Saint Lucia: Into the Wild

Some call Saint Lucia the perfect destination–ideal for romance, rejuvenation and adventure–and it’s hard to argue with them. The island’s gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, unspoiled rainforest and dramatic Piton Mountains endear this laidback little island to almost everyone who visits. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to spend your time lounging on one of the island’s famous black-sand beaches or admiring the views with a rum cocktail in your hand, Saint Lucia is also a paradise for those who love to balance their leisure with a bit of time in the wild.

Get to know this gem of an island with one of these only-on-Saint Lucia experiences.

Take a Hike

The iconic twin peaks of the Piton Mountains rise in dreamlike grandeur from the glittering Caribbean Sea. Covered in lush emerald green forest, these volcanic spires create one of the most inspiring vistas in the whole of the Caribbean. For those who dare, the strenuous two-hour hike to the top of Gros Piton rewards the athletic with extraordinary views of rugged Petit Piton and the Caribbean Sea. For those looking for something more relaxed, the Tet Paul Nature Trail is a great alternative. This 45-minute guided walk is perfect for families and includes breathtaking vistas as well as an introduction to the island’s history and culture.

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Discover the Birding Life of Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is home to an amazing diversity of exotic plants and rare birds—many of which can only be found on the island. Birdwatchers from all over the world flock here in hopes of catching a glimpse of the colorful Saint Lucia Parrot as well as endemic species of warbler, oriole and pewee. If you’re a birding novice, the Millet Bird Sanctuary is a great place to start. The reserve has a two-mile loop through the rainforest with a stunning hilltop overlook and friendly forest rangers to answer questions. For a more in-depth experience, ask your hotel to arrange a private birdwatching tour with one of the island’s many knowledgeable naturalists.

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Dive into Another World

Snorkeling in Saint Lucia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed. The surrounding sea is home to some spectacular species, such as the Hawksbill turtle, who hatch on the island’s shores, and the magnificent giant eagle ray, the wingspan of which can be up to 10 feet. While the island’s east coast gets battered by the Atlantic Ocean, the protected waters off the west coast are calm and clear, making them perfect for amateur and experienced snorkelers alike. One of the best spots can be found at Anse Chastanet, where colorful reefs teem with tropical fish and the beachside hotel by the same name rents all the equipment you’ll need. Another great spot is Anse des Pitons, a gorgeous white-sand beach that combines excellent snorkeling with breathtaking views of Gros Piton and Petit Piton.