Saint Lucia is small but packed with things to do and see -- 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, the island is known for both mountains and beaches. The unique silhouette of the Piton Mountains, where you'll find beautiful waterfalls, diverse flora and fauna, and inspiring lookout points, is the inspiration for the country's flag.
There's plenty do on or near the sea, as well. Local guides will take you to the best beaches for snorkeling, relaxing, and sailing. You'll be able to communicate easily in English, but you can get to know your guides a little by asking them to teach you a few words in French Creole.
With comfortably warm temperatures throughout the year, Saint Lucia's Caribbean climate makes year-round tours possible. Visit in May or June to avoid heaviest crowds, highest prices, and hardest rains. Whether you bring the whole family, your newlywed, or you're flying solo, Saint Lucia has a tour for you.
Saint Lucia has plenty of tour options for thrill-seekers. Spend 3-5 days alternating between adventures on land and adventures at sea. Try ziplining, Jeep rides, or buggy tours for memorable and fast views of the island. Segway tours can accommodate the slightly less bold members in the group.
Move on to the sea for sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving for those who are certified. Visit water parks with inflatables and all kinds of games for the young and young at heart.
The most popular package deal to Saint Lucia is the resort stay, where you spend a few nights at one of the island's many all-inclusive hotels. These hotels usually offer airport transfer, full access to beaches, shopping, dining, and drinking. You can also find relaxation tours that are more specific to your interests or needs. Take yoga classes every day for a week with beautiful backdrops of mountains and sea, spend your honeymoon sipping on cocktails, or get the full spa treatment without any interruptions.
Resorts will also have a knowledgeable staff that can help you plan other excursions. Take a boat tour with snorkeling stops, visit the island's famous gardens and waterfalls, and take a dip in the rejuvenating mud bath at the sulfur springs.
With so many options for things to do in such a small country, you might want to try creating your own customized itinerary with a travel agency. This is a great way to fit everything in that you want to do without the hassle of planning the details. Climb the Piton Mountains, visit Pigeon Island to learn about Pirates, or bird watch with the help of you rain forest guides.
Build free time into your tour so you can shop for local handmade goods, sip coconut water on the beach, or enjoy the nightlife while listening to Creole jazz.
Best Time to Visit Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is home to a typical Caribbean climate, meaning the temperature hovers around 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit year round. For the most comfortable stay in regards to temperature, humidity, and rain, December to April will be best. Of course, this is also the most expensive time to visit.
June to December is the rainy season, and hurricane season lasts from July to November. May and June are probably the best months to visit Saint Lucia as they provide a good mix of pleasant weather, thinner crowds, and lower costs.
What to Look for in a Tour to Saint Lucia
Read the reviews for any tour before you reserve your spot, and compare prices of similar tours provided by different companies. Carefully read the details of the trip in the "what to expect" sections. This will provide information about what to wear, the skill level expectations, and any other requirements or warnings. Reading the overview of the tour is also a great way to get excited about your trip!
Typical Tour Cost
Shorter tours that last 3 or 4 days will start around $500. Longer tours that last up to 8 days or all-inclusive luxury resorts can be closer to $2,000 per person. Generally, tour prices will not include airfare. If the details say that flights are included, make sure you check the departure city.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
Unless you're planning to go scuba diving, you shouldn't need to bring anything too unique. Most gear will be available to rent or will be included in the price of the tour. Hiking sandals and closed-toe water shoes will probably both come in handy. You also might want to bring your own goggles and snorkel if you have a preferred style or brand. If you book a mud bath tour, pack a swimsuit that you don't mind ruining.
The warm climate means you'll be able to pack light. However, it's always wise to bring one or two sweaters for cooler nights and air-conditioned hotels or restaurants. Even if you're traveling during the dry season (from January to June), bring a light rain jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bug spray is also a must.
Other Tips for Travel in Saint Lucia
Restaurants and gift shops at the most popular locations are sure to overcharge. Use good judgment if you're going to try to find less expensive shopping -- sometimes it's worth the few extra dollars to not get lost.
Stay up-to-date on routine vaccinations. The CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid for most travelers to Saint Lucia. Bats have been known to carry rabies, so if you will be going on cave tours then the rabies vaccine may also be a good idea. The Zika virus has been present in Saint Lucia, so pregnant women should reconsider travel to the island at this time.
In general, you can trust the food and drinks if you are staying at a resort location or eating meals that are provided as part of an organized tour. Avoid raw or undercooked meats and eggs. Don't drink the tap water or eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have been washed with tap water. Don't eat wild game or food from street vendors.
Wearing long pants and using bug spray will help avoid bug bites, but you should still check for ticks after outdoor tours. Stay hydrated, don't interact with animals unless instructed to do so by a tour guide, and don't swim in undesignated swimming areas.