About halfway down the archipelago of the Eastern Caribbean is St Lucia, a member of the Windward Islands. It continues to be one of the Caribbean’s top island destinations, offering a warm climate, luxurious accommodation and miles of breathtaking scenery. It’s no surprise that over a million tourists choose St Lucia as their holiday destination every year. If you’re considering a visit, Kreol’s guide will help you plan your holiday itinerary.

Diver taking pictures on a St Lucia reef

Diver taking pictures on a St Lucia reef

Attractions

Rainforest Adventures

Arguably the best way to see St Lucia’s rainforest zone, situated in the north of the island. Travel through the canopy on a gondola, enjoy a guided rainforest hike, or, for the ultimate thrill, zoom along a zip line.

Land And Sea Tour

This is a great way to get to know the island and is especially recommended if it’s your first time there. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you on a journey on boat, foot and road. You’ll get a taste of the sorts of things available to do on St Lucia – scuba diving, mud bathing, visiting a volcano and you can enjoy a beach-side lunch.

Sulphur Springs Park

A drive in a (dormant) volcano is just one of the reasons this attraction draws so many visitors. There’s a very informative visitor centre, which explains a lot about the history of Sulphur Springs. Take a dip in the hot water pools and admire the yellow-tinged rocks, but beware – sulphur has a strong smell!

 

St Lucia

View of the famous Piton mountains in St Lucia

Places to visit

Pigeon Island

Once upon a time, Pigeon Island was a separate island in its own right, but these days, a causeway allows visitors to cross over. Follow the paths and explore the ruins of the 18th-century British fort, Fort Rodney or just enjoy the glorious beaches.

Castries

Castries is a tourist hub because it’s where many cruise ships dock. Passengers looking for bargains are well catered for with two duty-free shopping centres, La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine, where you’ll find locally produced art and souvenirs. As with all duty-free shops, you’ll be asked to show your boat or plane ticket and passport to verify your tourist status. When you have finished shopping, enjoy a walk to the grassy Derek Walcott Square, named after St Lucia’s Nobel prize-winning poet.

Pitons

The Pitons (Petit Piton and Gros Piton) are two volcanic plugs, rising out of the ground like mountains. If you enjoy trail walking, this challenging hike will reward you with phenomenal views. It’s recommended that you take a guided tour, as the paths can be tricky to navigate.

Flowering flame trees on the slope of Pigeon Island

Flowering flame trees on the slope of Pigeon Island

Main events

Spring

April 14-20 – Holy Week, usually celebrated around the same time as Easter, sees the sacred side of the island emerge. Enjoy specialities like Accra fish cakes and Penepis dessert.

May – St Lucia Jazz Week, a celebration of St Lucian music and arts, with concerts and seminars for tourists, musicians and St Lucians.

Summer

June – July – The St Lucia Carnival takes over two months of the calendar, the streets are filled with vibrant costumes, the traditional music of
steel drums and dance styles you won’t find anywhere else.

August – Beautiful blooms can be seen at the Rose Festival, dedicated to the fragrant flower. Culminating on August 30 with the Feast of Saint Rose De Lima, there’s dancing, singing and live music in the streets.

Autumn

October – Nevis Race Week is the group name for three big races. A horse race, yacht race and running race, all keeping spectators on the edge of
their seats.

October 17 – Feast of La Marguerite is another festival which celebrates a flower, but this time with a more solemn feel, as it incorporates a religious ceremony and parade featuring beautiful costumes.

Costumed dancers in the carnival parade, Castries, St Lucia. Photo: Angela N Perryman

Costumed dancers in the carnival parade, Castries, St Lucia. Photo: Angela N Perryman

Winter

December 13 – National Day, a patriotic day, isn’t just for St Lucians. Visitors are encouraged to take part in cultural activities, sports competitions and the Festival of Lights.

February 22 – St Lucia Independence Day, where you’ll see carnivals, kite flying, parades and calypso tents flying in honour of the island gaining independence from Great Britain.

Activities

Diving

Some of the most popular activities for visitors to St Lucia include snorkelling and diving. The Caribbean Sea is clear and warm, with plenty of marine activity to see, with coral reefs, tropical fish, shipwrecks and other underwater mysteries.

Two-wheeled exploration

Choose a push bike or a scooter and take a leisurely trail around the island. There are plenty of rental agencies to be found across the island, and a lot of routes to follow.

Golf

There are two golf courses on St Lucia, Sandals St. Lucia La Toc Golf and St. Lucia Golf and Country Club. The latter is an 18 hole course, although not a championship one, while the Sandals course offers nine holes on a picturesque landscaped site.

Sailing

As an island, St Lucia is well equipped for sailing, with boats of all sorts available to hire across the island. Choose to captain yourself, or hire a boat and captain to help you enjoy the island from the sea.

Tropical Market in Castries, Santa Lucia. Agricultural markets are the leading supplier of food in Santa Lucia. Photo: Styve Reineck

Tropical Market in Castries, Santa Lucia. Agricultural markets are the leading supplier of food in Santa Lucia. Photo: Styve Reineck

Shopping

Rodney Bay is home to St Lucia’s newest shopping mall, Baywalk Mall. It’s not just shops, as it’s also home to a casino, a bank and a supermarket. There are also penthouse apartments if you take your shopping really seriously! If you’re looking for traditional gifts to take home as souvenirs, look out for products made locally, such as batik fabric, pottery and woven hats.

Spas

Sixteen highly acclaimed spas and wellness centres are located on the island, so if you’re looking for a little relaxation time, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one. The Kai Belte Spa offers beach facing treatment rooms, while the Cocoa Juvenate Spa uses natural ingredients in its products, such as cacao, peppermint, rose and nutmeg.

There really is something for everyone on St Lucia, and you can be sure of a warm welcome from the locals. Whatever you’re visiting for, and whenever your visit is planned for, you’re sure to be able to fill everyone one of your days with memorable experiences.