This article originally appeared in Delta Air Lines’ 2012 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.
If there’s one image that stands out in Saint Lucia, it is the Pitons—two side-by-side mountain peaks covered in lush greenery and rising nearly vertically up from the sea. Naturally, the area surrounding the mountains is one of the island’s most populous, including the Creole town of Soufriere. Ambitious hikers only need apply to climb the trails that lead to the top of Gros Piton and Petit Piton. Other travelers will have to satisfy themselves with a trip to the drive-in volcano that’s embedded in one of the neighboring slopes, or the nearby sulphur springs, said to have healing and anti-aging properties. There’s also excellent snorkeling at the waters that form the base of the mountains, making the surrounding reefs some of the most picturesque from both above and below the waves. This region is also home to some of the Caribbean’s most upscale and unusual resorts, including Jade Mountain and Ladera, both of which boast accommodations with only three walls—the fourth has been replaced with a floor-to-ceiling opening that looks out to the mountains and sea beyond.
On Saint Lucia’s north side, Rodney Bay is the most tourist-friendly area, composed of boutique hotels and casual bars and restaurants that light up on weekend nights. Not far from here, Pigeon Island National Park combines nature and history on a 40-acre islet. Visitors here can explore an 18th century fort built by the British that faces the island of Martinique. Once it was intended to fend off attacks by French colonialists. Today, it’s a picturesque and historic site for exploring, surrounded by well-manicured lawns ideal for picnics. It also hosts the annual Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.
- Best time to visit:
November to May
- Fun fact:
Saint Lucia has the highest ratio of Nobel laureates to overall population in the world
- Getting there:
Delta flies from Atlanta to Saint Lucia (Vieux Fort)
- Entry documents:
Eastern Caribbean dollar
- Must-try local food:
Creole dishes from Soufriere
- Best buys:
Locally made jewelry and handicrafts
- Information please:
Saint Lucia Tourist Board—stlucianow.com