Our Saint Lucia Favorites

We spent 3 weeks exploring St. Lucia this November. It’s a modern island with lots of amenities, from shopping to restaurants and tons of outdoor activities. Three weeks may seem like a long time, but we had a lot to do and enjoyed our time there. This post details our Saint Lucia favorites so you have an idea of what you should do when you go.

Glad We Visited Saint Lucia

As cruisers, we have a few resources and guides designed just for us. Brian likes an app where people review anchorages, and everybody has a guide book that can be “biased” by advertisers. We’ve learned to take the advice of other cruisers we know over any other source and Saint Lucia exemplifies why.

When we were in Martinique last spring, we debated where to go next. Because of some bad reviews in Active Captain about crime and aggressive boat boys, we were thisclose to skipping Saint Lucia outright. Then I saw a fellow cruiser’s very positive instagram post from Marigot Bay and we changed our plans, for the better.

Return to St. Lucia

On our first trip to Saint Lucia, we only spent a weekend so this November, we made up the lost time. We did a lot in 3 weeks: resorts, hikes, hot baths, scuba, rum, dining out, shopping and more rum.

What follows are our recommendations of where to go and what to do in Saint Lucia. For the benefit of cruisers, this is organized geographically from southern to northern anchorages.

What to do near Soufriere, Saint Lucia

HIKE The Pitons

The looming pair of mountains defines Saint Lucia, from postcards to beer to the landscape; all you see is The Pitons. So naturally, Brian and I wanted to climb them. 

The pitons St. Lucia favorites
The Pitons

We were so excited to climb the Pitons we signed up a guide to pay a ridiculous price and arranged to wake up before dawn to begin. The guide convinced us we could do Petit Piton, which is smaller but more difficult because it doesn’t have a straight trail; rather, it’s like rock climbing with a lot of pulling yourself up on ropes.

It started great, beautiful day, just us on the trail, and we were in good enough shape to do the climb. Nature and my gear conspired against us.

Petit Piton view
View of the Pitons anchorage from Petit Piton

First, it started raining, so for safety’s sake the guide convinced us to forsake the top (and the views!) and turn around after the “shoulder.” The views were still nice from there and we saw a rainbow.

Rainbow from The Pitons

The downhill was downhill. My hiking boots fell apart, the soles peeled almost fully off so I flopped around in clown shoes which would have been funny if it wasn’t difficult! We made it but I am sure it will be more enjoyable with better shoes.

My boots after hiking the Pitons a Saint Lucia favorite
My boots didn’t survive The Pitons!

VIsit The Soufriere Volcano

They call Soufriere the “drive-in volcano” because the whole site is the volcano, including the parking lot. It’s a very cool place and worth a visit. You can tour the volcano, which includes a short walk with a guide who provides useful information on the site and the local history.

The Drive in Volcano Soufriere one of our Saint Lucia favorites
Drive-In Volcano in Saint Lucia

You can walk around the outside of the bubbling smelly pools – Soufriere means sulfur so that smell accosts you upon arrival. There are streams of water and some of the pools spew steam and mud, others merely bubble.

Bubbling mud at the Soufriere volcano

Bubbling mud at the Soufriere volcano

After visiting the volcano, if you paid for the combo, you can walk down some stairs to the mud baths. These mud “baths” were not what we expected but fun nevertheless. Basically they provide buckets of mud which you apply to your body and then you sit in one of several baths, all of slightly different heat temperatures. It’s supposed to be good for your skin and take years off your life. I doubt it but it was a fun excursion anyway.

Mud baths St. Lucia volcano

Coffee and CHill at Zaka Cafè

Soufriere is a pretty town with very friendly locals. We especially liked visiting a coffee shop/wifi zone/art studio, Zaka Art Cafe. The coffee was good and funky colorful art and welcoming staff made us feel at home. We went back more than once. They even do music jams occasionally but we couldn’t make that work.

The colorful exterior in Soufriere’s Zaka Art Café
The art for decoration and sale in Zaka

What to do near Marigot Bay

In the center of the island is the lovely protected Marigot Bay. It’s a tourist stop with party boats and taxis crisscrossing all day long, but it’s worth bringing your boat here for the views and the resort.

Marigot Bay
Marigot Bay

Relax by the Pool

This marina is so nice you really want to relax and enjoy it! For the low cost of a mooring ball in the beautiful calm bay, we have access to the same pools as hotel guests. It is beautiful and we spent a few days just chilling with our electronics and a drink.

One of the pools at Marigot Bay Resort

Taste rums at St. Lucia Distillery

Just up and down the hill from the Marigot anchorage, St. Lucia Distillers is worth a visit. There’s no tour but the tasting room is unique because you get unlimited tastings of more than 15 different rums. The options run from aged rums to flavors like banana, lime and coffee. Go with a group and have fun!

Inside the tasting room at St. Lucia Distillers

go shopping in castries

From Marigot, we took a local bus to the nearby town of Castries, the country’s capital, cruise ship port, and home to the sprawling and busy market. Best to go on a Saturday like we did, so you can experience it like the locals, who also take buses from all over the countryside to buy, sell, and visit with friends.

St. Lucia Favorites Castries Market
Inside one of the market halls in Castries, St. Lucia

What To Do Near Rodney Bay

Rodney Bay is the largest port, with a big marina and tons of shopping options including great supermarkets, chandleries and malls. We enjoyed the parks and beaches as well as the restaurants and other amenities in Rodney Bay. Here are our favorites in Rodney Bay.

Rodney Bay Favorites of St. Lucia
Bird’s eye view of Rodney Bay

join the Gros islet street party

The streets fill with people in Gros Islet on Friday night. This fishing village next door to Rodney Bay comes alive with music, street bars and barbecues every Friday night. We had a blast, ate delicious fish and danced in the streets. The party really doesn’t get going until after 10PM, so this was a very late night for us, who usually wake up with the sun. Take taxis or go with a group.

Gros Islet Street Party
Scene from the Gros Islet Street Party

see views and history at pigeon island

This beautiful waterfront park affords some of the most stunning views in St. Lucia. Pigeon Island National Park is reachable by car, foot or dinghy and has gorgeous vistas of Rodney Bay, southern St. Lucia, and Martinique on a good day. The park also offers ruins from the former fort and soldiers’ homes. It’s a cool place to walk around, go swimming, and you can climb the heights or not.

Pigeon Island
View from Pigeon Island, St. Lucia

check out the art at island mix

St. Lucia favorites
Cruisers Jam at Island Mix Cafe

We organized a cruisers jam, used the wifi, and drank some Pitons at this eclectic and fun café. The owner is friendly and the Thursday night fish n chips is delicious. Island Mix is on the water and the art is made by locals and for sale to bring home as souvenirs.

Hopefully this gives you a lot of options when you visit St. Lucia. And if you’ve been there, what are your most memorable experiences, your Saint Lucia favorites? Share in the comments.

Interested in the Caribbean? Read about our Grenadines favorites and cruising the Spanish Virgin Islands

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

7 thoughts on “Our Saint Lucia Favorites”

  1. I’ve visited St. Lucia a few times while working on cruise ships but never did a ton of adventuring. Next time I go back I really want to hike the Pitons and do the mud baths!

  2. Saint Lucia is one of our favourite Caribbean Islands. We have visited a few times but 3 weeks would be an absolute treat. We have always seen the Pitons from afar so it would be fun to hike them. We would definitely be looking for local rum after that! And next time we will get off the beach at Pigeon Island and head up for those great panoramic views. Can’t wait to go back.

  3. I never knew there was so much to do in Saint Lucia! Definitely adding to my bucket list!

  4. Looks like an awesome trip! Didn’t think there was much to do besides the beach, but there is! Still it would be hard to get me out of that water!

  5. That looks like a gorgeous hike (but so sorry to hear about your hiking boots!)! The art cafe looks like an awesome place to check out too!

    1. It was a beautiful hike, Farrah. We’ve learned that boat life – specifically salt water – destroys everything, including hiking boots. ????‍♀️

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