In many ways, Saint Lucia is the perfect Caribbean destination. White sand beaches, lush rainforest and cuisine crafted around fresh, local ingredients; it’s no wonder that the island gets almost 200,000 visitors every year. Relaxation comes naturally in Saint Lucia, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of lounging within the luxurious confines of a world class resort like Ladera Resort, or Ti Kaye Resort and Spa. The key to really experiencing Saint Lucia and seeing more than the typical tourist is to traverse the entire island and plan ahead of time. Three days in Saint Lucia is enough time to truly experience the unique charms of this island paradise.
THREE DAYS IN SAINT LUCIA – DAY ONE
The Pitons are the most iconic landmark on the island, and climbing to the top of one of these volcanic mountains is at the top of everyone’s Saint Lucia bucket list. It’s advisable to put this activity early on the agenda so that the rest of the trip can be focused on relaxation.
Real Saint Lucia Tours offers many packages for adventure on the island, and taking visitors on this hike is one of their most popular tours.
This grueling climb involves ascending an almost vertical rock face and then trekking through sweltering tropical jungle. The reward for getting to the peak of Gros Piton is a magnificent view; the Caribbean Sea shimmers before you in her dark blue majesty, and on a clear day you can even see nearby Caribbean islands like Martinique and Saint Vincent.
After the hike, it’s time for an ice cold Piton Beer from the well-stocked cooler that Real Saint Lucia Tours keeps in the van and then on to the next stop;
The Drive-In-Volcano is an enormous collapsed volcano popular with visitors because of the therapeutic effects of the warm, mineral-rich mud and its ability to treat several skin ailments.
After working up a sweat from the long hike and then having a much-needed dip in the warm mud of this natural spa, the next step is to cool down with a swim at the nearby Toraille Waterfall.
THREE DAYS IN SAINT LUCIA – DAY TWO
After a day that was focused around an intense hike, the second day in Saint Lucia should be spent leisurely, and there are many options for relaxation on the island.
Far away from the cruise ship port and capital city of Castries to the north are laid back spots like Anse Des Sables Beach and Laborie Beach. Both are famous for their clear blue water and gentle waves, and they’re both more popular with locals than with tourists.
Laborie is a traditional fishing village near Soufrière, the main street follows the coast and is dotted with small craft shops and eateries that sell fresh bread and pastries.
The laid back south of the island is a great place to spend the day relaxing or tracking down some lesser known swimming spots but if you’re looking for nightlife, it’s time to head back to the North.
The Anse La Raye Fish Fiesta is the largest event held in this charming West Coast fishing village located just south of Castries.
Every Friday evening, the village turns into a pop-up street food restaurant with a menu of fresh seafood including grilled mahi-mahi and sailfish, octopus stew, fish broth, lobster and sea conchs.
While the fish fiesta has a party-like atmosphere, the real fete is at the Gros Islet Street Party that starts later in the evening.
Essentially, this is a commercialized block party with elements of a West Indian style carnival. Reggae, Rockers, and Soca music pulses through the air. There’s the smell of chicken and pork on the grill and make shift booths selling reasonably priced rum and beer.
The Gros Islet Street Party is the most popular one on the island, but there are less touristic ones further away from the Capital city. These parties are held less often, and sometimes the only foreigners are the crew of yachts that happen to be berthed nearby.
THREE DAYS IN SAINT LUCIA – DAY THREE
A visit to Saint Lucia is not complete without a walking tour of Castries. Attractions in the Capital include Derek Walcott Square, a park dedicated to one of the islands two Nobel Laureates. The largest church in the Caribbean lies on the edge of this square; The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is over 600 feet long and built in the Gothic style.
As a popular cruise ship port, Castries is home to vendors hawking Saint Lucia souvenirs as well as several duty free shops stocked with popular liquor brands and most importantly, Saint Lucian rum.
If you want to learn more about the craft and history behind Saint Lucian rum, or even if you’re just curious about the favorite tipple of pirates; then a visit to Saint Lucia Distillers is worth your time.
This distillery is widely acclaimed among rum connoisseurs for producing quality rum across their entire price range.
Their iconic 1931 rum is produced in a limited vintage each year, and each annual batch showcases a unique aspect of Saint Lucia’s terroir, or the barrels and stills used in the spirit’s production and ageing.
The more affordable, but still premium Chairman’s Reserve Range includes a dark rum that’s beautifully complex on the nose with hints of tropical fruit and spice, as well as a spiced rum that pays tribute to the tradition of infusing rum with herbs that’s present across the Lesser Antilles.
Anywhere in the Caribbean, a cold beer in a rustic island bar is always an experience. A place with old electric fans and filled with cricket fans enjoying a match on an old television. Castries has many bars that are perfect for this, but just to the north at Rodney Bay is the ultimate Caribbean Craft Beer experience.
Antilla Brewing is the first Caribbean Brew Pub, they take the principles of traditional craft brewing , throw in some Caribbean flavor and end up with truly unique beer that’s perfectly suited for the islands.
There’s a creamy stout that’s laced with local cocoa and an herb called bois bandé, they also make a wheat ale that’s infused with fresh passion fruit. The brew master constantly experiments with local produce and different varieties of hops to create new seasonal concoctions.
While in Rodney Bay, there’s no shortage of beaches to relax with a growler of Antilla beer or Chairman’s Reserve Rum.
Reduit Beach is the most popular of these since it’s a short walk away, and there are several options for water sports and dining nearby. Award winning international cuisine is easy to find around the Rodney Bay Marina, but some creole style seafood is always a great choice!
There’s beautiful beachfront all the way up the coast straight up to the Pigeon Island National Park, and then at the National Park are some small reefs that would entice you to spend some time snorkeling or swimming.
Fort Rodney was built on the highest peak of Pigeon Island in 1778 and it played a major part in allowing the British to maintain control of Saint Lucia since they could spy on any French Fleet assembling to the North in Martinique.
Over a dozen battles were fought for Saint Lucia between the British and the French, earning the island the name “The Helen of the West Indies”.
How might this island have been if it remained with the French? How different would it be to spend three days in Saint Lucia? Just some random thoughts that float through my head as I sip on a French-Style Agricole Rum and compare it to Saint Lucia’s British-Style Rum while waiting for another amazing Saint Lucian sunset.
This island tour of Saint Lucia was sponsored by Real Saint Lucia Tours, a locally owned company that provides world-class experiences for celebrities, CEOS, VIPS, and other adventure travelers.