Updated on September 21st, 2023
After spending a month on stunning St Lucia, I had the chance to sample a lot of the best that the island has to offer. Here is my pick of over 30 sights and activities to add to your St Lucia itinerary for an unforgettable island experience.”
St Lucia, West Indies
I spent a lot of time over the last few years becoming better acquainted with the Caribbean. I love it. So, after being stuck at home for a while it was an obvious place to spread my wings and regain my freedom. I chose to spend 2 months getting to know two new stunning islands: St Lucia and Grenada.
During my month in St Lucia, I explored extensively. I stayed in the north, south, east and west of the island and drove through the middle. On that note, I wrote a whole blog post with tips on tackling the roads on the island.
I did a thorough research project on all the main beaches and a few more besides! I snorkelled its waters and hurtled through the skies in its rainforests. In addition, I hiked up to viewpoints, soaked in hot volcanic waters and explored historic monuments. I drank a lot of its rum, enjoyed many of its seafood specialities and even created my own chocolate bar.
Unfortunately, I also had one of my most distressing travel experiences when I was broken into while I was asleep. You can read all about the incident here, as well as all the lessons I learnt as a result. However, it didn’t put me off enjoying everything that stunning St Lucia has to offer. I made a lot of friends, especially among the locals and asked everyone for their recommendations.
As a result of all this, if you are looking for your perfect St Lucia itinerary, then look no further!
If Grenada is also on your list, don’t miss my ultimate guide to the island HERE.
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What is the best time of year to visit St Lucia?
Between February and May is the best time to visit St Lucia as they are the driest months. I was there in March and again in April and although it rained on a few days, it was generally hot and sunny. The temperatures are warm all year (280C – 320C), although the higher you go, the cooler it gets.
June to January tend to be wetter and advice generally when visiting the Caribbean is to avoid the hurricane season which officially runs from July to November.”
Where to stay in St Lucia
No matter what your budget and accommodation style, there is a lot of choice in St Lucia. I prefer staying in locally owned places rather than big chain hotels. On this visit, I also chose mostly self-catering to keep the costs down.
Be aware that most international flights will arrive at Hewanorra Airport which is located in the south. Transport can be expensive to get to and from the airport so bear this in mind when you are deciding on where to stay. Here are a few options to give you an idea of the prices of transfers from Vieux Fort in St Lucia:
I started in Rodney Bay where I eventually stayed in 2 properties, both within an easy walk to Reduit Beach. The first was the excellent Coco Palm which I would thoroughly recommend. It seemed to cater more for the independent-spirited traveller. In addition, check out Bay Gardens Hotel. It’s not on the beach (15-20 minute walk) but has a shuttle to its sister hotel (Bay Gardens Beach Resort) where you can use all the facilities and sunbeds for free. For real luxury, I heard that Windjammer in Gros Islet is one of the best resorts on the island.
If you would prefer to stay closer to the Pitons and want to treat yourself, the Viceroy Resort on Sugar Beach is a fantastic location. And on the other side of Soufriere, also with amazing views is Anse Chastanet and it’s even more exclusive sister property Jade Mountain. If you are looking for something in a more budget price range, with self-catering facilities, then I enjoyed my stays at both Frenz and Diamondview Apartments in Soufriere.
Between the two, on the Caribbean west coast is the Ti Kaye Resort at gorgeous Anse Cochon Beach. However, I went for a more budget, self-catering option in Eden Crest Villas which offered a secluded spot, with a pool and a magnificent view. In Marigot Bay I treated myself to a couple of nights at the Beach Club and Dive Resort. The view from the balcony was well worth the extra money I paid! I also only took enough luggage for a couple of days which made negotiating the free ferry and steps to my room much easier. Other options are the Oasis Marigot, or the super-exclusive Marigot Bay (no ferry required).
Finally, the road less travelled is the wild Atlantic east coast. A stay here gives you a very different St. Lucian experience. I explored it for a few nights at the lovely Zamaca. It’s owned by Ellen and John who are exceptional hosts.
Ellen prides herself on breakfast and it was without doubt the best I had on the island. If you can, also ask if she will cook dinner for you one night. It was truly delicious!”
Over 30 Epic Activities for your Perfect St Lucia Itinerary
I wrote a whole blog post on the best beaches in St Lucia which you can read all about HERE.
Reduit Beach is the most popular on the island and the jewel of the north. For stunning views of the Pitons then it’s hard to beat Sugar Beach or Anse Chastanet. They also top the list for the best snorkelling on the island, along with Anse Cochon. When you’re at Anse Chasanet, don’t miss the short walk to Anse Mamin for a much wider, picturesque stretch of sand. Although there are no views of the magnificent Pitons, it was one of my favourite places on the island to park my towel!
However, there are a few lesser-known and more local beaches which you may also want to explore. Hummingbird Beach (known by the locals as Cemetary Beach) is worth a visit if you have some time to spare in Soufriere. It is not as pristine as some of the more tourist beaches, but the views of the Pitons are exceptional. If you’re feeling daring, you can also ask one of the local guys to show you the way and join them in jumping off the cliffs!
Laborie Beach was also recommended to me. Although I didn’t go for a swim here, the water looked stunning. There is a reef which protects the beach and makes it a perfect swimming spot.
There are plenty of places to lace up your boots and add hiking to your St Lucia itinerary. The big one is Gros Piton but prepare for a hard hike. It takes around 2 hours each way. Ideally, you will go with a guide, but the path is well-marked so it is possible to tackle it alone. A certain level of fitness is required and prepare for some rock scrambling. The other two big peaks on the island (Petit Piton and Mount Gimie) both require some rock climbing prowess so you definitely need a guide for both.
Tet Paul Nature Trail was actually my favourite thing to do on the island. It is an easy hike, but you need a guide as the project is run by the community and all the funds go back into maintenance.
With landmarks like the “Stairway to Heaven” and “Valley of Paradise”, it’s hard not to be in awe of the views. Here you can admire both the Pitons and Sugar Beach all in one spectacular panorama.”
If you need more convincing, check out my video below. It also contains some important information on finding your way there. Not as easy as you would think!
In the north, don’t miss the chance to explore Pigeon Island. This one is perfect to introduce you to more about the history of St Lucia and the tussles between the British and French in the region. The national park spans 44 acres and you can climb up to Fort Rodney for beautiful views and ominous cannons. Then there is the higher peak of Signal Hill. This involves a little bit of rock scrambling but on a clear day, you may even get a view of Martinique.
There are also numerous hikes you can do to discover the rainforest, wildlife and waterfalls of the island.
This island lays claim to be the only drive-in volcano in the world so, it’s hard not to add this to your St Lucia itinerary. My advice is to head there later in the day to avoid the crowds. Seeing the earth bubbling will never be something I can get my head around. If it fascinates you too then check out my adventures on the Golden Circle and Myvatn areas in Iceland.
In St Lucia you can get a tour to the bubbling earth to learn all about its volcanic origins. Then smother yourself in the mineral rich mud while you bathe in the naturally heated pools. Now that’s an experience most of us don’t have every day!”
And if bathing in volcanically heated pools is your thing, then also don’t miss the chance to soak at Piton Falls. A short walk down the steps brings you to a waterfall and geothermally heated pools. It’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re heading to Sugar Beach as it’s just off the road to get there.
If this appeals to you then also on your St Lucia itinerary should be a soak in the mineral baths that once relieved the joints of Napoleons’ Josephine. They date from 1784 when they were built as a therapeutic soak for the troops of King Louis XVI of France. Take a wander around the Botanical Gardens in Soufriere and add a dip in the pools to your entrance ticket.
Take the plunge at a waterfall
No trip to the Botanical Gardens would be complete without a visit to Diamond Falls, one of the most picturesque waterfalls in St Lucia. And if you love a waterfall as much as I do, there are a few more to add into your St Lucia itinerary too. Toraille Falls is another which is close to the Botanical Gardens. I loved Latille Falls on the East Coast, made even more special by the fact that I had it all to myself. Close by is Sault Falls although it was well hidden and I failed to find it with the directions I was given. Hopefully, you will have more luck!
One of the must-do activities on St Lucia is to take a boat tour around the island and there are several options to see this spectacular location from the water. You can choose between a larger catamaran or a smaller boat for a more intimate experience. If you fancy getting a little more hands-on, Marigot Bay is the perfect, sheltered location to take your choice of smaller vessel onto the water. It is a very picturesque and unique part of the island.
If you want to get under the water, then there are some beautiful spots to go snorkelling on the island. Check out my full summary of the best places to snorkel and what you can see HERE. Alternatively, why not try your hand at snuba? Snuba is a cross between snorkelling and scuba. You breathe through a regulator while your tank of air floats on the surface above you. On Pigeon Island, you don a huge helmet and walk along the surface while watching the underwater world around you.
I enjoyed seeing the helmets lined up on the seabed. Then a snuba man literally walked into me and I had to try and avoid getting tangled in his pipes!”
One of the must-do activities for your St Lucia itinerary, if you’re a chocoholic, is to head over to Hotel Chocolat. Not only can you stay at the Rabot Hotel from Hotel Chocolat, but you could opt for a meal where every course is created using the cocoa bean as an ingredient. I didn’t partake but everyone I spoke to said it was excellent. What I did do, however, was to take a tour of the cocoa plantation here and even got to make my very own chocolate bar. Check out my blog post for everything you need to know if this appeals to you too.
Fridays are party nights on St Lucia. If you would like a bit of a carnival atmosphere with your dinner, then on a Friday night head over to the Anse La Raye Fish Fry. Unfortunately, it wasn’t running when I was there as they were on the tail end of COVID restrictions, but it’s on my list for next time. If you don’t fancy the joys of fish fry (or have more than one Friday to party) then the Gros Islet Jump Up may be more your cup of tea, or should I say rum cocktail!
Here, they close the street, crank up the music, pour the rum and everyone has a big party. I missed this too, it started again just after I left!”
If rum is your thing (and it should be for any visit to the Caribbean!), then don’t miss the chance for a tour and a tasting at the St Lucia Distillers. Finally, if you are interested in discovering more of the local produce, head to Castries market where you can also stock up on souvenirs.
There are various places around St Lucia to get your adrenaline glands pumping via a zipline tour. I chose to visit Rainforest Adventures where they have 8 ziplines in total. It’s a great fun way to explore the rainforest. However, if you are looking for something a little slower-paced, they also have an aerial tram which will give you more education about the forest itself and the various species of flora and fauna on the island.
So, there ends my epic rundown of sights and activities to add to your St Lucia itinerary. I hope it helps you to curate your perfect trip to this beautiful island. And I hope you love your time there as much as I did!
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