Saint Lucia sightseeing
The Pitons are two volcanic mountains in the southwest of Saint Lucia, not far from the towns of Soufrière and Choiseul. Linked by the Piton Mitan ridge, the Gros Piton reaches 771 metres and the Petit Piton reaches 743 metres. Covered by dense green foliage and with the deep blue waters of Jalousie Bay in the foreground, they’re really quite spectacular. They’re the most photographed landmark on the island and are part of a World Heritage Site. As well as enjoying the dramatic landscape from ground level, you can choose to climb either of the Pitons.
With forested hills on three of its sides and calm, clear waters, the picturesque and highly sheltered Marigot Bay has been serving as a haven (and hiding place) for ships for hundreds of years. Today it’s popular with yachts and, thanks to its natural beauty, visitors to the island. Famous author James A. Michener described Marigot Bay as “the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean”.
Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths
Located in Soufrière, the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens span six acres of lush, tropical growth, with an amazing variety of plants and flowers. The Gardens include Diamond Falls – a beautiful 17-metre waterfall that’s surrounded by greenery and known for its colourful mineral-laced waters, as well as a nature trail and baths filled by hot mineral springs. The first baths in the area were built in 1784 to allow the troops of King Louis XVI of France to "take the waters". The Gardens also include the Old Mill Restaurant, housed in a historic mill.
Sulphur Springs Park
Advertised as the world’s only “drive-in volcano”, Sulphur Springs Park near Soufrière features bubbling hot springs, mud pools and steam vents, with water that in some spots is well over a temperature of 100° Celsius. You can walk through the volcanic crater and, not far from the hotter parts of the springs, bathe in sulphuric mud pools, which are reputed to have therapeutic effects.
On Saint Lucia’s northwestern coast, Rodney Bay includes one of the island’s most picturesque beaches, with white sand, palm trees and aquamarine waters. It also includes the yacht-filled Rodney Bay Marina, which is well worth a visit and includes a number of good restaurants and bars.
In Castries, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is the largest church in the Caribbean, and still very much in use by worshippers. Its interior features bold colours that are uniquely Caribbean, as well as interesting icons of black saints, stained glass and a decorated wooden ceiling.
Once a true island, Pigeon Island was joined to the western coast of Saint Lucia via a man-made causeway in 1972. The island, which consists of two main peaks, is a national park and includes attractive beaches with good snorkelling.
The island is also dotted with the remains of forts and barracks. It has a fascinating history, from the wooden-legged pirate who settled on the island in the 1500s up to its fortification by the British in the 18th Century. Outstanding views are to be had from Fort Rodney Hill, where there’s still a fortress, and from the adjacent, slightly higher peak.
Surrounded by emerald hills, Anse Chastanet is a gorgeous beach to the north of Soufrière. It’s sheltered on one side by the Pitons and is known as an excellent spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. A dive centre is located nearby.