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Pitons - St. Lucia / Saint Lucia (Carribean)
XtravaganT | Adobe Stock

Explore the Natural Wonders of St. Lucia

When imagining a Caribbean vacation, the first things that come to mind are beaches, ocean views, and long days in the sand. But a tropical vacation doesn’t have to be spent beachside. St. Lucia is brimming with incredible hiking—from rainforest tours to mountain treks—and unique endemic wildlife. 

The Best Hikes in St. Lucia

From drive-in volcanoes to challenges designed for the most experienced of hikers, this island offers activities for every type of traveler.

The Tet Paul Nature Trail

The Tet Paul Nature Trail takes less than an hour to complete but offers several incredible lookouts over the Pitons and a cultural and environmental learning opportunity. The hike is guided by locals who will teach you about local culture, history, and nature, including traditional medicinal plants and fruit trees, as the hike progresses.

“Other highlights include the Cassava House,” adds Richard Moss, Senior Sales Manager USA for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, “where you can learn about the Amerindian art of Cassava production, the Traditional House offering a glimpse of how ancestors of the residents of Saint Lucia lived, and a working organic farm.”

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths

tropical diamond waterfall on caribbean island, St. Lucia
Hello Bipo | Adobe Stock

The six-acre Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths is the perfect option for the laid-back adventurer. Touted as the world’s only “drive-in volcano,” you won’t have to do much actual hiking at all. Take a dip in the mineral baths, made from mineral-rich volcanic mud, or a trip to the ever-changing hues of Diamond Falls, whose colorful waters are dyed with the vivid minerals dissolved within. 

The Pitons

Arguably the most famous formation marking the St. Lucia skyline, the Pitons are twin volcanic spires rising from the ocean on the island’s southwestern coast. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Petit Piton and Gros Piton rise 2,425 feet and 2,579 feet above sea level, respectively, and are rarely hiked without an experienced guide.

“The Gros Piton Nature Trail is a challenging hike and is popular with active visitors. It takes about five to six hours to complete, offering breathtaking views,” says Moss, “Nearby, the Petit Piton Trail is a more strenuous hike which is even more challenging.” 

For the daring traveler, try the newly launched Saint Lucia Three Peaks Challenge, where hikers are invited to summit Gros Piton, Mount Gimie and Petit Piton alongside local expert guides from The 758 Adventurers.

Pigeon Island National Park

Throughout its history, Pigeon Island National Park has been an 18th- and 19th-century military embattlement, a pirate hideaway, and now a highly-visited national park and central venue for the annual Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. Connected to the main island by Pigeon Island Causeway, dedicated hikers at nearby hotels can easily walk to the park, up the dual peaks for incredible 360 views, and back down again in just a few hours.

Other Rainforest Hikes

In St. Lucia, you’ll never be in want of beautiful rainforest treks. Check out Edmund Rainforest Trail for sweeping vistas of Mount Gimie, make a stop on your way to the Soufriere mud baths to explore Volga Nature Trail, or wonder at the waterfalls along En Bas Saut Rainforest hike

Birding & Wildlife in St. Lucia

Although the island is home to over 1,300 species, birds are the main attraction when it comes to wildlife in St. Lucia. Of the 180 varieties of birds you can find on the island, six are endemic, meaning you won’t catch them anywhere else. The top spots for birding are:

The Des Cartier Rainforest Trail 

This loop trail is a treat for avian enthusiasts and plant lovers alike, with most of the 2.5-mile trek wandering through the vibrant and lively jungle just off the island’s east coast. Hikers can find guided tours dedicated to birding on the trail. 

The Millet Bird Sanctuary

Saint Lucia Black Finch is one the five endemic birds you can see along the nature trail in rain forest in Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail, St Lucia
Janos | Adobe Stock

The 1.75-mile walk through The Millet Bird Sanctuary will put hikers in the path of five of the six endemic species of birds on the island, including black finches, warblers, and the endangered St. Lucia Parrot—the National Bird of St. Lucia.

The Vieux Fort Wetlands

The Vieux Fort Wetlands are the place to be for travelers interested in waterfowl of all kinds, with ducks, egrets, and herons passing through the 6-acre conservation. 

Tips for Outdoor Adventures in St. Lucia

Take the Sunshine Seriously

St. Lucia is sunny year-round, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s. While this is perfect for soaking up the sun, proceed with caution, especially when hiking. Moss recommends wearing sunscreen daily and hydrating consistently. He also suggests insect repellent, particularly during the morning and evening hours.

Leave the Camo at Home

It may be tempting to blend into the background to catch a glimpse of that rare St. Lucia parrot but beware: camouflage clothing is restricted for civilians in St. Lucia, and wearing the print can result in heavy fines.

Book a Guide

Many hikes across St. Lucia are enhanced by the expert knowledge of local guides, who can explain regional history, indigenous plants, and points of interest that would otherwise be missed. However, there are certain trails where hiring a guide is a matter of safety. According to Moss, for example, hiking Gros Piton is “generally not done without experienced guides.”

Visit the excursions page on the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority’s website to plan your hiking trip, or speak with staff at your hotel for information on the best local hikes.

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