Soaking up the views and the rum near the Gros Pitons of St Lucia

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
8
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
8
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
4
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
5
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
6
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
65 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
North America
country
Saint Lucia
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 250
Time of year visited
November
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
163rd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 50% SUMMARY RATING: Great Experience

Summary

Many of the Caribbean Islands are much of a tropical paradise muchness – white sand beaches ✅ , tropical temperatures ✅ , clear waters ✅ , laid back attitude ✅  . . . they all offer this just to different degrees.  I’d put Saint Lucia a bit down the pile when it comes to the perfect desert island as its an extremely strong field in the Caribbean (The Grenadines for example win in this category), but Saint Lucia offers a key trump card that make it a bit special – the wonderfully photogenic, and UNESCO World Heritage listed, Pitons.  Breaking almost vertically out of the water to 2600ft / 800m, these dramatic mini mountains provide what must be the most stunning stretch of beach in the whole Caribbean.  Its extra trump card is the heap of heritage estates across the island that provide exploring opportunities to see the gorgeous fruits they now grow and, importantly, rum tasting!

 

Want picture-perfect desert islands – go for the Grenadines (and my tip is Bequia Island – see Ultimate relaxing in Spring Bay on Bequia Island).  Want dramatic views and rum tasting – go for Saint Lucia

highlights

#1 Taking a short boat ride from Soufriere to see the magnificent Pitons from the water

#2 Taking the short walk from Soufriere over to Anse Chastanet just to the north, for a quieter spot and great snorkelling just off the shore

#3 Hiking one of the many trails in the jungle by the Pitons, in this case the Rainforest Trail, which loops around the Gros Piton

#4 Working your way through the various rums of the island at St Lucia Distillers, next to Marigot Bay

#5 Staying at the super enchanting and wonderful setting of Marigot Bay

#6 Watching a game of local beach cricket with the stunning backdrop of the Pitons from the northern end of Soufriere beach

Travel Tips

  • Stay at Soufriere – to enjoy the views of the Pitons, either throughout the day or for cocktails with the sunset in the late afternoon, you most likely want to stay around Soufriere or directly at Sugar Beach.  Sugar Beach is the most famous beach in Saint Lucia and, nestled between the Pitons, has great views, but its obviously expensive.  Soufriere has more options and also in any ways better views of both the Pitons, so its not a bad second option at all.  You can also easily take a speed boats around to Sugar Beach which gives the added advantage of views from the water, and walk from Soufriere to Anse Chastanet just to the north for great snorkelling just off the shore.  We stayed at the Still Beach Resort at the north end of Soufriere’s beach – quite basic, but stunning views to wake up to
  • Climb the Gros Piton – wish I’d done it.  Takes around 3-4 hours, great adventure-style exercise and the views must be superb
  • Enjoy some of the activities around the Pitons – we loved the the Rainforest Trail and the cocoa-processing plantation of Dond Doux Holiday Plantation
  • If you don’t want to stay around the Pitons, I’d also recommend Marigot Bay  –it is a beautiful natural harbour only an hour drive to the north of the Soufriere area and far quieter.   The Oasis Marigot St Lucia Villas have great views, super value and the fun of a mini cable car to take you up the slope to your rooms
  • The rum tasting – I have a soft spot for any kind of alcohol tasting.  Obviously its fun and everyone loves getting a bit drunk . . . one thing leads to another and next thing you know you’re stumbling out of some beach bar at 3am after several conversations as a leading rum expert.  But it’s also just fascinating to learn about the depth of techniques, the sheer level of effort that goes into such products, and being able to realise some of the lessons with the tastings.  Wine . . . Sake . . . Whiskey . . . Rum – all great.  St Lucia Distillers, next to Marigot Bay is where you want to do it – yes, its a bit cheesy, but lots of fun

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone