I just got back from an amazing trip to the island of Saint Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean! This island is a gorgeous destination for those looking for adventure and is a hot spot for romance travel. In this blog, I will share with you all that I learned about this unique destination as well as tips and tricks for your next getaway.
St. Lucia, a member of the Commonwealth, is a very lush and tropical volcanic island spanning approximately 27 miles long by 14 miles wide. The population of St. Lucia is just under 200,000 and the official language of the island is English (note: locals speak Saint Lucian Creole French). The island encompasses tropical rainforests, high peaks and mountains, sugar sand and black sand beaches, and of course the famous Pitons, twin mountainous volcanic peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton. The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and iconic symbol of St. Lucia. Tourism is vital to the island’s economy with bananas being their main export. This island is a popular destination for cruises as well as land vacations. Read on for details on how to get to St. Lucia.
The main cruise ship dock in Castries, the capital, is located on the northwest coast of the island. If you fly into the island, the main airport is called Hewanorra International Airport and is in the southern part of the island. You will find most all-inclusive resorts in the northern part of the island near Gros Islet or on the western side in Soufriere. With all of that said, it’s important to know that no matter whether you fly in or cruise to St. Lucia, getting around takes time as most roads are winding and only two lanes. Also, the main attractions can be quite far to travel unless you are staying in Soufriere. Here are some photos from the plane when we were flying into the island. You can see the Pitons! Tip: Air conditioning is a luxury on the island and not all hotels and resorts have it.
Where To Stay
During our visit, we stayed at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort & Spa in Pigeon Island Gros Islet, a luxury, adult only, all-inclusive resort. This beachfront property encompasses 311 rooms and offers exquisite Over-the-Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalows! When staying at this property, you can take advantage of the ‘Stay at one, play at three’, exchange privileges with Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort. With this feature, guests enjoy access to even more luxurious amenities and a total of 27 Five Star Global Gourmet options to choose from. To view photos from my visit to these three properties, click on the resort names above.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort & Spa is located on the northern part of the island and is approximately 1.5 - 2 hours, via ground transfer, from Hewanorra International Airport. For those that get car sick, it’s important to note that the trip from the airport entails lots of winding roads. However, the island is beautiful, and you will have plenty of great scenery along the way to take your mind off of the roller coaster ride. An alternative to using ground transportation is to take a helicopter transfer from Hewanorra International Airport to George F.L. Charles Airport in Castries. This option is quite pricey but offers a more unique introduction to the island with beautiful views along the 10-minute journey. After arriving George F.L. Charles Airport, the ground transfer time to Sandals Grande is about 20 minutes through town. Below are photos from our helicopter ride.
Things To Do
While in St Lucia, we toured most of the western part of the island from Gros Islet to Soufriere. On our tour, we visited Rabot Estate and Hotel Chocolat where we learned all about growing cacao beans, got the chance to graph a cacao tree and made a bar of dark chocolate from scratch using cacao nibs, cacao butter and sugar. YUMMY!!!!
On our 1.5-hour journey, we made a lot of stops along the way. Below is a list of some of them along with photos. Note: to see popular sites, you can take a tour by car or boat. Keep in mind that the roads are extremely winding, but you get to see more of the local life than you would from a boat trip.
Also, during our visit, I had time to do a few scuba dives and highly recommend scuba diving in St. Lucia. We dove at Bird Rock and saw at least 30+ stingrays, 5 spotted eagle rays, 3 eels, 2 lobsters, several sea cucumbers, a few barracudas, a flounder and an octopus…AMAZING! Did you know that scuba diving is included at Sandals resorts? If you are not certified, no problem, as they offer dive courses for a fee as well.
I hope this destination spotlight of St. Lucia has inspired you to want to explore this stunning destination. Stay tuned for more travel tips and tricks with Explore Travel Planners!
Angie Conger Hinds
I have a true passion for travel and I want to share my travel knowledge with you. I hope this blog gives you inspiration to EXPLORE the world!
Enter your email to get updates straight to your inbox.