Much of the action in St. Lucia occurs on the country’s western coast, particularly in the Soufriere area, which includes some iconic mountains and Mount Soufriere, an active volcano. Snorkeling is a popular activity, and of course, there are excellent beaches and exotic national parks. Below is a list of the top seven things to see when visiting St. Lucia.
1. Pigeon Island National Park
This park has something for everyone, from those interested in the history of the island to music fans wanting to take in a concert at the Jazz and Arts Festival to those who want to visit beaches and enjoy restaurant dining. The park comprises 44 acres and includes 18th-century military ruins at Fort Rodney, which offers excellent views of Rodney Bay and the Caribbean Sea. There are informational signs posted throughout the park to provide historical context, and for those who choose to climb the heights, the view is worth the exertion. Early morning visits are best to avoid the crowds.
2. Reduit Beach
No beach on St. Lucia is as well-loved by visitors and locals like Reduit Beach. It offers an expansive shoreline, tremendous sunset views, and is close to restaurants, bars, and shopping venues in Rodney Bay. This is also a great spot for water sports like water skiing and windsurfing. Travelers appreciate the cleanliness of the beach, with its clear tropical waters and white sand beaches. Because it is so popular, there are often crowds of people enjoying what it has to offer. There are also many vendors of merchandise and food. Recommended: a hot roll for a fast beach meal.
3. Anse Chastanet
This is the best place on St. Lucia for snorkeling and diving fans. It is less crowded and more peaceful than Reduit Beach, and it offers lovely unspoiled views of the water. The nearby resort provides excellent accommodation, but even those who are not staying there can take advantage of it on-site restaurant, dive shop, and bar. The clear water is perfect for snorkeling, and the marine life there is plentiful close to the shore.
4. The Pitons
The Pitons are “volcanic plugs,” a term that describes land formations made of volcanic material. They are St. Lucia’s most iconic sight. Located between Soufriere and Choiseul, Gros Piton and the smaller Petit Piton, can easily be seen from many points to the southwest. The area is perfect for hiking, and the trails are beautiful, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding region. Climbing either of the Pitons is strenuous enough to provide hikers with a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the top. For visitors who don’t want to climb, it is possible to take a boat out on the water to get good views of the Pitons. It is best to have a guide when visiting the area to get the greatest benefit.
5. Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfall
An alternative to beach-going is a visit to this exotic botanical garden. A relaxing and lovely alternative to hiking or climbing, a walk through the six acres of the garden offers views of lush and vibrant foliage and tropical plants like hibiscus, ixora, and heliconia. The Diamond Waterfall changes colors throughout the year as the mix of rainwater and volcanic minerals differ as the water flows down from the heights. Visitors can enjoy the on-site mineral baths, have a meal at the Old Mill & Waterwheel Restaurant, or just explore the Soufriere Estate.
6. Marigot Bay
It is easy to see why major Hollywood producers often film here on the bay. The original “Dr. Doolittle” and the film “Fire Power” were both shot at Marigot Bay. The location offers a gorgeous venue that features classic Caribbean scenes of swaying palms, boats at anchor, and white sand beaches. The location is extremely romantic and offers a great place to get away from it all and relax in a tropical setting.
7. Castries Market
For the past 100 years, the Castries Market has been the major food market in St. Lucia’s capital city. It is open every day but Sunday, and local residents gather here to sell their home-grown produce, spices, and St. Lucia-stamped souvenirs. Visitors are often delighted by the experience of engaging with local vendors and buying the island’s unique items and handcrafted woodwork. It is best to visit on a Friday or Saturday morning when there are a large number of vendors.