Tips for Traveling to St. Lucia: From Resorts to Rainforest
While some vacationers visit the Caribbean Islands solely for leisurely beach retreats, many seek a good mix of both hammock relaxing and adventurous exploration. If you’re looking for a vacation destination with more to offer than beautiful beaches, consider visiting St Lucia.
This Eastern Caribbean island nation, part of the Wayward Islands in the West Indies, has a geographically and culturally rich history that continues to attract honeymooners, families and solo travelers alike. There are plenty of places to stay and things to do in St. Lucia, and we’ve suggested a few resort accommodations and must-sees experiences that cover the entire island.
Things to Do in St. Lucia
From top-rated St. Lucia resorts to popular activities that appeal to both young and older travelers, this mountainous volcanic island where all the beaches are public, has a little bit of everything. Fun fact: St Lucia is known for its cocoa and tropical fruit production—especially bananas and mangoes—so you’ll more than likely enjoy fresh, local fare during your visit.
Top St. Lucia Resorts
Enjoying resort amenities during your vacation provides a lot of comfort and convenience. Keep in mind that there are two sides to this island: the calmer, western Caribbean Sea and choppier, eastern Atlantic Ocean coastlines. Sunbathers who plan to make a beeline for a tranquil, beach experience with crystalline waters may prefer to stay on the Caribbean side. But many visitors may find themselves delighted by the less populated Atlantic shore’s cliffside ocean views.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort (Gros Islet, St Lucia)
You’ll enjoy unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea and plenty of pampering opportunities at this large resort nestled in its own peninsula in the northern part of the island. Booking tip: This adult-only St. Lucia resort caters to couples and includes access to their other two nearby properties.
Jade Mountain Resort (Soufrière, St. Lucia)
This secluded mountaintop resort is located in the southwestern part of the island, near many main attractions; it’s also the only luxury St. Lucia resort with a view of the iconic Piton mountain peaks. Booking tip: No small children are permitted (16 years+ only), and since it’s atop a mountain it’s about a five-minute hike to the beach.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa (Coconut Bay, St. Lucia)
Covering 85 acres along St. Lucia’s southeastern Atlantic coast, this all-inclusive St Lucia resort aims to please singles, couples, and families alike. Booking tip: Chockfull of on-property activities, Coconut Bay also offers an alternative to St. Lucia’s western coastline with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Beyond Your Resort: Popular Spots in St. Lucia
Many of St. Lucia’s main attractions are located on its western coast, and most are in or near the Soufrière area. We’ve listed a few popular landmarks and attractions, starting from the northern tip of the island to further south.
Before planning your itinerary, note that 77% of St. Lucia is covered in forest terrain and there’s more than one way to get around the island. With so many things to do in St. Lucia, you may save yourself some time by ensuring that your activities align with the location of your accommodations.
Pigeon Island National Park. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., this 44-acre reserve with 18th century military ruins, beaches, eateries and more is technically an islet. Located in St Lucia’s northern tip in Rodney Bay, this former island was connected to the mainland in the 1970s by a manmade causeway. Recommend: Hike up to Fort Rodney for its panoramic ocean view.
National Rainforest. Nature lovers can go inland to explore St Lucia’s expansive, 19,000-acre lush rainforest. View waterfalls that pour over cliffs into exotic flower gardens, rare birds, and other indigenous wildlife and vegetation, in this environmentally protected “heart of the island”. Recommended: Although there are walking and biking tours, a family-friendly aerial tram tour provides a birds-eye view of the massive terrain.
The Pitons. Rising out of the sea at over 2,000 feet, these volcanic twin peaks of the Gros and Petit Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors interested in getting up close and personal with the Pitons are encouraged to hike the Gros Piton, which is described as a moderately easy two-hour hike. Recommended: Book a day cruise and sail along the Caribbean coastline for a close-up view of this most photographed St. Lucian landmark.
Soufrière Town. The island’s former French colonial capital includes a handful of the many things to do in St. Lucia. Check out Diamond Falls, a waterfall with rainwater minerals and volcanic steam that weave together to create a colorful appearance; Sulfur Springs, the world’s only drive-through volcano; Anse Chastanet beach for highly-rated snorkeling; and more.
Maria Islands Nature Reserve. Within the consortium of St. Lucia islands, these two tiny islands off St Lucia’s southeastern tip offer rare views of the Kouwes snake and Zandoli Te lizard—two reptile species found nowhere else in the world. Recommended: Contact the St Lucia National Trust to book tours, which are by appointment only.
Know Before You Go
Many travelers inquire about St. Lucia’s safety before booking their trip, especially during hurricane season. Although St. Lucia has gone decades without any major hurricane damage, travel risks can arise during rainy season. Knowing the best times to book can be helpful when planning.
When to Go: (December - April) May and June are recommended as weather is best during late Spring. Similar to other Caribbean islands, peak hurricane season occurs in the summertime.
Insure Your Trip: When traveling abroad it’s a good idea to make sure your travel insurance plan has the coverage and assistance services you need in case you get sick or injured or need medical evacuation. Your primary medical insurance may not cover for treatment outside of the U.S. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State include getting insured on their pre-departure checklists for international travelers.
All three levels of travel insurance plans offered by Generali Global Assistance include services that can assist you in getting the medical help you might need on vacation and coverages that can reimburse those costs. Travel insurance can also reimburse you in case your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason. You can easily compare plans to see which would fit your trip best.