Saint Lucia is a small, volcanic island-country in the eastern Caribbean. It is dominated by mountains, wide valleys, and rain forest. The scenery is especially impressive around Soufriere, the island’s first town which was built by the first French colonizers. They named it after the nearby sulfur springs (Soufre is the French word for sulfur. Most of the people are descended from African slaves brought by British and French settlers to work on the huge banana plantations. The French influence lives on strongly in the French dialect spoken by some islanders and the Creole cuisine. Farming is the main industry, although money earned from tourism now exceeds the total earnings of all farm exports.
Water sports are enjoyed by a growing number of tourists drawn to this island by its golden beaches, secluded bays and tropical climates. Discover more of what this small island has to offer by visiting these top ten not to be missed places in Saint Lucia.
Tet Paul Nature Trail
The view of the Pitons worth it while walking along the
Tet Paul Nature Trail.
If you are traveling without a car, take the bus and ask the driver to stop at Fond Doux Plantation, from there you can walk on foot. The actual trail is more of a 20 minute route. The small circuit is not really a hike but more of a walk and when it’s not raining, it is easily negotiable with sandals. It not only offers beautiful views, but also interesting explanations of the local flora and fauna. To have a better understanding it is advisable (obligatory) to get a local tour guide that is very familiar with the trail and at the same time entertaining, with lots of explanations about the country and with complete know how of the botanical species of the plants and flowers along the way.
The small guided hike on the Tet Paul Nature Trail takes approximately 40 minutes. The scenery of the coast is unique and because the walk is more of a short walk, this can also be easily tackled by good walking shoes. It’s a very nice ride that is inexpensive and complete enough. While on trail, there are local traditions to see (e.g. local houses that manufacture a native cassava flour pancakes called the “Kassav”). After genuine hospitality, discover a beautiful golf course amid a reconstruction of the historical habitat. After seeing a wide variety of biological and medicinal plants, move on to a promontory which offers a splendid view of the two peaks. The view is breathtaking and you can take the most beautiful photos of St. Lucia.
The rise of
is not a simple walk in the mountains, it is a hike that may sometimes require a little climbing. The first half of the trail is moderate. The view is beautiful even if it’s halfway yet (you can see the Petit Piton). The third quarter is rather difficult and lastly, the very difficult fourth quarter. The stone steps and roots are high enough, but once at the top you forget all the difficult climb and get imbued with a sense of pride and accomplishment. The view at the top is beautiful and different than the halfway mark. Before the hike buy snacks and about 1.5 L of water per person as it is physically exhausting to assault its summit. Wear comfortable shoes of course and arm yourself with a walking stick. The cost of the tour includes a driver and a well informed guide.
The rise occurs on average in 2h-2:30 ET descent a little less than 2 hours. It may be long and a bit challenging but it is all worth the effort. Whether via land or sea, it is unthinkable to go to St. Lucia without seeing the famous peaks representing the emblem of this island. There are many excursions leading to Soufriere and allow to see these peaks from the mountains and it is often possible to return via a catamaran to appreciate this attraction in different perspectives.
is one of the main attractions of St. Lucia. Be surrounded by natural sulfur springs where the smell is of course a killer (a mix of muriatic acid and rotten egg to that effect ). The ticket price includes a guide. Normally it is free, but the guides do not forget a few times to remind that tips are welcome. They give the history of the place and give interesting talks and travel tips about the surrounding countryside. If desired, you can swim in the springs. If you take the full tour, you can dip in the muddy warm water, get a nice scrub, and skin conditioner. There are changing rooms and showers to start clean and dry. This is a must try.
Certainly it is a very touristy place (6-7 € entry) as the rest of the relatives of the Pitons and Soufriere activities, but do not forget that the site is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO and that clearly explains the high admission price. It accompanies your drive (if you have one) to see a short film explaining the creation of the volcano. There is also an exhibition of how the sulfide mud is used for other purposes (it is interesting to see two things). Then the tour continues by visiting the fumaroles where you see the charged sulfur escaping from the ground.
Pigeon Island National Park
is a beautiful national park where in addition to sunbathing you can enjoy long walks in the woods. On this site there is a small restaurant for a quick meal. Admission is ten dollars including the uses of the sea bed. The park is on both sides of the sea, one calm and one super choppy where you can take great pictures. The sea has a beautiful blue color. Upon entrance to the park there are many ruins that is a result of the first English invasions. The perfect mountain can be climbed and divided into sections.
The first section is tolerable and one must use good sandals to bear the long walk through the forest. The view along the mountain is fabulous, you get to see the island of Martinique. Now comes the advice, if you go up there, do it with a proper hiking footwear, as it is a bit difficult to rise on the overcast last leg. It is not recommend to go there with small children the physically unfit. And finally, save a lot of space on a memory stick to take out the camera and lots of photos!
Diamond Botanical Gardens
Diamond Botanical Gardens
is an excellent place that resembles a tropical paradise. It offers many different tropical plants, a waterfall and an interesting variety of natural hot springs. There is a souvenir shop and a small restaurant. Because the garden is beautiful and well maintained, it’s worth checking it out. Tip: learn about the times when groups come to visit and to try to come when there are fewer people. A good one hour can be spent for the entire visit. If you have the ability to pay, take mineral baths on the site.
This park is a beautiful ballad walking in the middle of the local tropical vegetation with a corresponding entrance fee per visitor. The Caribbean route is well signposted and there is no way you will ever get lost around here. The waterfall is especially nice, cool, and bares its rainbow colors when hit by sunlight.
A visit to the farmlands can convince you to have a different interpretation of fruits and foods of the region. You will be delighted by its large varieties of exotic plants and ferns that you see here. At the old cocoa plantation you can see beautiful specimens. There are beautiful green and ginger lily red roses, mahogany trees, bananas and mango trees galore, especially the majestic coconut palms.
The guide provides all the necessary explanations on these trees and plants as well as exposure of the main fruits of the island table. You will pass by the bathroom minerals by going to the ” Diamond Falls ‘which is beautiful despite its small size but it is not possible to go down below. However, there is an optional possibility of bathing in mineral water from the waterfall. It is an enchanting place and the well maintained trails are really beautiful and enjoyable to follow. It is definitely a place not to be missed!
is very nice and quite wild except for two large resorts but they occupy only a small part. The water is crystal clear and the view of Pigeon Island is really great. It comes with a pleasant promenade in 10 minutes to the quaint village of Gros Islet where time seems to stand still. From the beach you can enjoy a beautiful sunset and watch the sun totally disappear into the sea. This famous bay from the Castries, the capital city is a touristy place where several restaurants and shops can be found.
It also includes two power markets. The overall atmosphere of the place is nice and safe. To get here, you must take the bus near the city center and disembark at JQ Mail where it is possible to do a bit of shopping. There are lots of beautiful souvenir shops and also a liquor store that is cheaper than anywhere else on this island. The beach is conveniently located near the airport and the outskirts of the Castries. If you need to stay longer there are lots of small lodges. Think about renting a car and exploring the rest of the island which is very charming.
Gros Islet Street Party
Can you imagine a whole village dancing? this is what happens every Friday night at the
Gros Islet Street Party.
People go wild, and dance to the loud music from the huge speakers, Caribbean beat, bbq chicken, rum and coke, and party till the wee hours of the morning. It is lively and full of fun loving people who have no insecurities and inhibitions. The scene every Friday resembles that of the party people in Bourbon street in New Orleans. Every Friday night this part of the road is closed to traffic and there is no entrance fee to join the fun.
Immaculate Conception Church
Like most churches in the Caribbean, the Church of the Immaculate Conception is very charming but desperately in need of restoration. A few minutes can be spent inside virtually alone but without danger, since despite being in the city center it brings no hordes of tourist to its doors.
The high very interesting point to note is that all the paintings of biblical passages are painted with black and beautiful frescoes on its ceiling. Go to the square in front of the Church to explore the neighboring building with typical of local architecture and all with brown balconies.
is an ideal bathing pleasure for families with children. It is a beautiful, un-shaded, and slightly narrower beach at high tide. The cleaning force makes the effort to clean this tourist beach daily. A police officer watches over the safety and prohibits anyone to ever walk on the beach and the unsafe areas.
The water is clean and warm. When the trade winds blow, the beach becomes a good spot for surfing. It is a typical Caribbean beach that is photogenic and lies on the Atlantic beach side. Its cove is protected by a reef and two islands.
Anse Chastanet Beach and Reef
Anse Chastanet Beach and Reef is
one of the best beaches in St Lucia that is ideal for snorkel and deep diving adventure. It is also a perfect location to make movies (the film Dr.Doolittle was filmed here). On the beach there is a restaurant where the servers are in national costume. There is a diving center, but the snorkel is free and relatively easy on the beach.
Attention must be paid to the shipping vessels that arrive and depart. There are also showers and toilets on the beach. The sand is almost black and very hot especially in Summer. There are palm trees that make this a memorable and breathtaking place. For couples on a honeymoon, this beach is highly recommended.