The island's allure extends beyond its natural beauty to all aspects of the distinctive 'Lushun' lifestyle. St. Lucia offers a truly exceptional range of attractions and facilities sure to exceed the expectations of the most discerning traveler. The island is a virtual mecca for active lifestyles and cultural pursuits. the top golfing destinations in the world.
St. Lucia is home to several racquet sport facilities, including the St. Lucia Racquet Club at Club St. Lucia featuring nine lighted courts. Each December, the Racquet Club hosts a tennis and squash competition open to amateurs during the early rounds and restricted to professionals in the later rounds, where players compete for cash prizes.
Floodlit tennis courts are also available at most major hotels across the island, and are generally available for public use.
Lessons and equipment rentals can be arranged; please contact our concierge for more assistance.
In recent years football (or soccer) has become an increasingly popular sport in St. Lucia. The St. Lucia Football Association directs both the men’s and women's junior and senior national teams as well as domestic football competitions and youth championships. Teams of all skill level compete on playing fields throughout the island; friendly matches and more serious competitions are a popular pastime for locals. Visitors may also find the opportunity to compete in informal weekend matches at any of the local beaches.
Water sports are a way of life in St. Lucia, where a variety of exciting activities are available at most hotels and busier beaches. Waterskiing is a challenging sport combining adrenaline, fast speeds and refreshing coastline breezes. Many of the larger hotels and resorts offer rental equipment and lessons for both beginner and intermediate skiers. Parasailing offers a birds-eye view of the island while soaring over 300 feet above the Caribbean Sea. For those who’d prefer to stay seated, jet skis are available for hire on most of the beaches and at most hotels.
With constant winds and several protected locations on the south and west coasts of the island, St. Lucia is a popular spot for both windsurfing and kitesurfing. Intermediate and advanced surfers will find ideal surfing conditions at Cas en Bas and Vieux Fort, while beginner surfers will find calmer and more manageable waters on the west coast of the island. The most popular spot is Anse de Sables on the southeast coast, located on a large bay with onshore and cross-shore winds that run straight off the Atlantic. There are several sport shops at Anse de Sables where visitors can arrange private instruction or rent equipment by the day or week.
Just off the shores of the island, both snorkelers and divers will find an extraordinary underwater world filled with spectacular coral reefs, trenches, caverns and walls. Filled with multi-coloured corals, numerous species of fish and other tropical sea life, St. Lucia’s reefs offer an unforgettable experience.
The island’s main diving areas are located in the calmer waters of the Caribbean Sea. The most popular diving spots are near Soufrière, where the coastline continues the steep descent that can be seen onshore from the majestic Piton Mountains above. Snorkelers and beginner divers can explore the shallow reefs closest to the shoreline, while more experienced divers can explore the drop-offs, caves and drift dives further offshore. Underwater volcanic vents complete the experience with both hot and cold water outflows. Species include peacock flounders, octopus, needle fish and turtles, as well as puffers, moray eels, parrot fish, lobsters and even sea horses. Divers will discover even more species during night dives, including crustaceans, large basket stars and bioluminescent organisms.
At Anse Cochon, snorkelers can also explore the reefs closest to the shoreline, while divers can descend 165 feet to the Lesleen M, a freighter deliberately sunk in the mid-eighties, and a second wreck sunk in 1996.
Many hotels offer scuba diving and snorkeling equipment and there are several dive centres where beginners can attend a variety of scuba instruction including PADI (Professional Association Diving Instruction) and NAUI (National Association for Underwater Instruction) courses. Certified divers can arrange boat and night dives with the dive centres as well.
It is recommended that snorkelers and divers of all skill and ability levels seek an authorized licensed operator as many of the best underwater sites are within St. Lucia’s protected Marine Management Parks.
St. Lucia has two main marinas where visitors will find safe anchorage, maintenance services and other amenities. These marinas are located at Rodney Bay, just north of Castries, and Marigot Bay, located south of the island’s capital. Rodney Bay is the busier of the two, and visitors will find many restaurants, night clubs, shops and other social amenities in the commercial area surrounding the marina. There is an extensive boatyard for repairs and both wet and dry dock storage. The newly developed Marina at Marigot Bay features several amenities including restaurants, a luxury spa and top-class facilities run by Moorings Chartering Services.
For those sailing into St. Lucia, the ports of entry are Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, Castries, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. All yachts must report to Customs and Immigration, and valid passports are required for everyone on board, as well as clearance from the port of departure and valid vessel registration papers.
In addition to the main marinas, there are several smaller anchorages along the Caribbean coast, including Anse la Raye and Canaries, where moorings can be reserved for a small fee.
At either marina visitors can arrange one of several day trips through one of the island’s charter operations, including coastal tours of St. Lucia’s fishing villages and natural attractions including the stunning Piton Mountains. Alternatively, sunset cruises along the northwest coast provide stunning views of the sun setting on the horizon. The charter companies can also arrange tours to neighbouring Martinique as well as longer excursions to the Grenadines, Guadeloupe and other islands in the Southern Caribbean.
The waters off St. Lucia are home to several big game fish, including Wahoo, Tuna, Sailfish, Barracuda, Dorado, Blue Marlin, Long Bill Spearfish, King Fish, Spanish Mackerel, Cavali and Snapper. Such variety has led many deep-sea fishermen to describe St. Lucia as ‘an angler’s dream come true’, making it a popular destination for the recreational sport. Charter operators offer both whole and half-day cruises on a variety of vessels and provide bait and tackle as required.
Fishing is more than a past-time for the locals however; several of the island’s villages depend on the industry for their livelihood. In recent years events such as the Friday night street parties in Anse la Raye and Gros Islet have helped the villages expand the industry to the tourism market; the parties are a festive ‘must-see’ on every visitor’s itinerary. The streets come alive with the sounds of local musicians and the intoxicating smells from the grill, where fisher wives prepare the day’s catch to perfection.
The highlight of the fishing season is the St. Lucia Bill Fishing Tournament, where both locals and anglers from across the globe compete in the three-day event, vying for the ultimate trophy – the legendary White Marlin.
St. Lucia’s dramatic coastline, estuaries and rivers provide an unparalleled environment for kayakers to explore.
Coastal kayaking tours follow the stunning Caribbean coastline, providing participants with a close-up view of the island’s natural beauty. Some tours venture further into the island’s major waterways and estuaries, including the Roseau River, where kayakers pass underneath a dense canopy of mangroves, home to several species of birds including the rare St. Lucia Parrot.
Some tours stop for a brief land tour of the fishing village of Anse la Raye or include overnight camping at the nature heritage site Anse La Liberte, located near the fishing village of Canaries. Upon arrival at the site, participants have a brief orientation with the St. Lucia National Trust campsite staff before dispatching to their tents. There is an informal interactive discussion on the island’s general history as well as that of Anse La Liberte. Campers also have an opportunity to explore the area before returning to the kayaks in the morning for the return trip.
Tours use both sit-on and exhibition touring kayaks depending on the type of water to be navigated. All tours begin with a training session to ensure participants are familiar and feel comfortable with the equipment.
Numerous hiking tours are coordinated by the Forestry Department and the St. Lucia National Trust. Most trails have a small entrance fee and accommodate all levels of athletic ability. A permit is required for bird watchers. Hikers are advised to allow a day for each trail, to wear proper hiking shoes or boots and be prepared to get wet or muddy.
There are several riding stables offering countryside trail rides as well as a tour of Cas en Bas Beach on the Atlantic Coast. After an exhilarating ride along the water’s edge, relax with a prepared picnic and refreshing swim before returning to the stables. One tour company offers a unique carriage tour to Pigeon Point Island and Fort Rodney and the Morne Coubaril plantation offers rides as well as opportunities to learn about the island’s traditional methods of processing cocoa, copra and Manioc.
St. Lucia’s rugged terrain is often best seen by remote trails inaccessible by automobiles. There are many trails through the island’s rainforests, plantations and nature reserves as well as the coastlines, providing visitors with an intimate view of St. Lucia’s wondrous natural beauty and historical treasures. Organized tours also take visitors through historical sites, the island’s colourful communities and open countryside; all tours include refreshments and frequent stops to enjoy the view.
Experience the thrill of riding through St. Lucia’s lush countryside. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) tours take visitors through the island’s verdant valleys and rain forests, banana plantations and coastal zones. Biking has gained in popularity in recent years; tour companies can arrange excursions suitable for beginners to more experienced riders. There is an excellent ocean-side trail at Anse Chastanet, offering stunning views of the Piton Mountains.
St. Lucia’s stunning rainforests and estuaries, rugged coastlines and natural landmarks provide an amazing backdrop for exploration. Coupled with several intriguing historical sites, military ruins and plantations, the island’s landscape is like none other. Knowledgeable tour operators and guides can assist with planning an exciting island tour, whether by boat, traditional or off-road vehicles.
Castries, the island’s capital, is a relatively new Caribbean city, having been rebuilt following several devastating fires between 1796 and 1948. The Castries Central Market is a must-see, where vendors sell spices and fresh produce as well as baskets and other locally-made crafts.
To the south of Castries is the spectacular Marigot Bay, one of the most secure and beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean, and the fishing villages of Anse La Raye, home to a popular Friday Fish Fry, and Soufrière, filled with both natural and historic sites of interest. Here visitors will find the majestic Pitons, Sulphur Springs, Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfall as well as several working plantations and rainforests. Further south is the town of Vieux Fort and the Maria Islands Nature Reserve, a protected habitat for indigenous species and an annual nesting ground for frigate birds.
To the north of Castries is the popular Rodney Bay Development and Marina and the fishing village of Gros Islet, famous for its festive Friday Night Street Party. Pigeon Point National Park contains well-preserved ruins of a military complex, including two forts used during the war between the British and the French in the 18th Century. The park also has two beautiful beaches and 44 acres of grounds to explore.
Sweeping over St. Lucia’s lush valleys, rainforests and rugged coastlines, a helicopter provides an unparallel opportunity to see the island’s beauty from a bird’s eye view. The pilot’s informative commentary about the island’s cultural and political history, rainforests and coastlines, unique indigenous species and current facts and figures make the tour an enlightening look into St. Lucia’s past, present and future.
All tours take off from Castries, within easy access of most hotels, residential areas and the port. On the North Island tour, the guide will point out the areas of Castries, Pigeon Point and Fort Rodney, Cap Estate and the Rodney Bay Marina, as well as several beaches, plantations and the rugged Atlantic Coast. The South Island tour also covers Castries, and then heads down the coast toward the idyllic Marigot Bay, Sulphur Springs and the majestic Pitons. The pilot will point out quaint fishing villages, coral reefs and dive sites, remote waterfalls and lush interior rainforests. For those wishing to see all the island has to offer, a combined North & South Tour is also available.
Located just 21 miles north of St. Lucia, Martinique is easily accessible by air or sea. Most visitors prefer to travel the distance by boat, and several ferry lines connect the two islands. There is also a high-powered catamaran charter offering day tours to Martinique. The trip takes just ninety minutes and is often highlighted by sightings of whales, dolphins and schools of flying fish swimming alongside the boat. The pleasure tour’s first stop is at Fort de France, the island’s capital, where visitors can enjoy the French ‘joie de vivre’. The city has a host of fashionable Parisian boutiques, quaint sidewalk cafes and bakeries and several historical points of interest. The tour continues to the quieter Anse Noire, a charming cove where the boat anchors for a delicious lunch and a chance to snorkel, swim or relax on the white sand beach. The tour also includes full bar service.
For those interested in traveling further throughout the Caribbean, charters to both Dominica and Guadeloupe can be arranged from Martinique. All visitors to Martinique must present their passports upon disembarkation.
One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of St. Lucia is to view it from the sea. There are several types of vessels to choose from, including chartered speedboats, catamarans or sailboats, as well as the Brig Unicorn, a beautiful three-mast schooner featured in the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean.
Most companies offer daytime tours of the coastline and some of the island’s most famous natural sites including the Piton Mountains and Marigot Bay. Some tours include a stop in Soufrière, where visitors can disembark and explore the nearby Botanical Gardens, Diamond Falls and Sulphur Springs. There are also stops at some of the island’s beaches or coves where cruisers can swim, snorkel or simply relax on the sun deck chatting with other guests or listening to music. On a lucky day, cruisers will see dolphins or schools of flying fish swimming alongside the boat. Daytime charters include lunch, full bar service and snorkel equipment.
Sunset cruises provide an entirely different, yet equally breathtaking view of the St. Lucia coastline. As the sun sets over the western horizon, be sure to watch for the legendary ‘green flash’ of light. After sunset, couples can dance under the stars while listening to music; several charters feature a live steel pan performance. Cruises include hors d’oeuvres and champagne as well as regular bar service.
St. Lucia offers a range of options for the active visitor to maintain a regular fitness regimen. The island has several gyms fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and offering a range of classes including aerobics, weight training, step and dance sessions. On the north of the island is Le Sport, the island’s premier health and spa resort. Here visitors can participate in a variety of activities, including racquet sports, yoga, personal training and a full range of spa services. Those not staying at the resort can purchase day passes granting full access to the spa and fitness facilities. There are also several spa resorts in the south of the island near Soufrière, home to Diamond Falls, a spa built by King Louis XVI in the eighteenth century. The falls, which originate at a high temperature near the Soufrière volcano, has a high mineral content renowned for their healing power. Visitors can arrange to bathe in the Diamond Fall baths when visiting the adjacent botanical gardens.
The island’s rainforests and botanical gardens provide a stunning setting for hikers to explore the natural surroundings. They are also an excellent atmosphere for practicing yoga or meditating. Recommended places are the Balenbouche Estate, located in southern St. Lucia, or any spot offering a view of the Piton Mountains. There are also traditional yoga studios offering group and private instruction.
A range of spa facilities are also available at both private facilities and some of the larger resorts.
St. Lucia offers a variety of dining options ranging from casual rum shops and pubs to elegant waterside restaurants and plantation homes. With a delicious array of flavours including local Creole delicacies, West Indian favourites and international dishes, the dining experience is nothing short of spectacular.
The Rodney Bay Development is home to many first-class establishments, including Chinese, Indian and Italian restaurants, as well as English pubs, American-style grills and excellent seafood and steak houses. Further south, Marigot Bay has several waterside restaurants, a stunning setting for those looking for a more intimate setting. Many of the larger hotels have signature restaurants, some offering sumptuous buffets, as do some of the plantations and other tourist attractions on the island.
For a more local flavour, a meal at one of the island’s rum shops or small family-owned restaurants will provide a dining experience like none other. The relaxed island vibe and friendly service creates a delightful ambiance. Local dishes include both West Indian and French Creole favourites, including Indian-style rotis, callaloo soup, salt fish stew and pudding & souse, a pork dish served on Saturdays in most rum shops across the island. Be sure to try one of these local dishes with a refreshing beverage such as St. Lucia’s own Piton Beer or one of several fresh fruit juices including passion fruit, soursop, golden apple, tamarind, mauby and coconut water.
St. Lucians are a passionate people, with extreme loyalty to their island and its strong cultural identity, influenced by English, French and African traditions as well as religion, music and community. While the official language is English and the political and legal systems are influenced by British rule, St. Lucia’s Creole or ‘Kweyol’ culture gives the island a unique personality all its own. Influenced by a vibrant mix of French, African and native traditions, Creole traditions impact St. Lucia’s music and food and even language – a French-based Creole is spoken by many locals, some as their only tongue. An annual celebration, Jounen Kweyol, celebrates this heritage with craft exhibitions, musical performances and folklore events.
Religion also plays an important role in the island’s culture, where over 85% of the population is Roman Catholic. The church serves 23 parishes, 40 primary schools, 3 secondary schools, the Marian Home for Senior Citizens in Castries and the St. Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort. Other Christian denominations serve their own communities throughout the island, including both primary and secondary schools.
Tel: (758) 452 0280
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