St Lucia is famous for being one of the most romantic destinations on the planet. It’s very popular among newlyweds and honeymooners, offering beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and dramatic mountains. Whether you prefer hiking or relaxing by the pool with a cocktail, this gem of the Caribbean has something for everyone.
When to visit St Lucia
St Lucia is quite close to the equator, so it doesn’t have very well defined seasons. One thing you can count on though, is that it will always be hot. June to November are generally the hottest months, reaching temperatures of up to 30°C. January & February are the coldest months in the early-mid 20s, which is much more my speed!
We went at the beginning of June which is just at the start of their rainy season. Not only was it very hot, it was so sticky and humid. It was fairly cloudy, which didn’t make for the best photos but it did provide some relief from the sun’s heat. We also had the occasional tropical downpour which was also very welcome. One advantage of visiting during the rainy season was that it was very quiet. It was nice not having to go down to the pool at 6am to reserve sun loungers. When speaking to a rep at the hotel he told us they were at 100% capacity over New Year’s. So if you want a quiet, relaxed holiday, June to November is your best bet.
Getting there & getting around
St Lucia’s main airport is Hewanorra International Airport which is located at Vieux Fort at the south of the island. From the UK the flight is just under 9 hours. (If you can, try and sit on the left side of the plane. You fly down the west coast of the island before you land, giving a stunning view of the Pitons).
As you’d expect, St Lucia has no form of tube or metro system. The only way to get to where your staying is by a private transfer, or hiring a car for the duration of your stay. Some hotels and resorts offer a private transfer service. But if not, a quick google search will provide you with loads of different options (including helicopter transfer!). There are some buses in the more populated part of the island like Castries, but in the more isolated parts you’d definitely need a taxi or car to be able to get anywhere.
Where to stay in St Lucia
On the way from the airport to our hotel, one thing became very clear. The pictures of St Lucia you see on Instagram aren’t an accurate representation of the entire island. The majority of the island is very poor, with only a small percentage being very rich, and no in-between. On the way to the resort through shanty towns filled with huts I was thinking “This is meant to be the most romantic honeymoon destination? Really?” I now realise why there weren’t many photos of the island floating around online.
Most of the luxury villas and resorts are on the west coast of the island.
That’s where the more beautiful parts of St Lucia are, and of course, the glorious sunsets. We stayed at St James Club Morgan Bay which was wonderful (I’ll do a separate review of our resort soon). It’s in its own little cove towards the north of the island, and with the amount of entertainment, activities, and excursions, we only left the hotel twice in 12 days.
There are a couple of Sandals resorts too, one in Castries and one in Rodney Bay. And not forgetting the luxurious Jade Mountain, which is set further south. Each room has spectacular view of the Pitons from a private infinity pool (I know right!?). Apparently the entire hotel is made out of marble, which is just all the instagram goals – I NEED to stay there!
There’s also Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort which is set in-between the Pitons. We visited their beach on one of our excursions and it looked so stunning.
If you’re looking for something different, there are plenty of beautiful villas available for rent along the west coast. But obviously you’d need to rent a car and cook for yourselves.
Things to do in St Lucia
In pretty much any picture you’ll see of St Lucia you’ll see two steep volcanic mountains, called the Pitons. The Gros Piton is 771 metres (2,530ft) high, and the Petit Piton is 743 metres (2438ft) high.
Hiking Gros Piton is a must for the adventure-incluned traveller in St Lucia. Most resorts offer excursions for this, but you can also hire out your own tour guide at the base of the mountain. The hike was something my husband wanted to do, but we were so chilled at our resort he didn’t end up doing it. The reviews I’ve seen online say that it’ll take around 4 hours to get up and back down again. Though, be warned that there’s a bit of scrambling over steep rocks at times towards the top, so it’s quite a strenuous climb. So I’d only recommend this is you’re of a good fitness level. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get many good photos of the Pitons. It was very cloudy on the day we went and the photos I did take just didn’t do them justice at all.
I’m unsure if there is a way to visit Marigot Bay by car, as both times we visited by boat. Marigot Bay seemed to offer mainly hotels, private villas (a few owned by celebrities), and boats. Marigot Bay is actually a hurricane hole. When that happens, boats are stored in Marigot bay to protect them from the winds of a hurricane.
Similar to Marigot Bay, Rodney Bay is basically just a marina. There are a couple of resorts and some luxury villas there. It was nice to say we’d been but I didn’t see a whole lot to do there.
Waterfall & Volcanic Mud Bath – Joy’s Cruises
At our resort, there were some reps from a cruise company selling their services. They were from Joy’s Cruises, which was a trip to the volcanic mud baths, waterfall, and snorkelling among other things. He told us that it’s rated the #1 cruise on TripAdvisor. The trip cost $75pp which was very reasonable compared to what the hotel was offering, so we booked.
Now, the account of this trip will depend on who you ask. My husband loved it, but me….not so much. We left at 8.30am and boarded the speedboat down the west coast of the island to Soufrière. I’m normally fine with boats, in fact it’s usually my preferred form of travel, but I absolutely hated the speedboat. It was very fast, and bumpy, and genius here decided to sit at the front of the boat where most of the impact hit.
We then took a cramped and non-AC’d minibus to the mud baths, which were actually quite good. They were quite crowded though so we couldn’t spend as much time there as we wanted to. Also if you have sunburn it kills like a bitch. The mud is supposed to make you look 10 years younger, and although it’d be kinda weird if I came out looking 17, it did make my skin feel very soft. We then went to wash the mud off at a waterfall.
Controversial opinion: the waterfall was a bit meh. Like, yeah it was pretty and all, but the ticket booth made it seem much more commercial. It was quite crowded, and honestly – I’ve seen better in the Lake District. Oh and when we left some of the locals tried to sell us drugs.
We then went to Joy’s house for a buffet lunch which was lovely. After that we took the boat again down to the beach in between the Pitons where my husband did some snorkelling. He said that that was his highlight of the entire trip. I wasn’t into that, so I did some sunbathing on the beach. We were there for an hour, then we sailed back to the resort.
On the trip back, the crew brought out the beers and rum punch. I’ve honestly got no clue how people were like “oh yeah let’s chill with a beer” when I was there clutching on for dear life. I wouldn’t do it again, but my husband absolutely loved it. So, if you get quite anxious, and aren’t really into activities and excursions with a group of people you don’t know, it’s probably not for you.
We also did a sunset cruise with our resort which was probably my favourite part of the whole trip. The resort owns a catamaran called The Calypso Cat, which sailed from Rodney Bay down to Marigot Bay, then on the way back up we saw the most spectacular sunset of the whole holiday (pictured below). Many resorts offer excursions like this so if you’re looking for a bit of romance on your visit to St Lucia I would highly recommend taking one of these trips. (And it’s a bit slower than a speedboat!)
If you want to see more, take a look at my St Lucia travel blog! Don’t forget to head over to my Youtube channel to give it a like and make sure you subscribe!
See you soon!