St. Lucia is a very different kind of destination from your more commercial Caribbean vacation destination. Very few resorts on the island of St. Lucia are in actual direct competition with each other. In the more commercial destinations there are so many resorts in direct competition with each other that you can flip a coin on where you are going to go and not be disappointed no matter how the coin falls. I would say the greatest competition is with Sandals and itself seeing how they have three resorts that are more traditional that you find on many other islands or in Mexico. Everything else is very unique and can make it very easy or very hard to figure out where to stay. I say very easy because maybe your personality or vacation goals match up with the resort exactly or maybe there is something about the resort that you just can’t get over. Some examples are lack of a TV or Air conditioning. Many people have a hard time letting those things go.
St. Lucia is a very small island with even less living space. The island is about 30 miles from north and south and 14 miles from east to west at its widest point. About 75% of the island is protected rain forest. On my last trip, when I was flying home the plane went from the Hewanorra airport in the south and then up the east coast and then cut across the island and came out at about Anse Chastanet and the two pitons. From that altitude the island looks like Bart Simpson’s hair. It is just one mountain peak after the other. Due to this type of geography getting around can be very time consuming. There are not any roads going through the middle of the island. Everything is going around in a circle except when you get to a city. If you are prone to motion sickness, then you may need to have Dramamine for the ride from the airport to the resort and any long drive that you might take. This can make taking tours difficult as well. If you are in the north part of the island you want to go on a tour that is half way down like say the Soufree Volcano tour you might want to think about taking a tour that has boat transportation because this ride is 2 hours long each way. Granted it is a pretty drive but an hour long boat ride is even more pretty.
There are three main cities in St. Lucia that tourists will visit. Castries in the capital and is where the cruise ships come in. It is where most the major business on the island is located. Then there is Soufriere which is in front of the volcano. Then there is Rodney Bay which is the social/cultural epicenter and where they have the Friday night festivals. Those Friday night festivals are a street party with music, dancing in the street, food vendors, drink vendors and street performers. Really a sight to see if you can make it out there.
St. Lucia has many things to do on the island. The top tours would be the volcano, hiking and scuba diving. Given a weeks long vacation you can do all of it and have time to relax.
St. Lucia is home to the worlds only drive in volcano where you actually park in the crater of the volcano and get out and walk around. Then you go to the mud baths. There is a stream though goes though the volcano, absorbing minerals from the gasses that are being released. As it cools down it gets thick and turns into a mineral rich mud. So you rub that all over your body and let it dry and then you rinse it off. I did this and I have to say I was feeling very different afterwards. My skin looked and felt a lot better. The women I saw there were glowing after they rinsed off. It was so weird. Their skin transformation was much more different than that of a man’s. The next day I notices that places where my joints popped no longer popped. It was the coolest thing ever. I wish I could go there monthly. This is why you do not see a St. Lucian that looks 50 or older. Bathing in the volcanic mud monthly stops the aging process. Fountain of youth anyone?
Update: a year later and my joints are still better off than they were when I went there.
St. Lucia has a lot of hiking trails. I have heard of people that hooked up with a local guide and taken trips into the rain forest. This is perfectly safe to do as St. Lucia has next to no crime. The locals are not sketchy like they are on other islands. You have to have a guide because there are parts of the island that have snakes and should be stayed away from. The main hike is the climb of Gros Pition. The Pitions are two mountains that jet out of the ocean barely connected to land. They are separated by the city of Soufriere. I have not had a chance to do this but I am sure the view from the top is pretty spectacular.
Every coastal destination has scuba diving. The difference is how many people are diving them. In Mexico and many major parts of the Caribbean there are a lot of divers. The more tourism the more divers and the more inconsiderate and inexperienced divers. Inexperienced divers mess up the environment and over time the reef is the not the same. I did four dives while there. The first day was not that good because a storm had just come though days before my arrival and the visibility was horrible. I did get to see a wreck which is always cool. Days later and further south it was so much better. I did a shore dive at Anse Chastanet which was probably one of my favorite dives ever. At the time of writing this I have about 40 dives under my belt. All in Mexico, Jamaica and St. Lucia. My top three are this shore dive due to the amount of diversity of life I saw, a night dive in Jamaica due to the bio luminescence I saw at the end and the dive and one in Cozumel where I found a 60 ft reef wall and went down to 85 feet (way past my level of certification). I also did a real cool drift dive called Superman’s Flight. It is at the base of Petit Piton right were Christopher Reeve flew to St. Lucia as Superman in Superman II to pick some flowers for Lois who was waiting in the fortress of solitude. I liked this dive for many reasons. One I am a huge fan of Superman so the name was just coo. Additionally the above water location, it was a drift dive, it was just me, my buddy and an instructor so we were able to stay down a lot longer than normal. Plus there was a lot of life down there.
A vacation to St. Lucia can be one of the most diverse vacations there is. The accommodation ranges from the ultra laid back ultra high end to your run of the mill all inclusive resort with varying quality to little mom and pop places. Of course I do not offer the traditional mom and pop $100 a night accommodation but I do offer quite a bit of everything else on the island. Please explore the following pages to learn more about what there is. As a tip before reading the full review you might want to look at the bottom of the page where I list why you would stay at a particular resort and why you would not.