Things to do in St Lucia

Top St Lucia sights

With a dramatic landscape dominated by the twin peaks of its iconic Piton mountains, romantic, rainforested St Lucia is a diamond-shaped gem of the Eastern Caribbean.

  1. Drive through a volcano
  2. Explore an underwater idyll
  3. Watch whales and dolphins
  4. Hike the heights of the Pitons
  5. Roam rainforests
  6. Stroll scenic Soufrière
  7. Dip into nature at Diamond Falls
  8. Savour St Lucian chocolate
  9. Soak up sun on Sugar Beach
  10. Discover real Pirates of the Caribbean
  11. Indulge in retail therapy at Rodney Bay
  12. Fill up at a Friday night fish fry

While St Lucia’s secluded beaches, crystalline waters and boutique resorts make it a hot honeymoon destination, this lush island is also ideal for outdoor adventures and soaking up Caribbean culture.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Drive through a volcano

Reputed to be the world’s only drive-in volcano, visiting La Soufrière is an unforgettable experience from stinky start to finish. While you can just drive right through, to get the full experience leave your car and take a boardwalk stroll across the lunar-like crater, surrounded by billowing steam, bubbling mud pools and the pungent scent of sulphur. This is certainly one of the best things to do in St Lucia.

Best for: an out-of-this-world experience that stirs all your senses.

While you’re there: head downstream to get down and dirty in the therapeutic Sulphur Springs mineral mud baths.

2. Explore an underwater idyll

Water babies wondering what to do in St Lucia mustn’t miss Anse Chastanet Marine Park. Home to 150 species of fish and marine wildlife, including parrot fish and hawksbill turtles, it’s one of the best reefs in the Caribbean (and having explored a few in our time, we don‘t say that lightly). With soft coral gardens and fringing reefs located close to the shoreline of Anse Chastanet Beach, this is especially satisfying for beginner snorkelers and a top experience of St Lucia holidays.

Best for: First-time snorkelers

While you’re there: Kick back with a cocktail at the chic Anse Chastanet boutique resort.

3. Watch whales and dolphins

Watching whales breach the water and dolphins at play are among the world’s top wildlife wonders, and St Lucia is the perfect place to do both, with as many as 25 species of marine mammals recorded in the island’s waters. You’re pretty much guaranteed to see spinner, striped and common dolphins, alongside regular sightings of sperm, pilot and humpback whales. You might even hit the jackpot and spot an elusive orca.

Best for: A once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.

While you’re here: Use binoculars to be the first to spot breaches.

4. Hike the heights of the Pitons

Feeling fit? Then hike the volcanic Pitons, one of the Caribbean’s most iconic sights. While tackling the Petit Piton demands a whole lot of hiking experience, scrambling the Gros Piton is a little less challenging. Better still for the lazier among us, you only have to make it halfway up through the forests and thickets to be rewarded with exhilarating views of both the island and the Caribbean Sea.

Best for: Active adventurers.

While you’re there: Watch out for wildlife, including the St Lucia wren and dazzling hummingbirds.

5. Roam rainforests

Exploring St Lucia’s interior rainforests is one of the island’s most rewarding experiences, with Mount Edmund Forest Reserve a great site for nature-lovers hoping to spot endemic birds like the St Lucia parrot and St Lucia oriole. The reserve’s main trail traverses the Quilesse Forest Reserve, taking in lush valleys and wild waterfalls along the way.

Best for: Hikers and birdwatchers.

While you’re here: Adrenaline junkie? Race through the rainforest on a zip-line.

6. Stroll scenic Soufrière

Planning what to do in Soufrière doesn’t take much effort. With its quaint eighteenth-century French buildings, pretty port and lively street markets, this former French capital will seduce your soul and tickle your taste buds. Backed by views of the mighty Pitons, Soufrière’s bay front restaurants offer delicious home-cooked creole dishes, served with plenty of St Lucian spark, and best accompanied by a nutmeg-spiced rum punch (or two).

Best for: St Lucian street life.

While you’re there: Visit Zaka’s Art Café to buy a one-of-a-kind handcrafted mask.

7. Dip into nature at Diamond Falls

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is the best place to see St Lucia’s floral glory. Horticultural highlights include the hibiscus, heliconia and fern gardens, while the Falls themselves cascade in a unique kaleidoscope of colours, due to the waters being laced with volcanic minerals. Then round off your ramble with a dip in the skin-softening mineral baths - one of the most relaxing things to do in St Lucia.

Best for: Tropical tranquillity.

While you’re there: Take the rainforest trail to see the eighteenth-century Old Mill and Waterwheel.

8. Savour St Lucian chocolate

Located in the hills behind Soufrière, and home to Hotel Chocolat, Rabot Estate serves up a tasty chocolate tour around its cocoa groves. With plenty of chances to chomp as you learn about the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process, the tour ends with a fun opportunity to create your own confectionary.

Best for: Chocoholics.

While you’re there: Stock up on sweet souvenirs.

9. Soak up sun on Sugar Beach

Backed by rainforest and primely positioned between the Pitons, it’s no surprise that Sugar Beach frequently tops “Best Beaches in the World” tables. Though Princess Margaret’s pal Lord Glenconner once owned the luxury Sugar Beach resort hotel here, you don’t have to be super yacht-rich to enjoy the beach’s beautiful public area.

Best for: Sunbathing on sugar-soft sand.

While you’re there: Snorkel. Some of St Lucia’s best seascapes can be seen just off the shoreline.

10. Discover real Pirates of the Caribbean

First inhabited by Amerindians, Pigeon Island National Landmark is a history hotspot, with the Fort Rodney ruins evidencing Anglo-French colonial conflicts, and the region’s piratical past revealed in the remains of a cave used by a sixteenth-century buccaneer known as Jambe de Bois (“Peg Leg”). Now connected to the mainland by a causeway, this history-rich island has two top-notch beaches and hiking routes, so you could easily make a day of it here.

Best for: History buffs, hikers and pirate-crazed kids.

While you’re there: Climb Signal Peak for an incredible view along St Lucia’s west coast and across to Martinique.

11. Indulge in retail therapy at Rodney Bay

Named after Admiral George Brydges Rodney who established a fort on Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay is now St Lucia’s main resort and retail area, with Baywalk Shopping Mall housing over fifty stores and restaurants. Selling everything from big brand clothes to local crafts, it’s the perfect place to bag yourself a treat, or pick up a present for people back home.

Best for: Souvenir seeker.

While you’re there: Relax on Reduit Beach, one of the island’s best stretches of sand.

12. Fill up at a Friday night fish fry

Set around a pretty harbour, Anse La Raye is home to a quiet fishing community. But come dusk on Fridays, the village leaps into life as its narrow streets are transformed into a backdrop for the sizzling food stands and bone-booming sound systems of the weekly fish fry. Expect a whole lot of jumping up and drinking down.

Best for: seafood fans and rum revellers.

While you’re there: Have your camera ready to capture the soul-warming sunset.

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