St. Lucia is so full of attractions that it’s hard to know what to see first on your trip. Whether you want to spend all your time on the beach or explore one of the island’s many inland treasures, there truly is something for everyone. Here are some of the must-see attractions in St. Lucia.
1. Pigeon Island
Though a causeway converted it from an island in the 1970s, Pigeon Island National Park should still be on your list of sites to see in St. Lucia. Trails traversing the park allow you to check out the remains of Fort Rodney and learn about its history as well as hike to various scenic overlooks with spectacular views. There are also beaches and restaurants scattered across the park and a concert venue that hosts shows and festivals throughout the year.
2. The Pitons
These twin peaks dominate the topography, jutting abruptly out of the ocean to tower over their surroundings. The larger and southern-most of the two – Gros Piton – stands at a height of 798 meters, while the ‘smaller’ one – Petit Piton – rises up a mere 750 meters from the water to the north. Both are the result of volcanos that erupted anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 years ago.
Each one boasts its own challenging climbing routes as well as interesting underwater rock formations for divers to explore. For those seeking a more relaxing experience, their majestic profile and scenery is more than worth the trip for visitors. A vibrant fishing village nearby called Soufriere offers exceptional views of the peaks as well as an eclectic atmosphere.
3. Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfall
Speaking of Soufriere, in addition to the best views of the Pitons, beautiful architecture and colorful history, it is home to the Soufriere Estate which contains the Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfall. A perfect attraction to occupy a few hours in between beach visits and hiking, it offers vibrant gardens with tropical foliage to explore, a stunning waterfall that takes on the color of minerals that flow down it, and therapeutic hot spring baths. You can also explore the rest of the estate.
4. Rodney Bay
A tourist staple situated on the north coast of St. Lucia just south of Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay features a beautiful beach, hotels, excellent dining as well as a marina that offers visitors several watersport options. There are also several local shops along with the largest shopping mall in the area.
5. Rain Forest Adventures Aerial Tram
Gondolas haul visitors over rainforests to the mountaintop and back eight at a time, providing an excellent overview of local animal and plant life. A guide is there to educate you on the area as you enjoy the peaceful scenery. If you’re looking for more adventure, you can also opt for a zip line on your return trip down the mountain.
6. Anse Chastanet
One of the more peaceful beach options you’ll find, beautiful Anse Chastanet is an excellent setting to relax and soak in the sun. The beach also offers excellent snorkeling and diving with fantastically clear water and diverse sea life. You can find excellent dining at the nearby namesake resort, along with an attentive staff and picturesque views.
7. Castries Market
Castries – the capital city of St. Lucia – is home to what is widely considered one of the best markets in the world. Located on the east edge of the harbor, Castries Market still holds the title of oldest operating market worldwide. A picture of everyday life on St. Lucia, it’s a colorful gathering place for locals to sell their produce, fish, spices and handmade crafts. You can shop there every day, but you will find the most activity on Sundays.
8. Marigot Bay
One of the most picturesque bays in St. Lucia, Marigot Bay features a vista from the road that frames its beauty perfectly on approach from land. Dotted with palm trees and set among steep hillsides, it’s easy to see why the bay is a favored anchor spot for yachts. If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are boats to ferry guests to hotels on the far shoreline.
9. Mamiku Gardens
Inland from St. Lucia’s eastern coast, Mamiku is a peaceful and picturesque botanical garden. Visitors can pass the time exploring all 12 plush acres of natural woodland either on their own or with a guided tour. The garden also provides a booklet that helps you identify 300 different types of plants and trees throughout the property.
10. Sulphur Springs Park
Advertised as a volcano that you can swim in, Sulphur Springs Park is home to an active volcano – albeit one that produces warm sulphuric vapor instead of magma – adjacent to a safe swimming area. There are also natural pools that offer visitors a soothing bathing opportunity. However, you will have to overcome the strong egg odor emitted by the volcano.