half-day tour lets you discover some of the top attractions in Saint Lucia with stops at Stop at Soufriere to see the Botanical Gardens and volcano. Plus take advantage of photo opportunities along the way, such as the villages of Laborie and Choiseul if coming from the south.
Stay in a Private Villa – Stonefield Villa Resort
St. Lucia was made for honeymoons. And staying in a private villa with your own plunge pool and views of the Gros or Petit Piton is an activity unto itself. We stayed at Stonefield Villa Resort was one of the first hotels to open in Soufriere and is locally owned and operated. I don’t think there is a resort in Saint Lucia with a better view! We couldn’t get enough of basking in the sun of our completely private retreat as we ordered room service and champagne while enjoying the beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and Petit Piton.
Hike Gros Piton
There is no doubt that the Grand and Gros Pitons are the top tourist attractions in Saint Lucia. It is these landmarks that make the island so attractive. If you are feeling like pulling yourself away from your luxury resort, a hike up the Gros Piton Trail will certainly get your heart pounding. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the iconic symbol of St. Lucia island. Guides are required to hike Gros Piton and you will make your way to the village of Fond Gens Libre to begin the 4.7 km journey. The climb is steep and is a challenge to step over boulders and routes, but it is worth it for the views from the 798.25 m (2,618.9 ft) high summit.
This St. Lucia Pitons Tour is a complete St. Lucia attractions tour taking you from Morne viewpoint overlooking Marigot Bay and other stunning views including the town of Soufriere and the Majestic Pitons. You’ll also stop at the drive-in volcano and Botanical Gardens.
Tet Paul Nature Trail
If you don’t want to take on the grueling hike, head out to the Tet Paul Nature Trail instead. This trail is one of the top tourist attractions in Saint Lucia as it is a short 1km hike from Soufriere that showcases a view of the Petit Piton. On a clear day you can see the neighboring island of St. Vincent. If you do the Nature Trail on your own, a guide is mandatory and it is $10 per person to hire one. This best of St. Lucia Tour takes you to the Tet Paul Nature Trail for views of the famous Pitons. drive-in volcano, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, and small fishing villages.
Places to Stay in South Saint Lucia
For romantic vacations in Saint Lucia, we suggest staying in the South. Other popular places to stay in South Saint Lucia include:
Jade Mountain Resort – Jade Mountain Resort is the most expensive hotel in St. Lucia located on the West Coast of the Island. When we asked our driver what are the best hotels in St. Lucia, this was at the top of his list. Located on the private estate of Anse Chastanet, it has an infinity pools and views of the ocean and pitons. See it on TripAdvisor / Booking.comAnse Chastanet – owned by the same people that brought you Jade Mountain Resort, this is another high-end hotel on Saint Lucia. Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet are the only resorts with views of both the Gros and Petit Piton mountains floating upon the Caribbean Sea. Check it out on TripAdvisor / Booking.comSugar Beach – Voted one of the best hotels in the Caribbean. Located on the white sand strip of Sugar Beach, this is the best beach on the south side of the island. Located on the South West Coast of Saint Lucia between the petit and Gros Piton, it has one of the best locations on the south side. See it on TripAdvisor / Booking.comCheck out more of St. Lucia’s best hotels on TripAdvisor and Booking.com
Mount Soufriere – Sulphur Springs Park
Did you know that St. Lucia has the only drive-in volcano in the world? A visit to Mount Soufriere Sulphur Springs Park is the top tourist attraction in St. Lucia and with good reason. The active volcano is fascinating as you can drive right into the crater to see up close and personal views of gas emitting from the center of the earth. The sulphur springs spew steam out of the caldera as mud boils in the crater below and the smell of sulfur looms in the air. Make sure to take a guided tour to learn of the last eruption and to take a walk along the boardwalk for better views.
A great way to visit the volcano and mud baths is to book a private tour that takes you to the volcano and mud baths, as well as a sugar and cocoa plantation at Morne Coubarille Estate, a hike along the Tet Paul Nature Trail, and a dip in the Toraille Falls.
Take a tour to see the volcano’s caldera and then finish with a mud bath in the sulfur springs pools known for their healing qualities. Be sure to cake the volcanic mud all over your body to heal and soothe your travel-weary muscles. You can then wash it off in the hot pools of varying temperatures. It is said that the volcanic mud will make you look 10 years younger. While I’m not sure if I came out younger, my skin did feel silky smooth.
Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens
One of the most beautiful attractions in St. Lucia is the Botanical Garden. Take a guided tour of this picturesque estate containing tropical plants and gardens. The guide navigates through the walk teaching of the islands healing plants and native flora. The Botanical Gardens are part of the Soufriere Estate, one of the oldest and best-preserved estates on St. Lucia.
A highlight of the gardens is a view of Diamond Falls. The gorgeous diamond waterfall is a 15 meter (45 feet) high cascade is laced with minerals creating a rainbow of colours. It creates a picture-perfect scene. In fact, Diamond Falls is so picturesque it was used for a scene in the popular travel movie, Romancing the Stone.
Soufriere was walking distance from Stonefield Villa resort located just 30 minutes away. This fishing village was founded in 1745 and is worth a stop on a trip to St Lucia. A tour is a good way to see it if you are not staying nearby where you’ll start with a visit to the gem of St Lucia, Soufriere before heading out to see some of the other top attractions.
Anse Chastanet Beach
We had our own shuttle to the beach when staying at Stonefield Villas, but the great thing about all the beaches in St. Lucia is that they are accessible to the public so anyone can visit any beach. Anse Chastanet Beach is part of the Anse Chastanet Beach Resort. The Anse Chastanet beach and the Anse Mamin beach are considered two of the best beaches in St. Lucia.
Book this ATV Tour – Follow your guide through natural trails and plantations as you make your way to Grande Anse Beach. It’s a great way to see the farming communities and historical sites of St. Lucia ending at the beach where you can enjoy some fun in the sun
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
There is also snorkeling and scuba diving right off of Anse Chastanet beach with a coral reef and sea walls making its crystal clear waters the premier place for water activities in St. Lucia. You can grab some snorkeling gear to explore on your own or book a snorkeling tour experience that includes not only getting out on the water at snorkeling at Jalousie / Anse Chastanet, but you’ll also enjoy a visit to a banana plantation near Roseau Valley, a stop at the fishing village of Anse Raye, village home of the famous Sea Food Friday Festivals.
The Caribbean Islands are filled with rum distilleries and St. Lucia is no different. Book a rum tour for a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting. Learn how rum is made from sugar cane and then enjoy a taste of local rum.
Have a short amount of time in St Lucia? Book this full-day tour to the island’s top attractions. Including St. Lucia’s drive-in Volcano and mud baths, a visit to Toraille Waterall, the Pitons, and a stop at a bat cave. This tour is both by land and water and includes snorkeling.
North St. Lucia
The north side of St. Lucia is where you will find the capital city of Castries. For those looking for bars and nightlife, restaurants, and a huge choice of all-inclusive resorts and hotels in St. Lucia this is the place to be. So what is there to do in St. Lucia’s north? Let’s find out.
Stay in a Private Villa – Calabash Cove
I know I sound like a broken record, but it is the accommodations of St. Lucia that make this island so special. Calabash Cove is not only a luxury boutique hotel that has private plunge pools and two-room cabana suites, it is also a beach destination allowing you to never leave the resort. We loved lazing on our hammock watching the sunset over the sea. With a full bar in our room, we sipped wine from our balcony in complete seclusion.
Being located directly on Rodney Bay, Calabash Cove had a beautiful sandy beach and pier with Stand up paddleboards and sea kayaks on hand where we could get out and explore the St. Lucia coast. Saint Lucia is filled with opportunities to get on the water, there is an abundance of island activities including snorkeling and scuba diving. Sailing and cruising. Make sure to get on the water at least once to take in the beauty of Saint Lucia from a different view, and to explore the warm clear waters of Saint Lucia.
Other Popular Places to Stay in North St Lucia Are:
Royalton St. Lucia Resort and Spa – Good for families, but also section for adults only. Located directly on the beach. All-inclusive packages, royal Spa and different pools for all ages. Check it out on TripAdvisorCap Maison – A boutique hotel on a sandy beach. Located on the Caribbean side near Gros Islet. Located by Cap Estate making it a good hotel choice for golfers. See it on TripAdvisor / BookingCheck out more St Lucian Hotels on TripAdvisor and Booking.com
Pigeon Island National Park
We loved exploring Pigeon Island, National Park. This former pirate hideout and a military fort were turned into a national landmark in 1972. It’s a great way to spend a half-day exploring its old ruins. The Pigeon Island National Landmark is an island connected to the mainland by a long causeway that was built in 1972. The island is surrounded by sandy beaches, beautiful crashing waves on the Atlantic Ocean side, and there is snorkeling on the Caribbean side. There are small restaurants and shops just outside its entrance.
Make sure to hike up to the lookout points for magnificent views of both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Oceans. The highlight of this hike is going up to Fort Rodney to see the old canons and artifacts. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit because there are two great beaches here too with crystal clear waters. And make sure to wander the ruins on the grounds. It is absolutely beautiful. These ruins are often used as the setting for weddings. I can only imagine how gorgeous the wedding photos turn out from here.
We took a guided tour of Pigeon Island that was booked from the visitors center, but you can book this tour that includes a hike in Pigeon Point National Park, a climb up the “Hill of Good Luck”, plus a stop in Castries, and visit a banana plantation and the Eudovic Art Studio. From the top of the hike you’ll be able to see the neighboring island of Martinique.
The Rodney Bay waters are calm and inviting for watersports and there are plenty of places to go snorkeling right off the shore. The horseshoe bay is located on the northwest tip of the island and it is the busiest spot in St. Lucia. Just off Reduit Beach is the Splash Island Water Park where kids (and adult kids) can play in the waters jungle gym.
Reduit Beach is one of the places in St. Lucia for watersports and it is considered St. Lucia’s best beach. Why? Because of its five miles of white sand stretching along the coast. When walking, snorkeling, or sailing along this sandy beach, you’ll find most of the all-inclusive hotels in this part of St. Lucia.
Rodney Bay Village
Being the main city and tourist area, Rodney Bay Village is the hot spot for nightlife, shopping, restaurants, a Casino. Make sure to check out the Gros Island Beach Party. It is a weekly street party that takes place on Fridays. If you are looking for beach activities and nightlife. There are plenty of places to go bar hopping along the beach of Rodney Bay and lots of restaurants to choose from.
For a little time away from the beachhead to Castries Market. It is an outdoor market filled with vendors dating back to 1891. Get a bit of local hospitality as you rub elbows with the island’s locals shopping for fruit and vegetables as you search for the perfect local craft or souvenir.
Book this Catamaran tour – This full day tour of Saint Lucia from Castries, sails around the natural wonders of Saint Lucia via catamaran. It includes Soufrière and Marigot Bay, exploring the natural volcanoes and waterfalls, and visit the Morne Coubaril Estate for a Creole buffet lunch. Plus, you’ll stop at Sulphur Springs, Toraille Waterfall, and the Pitons.
Marigot Bay is located just south of the capital city of Castries and is an idyllic destination of white sand beaches and swaying palm trees. A great way to explore it is to rent kayaks. Book this snorkeling tour in advance to see shipwrecks and marine life living within St. Lucia’s coral reef.
Rainforest Adventures – Arial Tram
One of the more unique things to do in St. Lucia is to hop aboard the Rainforest Arial Tram. Located at Castries Waterworks Forest Reserve, the Arial Tram takes you up a mountain in an open-air gondola for panoramic views of the North of Saint Lucia as you search for wildlife.
Book your tour in advance here for the Saint Lucia Arial Tram. You will be transported d away from the heat and bustle of the lowlands to an ecological park located in the heights of the Saint Lucia rainforest reserve.
Zip Line Adventure Park
Every Caribbean Island we’ve been to has a zip line and St. Lucia is no different. It’s your vacation and it’s time to try something different! A trip to the Treetop Adventure Park gets you off the beach and into the rainforest as you soar over the treetop canopy.
You can book this highly rated tour that begins with a thrill through the 12 zipline course followed by a ferry ride to Labas Beach in Marigot Bay for a dip and snorkeling, topped off by a visit to the St. Lucia Distillers to sample local rum and spirits.
Note: Things are constantly changing during these uncertain times. St. Lucia is welcoming visitors, but there are protocols to follow. Visit the Saint Lucia website for measures they are taking to keep both tourists and locals safe before you visit.
So there you have it, the best things to do in St. Lucia. When you are going to book your getaway to the Caribbean’s most romantic island?