Do go chasing waterfalls. Hidden beaches and volcanoes, too. In stunning St. Lucia, there’s a lot to see and we’ve got the best of the best lined up for you. From epic, festive street parties to magical hikes up the Pitons, we’ve got the top 10 things to do in St. Lucia covered. All it needs is you.
1. Zip-Line TreeTop Adventure Park
For an exhilarating afternoon, head deep into the rainforest for St. Lucia’s wildest attraction, TreeTop Adventure Park. Here, you can zip-line over the island’s lush canopy on the longest, highest and fastest course in the Caribbean.
Choose from 12 different lines and five net bridges for spectacular views of the surrounding greenery, all accompanied by knowledgeable nature guides. Afterwards, cool off in the refreshing pool of the Errard Waterfall, one of the island’s tallest. Combine your zip-line adventure with a rainforest jeep safari and a hike and you’ve got an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled day you’ll never forget.
2. Get Down at the Jump Up Street Party
Every Friday night is a special occasion in Gros Islet when the town throws its weekly street party they call a Jump Up. Streets are closed to traffic, monster speakers blare danceable island sounds and the otherwise sleepy seaside district erupts in a celebration of music and dance, food and drink, and always excellent vibes.
Come early for the barbecue pits, but not too early to stay well past sundown when all the action kicks into overdrive. Various vendors and food stalls hawk local island favourites and the portable homemade rum stands are always on point. Break up the revelry to sample the grilled fish nearby Duke’s is famous for or head down to the waterfront to watch the sailboats bob in the bay, wishing every night was a Friday night in St. Lucia.
3. Snorkel & Scuba Dive from a Beach
From a boat or directly from the beach, St. Lucia offers some of the best reef, wall and drift diving in the Caribbean. Head to Anse Chastanet beach near Soufriere, where the volcano drops off nearly 2,000 feet into the ocean, just barely offshore.
In the shallows, the reef houses an array of captivating sea life, including turtles, seahorses, octopus, flounder and needlefish. A little deeper, moray eels, Caribbean lobster, puffers and parrotfish can be found day and night. Here, you can snorkel or dive directly from the beach, take PADI certified lessons to learn how to scuba or book a dive adventure to head out to other nearby dive sites (the base of the Pitons offers incredible drift diving).
While most come in the winter months, summers bring nesting sea turtles and a spectacular phenomenon known as coral spawning, when the mass production of new coral growth naturally takes place. Diving during this time, you can actually see the reef release millions of tiny eggs in what resembles an ‘upward underwater snowfall,’ a truly special experience.
4. Visit Pigeon Island National Park
Off the northern tip of St. Lucia, Pigeon Island is a National Park and historically important landmark that offers visitors a peek into the island’s rich history. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway and can be accessed for $8USD or as part of an organized tour.
First occupied by the indigenous Caribs, then pirates, the French, British, and French again, the island contains relics from all of them, including well-preserved ruins of military buildings and Fort Rodney, from which you can view St. Lucia’s stunning coastline and the nearby island of Martinique on a clear day.
Don’t forget your swim gear! The island also has two beautiful beaches, a SNUBA centre, as well as a pub and restaurant serving authentic local fare.
5. Tour La Soufriere Volcano & Sulphur Springs Park
Welcome to the Caribbean’s only ‘drive-in’ volcano crater and St. Lucia’s most visited natural attraction. Comprised of steaming sulphur springs, bubbling mud and geothermally heated rainwater pools, Sulphur Springs Park continues to grow in popularity, enough so that the island is building three more of these organic baths to relax in (as well as a deck and change rooms, too).
The region is the hottest and most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles, with some pools heating up to more than 100°C. For a nominal fee, visitors can take a relaxing soak in the Black Water Pool and enjoy a soothing mineral-rich mud bath. For a few dollars more, you can add a quick 20-minute guided tour to learn more about this world-famous volcano.
6. Stroll Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens
Wash the Soufriere mud off and make your way over to nearby Diamond Falls and take a picturesque walk in the Botanical Gardens that surround it. If you’re into tropical plants and exotic birds (Lesser Antillean Bullfinch anyone?), and even if you’re not, this relaxing garden stroll makes for a romantic afternoon.
At the waterfall, note the changing colours of both the plunging Diamond River as well as the rock face behind it, as they shimmer and shine from the rich minerals found in the region. The beautifully landscaped six-acre park holds the falls themselves, several mineral baths, the stunning botanical gardens, a scenic nature trail and the Old Mill Restaurant for refreshments.
7. Hike the Pitons
Up for a hike? The iconic volcanic twin peaks of the Pitons rise more than 2,000 feet past fields of banana, coconut, papaya and mango trees, lush tropical rainforest holding giant ferns, wild orchids and countless striking bird species, including the indigenous and endangered St. Lucia parrot. They also offer a heck of a view and a proper workout, too.
Escorted tours up the larger Gros Piton last about 7 hours, including the trip down and a beachfront lunch afterwards. The difficult trek is made slightly easier by a complimentary walking stick and bottled water provided by your guide, but let’s be honest, it’s still a hard (yet rewarding) hike.
8. Sail to Martinique, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
As with most islands in the Lesser Antilles, sailing is a popular activity in St. Lucia and a way of life for some that use it as a base to explore the Caribbean. Its location in the archipelago places it within easy reach of nearby Martinique, Grenada, Bequia, lovely St. Vincent and the magical Grenadines.
‘The Jewel of the Windwards’ comes with ideal year-round sailing conditions. While it is encouraged to book your sailing adventure ahead of time, it isn’t unheard of for visitors to just show up in Marigot, Rodney’s Bay or any other part of the island with a marina to charter a boat, captain and crew on the spot.
9. Enjoy Splash Island Waterpark
If you’ve got the kids in tow, blow them away with a day at St. Lucia’s premier waterpark, Splash Island. Located directly on popular Reduit Beach, the park is the Caribbean’s first open-water sports park built right out in the sea.
Staffed by a team of experienced lifeguards, the safe and well-designed inflatable park consists of an obstacle course, a climbing wall, trampoline, swing, slide, hurdles and monkey bars, as well as a water volleyball court. Guests must be at least 6 years of age, be taller than 3.5 feet and must wear life vests at all times.
10. Lounge on Endless Beaches
The beach you are on will most certainly do. In St. Lucia, it’s hard to go wrong. Spanning the western coast you’ll find one after another, and if you’ve got the time, it’s worthwhile to check out as many as you can. All beaches in St. Lucia are public.
Reduit and Sugar Beach are two of the island’s busiest, mostly due to the all-inclusive resorts that they front. Reduit is St. Lucia’s longest, perfect for strolling and has the Splash Island Waterpark to enjoy. Sugar Beach is ideally situated between the iconic Pitons and is blessed with the island’s whitest sand (brought over from Guyana).
For the best snorkelling, head over to either Anse Chastanet or the smaller Anse Cochon. Both have a reef close enough to shore to offer exceptional diving and snorkelling directly from the beach.
Vigie Beach is an interesting stretch of sand. Fronting the Rendezvous Resort, it is pretty and uncrowded, but walk far enough away from the resort and you come to a surprising beachfront cemetery, complete with gravestones that are visible from the beach – a photogenic spot to say the least.
Not all of the action is reserved for the west coast though. The east, rocky, windward side of the island boasts a couple of terrific beaches for the adventurous traveller. Raw Grande Anse is home to nesting leatherback sea turtles in the summer months, and a treat any time of the year. Anse Louvert is a secluded, sometimes tricky-to-find gem, but once you find it, it’ll all be yours. Neither are swimmable and offer no restrooms or amenities so bring lots of water and snacks.
As you can see, St. Lucia offers something for everyone. Add any of these adventures to your holiday by speaking to one of our Expert Travellers today.