St. Lucia, located south of Martinique, north of St. Vincent, and northwest of Barbados, is one of the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Known as a favorite of honeymooners due to its lush scenery, luxury hideaways, and uncrowded beaches, some of the best things to do in St. Lucia certainly involve romance and relaxation.
Originally named Hewanorra by the Caribs—a word that remains as the name of the island’s international airport—St. Lucia owes its good looks to its explosive origins. Formed by volcanic activity of the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, this history is evident across the island, with sites like sulphur hot springs and a drive-in volcano.
It’s a truly diverse destination with activities to delight all interests. Plus, there’s locally made, high-grade chocolate available almost everywhere.
Here are 20 of the most unforgettable things to do in St. Lucia
1: Hike To The Top Of Gros Piton
Even though the highest point is Mount Gimie, at the island’s center, it’s the two Pitons that are most emblematic of St. Lucia and one of the best places to see in the world. The trailhead to climb the largest, Gros Piton, begins on a beach, and you’ll need a guide to accompany you.
The strenuous hike takes about two or three hours to reach the summit at 2,600 feet, and another hour and a half back down. The trail quickly begins to gain in elevation, but also dramatic views, and the reward is a view over Petit Piton as well as the beaches of the west side of the island and the sparkling sea below. You’ll see why it’s consider one of the best places to hike in the Caribbean.
2: Hire A Water Taxi To Anse Chastanet Beach
The mountainous terrain of St. Lucia means that driving even a short distance can be an adventure, but locals offer water taxis from the town of Soufriere to nearby beaches, making the trip far more romantic and direct than hopping in a regular taxi.
Since all the beaches on St. Lucia are open to the public, head to the one at Anse Chastanet, a swathe of sand just below a luxury resort of the same name. Calm waters and a reef just off the beach make for ideal snorkeling. Finish the day at the beach by toasting the nearby Pitons with a cold bottle of Piton beer.
3: Drive In To The “Drive-in Volcano”
Visiting a volcano is not typically an activity that you can fit in between a shopping trip and a snorkeling session, but on St. Lucia it is. The drive-in volcano is a bubbling steam crater that gives a clue as to how this paradise formed, and it is just as accessible as its name implies.
4: Tour The Historic Sites Of Pigeon Island National Park
This 44-acre park on the north end of the island is a relaxing spot to enjoy views of Martinique while learning more about the history of St. Lucia. Hiking trails, excellent birdwatching, access to pristine beaches, and remnants of the island’s oldest buildings (including the 18th century Fort Rodney), make this a popular spot for day visitors.
5: Go For A Dip At Toraille Waterfall
When you visit this stunning waterfall, you’ll first be welcomed by a botanical garden before entering a glade where St. Lucia’s lushness is on full display. Feel the mist of the water cooling your skin in the sun, and bring a swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the waterfall.
6: Soak In The Sulphur Hot Springs
One of the best things to do in St. Lucia is stop by the sulphur hot springs, located across from the drive-in volcano just south of Soufriere. The hot water that springs out of the earth nearby fills a pool that is a safe temperature for swimming, not too much hotter than a hot tub, but with natural minerals you would not find in a normal pool. Start your visit with a stop at the mud bath, so you can slather the volcanic mud all over your body and take your time soaking it off after.
7: Grab A Spoon For “Bouyon” Coal Pot Stew
One of the best things to do in St. Lucia is sample local dishes. “Bouyon” stew is a beloved homestyle dish and local comfort food. The name “bouyon” is the Creole form of the French word “bouillon,” but the resulting stew is far heartier than its French cousin.
While the meats may differ, the basics remain the same. Vegetables and dumplings in a stock with cassava and cinnamon slow cook in a hand-thrown clay vessel over a fire kindled by mangrove tinder. The result is a thick and warming meal found all over the island, including in the market in Castries port.
8: Snack On Roti
Although roti is more typically associated with India, the West Indies have a penchant for the savory treat, too. Roti is a thin, pancake-like bread cooked over coals and stuffed with any number of the island’s favorites, including garlic chicken, roasted lamb, and curried vegetables.
It is a hot, quick bite to enjoy in the morning, as that is when rotis are made fresh and they often will sell out before lunch. Roti is also the best way to start up a conversation with a local; everyone has their own opinion on the best roti shop on the island, and the explanations can get passionate.
9: Taste Island Brews At Antillia Brewing Company
The favorites at this craft brewery include a passionfruit ale, an imperial chocolate stout, and a rum cask IPA. Seasonal specialties may see beers like a fig banana ale on tap at their beer garden at Pointe Seraphine, just outside Castries. Opt for a flight to try a little of them all while enjoying live music and views of sailboats anchored in the harbor.
10: Catch A Cricket Match
As a former British colony, some U.K. customs continue. In addition to enjoying an afternoon tea, St. Lucians love the game of cricket and major matches are played at the massive Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet.
The West Indies team faces off against rivals including national teams from England, Sri Lanka, and even Afghanistan during the season, but smaller neighborhood matches can be observed on almost any pleasant day, year-round.
11: Go Horseback Riding At Morne Coubaril Estate
This historic sugar estate has become an all-in-one destination for experiencing bits of the best activities in St. Lucia when you’re short on time. In addition to tours of the buildings and farm, where cacao, cassava, coffee, and tropical fruits are still grown and harvested, the grounds also host a zipline course and horseback riding trails. There’s even the option to go off-trail with the horses and ride them along the beach before returning for a sweet and cold glass of freshly pressed sugarcane juice.
12: Cruise The Island’s West Coast By Catamaran
To appreciate the full beauty of St. Lucia’s mountainous terrain and dramatic coastline, you must see the island from the sea. Whether your goal is sport fishing, whale watching, or just having a picnic cruise to an empty beach with incredible views, catamaran charters are readily available and ready to make your dreams come true.
The west coast of the island is the Caribbean side, and the calmest and clearest for snorkeling and water activities, not to mention the most scenic, with the Pitons. Bring a camera, swimsuit, sun protection, and prepare for a day on the water unlike any other.
13: Scuba Dive The Reefs Of The Marine Reserves
One of the best things to do in St. Lucia is spend the day enjoying the excellent reefs, both natural and artificial. Artificial reefs were created by wrecks sunk to help more coral to grow and increase biodiversity to the waters around the island.
The Soufriere Marine Reserve and the Pigeon Island National Park coastal reefs are the most popular dive sites. Spotting moray eels, eagle rays, and lobsters going about their underwater lives amongst the coral pinnacles and volcanic boulders is common.
14: Sip St. Lucia’s Top Shelf Rum
Buying bottles of rum in the Caribbean can be as easy as grabbing a bottle of water, but imbibing a truly excellent, small-batch rum can be a challenge. St. Lucia’s rum heritage is strong, and locals will tell you that the best of the best is Chairman’s Reserve.
Fruity and spicy, it puts the distinct island flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and toasted banana on your tongue. Bottles are available at duty-free shops across the island, but to have a taste of their varieties before committing, book a rum tasting tour at St. Lucia Distillers in Roseau.
15: Make Chocolate At Fond Doux Estate
The independent eco-resort of Fond Doux Estate is 135 acres of rainforest, tropical gardens, and sustainably farmed organic cocoa fields. Shop the Plas Cacao chocolate shop, with sweets all made on property, or sit for a meal at the Cocoa Pod Restaurant, which serves authentic St. Lucian cuisine that highlights local produce and specialties straight from the land around you. Tours of the Fond Doux Estate demonstrate the production of chocolate, from cacao pod through to the delicious treat we all know so well.
16: Drink Cocoa Tea Shaved From Special Sticks
If there’s one common item sold at the open-air markets other than fresh produce, it’s the round, brown sticks that look like little batons. These affordable, edible souvenirs rarely come with instructions, but just ask a local how to make cocoa tea and you’ll understand their importance.
Created from roasted seeds of cacao pods, mixed together with ground vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaf, the stick is the concentrate needed for this island favorite non-alcoholic drink. Grate the stick into hot water or hot milk, and your cocoa tea is ready to be enjoyed the way locals do every day. It’s one of the most authentic activities in St. Lucia for visitors to try.
17: Taste The Best Of St. Lucia At The Castries Market
In addition to being an island known for romance and dramatic views, St. Lucia is also a paradise of gastronomy. For those short on time, a stop to the Castries Food and Craft Market is an easy way to sample local specialties while also having an opportunity to chat with vendors and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of a bustling market full of spices and fresh produce.
Shop for cooked delights like Accra fish cakes, fried breadfruit, and BBQ fresh-caught fish to make your own picnic. Or, fill a basket of goodies with coconut candies, creole spice mixes, and tangy, tropical sauces (like mango passion rum sauce) to take back home and enjoy St. Lucian-inspired meals even after your vacation.
18: Stop Off In Anse La Raye Fishing Village
When heading south from Castries towards the Pitons and some of the island’s best beaches, the fishing village of Anse La Raye is an easy, scenic stop. After driving through banana plantations, the road opens up to sea vistas and this small town, right at the water’s edge.
Stroll the pier, visit the 16th-century cathedral, and wind your way through town, stopping to photograph the traditional fisherman cottages. Continue your journey a few minutes down the winding road to stop for a quick drink at Horizon Cocktails Viewpoint, a bar painted in bright yellow that overlooks the valley and ocean below.
19: Soak Up The Sun At Reduit Beach
Visitors to Reduit Beach, frequently recognized as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, arrive on the sand with one overarching goal in mind: to have a sunny, easy day at the beach. Loungers under palapa-style umbrellas are available for rent, but with water this clear and blue, you may be spending more time working on your doggie paddle than on your tan.
Vendors stroll the sand, their arms dripping with necklaces and other souvenir tchotchkes for sale, while others offer cold coconuts for sipping, sliced open to order. A beach day here is easily combined with dining and shopping in the nearby Rodney Bay Marina district.
20: Celebrate Chocolate Heritage Month In August
Time your travel right, and you can enjoy the sweetest festival on the island: Chocolate Heritage Month. For several weeks, restaurants roll out special chocolate-themed menus, spas promote chocolatey treatments, and activities all over the island (like re-enactments of the “coco rina” dance to polish cocoa beans) celebrate St. Lucia’s cacao heritage. Of course, samples and special edition chocolate bars are a party favor of this festive month, making for ideal souvenirs that come with a story.
A luxury cruise to St. Lucia will have you enjoying some of the best cuisine, history, and adventure activities that this lush paradise has to offer. Mountain vistas, forest hiking, waterfall swims, excellent eats, and historic sites are all available in this diverse destination.
If you’re ready to fulfill your island cravings with all that St. Lucia has to offer, browse itineraries on our website and book your getaway today.