5 Reasons Why St. Lucia Should Be Your Spring Break Destination of Choice
Including the natural spring that (might) make you look 12 years younger
Spring break season is here — but if you’ve as-yet failed to figure out where to go, we have a proposal: St. Lucia. This island in the Eastern Caribbean offers serene beaches for couples, outdoor activities for adventure seekers and tons of restaurants for foodie crawls with friends. If you need a few more reasons to book a trip to one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful isles, we’ve got five of them below.
The Piton Peaks
St. Lucia’s most recognizable landmark is a must-visit, and there are several ways to see the dormant volcano peaks. Petit Piton and Gros Piton are located near the town of Soufriere, and you can book a tour online or through your hotel to scale the peaks. Gros Piton, the larger of the two, is wider and more easily navigable, with marked trails leading to the top. Petit Petion, though smaller, is a more strenuous climb and requires an experienced guide. If you’d like to leave the climbing to the adrenaline junkies, consider booking a private sailing excursion through a company like Captain Dell’s Boat Charters that provides full and half-day sails around the island.
The Excellent Accommodations
St. Lucia has a stunning array of hotels and resorts, most of which are located on the north end of the island along Gros Islet, Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay. On my last visit to St. Lucia, I stayed at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, one of the island’s top resorts, located just 25 minutes from Gros Islet. The Mediterranean-style resort just underwent a $12 million dollar renovation, and the new two and three bedroom ocean-front villas have fully equipped kitchens, spacious balconies and rooftop plunge pools. With 220 units spread out over 65 acres along a quiet section of Labrelotte Bay, the resort doesn’t feel crowded, and you can enjoy a totally secluded vacation or join in activities like yoga or beach volleyball.
Along with local, fresh seafood like fish, conch and lobster, St. Lucia’s capital, Castries, has a diverse food scene that represents the island’s melting pot of cultures. Craving beef samosas and tandoori chicken? Head to Spice of India, a mainstay in St. Lucia since 2010 that offers authentic Indian food. For delicious Italian fare (seriously, the wood-fired pizza here is amazing), head to Key Largo Italian. And for a classic steakhouse meal, Big Chef Steakhouse has an unforgettable BBQ smoked pork belly and braised beef short ribs. Also, if you like rum, you’re in the right place. St. Lucia’s trademark rum brand, Chairman’s Reserve is smooth and smoky, and the island’s locally brewed beer, Piton, is light and refreshing and pairs well with a serving of grilled snapper.
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The Sulphur Springs
If you don’t mind getting down and dirty, a mud bath at Sulphur Springs at the Soufriere Drive-In Volcano provides a unique experience. It’s a popular activity, so get here early — because by noon, tour buses will show up, and the mud baths can get crowded. Start by soaking in the grayish muddy springs and then caking yourself with the thick mud from head to toe. Then hop back into the springs to soak in the warm water and wash off the mud. The springs are humorously advertised that you’ll look 12 years younger after a visit, and while I can’t confirm the instant anti-aging effects, my skin felt soft and smooth for days after my visit.
The Land and Water Activities
If you want to amp up your vacation with some high-energy activities, St. Lucia has several options. Travelers can head to Castries and spend a day at Rainforest Adventures for ziplining and aerial tram rides, where you’ll travel through the rainforest hanging from a partially-enclosed gondola. Tree Top Adventure Park, located in the small inland town of Dennery, offers another ziplining option along with rainforest bike rentals and jeep safari tours. And for underwater adventure, head to Pigeon Island National Park near Gros Islet, where you can go scuba diving and snorkeling. Pigeon Park ranks among the most popular places for snorkeling. On a good day, you’ll be able to spot plenty of starfish, eels and barracuda.
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