St. Lucia, an independent island nation in the Caribbean, is best known for its 2 mountainous peaks, the Pitons. Its capital city of Castries is a popular cruise ship port of call, and its economy is largely based on tourism. With so many unique natural attractions, it is easy to see why cruisers love St. Lucia. It is one of our favorite Caribbean islands as well. During your visit to this lovely island, you will want to make sure you know the Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a cruise, so here’s our Top 5!
The Port of Castries, St Lucia
5 Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a Cruise
Visit the Pitons
The Pitons, located on either side of Jalousie Bay on the southwestern coast of the island, are near the popular tourist town of Soufriere. These volcanic peaks rightly named Gros Piton and Petit Piton are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most iconic attraction in all of St. Lucia. That is why a visit to the Pitons makes our list of the 5 Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a cruise.
A View of the Pitons
Most island tours will offer sightseeing opportunities of these natural wonders, but if you are the adventurous type, why not get a bit more up close and personal. Yes, that’s right, you can hike the Pitons! While Gros Piton is the taller of the two mountains, it is actually the easier one to hike with defined trails and a less steep ascent. A guide is required, and you should consider your fitness level, but no experience or climbing skills are necessary.
If you prefer an organized tour, shore excursion companies do offer this approximately 4 hour round-trip hike. So, get those hiking shoes and camera ready and prepare to be WOW’ed by the amazing views once you reach the top of the peak.
Take an Island Tour
If you want to see the Pitons but hiking isn’t your idea of a vacation, then you will probably want to take an island tour. With so many unique and magnificent natural landscapes, an island tour also makes our list of the 5 Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a cruise.
Departing from Castries, the island’s capital, you will enjoy spectacular scenic views as you head south towards the town of Soufriere towards your other tour attractions. Along the way, you are sure to make stops for some amazing photo opportunities of the Pitons.
Sulphur Springs Volcano
Sulphur Springs/Soufriere Volcano, second in beauty only to the Pitons, is the most geothermally active and only drive-in volcano in the Caribbean. This volcano is said to be dormant with its last eruption in the 18th century. Here, you will be able to see, and smell, the hot bubbling springs. You can also take a dip in the warm sulphuric pools and mud baths known for their soothing effects.
Other notable stops on your island tour may include Piton Falls and/or Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. Piton Falls, located near Petit Piton, is hiding behind a short walk through the rainforest. This 30 foot cascading fall is sure to provide a warm and therapeutic bath.
At Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, enjoy a tranquil walk through lush flora while making your way to Diamond Falls and the Mineral Baths and Spa. Diamond Falls is certainly picture worthy as the mineral-laced cascading fall contributes to a kaleidoscope of colors on the rock face behind it.
Spend the Day at a Beach
On the northwest side of the island, Reduit Beach is popular among tourists due to the convenience. It is about a 25 minute taxi ride and is recognized as a “fun” beach but is known to get quite crowded. Vigie Beach is also a convenient option as it is within walking distance from the cruise pier.
Reduit Beach – Photo Credit Kelly Constabaris|Source|CC BY 2.0
If you are willing to travel a bit farther or are in search for a great area for snorkeling, you will want to check out Anse Chastanet Beach or Anse Cochon Beach on the south side of the island. Both these areas are best accessed by water taxi. You might want to consider purchasing a day pass at Ti Kaye resort which allows access to the facilities.
Ti Kaye Resort – © 2015 Ti Kaye Resort & Spa
Jalousie Beach is another popular beach option in St. Lucia. With its imported fine white sand and location between the Pitons, it is easy to see why cruisers love this beach. You can either take a taxi to the resort hotel and continue a 10 minute walk to the beach or take a water taxi to the beach. Many cruisers also recommend booking the Jalousie Beach Break tour which includes transportation to and from the beach.
Get Back to Nature in the Rainforest
A visit to St. Lucia wouldn’t be complete without exploring the rainforest. If you are looking for a relaxing tour with a unique perspective, you might want to check out the Aerial Tram, an open-air gondola that traverses the rainforest while a nature guide narrates the various sights and sounds. If heights are not your thing, you can also explore the flora and fauna of this rainforest on foot via hiking trials.
Aerial Tram © 2008 Rain Forest Tram, Ltd.
Want to be a bit more adventurous? Try zip lining through the rainforest with the Adrena-Line canopy tour. You can admire the rainforest while soaring through the trees. Be sure to have your GoPro ready for this one! Want more? You can combine the aerial tram, rainforest hike, and zip lines with the ultimate Tranopy tour for an experience that is sure to make your list of the 5 Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a cruise.
Visit Pigeon Island National Park
Pigeon Island, located approximately 40 minutes from the cruise pier, is a 44 acre island rich in culture and history. It was joined to the mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway and later became recognized as a National Park. Pigeon Island is now a tourist attraction for visitors of St. Lucia. Here, you can explore ruins of military buildings including Fort Rodney, relax on a secluded beach, indulge in some local cuisine, or take the opportunity to capture some photos of the scenic vistas including the island of Martinique to the north.
View of Pigeon Island – Photo Credit Mike Flemming|Source|CC BY 2.0
If you are vacationing to St. Lucia in May, you might also catch some of the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival which takes place on Pigeon Island. Various excursions to the island are offered including snorkeling, kayaking, and more. You can also venture their on your own via water taxi and pay a nominal $7 fee for entrance to the grounds.
Whether you choose to explore the history, relax on a beach, or add a bit of adventure to your trip to Pigeon Island, you are sure to enjoy it. Once you visit, you will know why it made our list of the 5 Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a Cruise.
Have you traveled to St. Lucia and completed one of the tours above? Do you agree with our list of the Best Things to Do in St Lucia on a Cruise? Drop us an anchor below to share your travel experiences on this island. Help your fellow cruisers make the most of their time on the picturesque island of St. Lucia.