20 Top Things to Do in St. Lucia While on a Cruise

St. Lucia is one of the most breathtakingly-beautiful islands in the Caribbean. It’s Located on the southeastern side of the Caribbean and bears the most dramatic landscape in the entire west indies. Twin Volcanic hills blanketed by lush vegetation rising from the sea create the island’s unique feature and induce awe in anyone who sees them.

The island, an emerald gem seating on top of blue waters features thick tropical rainforests, natural wonders, colorful villages, and stunning beaches. These features coupled with the island’s warm and laid-back nature provide countless attractions. That makes it easy to fall in love with the place.

Whether this is your first or the 10th time cruising to the island, you are likely to want to explore all of St. Lucia and luckily, we know the 20 top things to do in St. Lucia that you can try:

1. Explore Castries, The Island’s Capital

When cruising to St. Lucia, ships dock at Castries which is the capital city. Cruise ships dock at either Pointe Seraphine which is a 20-minute walk to the center of the town or at La Place Carenage which is at the center of the town.

One of the things that you should do in the city is to visit Castries Market, found in the town center in the iron warehouse with bright orange roofing. Here you can peruse and shop for unfamiliar tropical fruits and familiar ones like bananas.

Or maybe not so familiar as St. Lucia boasts of 127 varieties of bananas, it’s actually the island’s main fruit. You can also shop Caribbean spices, island-made chocolate, and rum.

Browse all the St. Lucia souvenirs online from Amazon right here.

Right next to the open-air fruit market is the handcrafts market where you can shop for hand printed silk garments, Carrabelle batik, straw items, and wooden items.

After leaving the market, you can visit the nearby Derek Walcott Square. Named after the famous poet who was awarded a Nobel peace prize for literature in 1992. Opposite the square is St Lucia’s cathedral a plain old church on the outside but bearing the most beautiful murals and old decor on the inside.

2. Visit Pigeon Island National Landmark

There is not much to do in Castries and an hour exploring is enough. However, a point of interest in St. Lucia is at the northernmost point of the island at Pigeon island. Grab a taxi or bus from town and head there. Pigeon Island is not an island but more of a peninsula now, with a causeway that connects it to St. Lucia.

The 44-acre piece of land is a historical landmark for this island nation. Visit this park to learn about St. Lucia from the earliest settlers, the Carib Indians, to the pirates, the French and British powers. Which fought over the island for so long that it got nicknamed “Helen of the west indies.”

Start with the museum, then move on to the park to explore St. Lucia’s nature. Climb up to the fort for stunning 360-degree views of the island with perfect seascapes in the horizon. If you get hungry head over to Jambe de Bois (wooden leg) a popular restaurant named after the famous pirate.

3. Explore Rodney Bay

While still on the North Western coast of the island, take a water taxi, a bus or taxi ride to Rodney Bay. A beautiful wide arc of blue waters. Rodney Bay is the island’s beehive, and you can’t miss its entrance from the road.

The turning point to the bay features a street lined with commercial buildings, shops, and restaurant. Streetside eating is popular here. But even more popular is the beach, the beautiful bay, and the party life of the island.

St. Lucia, Rodney Bay

Here you can do some duty-free shopping, eat to your fill, stroll on the beach or head over to the water park for some thrilling water adventures. If the mention of adrenaline tires you out, try the many hidden spas for a relaxing day at port. Some of the places to shop at include Bay walk shopping mall.

4. Tour Marigot Bay

From Rodney Bay take a water taxi over to Marigot Bay. This beautiful and picturesque bay with a deep natural harbor is also known as the hurricane hole. On account of it being protected from strong winds by the surrounding forested hill peninsulas.

Marigot Bay features big resorts, private residences and bears a laid-back vibe to it that is just perfect for vacation. There is plenty to eat here and one of the most popular restaurants is the “Hurricane Hole.” It serves delicious St. Lucia cuisine as well as international favorites.

There is plenty to see and do including hiking to the top of the adjacent hills for panoramic views of the bay and the island. It’s a good place to charter a boat for a sailing trip. The beach is gorgeous and public.

You can take a beach break there or even kayak in the mangrove. This small, charming, and, serene harbor which was featured in the Dr. Dolittle movie of 1967 is just the slice of island magic that one needs. The hidden nature of the bay serves to draw in tourists looking for a private island escape.

5. Explore Soufriere Town

However, for the best parts of St. Lucia head on over to Soufriere town in the southern coast of the island. This town which was once the capital of St. Lucia when the French were in power, features most of the island’s unique and iconic attractions.

It boasts of the world’s only Drive-in Volcano, the award-winning Diamond Botanical Gardens, black beaches of Anse Chastanet and of course the iconic pitons that have become the postcard image of the island.

Soufriere is located south of Castries, and it takes about 75 minutes to get there by road. The way to the town is on a windy road, and the journey can be tiring. You can try a boat ride instead.

Approaching this town by sea allows you the magnificent view of the pitons from the seaside. The finest resorts, historical aspects and more cultural vibe of the island are found here in Soufriere. Explore the harbor and the surrounding town taking tours to the popular attractions on this side of St. Lucia.

6. Tour of the Island

Take a tour of St Lucia either by boat or by road or by both ways. St. Lucia is beautiful and has much to offer. For a cruise tourist, a boat tour is better because of the limited time at port. Visit popular towns like Marigot Bay, Rodney Bay and Soufriere with breaks on their sandy beaches, short detours to their main attractions and indulge in a snorkeling adventure on your way back to port.

7. Hike up the Rain Forest

Over 19,000 acres of St. Lucia is covered in rainforest. St Lucia resembles an emerald jewel on the Caribbean with almost 70% of the island blanketed with lush vegetation.

As such it goes without saying that the most popular activities on the island involve nature, specifically forest adventures. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the rainforest.

You’ll need your travel insect repellant for these type shore excursions.

You can take a taxing hike into Edmund forest reserve accessible from St. Jacques or hike the mile-long trail through Barre de Isla forest reserve which is closer to Castries. When doing a hike in St. Lucia you are provided a guide who leads you through scenic trails. Where you can explore beautiful tropical flowers, plants, and even animals.

8. Scuba Dive and Snorkel

Whether you are a novice diver or just a beginner, you are guaranteed an awesome diving experience in St Lucia. All the waters of the major towns in the island teem with tropical marine life. There are plenty of spectacular coral formations teeming with colorful marine life.

Get a full face snorkel mask to pack for your cruise.

Explore the tranquil waters of the west coast in great diving spots from walls, to shipwrecks, reefs, and trenches. The waters around the pitons and Anse Cochon are protected marine reserves and best for diving.

There are plenty of scuba diving shops on the island and classes which offer PADI certifications. Go down and under and experience St. Lucia’s miracle of the underworld.

9. Sail on a Catamaran

Nothing spells island fun more than a luxurious catamaran ride along the coast of the island. St Lucia offers this popular tourist activity as well. Book a catamaran tour along the island’s west coast. This leisurely tour takes you along the coastline with stops at major attractions.

St. Lucia

On such a tour you get a chance to snorkel at Anse Chastanet coral garden. Get a lunch of freshly caught grilled fish. Get to explore and swim in secret coves, do some more snorkeling and at the end of it all hit a beach. If you find nothing else to do in St. Lucia on your port day, which is highly unlikely, then book a catamaran tour of the island.

10. Go Ziplining or Float Gently on an Aerial Tram Ride

Exploring St Lucia’s forest is a popular activity for all tourists on the island and you will enjoy it too. But in this instance leave the ground and give your legs a break by engaging in a thrilling forest adventure several feet above the forest’s canopy. You can zip line in Babonneau, on a thrilling 10-course zip-line adventure. Or take a gentle aerial tram ride through the island’s northwestern rainforest.

Check all the zip line tours for St. Lucia by clicking here.

You can also zip line at Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure park in Soufriere. Where you fly past panoramic views of the Pitons, before submerging into the forest canopy.

If the extreme adrenaline of ziplining isn’t your cup of tea then try the sedate aerial tram ride. This ride happens on a suspended open-ended gondola that slowly takes you on a tour of the forest’s canopy with a guide who explains the tropical flora and fauna of the place. Enjoy this activity as you get panoramic views of the rainforest and its inhabitants.

11. Take a Mudbath

One of the most popular attractions in St. Lucia is the mud bath at the Sulphur Springs. Located about a mile from Soufriere’s harbor are the Sulphur springs which are reminiscent of the volcanic nature of the island. Just a few steps from the drive-in volcano are the mud baths. The Mud is said to heal, restore, tighten and rejuvenate your skin.

A visit to the bath involves applying the warm gray mud on your body. Then taking a bath in the mineral-rich waters of the Sulphur Springs. Afterward, you can cool off in a nearby waterfall. This is an experience you don’t want to miss even if the place smells like rotten eggs.

12. Horseback Ride

In a lush island like St. Lucia, a horseback ride along the jungle’s scenic path and on the beach is an enchanting experience that one shouldn’t miss. The horses in St. Lucia are shorter, studier and like to go on adventures. There are several stables on the island and one of them is Atlantic shore stables.

The 3 hour horseback ride along the scenic verdant landscape and swimming in an untouched beach makes for a great romantic break. However, due to how far the stables are from the cruise port, making good preparations and arriving early at the port will help cruisers get the best out of their time in port.

13. Dolphin and Whale Watching

Another magical thing about this tropical oasis is the 3000 feet deep ledge that has the most stunning sightings of whales and dolphins.

Book a Whale watching tour and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in a whale watching ride along the ledge to Soufriere. Once at the French capital, you can take a vehicle ride back to Marigot Bay or Castries. This serves as a great two in one tour of the island.

14. Bird Watching

With the highest number of endemic birds in the Eastern Caribbean region, St. Lucia is a bird watchers haven. With over 167 species of birds on the island and the island being small enough to explore.

Purchase good travel binoculars for your vacation right here.

If tropical birdwatching is in your list, then try it in St Lucia where bird sites are dotted across the island from nature trails to wetland areas.

St. Lucia

15. Pirate Ship Ride

Become a pirate for a day onboard the Black Magic Spanish Galleon ship. Let captain John T take you on adventures with his buccaneer mates. Ply the west coast to Soufriere where you will have plenty of fun including treasure hunts, walk the plank, visits to the drive-in volcano, a mud bath, lunch and a dip in Toraille waterfall.

16. Food, Chocolate and Heritage Tour of the Island

Take a gastronomical tour of the town. Tasting authentic foreign flavors is a crucial part of vacations. In St Lucia, you will have incredible flavors bursting in your mouth with each bite of their island cuisine. The national dish is the salt fish with unripe bananas which they call “Green Figs”.

Ask for it in any restaurant and you are sure to be amazed. Coupled with their hot sauce and chutneys, you will have a true taste of St. Lucia. Other island cuisines include a fresh fish fry, barbeque, jerk chicken and salads.

Check all of these food-related tours for the Caribbean island.

And don’t miss the coconut water drinks, offered up by men/women with machetes and trolleys full of green coconut along the road. With a swift action of the machete, they will slice the top of the coconut and hand you the tropical fruit with a straw to enjoy fresh coconut water, all for a dollar only. In some places, they will even lace it with rum.

17. Take a Beach Break

All Caribbean islands have plenty of gorgeous beaches and it’s the same with St. Lucia. There is an old island feel to its beaches which are dotted with swaying palm trees and large stretches of clean sandy beach.

The nearest beach to the cruise port is at Rodney Bay. It is known as Reduit beach. Covered by swaying palms and featuring golden pristine sand. The beach is beautiful, calm and has plenty of sun loungers (for rent) for a day at the beach.

You’ll find these beach pads for your feet, handy for protection.

At the end of the beach is the popular Splash Island Water Park which features a climbing wall, trampoline, swings, water polo, and high jumps. It’s fun for the kids and the young at heart too.

Nearby at Pigeon Island, the white, soft-sandy beach here features a coppice of lush tropical trees.  The beach lacks amenities such as a bathroom but has vendors selling food and small eateries offering snacks. The picnic tables on the beach, are great for having picnic lunches while enjoying the coast and views of the island of Martinique in the distance.

Find all the beach accessories needed for your time in port.

But one of the island’s most beautiful beaches is found at Anse Chastanet which is located in Soufriere. This beach is part of a marine reserve. The silvery sands of Anse Chastanet and the abundance of swaying palm trees make this beach a nice escape. Snorkeling at this beach happens from the beach and is the best part of it.

18. The Pitons

Of course, the one attraction that you shouldn’t miss on the island is the Pitons. These volcanic fangs rising out of the sea make for an incredibly picturesque scene. It’s no wonder they are the islands most iconic features and are a world heritage site. Most people just admire these green hills from lookout points but some go climbing.

St. Lucia

The Gros Piton is the more popular one for climbing. Its highest point is 2,619 feet and the view is breathtaking. The Petit piton is however not a recommended climb it’s steeper and unmarked

19. Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

Another great feature on the island is the Diamond falls botanical garden. This garden boasts of plenty of colorful tropical flowers. That is found alongside walking paths that run through the gardens.

These paths lead all the way to the diamond falls. Where the waterfall’s action on the rock beneath causes it to sparkle like diamonds. Visit this garden and enjoy peace tranquility surrounded by the tropical beauty of the place.

20. Make Chocolate from Pods to Bar

Enjoy St. Lucia’s cholate experience. Visit restaurants such as Hotel Chocolat to experience a tree to bean to bar chocolate workshop. Create your own chocolate from scratch and enjoy it. Or take the popular chocolate tea, which is nothing like hot chocolate, but hot water added to grated chocolate stick with sugar.

See You in St. Lucia!

These are just but a few things you can try out in St. Lucia for a day in port. However, when you have more time to explore the island you can also try hitting the island’s spas. The spas are found in almost every resort on the island but the most popular has to be “The Body Holiday and Sugar Beach resort.

Also Read: 20 Things to Do in St. Kitts While on a Cruise

You can also plan a vacation during the island’s Jazz festival week, or enjoy the St. Lucia’s numerous festivals throughout the year. If you love golfing the island also offers a great challenging course that you can conquer and add to your golf stories.

There you have it, 20 top things you can do in St. Lucia. Remember to plan well and book activities in advance. That’s all from us here, see you in St. Lucia. Happy Cruising!!

Haiyan Ma
Haiyan Ma
I absolutely love cruising with my favorite ports of call being in the Caribbean. As a former crew member for Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line I can continue my passion by sharing my experiences with readers. Find out more about us here.


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