Authored by Keiwa Simpson
When you think of the Caribbean, Jamaica or Cuba might be at the top of your mind. However, in the midst of the many stunning islands of this region is a gem that literally stands out from the rest: St. Lucia!
This beautiful mountainous island is well known as the worlds #1 honeymoon destination: its array of luxury hotels with gold sand beaches tucked between green towering hills make St.Lucia appear to be the perfect place for lazy days on the beach and laying in the sun sipping pina coladas.
However, the amazing things to do in St.Lucia go far beyond the beach, and to not partake in anything else here would truly do yourself a disservice.
From 2,619 ft volcanic peaks to warm waterfalls, here are 6 amazing things you can experience in St. Lucia, in addition to enjoying the sand, sun, and sea.
Things to do in St. Lucia Beyond the Beach!
Climb the Pitons
The amazing Pitons are the remains of 2 old volcanic vents which helped to violently create the island eons ago.
They have been captivating hearts for thousands of years as the native people who first lived on the island during 1000 AD worshiped the Pitons as the Gods of Fertility, Fire and Rain.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to behold these amazing twin peaks, pointing sharply out into the sky in the town of Soufriere.
What’s better than just seeing the Pitons first hand is actually getting to climb them and see the island from their peak.
The most popular of the twin peaks to climb is Gros Piton, (seen as the second peak in the image above) because it’s much less steep than its shorter sister, Petit Piton.
Along the way up Gros Piton are unique, tall tropical trees, large ferns and small animals that you won’t find many other places on the island.
The ultimate reward is found at the top of the mountain where you get to see the most stunning views of the entire island, the french island of Martinique to the north, and the island of St.Vincent to the south.
Image credit: Serge Melki (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Drive Into a Volcano
Going to see the drive in volcano and mud baths make for an awesome adventure while in St. Lucia. The volcano, which the town of Soufriere was named after, is the only one in the world you can drive into.
You’ll see hundred year old vents of hot, boiling sulphur waters heated from geothermal activity underneath. But the best part of visiting the volcano is the chance to take a relaxing dip in the sulphur mud baths!
These pools are filled with hot water which comes directly from the vents of the volcano. The black colored volcanic water that fills the pools has many minerals which locals claim are great for rejuvenating the skin – look 5 years younger with just one bath!
After taking a dip in the pools, the next step is to rub yourself down with the mud from the volcano – do this all over your body to naturally tighten the skin … don’t forget to take photos!
Once the mask has dried, you then go back into the pools to take one last dip and get the mud off and voila … you’re 5 years younger!
Snapshot from the Mud Baths
Visit The Sapphire Falls and Jungle Spa
For those of you who love nature but want to escape the tourists crowds of the mud baths, the “jungle spa” is an awesome alternative. This is near the volcano at the end of a 20 minute long hidden track into the forest.
As you make your way along the steep path, over a few wooden bridges, you arrive at a beautiful waterfall and golden pool, surrounded by tropical flowers and fruit trees. Like at the mud baths, the water in the golden pool is also heated by the volcano.
This pool’s waters have a different mineral make up to the other mineral baths found on the island, which causes its bright yellow hue. After enjoying the golden pool, make time for a back massage from the twin warm waterfalls found at the site (stand underneath it!).
When you’re done under the waterfalls, the owner of the location usually provides you with leaves of local plants known for healing skin rashes and ailments.
The soft fruity scent of the leaves add a touch of aromatherapy to the treatment, making the day even more relaxing that it already is!
Snorkel Beautiful Coral Reefs
In addition to the stunning beauty that can be found in on land in St.Lucia, there is just as much beauty to be seen under the sea. One particular spot you should explore is the amazing coral reef system which lays on the west side of the island.
The colorful coral reefs are home to many beautiful, multicolored tropical fish, like parrot fish, queen angelfish and trumpet fish. On a lucky day you can also spot seahorses, squids and garden eels.
The coral reefs are so important to the island that they are protected by the local government and some are even under the UNESCO World Heritage Protection as well. Most can be found between the towns of Roseau and Soufriere.
The best way to see the island’s reefs is to simple book a snorkeling tour with one of the local water taxis in St.Lucia and they’ll take you to the best snorkeling spots for a day of underwater fun! The most popular site is right in-between the Pitons at a location called Sugar beach.
Friday Night Street Party
Any plans for your Friday night? Why not dance under the stars while feasting on delicious St Lucian cuisine at the Gros Islet street party!
This awesome street party takes place on Friday nights from 7 pm in the northern, seaside town of Gros Islet. There, many St.Lucian food and rum vendors line the street selling freshly caught local seafood and potent local drinks like Spiced rum.
The type of seafood that can be found here ranges from fresh lobster to octopus, conch (known locally as Lambi), red snapper and mud crabs. It’s prepared with delicious St.Lucian spices, topped with a garlic sauce and a traditional grilled flat bread called a Bake.
After you’re done enjoying your local meal, join the dancing in the middle of the street with local and tourists alike. Huge speakers in the middle of the street blast music ranging from rap, to Carribean soca, dancehall, pop and even American country music!
It’s an intoxicating mix!
Explore Old Battle Grounds of Caribbean Pirates
Long before St.Lucia was even considered a great spot for a vacation, it was home to native Indians and barbaric pirates who robbed sailors exploring the “new world” of their belongings.
A few hundred years later in the late 1700 s, England, in an attempt to steal St.Lucia away from the French, built a fort in the same location where the pirates once lived, called Pigeon island.
200 years later, many of the ruins from the time of the English empire are still standing on Pigeon Island! There, you can learn about the life the soldiers who lived in St.Lucia during this time, and see stone structures they created to live, make wine and store gun powder!
At the top of Pigeon island is a spectacular lookout which the English used to spot French war ships approaching the island. There you’ll be able to touch the 200 year old cannons used to fire bombs after the French, see an amazing view of the north of the island and see the names and d.o.b that the British soldiers engraved into the fort as a memory of their lives on this faraway island.
Image credit: XeresNelro [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Free St Lucia Guide
If you loved this article and are interested in visiting St.Lucia, Keiwa has created a FREE quick guide to help you put together a lovely vacation in St.Lucia much easier and faster!
If you’re looking for more free local advice on how to have a great time in St. Lucia, her website is yourdreamvacationstlucia.com – click through!