The Caribbean island of St. Lucia is world-renowned as an ideal setting for a beach vacation—and this reputation is well-deserved, given the island's propensity for gorgeous sunsets, open-air accommodations, and year-round climate of sunny days (interrupted ever-so-briefly by tropical showers).
But there's more to the island than romantic getaways and rum punch. Indeed, with its majestic Pitons mountain range, St. Lucia appeals to active travelers just as much as honeymooners. To that end, we've rounded up the 12 best hikes to experience the wild beauty of St. Lucia's waterfalls and rainforests. You can always spend the evening unwinding, after all.
Head over to Pigeon Island to embark on one of the many trails available. We're partial to the trailhead departing north of Rodney Bay—but no matter which one you take, you will be sure to leave your all-day excursion satisfied. Not only will you get a workout in, you will also learn about the history and culture of St. Lucia as you explore Pigeon Island National Landmark.
A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island's world-famous Piton mountains in Soufriere are not to be missed. For breathtaking views of this gorgeous mountainous region, take the Gros Piton Nature Trail, which takes roughly five to six hours to complete.
Of course, the Gros Piton Nature Trail isn't for everyone. For leisure-oriented travelers, head to its smaller compatriot: the Petit Piton Trail. This one-mile loop is much less strenuous and offers equally beautiful views. The best part? You can easily fit this hike into a day at the beach.
Clocking in at seven miles, the Edmund Rainforest Trail is one of the more challenging hikes on the island. This trek into the heart of the dense rainforest takes roughly three and a half hours one-way—but it's well worth it for the stunning views of Mount Gimie, St. Lucia's tallest mountain. So pack your hiking boots and get ready for some adventure!
En Bas Saut Rainforest Hike
For a shorter and more moderate (but still strenuous) hike in the Edmund Forest Reserve, opt for the 2.5-mile-long En Bas Saut Rainforest hike. Boasting two gorgeous waterfalls, it will take you between two to three hours to complete—give or take a few if you want to take a dip. While it is possible to hike the trail on your own, we recommend booking a guided tour with St. Lucia Tropical Adventures.
St. Lucia Tropical Adventures is also an excellent option for this Volga Nature Trail excursion, which departs from the Sulphur Springs Access Road in Malgretout. Featuring tropical scenery that is outrageously lush and vibrant, the 0.6-mile loop trail goes past old French architectural homes circa 1935. The hike is expected to last roughly an hour and a half; if you need a break, be sure to take a mud bath at the drive-in volcano.
There's more than enough wildlife and activities on-site at the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths to enthrall visitors for an entire day—including a nature trail and a 56-feet-tall waterfall. Admission costs $17.50 East Caribbean dollars (about $7).
The Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail is a guided two-mile loop that is decidedly more leisurely than other area hikes like the Edmund Rainforest Trail. Over the course of an hour and a half, you will appreciate the moment to slow down and try to spot local birds in the trees. Observant travelers will see parrots and mockingbirds and, if you're lucky, the Saint Lucia Warbler. Pre-book a forest guide for 25 East Caribbean dollars (about $9) per person.
This 45-minute hike, also known as the "Stairway to Heaven," is even less challenging than the Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail. Located in the Tet Paul Nature Reserve, the wildlife oasis is perfect for travelers who want to get active in the morning before heading to the beach.
Home to many a St. Lucia parrot, the Des Cartier Rainforest Trail is a one-mile loop through wild, untouched, and under-the-radar tropical rainforest. If you're looking to extend your adventure into the wild, you can also link this trail to the Edmund Rainforest Trail.
Similar to Pigeon Island, Morne Fortuné is rich with island history. Though its name translates to "Good Luck Hill," it was the site of much destruction during the 18th century, when the British and French fought. This hike is perfect for history lovers and active travelers alike; at the top of the hill, you will find a historic military memorial as well as a spectacular view.
Before you pay a visit to Ladera Resort, call ahead to book a garden walk with Ray, the head gardener. One of the most knowledgeable men on the island, Ray is quite the expert on the history of the island's people, flora, and fauna. As you hike up the hillside, not only will you get a gorgeous view overlooking the Pitons, you'll also receive an entire St. Lucian history lesson in the span of a morning.