Updated November 2020: Due to COVID-19, some of these activities may be unavailable. You’ll need to check with your COVID-certified accommodation about which tours are operating.
Saint Lucia is a spectacular island that can exceed even your wildest expectations. This West Indies destination has some of the best hiking, sailing, views, and accommodations in the world.
There are more jungle excursions, hiking trails, water activities, and beaches than you can experience in one trip. So I’ve prioritized what needs to be at the top of your travel list.
St. Lucia is one of my top destinations to visit in December!
Pro Tip: It takes about two hours to drive or sail the length of the island. So if you want to do an activity on the opposite end of the island from your hotel, resort, or Airbnb, plan on the excursion taking most of the day.
Here are the best things to do in Saint Lucia!
Sail along the Caribbean side of the island
The Caribbean side of St. Lucia has the best views, bays, snorkeling spots, and, of course, the Pitons. So the number one thing you need to do here is sail along the western coast of the island.
I sailed with Mystic Man Tours, which is an excursion with Treasure Tours St. Lucia. We sailed up and down almost the entire west side of the island for stellar views of the Pitons, Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay, and other landmarks. Our boat also cruised through Marigot Bay, and we stopped to snorkel at an incredible reef.
My cruise included lunch and unlimited water, snacks, and drinks. A fantastic crew staffed our luxury boat, and the over-water hammocks were the perfect place to take in the views.
Hike Gros Piton or The Tet Paul Nature Trail
The two most popular hikes on St. Lucia are Gros Piton and the Tet Paul Nature Trail. Gros Piton is a strenuous and very challenging hike. You’ll ascent more than 2,600 feet over about three miles, and a guide is required. But the views of the island from here are awe-inspiring.
For hikers who want a less-difficult hike that still offers incredible views, opt for the Tet Paul Nature Trail. This moderate hike takes about 30 minutes to reach the highest point, but plan on it taking longer because of all the photo stops you’ll want to make.
Stay at Cap Maison Resort & Spa
Cap Maison Resort and Spa is a boutique, luxury property located in its own cove in the north part of the island. You have fantastic views of Pigeon Island, and you can see Martinique on clear days.
You can swim at one of the two pools, lounge on the beach directly below the resort, and Cap Maison provides snorkeling gear, kayaks, and paddleboards to its guests at no extra cost. Plus, they can teach you how to windsurf!
Cap Maison’s two restaurants, The Cliff At Cap and The Naked Fisherman, have some of the best food on the island – my favorite dishes are the spicy shrimp and jerk chicken pasta.
St. Lucia offers several horseback riding tours in different parts of the island. My tour was with Atlantic Shores Riding Stables, and my horse was Tradition, nicknamed Trad.
My friend and I started our ride through a picturesque, authentic neighborhood on our way to Cas En Bas Beach. Then we got to ride bareback in the ocean! But don’t worry, a guide is with you the whole time.
There’s a store on the beach that works with Atlantic Shores Riding to allow you to store your belongings for the ocean portion of the tour.
Explore Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island National Landmark is one of my favorite places in St. Lucia. This island has been a pirate hideout, colonial military base, whaling station, and a U.S. Naval Air Station. Now, this island is home to some of the best viewpoints and landscapes in St. Lucia.
You can learn about the island’s history, enjoy near-deserted beaches, explore rainforest ruins, and hike to Fort Rodney and Signal Peak for some of the best views on the island.
I recommend spending the whole day here. You can pack out lunch or eat at one of the beach-side restaurants. Pigeon Island is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance fee is $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. You can hire a guide, but you don’t need one. This island is perfect for a self-guided tour.
Ride the Aerial Tram
Located in an ecological park near Castries, the Aerial Tram is an open-air gondola that takes you through and above the rainforest canopy to experience St. Lucia from above. The ride lasts two and a half hours, and you’re in harnesses the entire time.
You’ll experience the island’s wildlife and jungle in a fascinating and unexpected way. Your naturalist guide will answer any questions, educate you about St. Lucia’s environment, and identify plants and animals. The Aerial Tram is surprisingly quiet, so your odds of spotting wildlife are always high.
Have a Beach Day
Have a beach day. Most of St. Lucia’s resorts and hotels are located on or near a beach. But even if you’re staying in one of the Best Airbnbs On St. Lucia, you won’t be too far from a beach. All beaches in St. Lucia are open to the public. So even the world-class Sugar Beach isn’t off-limits to you.
If you’re visiting a beach not associated with your accommodation, then you will have to rent chairs and umbrellas, but this is a worthy investment for a glorious day on the beach.
Pro Tip: some restaurants provide half-day beach passes if you spend a minimum amount on food and drinks.
There are lots of incredible snorkeling and dive spots in St. Lucia. The coral reefs, the sound of the sea underwater, and the light reflecting in the crystal-clear water create a mesmerizing environment to explore.
Pro Tip: All of Saint Lucia’s beaches are public, so instead of paying for a snorkeling tour, visit a beach with good off-shore snorkeling, and then just rent snorkel gear.
St. Lucia’s many coves allow you to kayak in the Caribbean Sea while still remaining in relatively calm water. My resort, Cap Maison, provided kayaks to its guest for no charge, so my friend and I paddled several times throughout our trip.
Most resorts and hotels will provide or rent kayaks to their guests for self-guided paddling. You can also book guided paddling tours to different parts of the island. For example, you can paddle across Rodney Bay to Pigeon Island, or you could marvel at the Pitons from the water.
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This article about the best things to do in Saint Lucia is not a sponsored post, and the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Some of the links in this post about the best things to do in Saint Lucia are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.