Exploring St. Lucia: Families, Couples and Solo Cruisers

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Whether you’re interested in relaxing on a black-sand beach or going on an all-terrain adventure ride around St. Lucia’s volcanic mountains, the distinct landscapes of the island have something for all cruisers. You don’t have to be a kid to have fun here, and you don’t have to be an adult to enjoy the history lessons that surround the topography and the people.

For Families:

Hit the Beach and Water Park

Credit Jamie Werner

Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay (a 25-minute cab ride from port) is lined with resorts, restaurants and water-sport options, making it a fun and easy place to spend the day. Every beach in St. Lucia is open to all visitors, even if it lies just outside a hotel. Loungers and umbrellas are typically reserved for guests, but plenty are available for rent. Splash Island Water Park, on the north end of the beach, opened in August 2015 and is guaranteed to tire out even the most energetic kid … or adult!

If you tire of sunbathing, take a short water-taxi ride ($15 round-trip) from Reduit Beach to St. Lucia’s historical 44-acre island reserve of Pigeon Point to explore a living museum in a natural setting. Keep your eyes open for the fruit boat that putters around this area; flag it down to see and sample the day’s assortment of local fruit.

Ride an ATV or Segway

If walk-and-talk excursions leave your kids yawning, take them on an action-packed ATV or Segway tour to experience St. Lucia’s nature trails and hillsides. With ATV Paradise Tours, you’ll ride through rainforests, past fruit trees and across a 1,000-acre plantation set on the island’s southeast coast. A driver’s license not required, but riders must be at least 6 years old.

If you’d rather stand, you can “glide” around the north end of the island with St. Lucia Segway; you’ll first spend time learning to ride on a practice track before taking the groomed trails up and around the mountains near Rodney Bay. (Picks up from cruise ship terminal.)

For Couples:

Escape to a Sandals Resort

Credit Jamie Werner

Tap into the island’s renowned romantic vibes with an all-inclusive day pass to one of St. Lucia’s three adult-only Sandals resorts. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can eat and drink to your heart’s delight, in addition to lounging on the shore, snorkeling, paddle-boarding and/or kayaking straight off the beach. Sandals also offers a variety of land sports. The cost for a day pass is $100 per person. (Pick ups are not offered; length and cost of cab ride depends on the Sandals location. The Regency La Toc and Halcyon properties are less than 15 minutes away via cab ride.)

Sail Along St. Lucia’s Northwest Coast

Climb aboard the Good Expectation, a traditional wooden Carriacou sloop, and enjoy a laid back, unique and intimate sailing experience along the St. Lucian northwest coast with Jus’Sail. The refreshments are gourmet, the oversized bean bags make for cozy seating, and the groups are small and private. A half-day tour includes a swim and snorkel. Rodney Bay Marina (30-minute cab ride)

For Friends:

Horseback Ride Along Sea Cliffs

Credit Atlantic Shores Riding Stables

For a peaceful escape from the crowds, consider a horseback ride that leads you literally off the beaten path. On St. Lucia’s northern coast, join local horse whisperer Fidel DaBreo on a tour where horses take you atop cliff edges for spectacular ocean views and into the ocean for a cool-off. (40-minute cab ride)

On the southern end of the island, Atlantic Shores Riding Stables offers rides into untouched areas. Gallop on secluded beaches or mosey along steep sea cliffs for vistas that postcards are made of. (Picks up from cruise ship terminal.)

Sail to Soufriere and Soak in a Healing Mud Bath

If you’re in the mood for a party, hop aboard a catamaran by Carnival Sailing to experience some of St. Lucia’s most famous sights with a friendly crew, Caribbean tunes and an open bar. Book the Soufriere Adventure Tour for a trip packed with views of the Pitons, a secluded swim, a soak in healing mud baths, and a dip in the mineral pools at tourist hot spot Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. With that kind of action, you and your friends will have earned your bottomless cups of rum punch. (Picks up from cruise ship terminal.)

For Solo Travelers:

Give Yourself a Spa Day

Credit Jamie Werner

Treat your body to a holiday at The BodyHoliday, a health-minded all-inclusive resort in Cap Estate. Call ahead to book a variety of sensuous spa treatments at the wellness center or buy a day pass for $100 to eat healthy, participate in any of the day’s scheduled exercise classes, or just relax and rejuvenate beach-side. (35-minute cab ride)

Bicycle Through a Plantation

If you’d rather have a more heart-pumping experience, bicycle through a working plantation on eight miles of bike trails, custom designed to accommodate both novice and skilled riders with Jungle Reef Adventures. Anse Mamin plantation is part of Anse Chastanet Resort’s 600-acre estate, and is dense with tropical vegetation, organically grown fruit trees and historical relics, some dating back more than 200 years. The jungle-biking tour operators believe in letting you take the trails at your own pace for the most enjoyable experience: long or short rides, easy or challenging; the plantation is yours to explore. They supply you with the Cannondale F800 Lefty mountain bike, but you must bring your own closed-toe shoes. (Picks up from cruise ship terminal.)

For Older Adults:

See St. Lucia From Above

Credit Jamie Werner

Get a bird’s-eye view of St. Lucia’s rainforest reserve from an open-air gondola. The aerial tram at Rainforest Adventures is a one-hour ride that glides slowly and gently both through and above the tree line, while an informative guide explains all of the beauty below. Take part in an optional easy 20-minute nature walk afterward to see local birds and fauna. For those craving a bit more speed, they also offer a few zip-line rides, no maximum age restrictions! (Picks up from cruise ship terminal.)

Explore Byway of Dune Buggy

Take the island by dune buggy! Tour operators, Island Routes and Adventure Tours St. Lucia, offer various guided trips where you can drive yourself up and around the beautiful winding roads of St. Lucia. Buckled into a two-to-four-person all-terrain buggy, you’ll have options to explore some of the most popular sights in the north or south. It’s easy, yet adventurous and definitely more thrilling than the average air-conditioned bus tour. (Both operators pick up from cruise ship terminal.)

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