Trekking St. Lucia: Five Best Things to Do and See
If there’s a trip to St. Lucia in your future, lucky you! This 238 square mile island in the southeast region of the Caribbean Sea is a travel-lover’s dream. Famed for its beauty and romantic vibes, it’s also a place where you can easily get lost in nature, history, cuisine and adventure. In fact, with so much to do and so many online reviews to sift through, you may find it hard to settle on any itinerary that suits your tastes and fits your timeframe.
That’s where we come in.
Having just returned from a glorious, eight-day stay, we’re happy to share our opinions on some of St. Lucia’s most popular attractions to help you prioritize them on your list of St. Lucia things to do. We’ve also included some helpful trek trips to make sure you get the best out of these experiences.
This post covers stops around Rodney Bay, Castries and Gros Islet. Links to websites can be found by clicking on bolded items. Check out our next post for stops in and around Soufrière.
1. Pigeon Island for a Step Back in Time and Views to Die for (Northern Tip of St Lucia)
Each morning, this 44-acre national park called out to us from our resort across Rodney Bay. Finally, we answered. A short ride by water taxi took us to Pigeon Island‘s shores from where we wandered along its beaches and through the ruins of military buildings before reaching the main attraction – Fort Rodney. Panoramic views of Rodney Bay, Martinique, mountainous landscapes and miles of cobalt blue water were worth the trek even after we learned the hard way that the two paths leading to Fort Rodney were NOT equal. One path is a gentle slope along a gravel road; the other a more rigorous trek through the forest. Trek wisely, my friend.
Trek tip: get there early to beat the crowds to the look out points and to get a seat at Pigeon Island’s main restaurant – Jambe de Bois.
2. LucianStyle Nature Trail Segway Tour (Rodney Bay Village and Mt. Pimard)
The LucianStyle Segway Adventure is not your average segway tour along city sidewalks or past museums and sculptures. This segway tour had us whizzing up and down a mountain! Escorted by two humorous and knowledgable guides – Edwin and Lloyd – we zipped up and down the trails of Mt. Pimard to reach ocean overlooks, a carp-filled pond (impromptu pedicures for those who were brave enough), military barracks and a beach shack on the outskirts of Rodney Bay. Stories about the island’s history and plenty of jokes kept us entertained. We never thought segway could be so much fun! Fresh fruit snacks and a water break were included.
3. Bounty Rum’s Rhythm of Rum Distillery Tour (Roseau)
The only must-do stop on Mango Eddie’s list was to St. Lucia’s local rum distillery in Roseau. Our 90-minute visit kicked off with a half hour talk and video covering the history of sugar cane and rum in St. Lucia then led us through the distillery to see about – and smell – the process of rum making. From there we lingered in the open air tasting room for samples of 16 of St. Lucia’s finest rums including aged Bounty, Chairmen’s Reserve, and Admiral Rodney and flavored liquers like lime, banana cream and peanut. A souvenir shop – I mean, rum store – concluded our visit. Good thing we had enough space in our luggage for the take homes.
Trek tip: call ahead to make sure there’ll be a tour on the day you plan to visit.
4. Buzz Seafood & Grill for an Exquisite Evening of Seafood and Cocktails (Rodney Bay)
Buzz Seafood and Grill is the kind of place where you can sit at the bar and chat with co-owner Matthew; dine under the stars in a large, garden patio or settle in to a table inside the chic, white restaurant proper. Or, if the mood suits you, you can do all of that. From your seats in this neighborhood restaurant that manages to be spacious and cozy all ate once, you won’t notice or even care that you’re not sitting beachside. The fantastic staff, bubbly co-owners Matthew and Marisa and delicious food will keep you occupied and content. If you visit on a night with live music, even better.
Trek tip: try the famous crack bread appetizer and braised short ribs entree. They’re to die for.
5. Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Castries)
Although its market may be the most talked about attraction in the capital city of Castries, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception should be a must-see on any St. Lucia travel list. Its size (20,000 square feet) gives it the distinction of largest church in the Caribbean but its dramatic decor is really what impressed us the most. A stunning mix of bold colors and striking architecture had us oohing and aahing as we fixed our eyes and craned our necks to pick out all of its vivid details – the primary ones being the frescoes of black saints painted by Dunstan St. Omer in preparation for Pope John Paul’s trek to St. Lucia in 1985.
Trek tip: visitors from all faiths are welcome but none while church services are taking place.
The One Place We’re Sure You Don’t Need Us to Tell You About (But We Will Anyway): Friday Night Jump Up (Gros Islet)
The Gros Islet Jump Up or Street Party is the spot to be on Friday nights. Just like the Pitons, it’s something you have to see at least once if you’re in St. Lucia. So, go ahead. Book your ride, bring your cash and prepare to join the crowd for a night of good music, grilled food and rum drinks.
Trek tip: this may be the only place in St. Lucia where it is essential to have EC dollars.