Saint Lucia is located in the heart of the Caribbean, locked by both the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Known for being a honeymooner’s paradise, this small island offers up so much more than just a place to relax with your partner.
Vibrant local culture, pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and fishing villages show the vast diversity and beauty of this sovereign island. If you are headed to Saint Lucia anytime soon, this all-inclusive guide will help you plan the ultimate vacation!
When to visit Saint Lucia
Mid-December to Mid April brings in warm weather–and tourists. Considered to be the peak season, prices and accommodations will be more expensive around this time. Traveling during peak time is NOT my favorite thing to do, mostly because crowds annoy the shit out of me.
December to May seems to be the driest time of year, boasting tropical temperatures and a lot less rainfall. I’ll be honest, we visited in late January and there was still a few days of rain so make sure to check the weather before you head out!
Best time to visit? Usually around May-June when temperatures are in the high 70’s to low 80’s and rates are much more affordable.
Even though the island is small, the time it takes to get from one end to the other can be quite daunting. The roads are less than perfect in most places, and with winding streets and mountainous landscapes, the best idea would be to rent a car.
Personally, I do not like to be on someone else’s time. If you are staying at a resort that has a shuttle or transfer–that’s fine! Just remember that you will be at the mercy of someone else, meaning your time visiting popular sites might get cut short.
If you decide to rent a car, I highly suggest Islander Car Rentals! Their customer service is top-notch! PLUS, they will meet you at the airport or drop your car off at most locations on the island, win-win!
Where to stay in Saint Lucia
We opted for an Airbnb for this trip. Since it was my parents + Sina and I, we did not want to share a room together (that would be weird haha) or pay x2 to stay in a hotel. We found a huge villa located in Gros Islet that has its own private pool, plenty of space and epic views! You can check out where we stayed HERE!
If you haven’t used Airbnb before, click this link to get $40 off your first booking AND $15 towards your first experience!
If you don’t want to stay in an Airbnb though…check out a few of these hotels!
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina: For the travelers who want to get lost in luxury. Offering spas, on-site dining, picturesque pools, and a centralized location!
Calabash Cove Resort & Spa: Halfway between Castries and Rodney Bay sits an adults-only hotel close to the water. With upgraded Cottages and a view of their private Mosaic Beach, you can rest, relax and unwind here!
Where to eat
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new destination is to eat my way through the country. I refuse to go back to the same spot twice–just so I can take in local cuisine, world-renowned restaurants, and yummy food! Saint Lucia not only has mouth-watering eats but views that will knock your socks off!
FOR EPIC VIEWS…TRY OUT
Jade Mountain Resort and Spa: First, you drive up a scary mountain filled with potholes and miles of bumpiness, but as you reach the top–the view is incredible. Try their signature cocktails, take in the view of the Pitons, and munch on some delicious food for an epic lunch or dinner experience!
Pro tip: Make sure to call ahead at least a few days in advance to make a reservation!
Dasheene at Ladera Resort: Probably one of my favorite meals of the week! This versatile restaurant is more like an experience rather than just a meal. You have options to eat lunch on their terrace overlooking the Pitons (which is what we did!) Or you can book a Wine Cellar Experience that allows you to savor every sip of over 500 wines, snack on meats & cheeses all while being treated like royalty.
The Naked Fisherman: An ode to the ocean, this dining experience is nestled on a natural cove near Cap Maison, and the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset and sea breeze. The food ranges from fresh seafood to mouth-watering beef to modern takes on classic fares. Depending on which day you visit, they offer nightly specials, pre-fixe menus, and delicious cocktails!
FOR A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE…TRY OUT
Spice of India: I was skeptical of this place–even with the raging reviews, but boy oh boy did I have nothing to be afraid of! Spice of India offers up an eclectic range of classic Indian dishes served in a vibrant setting. You MUST go here to experience some Indian culture in the heart of the Caribbean! Must try–Alu Gobi, Butter Chicken, Garlic Naan, and Chicken Byriani!
Gros Islet Friday Night Street Party: Nothing says local cuisine quite like a street party. If you are lucky enough to be in Saint Lucia on a Friday night, this is a must do! Hop from street vendor to market pop-up for some local favorites! Don’t forget to wash it down with some rum punch!
Pro tip: Most of the food we had was extremely spicy–make sure to ask before buying because some of the items had way too much heat!
FOR A MORE LOW-KEY DINING EXPERIENCE…TRY OUT
Matthews Rooftop Restaurant: Located in the Rodney Bay Mall area, this rooftop spot is the perfect play to unwind. Cheap prices, 2 for 1 drinks (at certain times) and a chill, breezy view will have you enjoying the sunshine while you scarf down some Caribbean cuisine.
Big Chef Steakhouse: Also located in the Rodney Bay Mall area, Big Chef definitely sticks out like a sore thumb. Their country western vibe doesn’t fit in completely with the Caribbean, but the food will leave you wanting more and more! They select the best quality USA Certified Angus steak and season it to perfection. There is no shortage of juicy plates on the menu. They infuse island ingredients into every single dish!
What to do in Saint Lucia
Rest, relaxation, adventure, romantic settings…Saint Lucia has something for every type of traveler! Check out some of my favorite activities on the island.
Go for a hike: Try your luck hiking up the Pitons (definitely not for the weak), or a shorter hike up Signal Hill in Pigeon Island. Other great hikes include Tet Paul Nature Trail and Petite Piton!
Search for waterfalls and gardens: Saint Lucia has an abundance of natural beauty, waterfalls & gardens being two of them! Check out Toraille Waterfall, Saltibus Waterfall, Diamond Botanical Gardens, Spyke Falls, LaTille Falls & Gardens, and Mamiku Gardens.
Drive around Pigeon Island: A nice place to take in some history and stroll around their park. $8 fee will get you into the ruins where you can hike up Signal Hill for some incredible views!
Take a sunset cruise: The highlight of our trip was a sunset cruise from Rodney Bay! A large boat with 20+ people that offers free snacks, unlimited drinks and epic views! The staff was super friendly, and you got to experience Saint Lucia from the sea!
Visit the Sulphur Springs & Take a Mud Bath: Taking a guided tour through the park, you learn about the Drive-In Volcano’s history, and more importantly, you can experience the black water pool baths. I will warn you, it does kind of smell like rotten eggs. I was weary doing this extra touristy activity but it ended up being really fun!
Soak up the sun at a beach: We spent a lot of time sun-drenched at Marigot Bay. Catamarans and other boats dock in the marina while there are a plethora of beaches in this location. It’s hard to choose which one! Other favorites on the island include Anse Chastanet, Jalousie Beach, and Reduit Beach!!
Party all night long at the Gros Islet Street Party: Another highlight of the trip, Gros Islet Street Party. Vendors line the street with authentic street food, art, creative items for purchase and so much more!
Go on an adventure: Adventure is my middle name when it comes to traveling. While not the most extreme, indulge in some good ol’ outdoor fun! Try out snorkeling in Marigot Bay, Zipline or take a SkyRide through the rainforest, test your ability on the water by learning to kite surf, or take out some ATV’s for an epic adventure!
Gamble at the Casino: Yup, Saint Lucia has it’s very own casino right in Rodney Bay. We ended up here a few nights. While there are many slots and not a long of tables, it’s another fun activity to do. You might get lucky and win some money before you head home!
Helpful Tips when visiting Saint Lucia
- The road systems are quite bad. Plan your days accordingly so you don’t lose out on valuable time trying to get from one side of the island to the other. Preferably, rent your own car or hire a driver for your stay–unless staying at an all-inclusive resort. be mindful though, they drive on the left side of the road with the driver seat on the right. It takes some getting used to for sure. If you do rent a car, go slow and follow directions.
- We tried going to the market and cooking our own meal one night. In all honesty, the food did not seem to be as fresh in the market as it did when we were eating out. The seafood had freezer burn, the meat was subpar and the veggies had weird flavor.
- Bring cash with you! The standard currency in St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). Most places accept USD, but you will most likely get your change back in XCD. This exchange rate is not the best, and some people try to give you back less–thinking you don’t know what you are doing. ATMs seem to work when they want to, so bring cash and exchange it at the airport or hotel!
- Service charges are almost standard on every bill. An automatic 10% is applied (which you can see at the bottom). If you want, you can add more but it’s not frowned upon if you don’t.
xo Bonvoyage Babes