Travel Guide - My St. Lucia Experience
Today I’m sharing my travel guide for St. Lucia! I packed in as much info as possible. I hope this helps you plan your future trip to the beautiful island of St. Lucia!
The first thing that hits you about St Lucia is the incredible scenery. I can totally understand why the island is so popular with honeymooners and for romantic getaways; the landscape is so lush that it feels seriously romantic.
Before going to St Lucia I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond sun, sand and sea. So when I arrived on the island to be greeted by lush greenery, exotic palm trees, banana plantations and rough coastlines exposed to the ocean, I realized I had underestimated “The Helen Of The West”.
Why go to St Lucia?
It’s diverse and has mind-blowing landscape! The people are SO FRIENDLY and helpful. I’m for Jamaica so I might be a little biased in saying this but the Caribbean is a place everyone should visit atleast once in their lifetime!
Some people don’t leave their resort when they come to this islands. Don’t be part of that statistic, get out and see as much as you can. It’s a small island, approximately a 2 hour drive from coast to coast which means you’ll be able to cover a lot in just a few days.
How to get there?
I flew with American Airlines from Kingston, Jamaica. There are no direct flights from Kingston to St. Lucia so I tad to connect through Miami. Its a 1h 30m plane ride from Kingston to Miami. From Miami to St. Lucia is Approximately 3h 30m. Rodney bay and Castries are located in the North so you will have to get a taxi or rent a car from the airport. Getting to Rodney Bay, the area that supports most of the hotels, restaurants and bars, will take approximately 1h 30m due to the winding roads. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than 100 US Dollars for a taxi from the airport to Rodney Bay. I paid $90 USD.
Before I dive into my recommendations on things to do in St Lucia and where to stay, I want to share a little bit about my personal experience. There are two main cities in St. Lucia – Castries and Soufrière. Castries is the capital, it’s a more developed city with nightclubs, restaurants, shopping, etc. Soufrière on the other hand is known as the more scenic part of the island. I stayed In Rodney Bay. Which is about 6 miles (10km) north of Castries, the vast horseshoe of Rodney Bay boasts the island’s most diverse tourist facilities. Within the bay is a large, artificial lagoon and marina, flanked by Rodney Bay Village, a somewhat bland assemblage of bars, restaurants, shops and more.
Where To Stay?
Whether you’re looking for a natural escape or an all-inclusive resort vacation, or perhaps a little bit of both, St. Lucia has something for every type of traveler, all seasoned with the flavor of Caribbean hospitality. I opted to stay in an Airbnb since I was there for seven days I wanted to feel more at home and have access to all ameneties.
What To Do There?
Dine At Big Chef
If you fancy trying something other than seafood or creole food, step into the classy air-conditioned dining room and indulged into quality imported cuts at St Lucia's favorite steakhouse. You'll have to change out of the shorts and sandals but it's worth it for a top-quality meal.
2. Island Mix Art Emporium
A bright waterside gallery featuring works by local artists and craftspeople. There is a good cafe on-site serving lunch, and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 8pm they have fish and chips.
3. Rodney Bay Marina
The state-of-the-art marina is the stomping ground of sailors. It contains a series of shops, restaurants, trendy bars and just about anything else a mariner might need. It’s a lovely place for an evening stroll among the floating village of yachts followed by a drink or bite to eat.
4. Take a Break at Marigot Bay
Soak in the sight of one of the prettiest natural harbors in the Caribbean, just five miles south of Castries. Daysail excursions along the island’s west coast all make a side trip into Marigot Bay just because it’s so lovely. Arrive on your own to hang around Capella Marina, ogle at the beautiful sailboats and yachts, enjoy a waterside lunch, toast the sunset, or have a classy dinner. A tiny ferry takes passengers back and forth across the bay to a tiny beach—the voyage takes a minute or so.
5. Watch Cocoa Pods Become Chocolate Bars
Cocoa pods grow on trees all over the island. When ripe, the beans inside the pods are dried and processed into chocolate. The historic Morne Coubaril and Fond Doux plantations in Soufrière will show you exactly how that’s done. Nearby, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, on Rabot Estate, takes the lesson a bit further with its “Tree to Bean” and “Bean to Bar” tours. You actually create your own chocolate bar(s).
6. Bathe in a Sulphur Spring
While a “mud bath” at a spa is a rejuvenating experience for your skin St. Lucia offers a unique “natural” mud bath experience. Detoxify, heal, restore, tighten, and smooth your skin by taking a dip in the mineral-rich waters of the Sulphur Springs in Soufrière. Cover your body with the warm gray mud (wear an old bathing suit), wash off in the thermal pool.
7. Pigeon Island Beach
One of two beautiful beaches on the Pigeon Island National Landmark, a stretch of powdery white sand is a great spot to relax in the sun or get in a bit of snorkeling.
How To Get Around?
There are several ways to travel in and around St. Lucia.
Rent a car
Use the bus
Take day trips from your hotel
Hire a guide and taxi
Since I was by myself I decided to hire a taxi. My Airbnb host schedule a taxi for me for my airport pickup. My driver was so good! He made suggestions, told me about local customs and answered any questions I had about St Lucia
What Money is Used?
Everywhere accepts US Dollar or East Caribbean Dollar (EC). Doing this worked well because some of the smaller places in Castries market advertised their goods in the local currency, whilst others showed both prices and some only showed US Dollar. By having both currencies you can decide what you’d like to spend.
What Language is Spoken?
The official language is English, but I heard locals speak a French based creole referred to as Patois.
Are you ready to go to St Lucia? I hope this guide was helpful.