Ports of call in the Caribbean can be a hit or miss experience. The cruise terminals on the more popular islands are so choked with tourists and souvenir stores that you might feel as if you never left rush hour in the city. Too many tourists are a killjoy, and no amount of turquoise water and heavenly white sand can change that. St Lucia, however, is not one of those kinds of islands. Find cruise bargains online or on the high street and discover a new destination today!
Long touted as a honeymoon spot with posh resorts, St. Lucia is more than that. Love is in the air, sure, but being tagged as only a honeymoon destination undersells all that the island has to offer. St. Lucia is the most mountainous island in the Caribbean, and the iconic Pitons rise out of the sea like two emerald totems. They’re the first things you see when you cruise into port, and once you take an excursion to explore them, chances are you will never forget them. St. Lucia is an island for lovers, honeymooners, adventurers, beach bums and everyone else who wants a holiday destination that doesn’t look like a theme park.
The town of Soufriere is on the western side of St. Lucia. This is not only where you’ll find the legendary Pitons, but also the posh resorts that St. Lucia has become known for. Think of it as the honeymooners side of the island. Red and yellow chalets are accentuated with hibiscus bushes, and cliff-side spas offer papaya scrubs and ylang-ylang massages. This is also where you can take a riding tour of the island with the International Pony Club.
Castries, on the other hand, is where the cruise ships dock. The vibe is so different on this side of St. Lucia that it almost feels like two separate islands. Of course, with Bob Marley singing “Let’s get together and feel all right,” you know that’s not the case at all. It might feel like two islands, but it’s really one love. Castries and neighbouring Rodney’s Bay is where the reggae pumps all night long, and the vendors sell Piton beer, rotis, fried fish and Caribbean lobster. It’s louder and less polished than Soufriere, and for that reason it’s a truer example of West Indian life.
If you want to hike the Pitons, explore the rainforest or zip-line through St. Lucia’s amazing natural canopy, it’s important to know that getting from one side of the island to the other can take some time. In other words, plan your excursion accordingly. The island might be small, but the infrastructure is not designed for maximum efficiency. That should be fine because you have all the time in the world.