5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do in Saint Lucia
There are certain things that you're probably expecting on a Caribbean vacation, like white sand beaches, beautiful blue waters, and warm sunshine. The island of Saint Lucia offers all of these, but there are so many more things to do in Saint Lucia that many visitors don't expect!
Explore Soaring Peaks
Saint Lucia is home to awe-inspiring volcanic peaks are covered in lush tropical rainforest, and are one of the reasons that Saint Lucia is often called the "Hawaii of the Caribbean". For example, Mount Gimie is the tallest of Saint Lucia's mountains, with the peak reaching 950 meters (3,117 feet). The most recognizable mountains, and Saint Lucia's most recognizable natural feature overall, are two mountainous volcanic spires known as the Pitons. These are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While in Saint Lucia, say yes to an opportunity to climb the Pitons, as this is an experience you won’t soon forget. Guided tours are available to the top of Gros Piton, while Petit Piton rising 2,425ft is a steeper and more challenging climb, with much less hiking traffic to the top.
If you’re not up for climbing the Pitons, consider taking a catamaran cruise around these majestic landmarks which will allow you get close enough to take great photos.
Even though the last major volcanic eruption in Saint Lucia occurred about 40,000 years ago, Sulphur Springs continues to vent sulphur and heat pools of water above boiling. The springs are a popular destination since visitors can literally drive up to the springs, earning it the nickname "world's only drive-in volcano."
Guests can visit Sulphur Springs not only to learn about the creation of the volcanic Caribbean islands, but also to dip into a mud bath or soak in the springs, which are high in minerals. If you're opting for a mud bath, make sure you wear a bathing suite that you don't mind getting stained!
Saint Lucia is also home to beautiful lush rainforest, with plenty of opportunities for nature hikes. Visit one of the island's several forest reserves, or head to the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens in Soufriere, where you can take in tropical flowers, and a whole lot of greenery. The Diamond Falls in Soufriere are one of the natural wonders of Saint Lucia. The unique and beautiful waterfall is colored by mineral deposits, and is surrounded by the well-maintained botanical gardens. These reserves, gardens, and trails are also amazing for birdwatchers, with over 180 species of birds inhabiting the island.
Saint Lucia is home to its own unique culinary tradition, a combination of French, East Indian, and British influences. You can try some of the island's locally-grown chocolate (or get a behind-the-scenes look at how it's made!), and you may want to grab some cocoa sticks to take home with you. You'll also want to try some of Saint Lucia's other local flavors, including rum, Piton beer, and Saint Lucia's national dish, green figs and saltfish ("figs" in Saint Lucia actually refers to bananas).
Saint Lucia's history stretches back to the arrival of the Arawaks, who likely called the island Iouanalao, or Island of Iguanas. Saint Lucia's name was changed when the French took over the island in 1660 and named it after Saint Lucy of Syracuse. Its name makes it the first sovereign nation to be named after a woman.
Visitors to Saint Lucia can explore historic points like the Pigeon Island National Park, home to Fort Rodney, which was once a British garrison. Guests can also visit the Morne Fortune, or 'Hill of Good Luck' in Castries, which is home to some remaining fortifications built by the British in the early 1800s. Guests can check out places like Government House on the northern side of the Morne, which is the official residence of Saint Lucia’s Governor General.