For an island that's less than 240 square miles in size, St. Lucia offers an overwhelming amount of diversity. Between the language (Creole French), the fresh seafood, and the jaw-dropping vistas, it's hard to not overload your To Do list. We picked four of our favorite ways to spend a long weekend on the island.
Rum is one of the most popular beverages throughout the Caribbean. Courtesy of Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, visitors to St. Lucia can get an exclusive look at the island’s singular rum distillery and the making of beloved Caribbean rums. On Wednesdays, in the Capella Marigot Bay Rum Cave, a guided tasting includes the history of rum and how it is produced. The hour-long interactive lecture introduces three (or more) rums and includes snacks for palate cleansing. Ask Dennis, owner of Rum Cave, to try a few of his favorites and see how yours stack up. Private tastings can also be arranged during your stay for $35 per person.
On the southwestern part of the island, about three miles outside the town of Soufrière, the only white sand beach in the area belongs to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. In the valley of the Pitons, the bay is relaxing and calm. A one-day beach pass is $50, and it is only offered to non-hotel guests if there is low occupancy (rooms are from $425 for two adults). The subtle hum of ocean waves, and a Passion Fruit Mojito, inspires tranquility upon arrival. For a little more peace, the Rainforest Spa’s Swedish massage ($110, 50 minutes), performed inside one of its seven private treehouse treatment gazebos, will melt stress away.
Authentic St. Lucian Eats
If you’re in town on a Friday, don’t miss the Fish Fry in Anse La Raye -- a 20-year tradition, where villagers and tourists get together to sample fresh fish hot off the grill and jam out to local calypso bands. Any other day, hop in a cab to Julietta’s Restaurant & Bar in Marigot. Perched at the top of the hill overlooking the bay, the low-key restaurant’s menu features many fish dishes prepared Caribbean style. Appetizers include coconut shrimp and conch fritters, mains are mahi mahi and the catch of the day. If you’ve saved room for dessert, the bananas flambé soaked in rum and topped with a scoop of ice cream is the standout.
Hiking the Second Highest Peak
After drinking, lounging, and eating, there’s no better way to burn off calories than a brisk hike. Gros Piton, one of the two main mountains in Soufrière, stands at 2,619 feet above sea level and offers the best view. We recommend that you hire a guide, wear a good pair of sneakers, and make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks -- the hike can take more than four hours in total. Don't forget your camera, either: There are four stopping points during the two-hour, 2,000-foot climb, and you'll want to take pictures of the view of Petit Piton and the rest of the island. Hikers can register to climb at the bottom of the mountain for $35 per person.