St. Lucia is a world-renowned Caribbean destination that boasts gorgeous beaches and breathtaking mountainous vistas. Whether you're interested in snorkeling, sailing, or hiking, there's no shortage of options for adventurous travelers looking to explore the tropical wilderness. Of course, there are also more relaxing options for leisure travelers, including sunbathing, spa treatments, and stays at luxury resorts. Read on for your guide to the 17 best things to do while visiting St. Lucia.
Sail the Caribbean Sea
The best way to appreciate the beauty of an island is from the water, of course. Whether you opt for a sunset sail or a mid-day cruise, make it a top priority to get out on the Caribbean Sea. For an unbeatable experience, book a stay at the Sugar Beach Viceroy and ask the staff to arrange a private charter of their old-school (and majestic) Manatee Sloop.
Dance at the Friday Night Fish Fiesta
What's a visit to the Caribbean without attending a fish fry? On the western coast of the island, Anse la Ray hosts a Friday night fish fry, replete with a variety of seafood dishes, music and dancing, and laid-back island vibes. The centuries-old buildings in the fishing village lend a charming ambiance to the festivities.
Also known as the "Stairway to Heaven," the Tet Paul Nature Trail in Chateau Belaire is an easy way to get some exercise in before heading to the beach. Led by informative and friendly St. Lucian guides, this moderately challenging trail takes roughly 45 minutes to hike.
Marigot Bay is a sight to behold—and if you don't believe us, famed writer James Michener referred to the spot as “the most beautiful in the Caribbean.” There's no shortage of activities to partake in here, with sailing and sunset cocktails being chief among them. We recommend venturing out for a mid-day lunch; you can decide from there how long you'd like to spend on this beautiful part of St. Lucia. We wouldn't blame you if you stayed until nightfall.
Trek the Gros Piton Nature Trail
The Piton mountains in St. Lucia are an iconic and breathtakingly beautiful element of the island. Sign up for the Gros Piton Trail Climb to experience the green wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage Site up close and personal (and for a greater endorphin reward than sunbathing beneath them on the beach will give you).
Head to the only drive-in volcano in the world and indulge in a mud bath to invigorate your senses and slough off dead skin cells. But a visit to this all-natural spa isn't just great for your complexion—it's great for your wanderlust as well. On your way in and out of the mud baths, be sure to explore the hot springs and waterfall.
Snorkel Beneath the Pitons
Snorkeling in St. Lucia is a must-do activity for any and all travelers who come to visit the island. For an excursion that will give you the opportunity to appreciate the Pitons from down below, consider snorkeling beneath the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both Ladera Resort and Sugar Beach Viceroy coordinate trips for guests interested in checking out life under the sea.
With a breathtaking view of the Pitons—and no shortage of cocktails available at the Bayside Bar—Sugar Beach Viceroy is a top destination for travelers visiting St. Lucia. The sand here is so fine, it really is just like sugar, and you would be remiss not to spend a day lazing away by the shore. We recommend booking one of the gorgeous cottages (complete with 24-hour butler service) at the luxurious resort to really capitalize on the divine seaside surroundings.
Who needs farm-to-table when you can sign up for an exclusive Tree-To-Bar experience at a cocoa estate? At Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, you will begin your tour with a guided walk through the groves of Rabot Estate... and end it by mixing up your very own chocolate bar to savor. Trust us, the rewards of your hard work will never taste sweeter.
No trip to St. Lucia is complete without a visit to the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths in Soufriere. This beautiful natural oasis is a sight to behold, and is a haven for birds, insects, and all manner of flora and fauna. Embark on a nature trail, or indulge in the mineral baths. It's easy to waste away an afternoon in this beautiful setting.
Stay in a Romantic Three-Walled Suite
St. Lucia is famous for its romantic accommodations, and one of Soufriere's trademark architectural designs is the three-walled tropical abode. With the front of your suite open and facing the ocean, you can fall asleep in the night air and wake up to breathtaking views. Book a room at the ultra-luxurious Ladera Resort or Jade Mountain to experience the ultimate in seaside sophistication.
Book a Dolphin and Whale Watching Expedition
The waters off the coast of St. Lucia are known for their resident and migrating marine life, including dolphins (spitting and spotted) and whales (pilot, sperm, and orcas). Guests at Sugar Beach Viceroy can head out for the high seas in search of these majestic creatures on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and it is an activity not to be missed. Even if you don't see any wildlife, the views alone are spectacular.
Shop for Souvenirs at Castries Market
Visit the open-air Castries Market any day from Monday to Saturday in the bustling capital of St. Lucia. Established in 1891, the market boasts more than 300 regular vendors, and the wares on display represent an exciting array of spices, fruit, souvenirs, and other handmade items. Chat with the locals and take your time shopping: Just the visit alone is its own unique experience.
Sign up for a garden tour at Ladera Resort to meet the charming head gardener and learn more about the natural flora and fauna that grow in St. Lucia. Follow along as you hike up to a beautiful vista overlooking the Pitons; you will walk away with a greater appreciation not only for St. Lucia's natural beauty, but for its heritage and culture as well.
Pigeon Island is a National Landmark in St. Lucia and well worth a visit for both first-time travelers and repeat visitors. In addition to two gorgeous beaches, the island features military ruins from historic battles between the French and British. Climb up to the lookout atop the Fort for panoramic views of the Northwest coast before you leave.
Horseback riding along the Caribbean Sea has become quite the popular pastime for travelers, and there's no reason not to engage in such a picturesque activity while visiting St. Lucia. Sign up for a trail ride with Trim's Riding Stables and take in the beauty of your surroundings while aboard your noble steed.
Indulge in a Chocolate Spa Treatment
St. Lucia is famous for its chocolate, and what better way to familiarize yourself with the local specialty than by indulging in a cocoa-centric spa treatment? Book the Cacao Facial at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat to learn more about the revitalizing elements of the sweet, local ingredient. If you'd rather enjoy a massage instead, sign up for the revitalizing treatment known as Chocolate Delight at Jade Mountain. The Rainforest Spa at Sugar Beach Viceroy utilizes the nourishing properties of local cocoa to moisturize tired skin. And, after too many days in the tropical sun, that treatment will feel less like a luxury and more like a necessity. It's your vacation, after all. Go ahead and treat yourself.