If you get bored lying on the beach for your entire vacation, St. Lucia is the Caribbean island for you. Sure, there are plenty of romantic St. Lucia hotels and picture-perfect, sandy beaches with shady palm trees for you to lounge under, but when you tire of that, there are plenty of other things to do in St. Lucia —including rainforests to explore, waterfalls to swim in, and mountains to climb.
The Best Things to do in St. Lucia
Here are my recommendations for the nine best things to do in St. Lucia:
Try Fig Banana Beer at Banana CounTree
Bananas are grown all over St. Lucia, and the popular fruit is one of the country’s top three exports (but it’s definitely best when eaten fresh on the island). Come try a fresh spin on the banana at Banana CounTree, a local restaurant that serves up beer made from the famous fruit. If you prefer to eat your bananas, almost all of the dishes here include it—don’t miss the homemade banana rum sauce on the desserts.
Go Jungle Biking
When you think of mountain biking, you probably don’t think of the Caribbean—which would be a mistake. Thanks to St. Lucia’s diverse terrain, it’s actually become a destination for serious bikers, who come to test their skills on Bike St. Lucia’s 12 miles of private trails.
Located on the grounds of Anse Mamin, a former plantation, Bike St. Lucia has trails for literally everyone—including people like myself, who have never mountain biked before, or for professionals like Tinker Juarez, a champion bike racer who trained here. This is one of the best ways to get off the beaten path in St. Lucia and get deep into the rainforest.
Kayak to Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island National Landmark used to be an island, but it was connected to the mainland with a causeway in 1972. The best way to approach Pigeon Island is still from the water, which you can do by booking a kayak tour with Adventure Tours St. Lucia. This way, you’ll get an informative history lesson from the guides before you go, and can better appreciate what you’re seeing on your visit.
You’ll kayak along Rodney Bay before reaching Pigeon Island, where you’ll have plenty of time to swim, snorkel, hike, or simply relax on the beach before catching a ride back (don’t worry, you only have to kayak once!). It’s one of the best things to do in St. Lucia for active travelers.
Taste Authentic Cuisine at the Beacon Restaurant
You’ll be drawn into the Beacon Restaurant by the amazing views (the restaurant’s patio has a sweeping panorama of the Pitons that’s hard to beat from anywhere on the island), but you’ll stay for the authentic St. Lucian cuisine. This locally run restaurant serves up a hearty lunch buffet that will give you the chance to try all the famous foods that you’ve heard about—from the national dish of green fig and salt fish to St. Lucian-style macaroni and cheese. Complimentary fresh juice accompanies the buffet, and is a great opportunity to taste tamarind juice.
Hike Gros Piton
The Pitons, two volcanic formations that rise over the Caribbean Sea, are St. Lucia’s most iconic landmarks (they’re even part of the country’s flag). Once you’ve stared at them long enough, you’ll likely be inspired to climb at least one of them, especially once you hear that it only takes an average of two hours to climb up and another two hours to descend the taller Gros Piton.
You’ll need to hire a guide and purchase a permit to hike Gros Piton, both of which you can do without a reservation at the base of the mountain. The earlier you start your summit, the better, as the heat and humidity only get worse as the day goes on. This is a moderate hike that most people with a good level of fitness can do with minimal gear—the most important thing to bring is plenty of water.
Walk the Tet Paul Nature Trail
Bring your camera to the Tet Paul Nature Trail, which is one of the best things to do in St. Lucia if you’re looking for great photo opportunities. This is a very easy walk on a well-kept trail that can be completed in about half an hour—the most challenging part is the “stairway to heaven,” a set of steep stairs that reveal one of the best views of the Pitons at the top.
The trail winds through a working organic farm, through a historic traditional house, and past many native plants, which your guide will point out to you. (If you’ve never seen how a pineapple grows, you might be surprised!)
Swim in Toraille Waterfall
The Toraille Waterfall is easy to get to—just a quick two-minute walk from the road—which is why I was surprised to find hardly anyone there when I visited. If swimming under a waterfall is on your bucket list, this is the place to do it—it’s easy to wade into the cool waters, and you can stand up under the pounding falls for an impromptu back or shoulder massage if you like. I stopped in here just after completing a very sweaty hike up Gros Piton, and it was like diving into heaven.
Discover Anse Mamin Beach
Anse Mamin feels like a well-kept secret. Most visitors flock to Anse Chastanet resort’s bigger, more developed beach, but if you follow the somewhat hidden path from there, you’ll emerge onto a second, quieter beach—Anse Mamin. Although the beach huts and lounge chairs are only for resort guests, all beaches in St. Lucia are public, so you can bring your own towel and chair and relax here for the day, even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
A secluded sandy beach in St. Lucia might not be where you’d expect to have an amazing burger, but the one served up for lunch at the Jungle Beach Bar & Grill is famous on the island (and for a good reason).
Take a Lushan Country Life Tour
Interested in learning about St. Lucia’s rich cultural history? If so, a stop at Lushan Country Life is a must. This family-run tour is one of the best educational things to do in St. Lucia, taking you through the island’s past before offering up samples of the local fruit growing on the farm, as well as other homemade dishes.[viator_tour destination=”38″ type=”3-mod”]
More from SmarterTravel:
- Lucia Resorts: Two Bucket-List Hotels You Must Book
- Lucia Travel Advice: 6 Things to Know Before Visiting St. Lucia
- 7 Caribbean Destinations on a Budget
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