Things to do in St. Lucia (Gros Islet and Surrounding Area)
This November we spent one week in Saint Lucia for our delayed honeymoon. As much as we love being beach bums we also love exploring, so we made sure we had a balance of both during our time on this beautiful tropical island. Driving from the southern to northern tips of St. Lucia takes 1.5 hours, so needless to say activities or excursions will be close by. No daunting bus rides or transfers here.
We walked to Pigeon Island from our resort The Royalton in Gros Islet. The walk took about 30 minutes (in the hot sun beside a main highway). We didn’t mind the walk but we didn’t realize the trip to Pigeon Island is actually a guided historical tour of a former island, with no beach time. The tour was of old ruins and full of interesting facts about the French and English battles over Saint Lucia and Martinique. The entrance fee for Pigeon Island is $8US each. If you’re doing the Pigeon Island walk, be sure to wear good running shoes.
We decided to stay back and enjoy the local beach for a bit. The nicer beach is actually outside of Pigeon Island. If you’re looking for some beach time rather than a history lesson, we suggest skipping the entrance fee and setting up shop outside on the beach! Although the beach is nice, there are a lot of hustlers trying to sell you everything from beach chairs, horse rides to recreational substances. Fortunately after declining them, they stayed true to their relaxed nature. As they say in Saint Lucia “no pressure, no problem”.
Bilal did lots of research before we came to Saint Lucia to find the perfect place for us to ride horses and get an authentic experience, Holiday Riding Stables.
He found a small company whose owner did each tour. We loved the intimate experience of the two of us riding alone with Fidel the owner. We rode the horses through the streets, rain forest and to the nearby beach Cas-En-Bas where we stopped for a drink. Fidel told us what life is like in St. Lucia and was clearly respected and well known in the area, as everyone called out his name and waved as we passed by.
After a short break on the beach, we took our horses into the Ocean for a swim! The whole experience was for about 2 hours, the perfect amount of time with the horses.
Definitely a fun and worthwhile experience. We recommend eating before leaving your hotel. Food sold on the beach is definitely a tourist trap (each meal marked at $30US).
We booked a romantic dinner at Rock Maison at the hotel Cap Maison. Cap Maison was located right next door to the Royalton (where we were staying) but the shortcut walk was not recommended so we took a quick cab ride over.
Cap Maison is a beautiful rustic and private property built into the mountain side. We were lucky to catch a beautiful sunset upon arrival while we had a premium house special cocktail. After our drink we were walked down a wooden stairwell to the crashing waves of the ocean. On a small rocky path, we were taken to the “rock”, a gazebo styled deck located on the ocean with one table set up for a private romantic dinner. After a delicious vegetarian customized menu, we went to the rum cellar for a private tasting and tour. We had a wonderful experience here.
Please note this experience will cost a minimum of $300 US per couple.
Toraille Waterfall and Volcanic Mud Bath
We visited the Toraille Waterfall and Volcanic Mud Baths in Saint Lucia which are located in Soufriere. Toraille can be treated like a refreshing rainforest shower, as there is not much to it than a quick jump in, a rinse and a great photo op! Conveniently the waterfall is located directly off the highway.
The Sulphur Springs Mud Bath was a unique experience! You wouldn’t expect to enjoy being in hot water in a hot climate but we were pleasantly surprised at how amazing it felt. We got to put black and grey mud on each other to help exfoliate our skin (which did feel great afterwards). Beware though the mud may stain your lighter coloured swimwear so we recommend wearing dark colours! Both locations have change rooms on site.
Both attractions can be easily seen part of larger package booked at your hotel. These excursions are typically bundled together. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the mud baths when you can smell the volcanic sulphur from kilometres away.
Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park
Morne Coubaril Park has a beautiful plantation which currently produces cocoa, coffee and copra. We got to see beautiful local flowers and fruits that were grown on the grounds as well as see the process of how they made the cocoa.
We were able to try some fresh coconut in different forms and have a traditional creole lunch on site. The tour requires a bit of walking through an extremely charming park. We recommend purchasing some candied coconut from the gift shop. Very tasty!
The Adventure Park also has many other excursions available for booking including driving dune buggy’s, zip lining, aerial trams and many more.
We took a catamaran from Gros Islet down to Soufriere which took about an hour, the boat ride was a beautiful way to enjoy the weather and take in the beautiful coastline. At the south of Island we arrived at the base of the stunning Pitons. During our boat ride we stopped for a 30 minute snorkel to see the beautiful underwater life in Saint Lucia. Beware of the local on kayaks that are trying to sell you souvenirs and kayak rides. After snorkelling, the catamarans typically become an all inclusive party boat on the way home, with very lively staff helping you party.
Every Friday Night there is a local street party in Gros Islet, where you can mingle with the locals, sample some fresh local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the culture, music and Saint Lucian way of life. Pop up bar tables were conveniently positioned every 20 feet. The transfer from the hotel was $15 per person. We had such a great time at the street party enjoying the rum punch, and dancing to reggae music with locals showing off their dance moves.
- Pigeon Island not great, unless you are history buff and into lots of walking.
- Instead go to the beach outside Pigeon island and save the entry fee (be cautious of hustlers). Taxi $10 US from the Royalton Resort.
- There are lots of excursion options presented on the first day at the information session (ask for 10% discount on the excursions if you flew with Sunwing)
Thanks for reading! Enjoy St. Lucia.