The gorgeous island of St. Lucia is often referred to as the Caribbean’s crown jewel and it is easy to see why. There are healing mineral baths, soft sand beaches with crystal turquoise waters, World Heritage Piton Mountains, and rainbow-colored reefs full of tropical fish. Full of adventure, relaxation, and inspiration, St. Lucia has picturesque landscapes, warm weather, and friendly people ready to make your vacation one to remember.
What to Do
There are also plenty of things to do in St. Lucia. For those who love water activities, there are plenty of opportunities for windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, laser or sun fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, flyboarding, sailing, yachting, and sea trekking. Land lovers can explore the rainforest on bike, Segway, or hike, climb the Gros Piton, do the zip line experience, sight-see new heights on an aerial gondola ride, or go bird watching.
If you love stunning views, you should go hiking around the Pitons, including the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton, two volcanic spires. Another great area to experience the beauty of nature on the island is Pigeon Island National Park, a 44-acre spot that showcases the island’s history. You can learn about the occupations of pirates in earlier centuries, visit the Fort Rodney ruins, or simply lay down a towel and relax on the beach. Anse Mamin, a former sugar plantation, has a picturesque secluded beach area, and trails for mountain biking and walking. Rural communities offer cultural immersion activities such as cassava making, exploring and tasting St. Lucia’s local fruits, and cocoarina dancing.
What to Eat
The food scene in St. Lucia is authentic and delicious. Originating with the Amerindians and followed by generations of Africans, St. Lucia’s melting pot of food is full of rich flavors. Fresh seafood, such as conch and mahi-mahi, is a staple in St. Lucia. A national dish, stewed saltfish with boiled green bananas, is prepared by putting the fish in a stew, seasoning it with onions and peppers, and then served with unripe, boiled bananas. Barbecued chicken and pork are also popular as well. For breakfast, visitors should have cocoa tea, made with local cocoa, milk, and spices, along with hot, deep-fried bread. In addition to having some tasty local dishes, St. Lucia’s cuisine is a mixture of foods from other cuisines, textures, and styles. You can find American, Asian, Caribbean, European, and Indian flavors and sensibilities at various restaurants across the island.
What to Shop For
There are plenty of goods to shop for in St. Lucia. The world-famous brightly painted, long, thin, Zaka hand-carved wooden masks reflect the bright colors of St. Lucia. Locally-made hand-crafted pottery is a great practical and decorative accent to any home. Beaded bracelets and necklaces from local jewelers, especially the shiny, black hematite and clay beads.
If you want to bring home edible goods from St. Lucia, there are some great options available to you. The tropical climate of the island is ideal for growing cacao trees which means plenty of hot cocoa. Bring home some cocoa sticks and you will have delicious warm hot chocolate whenever you want. Another good to try is the local hot sauce. You should sample all the different hot sauces at your meals while you are on the island so that you don’t bring home one that is too hot by accident. Local rum, honey, and coconut oil are some more tasty things to buy before you come home too.
Where to Stay
The fun island has plenty of relaxing places for you to come to after the day is done. There are world-class accommodations, family-oriented hotels, all-inclusive hotels, eco-friendly cottages, luxury boutiques, and more. As it is a small island, St. Lucia is divided into two distinct regions: north and south. The north is the busier side where most of the tourist attractions and larger accommodations are. On the flip side, the south is quieter and full of gorgeous mountains, valleys, and old plantations. Whichever side of the island you choose, there are plenty of places for you to stay. Happy travels!