view of water and mountains from hotel room

Lush, mountainous, and nestled in the Eastern Caribbean less than four hours south of Miami, St. Lucia is an ideal destination for many travelers. While the Piton Mountains are a huge draw for active, adventure travelers, this 27-mile long island offers so much more. The mountainous terrain is home to rainforest, beaches, botanical gardens, and historical sites that date back to the 1500s.

After changing hands from British to French 14 times, St. Lucia became an independent country in 1979. The blending of these cultures can be seen and heard through interactions with the St. Lucian people.

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1. St. Lucia has the Most Adults-only Resorts

Adults-only resorts are a haven for those wanting to get in a peaceful vacation without children underfoot. Saint Lucia has more adults-only resorts than most Caribbean islands. That may be one of the reasons why it is consistently voted as one of the top honeymoon destinations.

Resorts offer the option of joining organized activities, like a walk to Castries – the capital of St. Lucia — or sequestering yourself to a beachside cabana. Whether you are traveling on your own, with a group of friends, or just your partner, adults-only resorts are a great way to enjoy your stay in St. Lucia.

These resorts can be found across the island but are concentrated in the North West. Brands like Royalton and Coconut Bay offer family and adults-only options, which is great for mixed groups of multi-generational travelers. Golfers will also be delighted as many of the resorts offer access to one of the three golf courses on the island. A fourth course is in development in the Cap Estate area.

2. St. Lucia has A Variety of Beaches

With the Caribbean on the west side of the island and the Atlantic on the east, every beach has its own personality, magnificent views, and even different types of sand! You’ll find sand from white to black and soft to coarse. Take off your shoes and walk along the shore to feel the difference. Some beaches are more accessible than others, with less rocky terrain to navigate, if mobility is an issue.

Reduit Beach

With its five miles of sand and calm waters, Reduit Beach is an all-around wonderful option. The beach is also close to shops and restaurants at Rodney Bay village. You could spend the whole day in this area alternately shopping, eating, and enjoying the beach.

Cariblue Beach

Adjacent to The BodyHoliday Resort is Cariblue Beach, a small crescent-shaped white sand haven of peaceful tranquility. To access this one, you have to go through the resort. Bring a book and your sunglasses. If you want to enjoy some of the resort benefits, you can inquire about a day pass.

Janita Lawal / Vigie Beach
Janita Lawal / Cariblu Beach
Janita Lawal / Pigeon Island Beach

Pigeon Island Beach

Another great beach to experience on the North-West side of the island is Pigeon Island Beach. You can experience this beach two different ways. If you enter Pigeon Island National Park, you get access to two beaches. The one you want is to the left, an easy walk along a natural path. Be sure to ask for a beach lounger when you pay for entry; it’s just a few dollars more.

The second way to experience Pigeon Island Beach is outside of the park. It’s the same strip of beach where you can find five star resorts Sandals Grande and The Landings. The water here is calm and along the shore you’ll find a few restaurants and souvenir shops. You can also find vendors for water adventures like jet skis and boat charters.

Anse Chastanet Beach

On the Southern end of the island, you can experience the black sand and underwater beauty of Anse Chastanet beach–known as one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the Caribbean– or the views and powder-soft sand of Sugar Beach. Both beaches are connected to resorts but are available to the public.

Sandy Beach

Got some time before your flight? Stop at Sandy Beach on the South East side of the island, a quick drive from the airport, for a glimpse of the Atlantic as you sip on a Piton – St. Lucia’s favorite beer — from a local restaurant along the shore. You might happen upon a beach party or see horses trotting along the road.

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3. Explore the Flavors of St. Lucia

From cuisine, to confections, to cocktails, St. Lucia offers a number of opportunities to experience the flavors that make it special. These tours and experiences are typically easy to navigate and fun to do with your partner or small group.

Start with rum, known as the “Spirit of St. Lucia.” You can pick a few rum bars to experience on your own or join a rum tasting tour. Try the locally distilled Chairman’s Reserve either neat or mixed with coconut water. At the street parties, vendors offer up their own blends of rum punch and spiced rum for you to experience as you dance and take in the sights, smells, and tastes along the way. The streets are closed to cars and a number of vendors and bars have tables where you can sit and people watch.

If chocolate is your weakness, you have two great choices to learn about St. Lucia’s history of cacao production and taste some amazing foods (not just desserts!) showcasing chocolate. Visit the island in August and you’ll get to experience an entire month dedicated to celebrating chocolate. Rabot Estate, built on a 250-year old cocoa farm, offers tours, classes, and other experiences to visitors and guests of their hotel. You can also get a behind-the-scenes look at making handcrafted small-batch chocolates from gourmet chocolatier, Cacao Sainte Lucie.

With flavors inspired by its French, British, African, and indigenous Kalinago (Caribs) history, your inner foodie will be delighted by the eclectic offerings available on the island. Walking around the street party or Castries market, you will find vendors selling barbeque kidney, bowls of bouyon made with a variety of meats, a cornmeal based dessert known as pemmie, grilled or stewed lambi (conch), macaroni, and an assortment of fish options. Food tours and cooking classes are a great option to learn while enjoying the flavors.

4. Boating and Fishing

Fishing charters, sunset cruises, and a ferry to Martinique are available for exploring the area. If hiking or trekking across the mountainous terrain of St. Lucia is not your thing, join a ferry or boat tour. You can cruise from the North to the South (and vice versa) while enjoying music, food, drinks, and phenomenal views like the Pitons. You can join a tour or charter a private boat.

St. Lucia has one of the most ideal environments for fishing in the Caribbean. Converse with a local long enough and they may invite you along on a fishing trip because fishing is a huge part of St. Lucian culture.

The variety of fish in the area includes both white and blue marlin, king mackerel, sailfish, herring, grouper, barracuda, and more. Because of the geography and location of the island, you can catch big game fish relatively close to shore. From fishing along the shore, to reef fishing, to deep sea fishing, there is something for every fisherman. 

5. St. Lucia’s Natural Beauty

At every turn, there is something beautiful to see on the island of St. Lucia. Walking through forts, farms, and gardens is a great way to experience the unspoiled nature. For those who aren’t keen on hiking up a mountain or chasing waterfalls, there are other ways to get a gander.

Explore the North and the South

If you want to experience all that St. Lucia has to offer, split your stay between the north and the south.

For instance, plan for a Friday night in the North to experience the Gros Islet Friday Night Street Party. Spend the morning walking around Pigeon Island National Park before making your way to Reduit Beach. You can also spend a day strolling through the Castries Market ending up at the Castries City View Point. Book a tour to explore the North part of the island – including a banana farm.

To get from Rodney Bay in the North to Soufriere, book a boat transfer and take in the Pitons from the sea. While in the South, enjoy both black and white sand beaches–and snorkeling. Spend the day in Sulphur Springs taking a mud bath, playing in a waterfall and marveling at the dormant volcano. Book a fishing charter from Vieux Fort.

St. Lucia has Something for Everyone

Whatever your vacation style and level of adventure, there is something to suit you in St. Lucia, whether on the beach, on the water or on the town. Or, just relax and take in the views.

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