Things to do in St. Lucia: Best excursions, attractions, beaches, shopping

A small island made notable partly because of two small mountains, the Caribbean destination of St. Lucia is a crowd pleaser that attracts hoards of cruise ship passengers each and every year. In addition to the stunning natural landscape, visitors will also find lots of excursions, attractions and shopping opportunities throughout the entire island. The beaches here are stunning in their own right, often requiring visitors to take a few dozen pictures before they leave.

Whether you’re visiting from your cruise ship or you have flown in, you’ll find that there are lots of options available, some that only take an hour or so and others that take half a day or longer. Because of this variety, you should have no problem planning your days on the island. With that said however, it should be noted that not all of the excursions, tours and attractions are worth your time. To avoid wasting your time and money on a less than ideal adventure, you’ll want to stick with the options listed below.

Best excursions on St. Lucia

An island this popular is bound to have some great island excursions to partake in, and it does. Here you’ll find both land and sea excursions, making it so that you can really customize your vacation to exactly what you’re interested in. With that said, it should be noted that most excursions here are at least half the day. If you’re visiting from your cruise, you’ll want to take that into account before booking. If you’re staying on the island for a few days or more, this shouldn’t matter as much.

Dolphin and Whale Watching Experience

Those interested in life below the water’s surface will find this tour to be right up their alley. Not only will you get to ride two miles out to sea on a boat, but you’ll get the chance to view both dolphins and whales while hovering over a 3,000 foot underwater ledge. However, you’ll want to take note that even though you’ll have all year to see the dolphins, whales only visit the area during the months of October through February. Make sure to bring your camera.

  • Adult: US$100.00
  • Child: US$90.00

>>>Tickets for the Dolphin and Whale Watching Experience

Gros Piton Climb

Looking for some adventure? As long as you’re not afraid to get dirty while exercising up a mountain side, then the Gros Piton Climb is perfect for you. During this particular excursion, you’ll be guided up the side of Gros Piton, a mountain located on one end of the island with a group of other visitors. Because this is a pretty difficult hike, you’ll want to make sure you’re up for it before you book. Just getting to the top can take anywhere from three to six hours. During this hike you’ll be given free water throughout, helping to keep you hydrated. After your hike you’ll be treated to a buffet lunch and will have the option of swimming in the sea.

  • Adult: US$145.00

>>>Tickets for the Gros Piton Climb

Best attractions on St. Lucia

Because the island is so beautiful, you’ll find that the attractions here center around the island’s natural landscape, making for some pretty neat vacation memories. A lot of the attractions also only take a few hours to explore, making it so that you could easily visit one during the same day as your shopping or beach trip.

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

One of the best natural wonders on the island, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is located on six acres. Here you’ll find a plethora of tropical plants and flowers to view as you walk the garden’s trails and walkways. You’ll also find lots of native birds and insects. In addition, there’s a waterfall on-site, mineral baths and a spa and a restaurant. If you’re traveling with a camera, you’ll want to bring yours with you.

  • Adult: US$7.00
  • Child: US$3.50

Sulphur Springs

A very unique site, the sulphur springs are alive with pools of boiling mud that can be easily viewed from platforms around the springs. There’s also a pool where visitors can relax and have fun with mud facials. This attraction really is great for all ages as you’ll get to play a little after you’re done relaxing. The pools themselves are surrounded by jungle and hills as well, making it a truly interesting experience.

  • Adult: US$8
  • Child: US$4

Pigeon Island National Landmark

A great place for a little hike, visitors here will find winding paths that circle batteries, garrisons and barracks. Though the structures themselves have seen better days, they’re currently picture perfect as they’re surrounded by manicured lawns and lush trees. From the landmark, you’ll also find a great view of the ocean and the coastline. If you find yourself getting a little hungry while here, there is a restaurant right on-site. There is a fee to enter and guided tours are available for groups up to seven people.

  • Adult: US$8
  • Child: US$3

Best beaches on St. Lucia

The island is home to some pretty incredible beaches, of all types. From the typical white sand beach that has helped to make the Caribbean famous to rocky coastline and a black sand beach, you’ll find it all. And although every single beach is worth the visit, most likely, you won’t have time to visit each one. So instead of trying to travel from beach to beach to beach in a short time span, you’ll want to just visit some of the more highly rated beaches spread around the island.

Sugar Beach

Often thought of as the most famous of the beaches on this island, Sugar Beach is located between the two Pitons, which in turn ensures some fantastic photos. This beach is a great location for some sun bathing and there are free public loungers that you can enjoy as well. You’ll just want to note that in order to reach this particular beach, you will have to go through the Viceroy resort.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Reduit Beach

This beach is ideal for those who want to be close to it all and have easy access to water gear. Here you’ll find that the beach is backed by resorts, restaurants and plenty of vendors more than willing to rent you lounge chairs and snorkeling gear. You’ll also find that this beach is a lot longer than the others on the island, and spans a total of five miles.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Sandy Beach

A beach located at the very southern tip of the island, Sandy Beach is a great spot for both those seeking a little water fun and those who rather just lay down on their towel, enjoy a book and do some people watching. A long stretch of white sand, it’s easy to walk as well as provides a beautiful backdrop for your vacation photos. If you love to kitesurf, you’ll find a handful of kitesurfers enjoying the wind. You can also do a bit of swimming here if you’d like. Just make sure to do so only on a calm day.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Best shopping on St. Lucia

Because St. Lucia is such a popular cruise ship port, you’ll find some great shopping. Shopping excursions range from roadside vendors selling this and that to entire malls offering a variety of stores. You’ll also want to note that when shopping in the capital city, you’ll find lots of duty free items. Wherever you decide to shop, you’ll have an easy time finding a few items to take back home with you.

Gablewoods Mall

This mall has a bit of everything, even though it isn’t that big. Here you’ll find a handful of restaurants, shops of various kinds and a grocery store. If you’re looking for a place to mail out your holiday postcard/s, you’ll be delighted to know that there is also a post office right on-site.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Port Seraphine

Here you’ll find the largest amount of shops on the island, making it very convenient if you’re looking to get all of your shopping done in one place as quickly as possible. You’ll also find that it is very close to the cruise ship ports, making it easy to reach. Here you’ll find shops selling clothes, jewelry, trinkets and more. You’ll also find lots of dining choices as well, making Port Seraphine a great half day event.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Photos provided by Flickr users Leo SauermannSugar Beach ResidencesStefan KrasowskiMike Fleming and Paula Funnell.

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