Saint Lucia Travel Guide
With its distinct twin peaks giving it an unmistakable image on the world tourism scene, Saint Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s best known islands. From exclusive resorts lining luxurious beaches, to mountain climbing and eco-tourism opportunities, there is no shortage of things to do in this beautiful tropical destination.
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollars
Languages: English, French
What To Do
Begin your cultural exploration of Saint Lucia by paying a visit to Pigeon Island National Park. First used in the 16th century by French privateers to raid Spanish ships, it eventually became the site of a fort constructed by British officer George Rodney.
He used it to monitor ship movements coming to and from nearby Martinique, allowing British forces to plan a successful attack on the French in 1782. Though it is in a state of disrepair in the present day, its walls, ramparts and rusty cannons will still provide you an hour or two of solid exploration.
Without question, the most iconic sight on the island of Saint Lucia are the twin mountain peaks known as The Pitons. Formed by volcanic activity eons ago, Gros Piton (the higher of the two) stands over 2,500 feet over the beaches below it.
Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, not only will you want to snap great photos of them (Hummingbird Beach and the Colombette viewpoint are the best spots), but you might want to climb them as well.
There are agencies that will take you up the trail that leads up Gros Piton; ironically, this peak is the easier of the two to scale.
The volcanic activity that formed The Pitons still makes its presence known on Saint Lucia. The best place to experience this is at Sulphur Springs, as the heat deep within the Earth heats mud baths and hot springs at a collapsed crater in the centre of the island.
The main spring is far too hot for bathing, as its water froth and bubble at a scalding temperature of 170 degrees Celsius. Several hundred yards away though, the springs are cool enough to enter. Yet, they are still quite hot; if the idea of 45 degree Celsius water appeals to you, you’ll love it here.
Locals claim that the mud has medicinal value, but even if it does not, getting coated in it is certain to be a relaxing experience.
After a relaxing afternoon at Sulphur Springs, let your hair down at the Gros Islet Street Party. Credited as the longest-running street party in Saint Lucia, music such as calypso, reggae, and R&B draws devoted crowds of locals and tourists every week.
Starting at 9 pm every Friday, people wander from bar to bar with drinks in hand, mingling with strangers and friends alike. There is also plenty of street food on offer for bar patrons that get hungry during the course of the evening, keeping them fed until the small hours of Saturday morning.
Where can you find the best beaches on Saint Lucia? Start by making your way over to Chastanet Beach. A salt and pepper beach located beneath one of the Pitons, getting here may prove to be a challenge, as access is blocked off by a resort.
However, all beaches in Saint Lucia are public by law; get around this problem by hiring a water taxi to take you here.
Reduit Beach is an outstanding spot for those that like pure white sand. Located on the outskirts of the town of Gros Islet, its crystal clear waters aren’t its only draw, as there are also plenty of opportunities to engage in water sports.
What to Eat
If you are looking for a great snack between meals in Saint Lucia, order some Accra. This codfish fritter is made by taking boiled salt fish, coating it in a batter that contains hot peppers, onions, garlic and herbs, and then frying it until it is golden brown. Often served with spicy tamarind sauce, it is a popular bar snack, so be sure to try some if you are out on the town.
If you are looking for comfort food that is enjoyed by many locals in Saint Lucia, find a restaurant that serves Macaroni Pie.
Made with elbow macaroni, two types of cheese (one layer is used to form the crust), habanero peppers, and flavouring agents that include mustard, ketchup, garlic, pepper and salt, this is a decadent treat that you will have more than once during your stay.
If you want to have the national dish of Saint Lucia, then you will want to seek out some Green Banana and Saltfish.
As the title suggests, this dish is made with unripe bananas and saltfish, but it also contains onions, garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Cooked together in the same pot, its unique combination of flavors will form one of your strongest memories of this island nation.