Saint Lucia suits travelers seeking a relaxing beach vacation with active pursuits, plus charming island culture. La Soufrière is known for its Sulphur Springs and mud baths, beautiful Diamond Botanical Gardens, and the romantic, private black-sand beach of Anse Mamin. Get a taste of local cuisine at a bevy of restaurants serving up everything from green figs and salt fish to cassava bread.
Saint Lucia’s Caribbean climate means that the sun shines year-round. The most popular time to visit is during the dry season, when temperatures average between 77°F and 84°F. Low-season (June-November) visits are a more budget-friendly option but prepare for frequent showers as it is also the wet season. The cheapest way to get around the island is by minibus and popular routes run between Castries and Vieux Fort.
Saint Lucia is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone. The legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old. ATMs are readily accessible and credit cards are widely accepted. Saint Lucia’s tap water is drinkable in all the main cities and resorts. Wearing camouflage clothing is illegal in St Lucia for non-military members and fines apply. The standard voltage in St. Lucia is 240V.
Saint Lucia is said to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. The Rainforest Aerial Tram whisks you through the rain forest on the way up the mountainside, through dense forests of fern, hardwood trees, and Ficus. As it turns on the summit, the tram ascends to give you a view from above the trees. It is stunningly beautiful–emerald-green rain forest below, the Caribbean on one side, the Atlantic on the other.
On the northern tip of Saint Lucia, you will find Gros Islet, which includes many communities, and is one of Saint Lucia’s most populous districts. Gros Islet is one of Saint Lucia’s most popular tourist destinations with its lengthy stretches of enticingly beautiful beaches found in the area. Gros Islet, which became a town in 1985, is also home to the popular Friday Night Street Party in the heart of the town as street-side vendors, restaurants and bars offer a wide variety of Saint Lucian cuisine that feature chicken, pork, conch, lobster, and several fish species caught in the coastal waters nearby.
Baywalk Shopping Mall, located in the heart of Rodney Bay, features a supermarket, several clothing and gift stores, a bank, restaurants, electronic stores, liquor store, casino, and telecoms provider. Just across from Baywalk Shopping Mall is the J.Q. Charles Rodney Bay Mall, which features a supermarket, restaurants, clothing and gift stores, a bank, a post office, among other services.
In 1972, the stand-alone Pigeon Island was joined to the western coast mainland by a man-made causeway (known as Pigeon Island Causeway) constructed from dirt excavated to form nearby Rodney Bay Marina. Pigeon Island National Landmark, which opened in 1979, is administered by the Saint Lucia National Trust, and offers breathtaking views from its elevated terrain, including nearby Martinique. The Landmark is replete with remnants and stories of the island’s turbulent war years, including rusty ship anchors, bunkers, and cannons. These amenities add to the ambience for Main Stage Jazz held there as part of the annual Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.
In Gros Islet, you will find some of Saint Lucia’s best hotels: Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa, The Landings, Bay Gardens Inn, Bay Gardens Hotel, Bay Gardens Marina Haven, Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Harbor Club, Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, and Royal St. Lucian Hotel. Many other small hotels and guest houses also add to the mix for your comfort.
The all-suite hotel recently underwent an extensive refresh of its two restaurants, three pools, and 7,000-square-foot spa known for its coconut oil-infused massages. Each of the 85 villas—scattered around the resort’s private marina or fronting Rodney Bay—has two oversize terraces or balconies and full gourmet kitchens, best for stocking up champagne in advance and raising a glass upon arrival.
Set along 60 acres of northwest coast in Labrelotte Bay, the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort offers fun for the whole family with a raft of recreational amenities, including six outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a spa and health club, and a handful of restaurant and bars. Kids especially love the resort’s large crescent-shaped beach and the nearby Choc Beach and Splash Island Water Park, while parents can revel in its all-inclusive rates, the onsite kids club, and Mediterranean-style one- to five-bedroom hillside villas, all with full kitchens and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
“Give us your mind for a week and we’ll give you back your body” touts the pledge of BodyHoliday. It’s a tall order, but this all-inclusive, which faces the crescent-shaped stretch of Cariblue Beach, has all the resources to deliver, with a whopping 33 treatment rooms and an army of therapists on hand trained in time-honored body treatments to restore wellness. Stays include a daily 50-minute spa treatment at the Moorish-inspired wellness center along with a myriad of activities to choose from that get you moving, including scuba, sailing, archery, tennis, yoga, pilates, and tai chi. At the very least, indulge in an afternoon nap on one of those swaying hammocks strung between coconut trees. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
The west coast town of Soufriere was founded by the French in 1796, the town was aptly named after the nearby sulphur springs, among the main attractions in the town for visitors and Saint Lucians alike. The town’s warm charm might have also been the reason why Queen Elizabeth II, the official Head of State of Saint Lucia, landed there rather than Castries in 1966.
Sulphur Springs, the world’s only drive-in volcano, offers various pools of boiling mud and steaming vents releasing huge amounts of sulphuric gases. Other attractions include the Pitons, the highest peaks on the island, which jut out from a serene rainforest. Rabot Estate and Fond Doux Estate were part of the lands granted to King Louis XIV in the early 17th century.
Be sure to also check out Diamond Estate which comprises the Diamond Botanical Gardens, a waterfall and mineral baths, there you will find a wide variety of tropical plants along a series of winding paths. Other main features in Soufriere include rainforest trails, Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain, Sugar Beach, Volga Nature Trail, Au Poye Park, and the World Heritage Site Landmark.
This former sugar plantation-turned-rainforest respite is a favorite for young families thanks to its all-inclusive option and popular on-site kids club with plenty of tranquility to be had: 67 luxury villas are built in small clusters, each with its own oversize plunge pool and located minutes away from the secluded white sands of Sugar Beach. Do not miss the stilted tree house spa or the off-site treatment at Sulphur Springs, which incorporates volcanic mud and a waterfall cleanse.
This mountainside sanctuary has one of the island’s most spectacular vistas of St. Lucia’s towering Pitons. Suites have an open floor plan (meaning there is no wall on one side) so that you can fully embrace the incredible view. Then there is the major domo (butler) assigned to each suite, who is on call at all hours to cater to your every whim—be it unpacking your suitcase, bringing down the suntan lotion you have forgotten, or delivering meals straight to your door. What is more, food comes courtesy of James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser, who likens meals at Jade Mountain to “a tropical vacation on a plate.” Bon appétit!
The 49-room Anse Chastanet sits on a prime slice of southwest real estate. On 600 flowered acres, flanked by two pristine beaches, it remains the only resort in St. Lucia with dead-on views of both the Piti and Gros Piton mountains. Eco-conscious travelers seeking a bit of peace or romance should book the hilltop rooms for their floral murals, top-flight views, and sense of privacy—and spring for a candlelit dinner at the Treehouse restaurant, which sources fresh ingredients from the estate’s organic garden. Whatever you get up to, do not miss snorkeling in the resort’s two crystal-clear bays, home to miles of live coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.
Honeymooners and couples flock to this romantic 32-suite resort, perched on a cliffside fronting the famous Piton Mountains with the Caribbean Sea lapping a thousand feet below. Once part of a famous cocoa plantation, Ladera takes full advantage of its natural surroundings: open walls bring you one step closer to your fresh-water plunge pool and the colorful jungle setting, not to mention those unobstructed views of exotic sunsets. Tempting as it is to linger in your room, made from tropical timber, the Bar at Dasheene is sure to lure you out with live music, dangerously delicious rum cocktails, and chef Nigel Mitchel’s sophisticated spins on regional dishes.
The commercial capital of Saint Lucia. It is the island’s busiest seaport and houses nearly one-third of the island’s population. The Great Fire of Castries claimed 40 blocks of homes and businesses in 1948. For a panoramic view of the city, try the lookout spots on Morne Fortune (Hill of Good Luck) – where the French and English battled over control of the island, from there you can see a virtual microcosm of Saint Lucian architecture, topography, and enviable beauty.
Shoppers flock to the city’s dozens of stores and to Castries Market for fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts. Sightseers admire murals painted by a local artist inside Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and relax in Derek Walcott Square, named for the St. Lucian Nobel-prize-winning poet.
Ti Kaye was many years in the making for owner Nick Pinnock, who modeled it after a place he’d want to spend a vacation at himself. The result? A clutch of charming cottages built into a hillside, with four-poster beds, open-air garden showers, and spectacular sunset ocean views best taken in from your terrace’s own hammock or rocking chairs. Nestled above the secluded Anse Cochon cove and marine reserve, and just minutes from the dark-sand Anse Cochon Beach, Ti Kaye offers total privacy in which to treasure paradise in peace.
This is the place to park your super-yacht. Capella Marigot Bay is a far cry from the historic battleground it once was when the French and English fought for ownership of Saint Lucia back in the 1700s. Centrally located on the island’s west coast, the laid-back resort is a sought-after marina with unforgettable views of Margot Bay that can be enjoyed from the hotel’s balconies, outdoor Jacuzzis, and canopy beds. If you can peel yourself away from the swim-up bar, the beach is only a two-minute complimentary boat ride across the bay.
American Airlines has announced that it will introduce a new weekly non-stop flight from Dallas, Texas, starting June 5, 2021. American Airlines recently announced the launch of new nonstop service from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Also, in the New York Tri-State area, JetBlue has announced a new flight from Newark, New Jersey (EWR) beginning July 1, 2021, making it convenient for New Jersey residents to fly direct to Saint Lucia.
Consumers Enjoy Flights Options from Many U.S. Cities and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is committed to ongoing efforts to provide increased airlift for Americans traveling to Saint Lucia. Presently from the U.S., American Airlines provides a daily nonstop from Miami (MIA), and weekly service from Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL). Delta Airlines operates from Atlanta (ATL) with a daily direct service. JetBlue provides flights three times a week from New York (JFK) and resumes daily flights this April. JetBlue also has weekly flights from Boston (BOS).
Saint Lucia is a bubbling, brooding volcanic mass of an island that rises from the middle of the Lesser Antilles. It is a place of wild highland walks and adrenaline-thumping ziplines too, curious creatures and out-at-sea adventures. History oozes from the pores of crumbling colonial castles from Pigeon Island to the historic plantation estates of the south. Add to that an interesting mashup of Parisian and French cuisine, strong rums, and a hearty local welcome, and it is easy to see why this jewel of an island remains a true Caribbean favorite.
Hotel Reviews Originally Published Online By JETSETTER