As your cruise ship approaches the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, what you will notice first are the Pitons – dramatic twin peaks that rise a half-mile above the sea. Their beauty is simply a prelude to what you’ll find on this lovely island, where thousands of acres of protected rainforest help maintain an authentic and unspoiled feeling.
Cruise ships call on the town of Castries, where there’s some fine duty-free shopping. But, to truly see this lush, hilly and historic island, you’ll want to take an excursion.
Many visitors go to the southern part of the island to visit Soufriere, a charming town in the shadow of the Pitons, established by French colonialists in 1746. It offers great beaches including Sugar Beach, a stretch of white sand located right between the Pitons; and Malgretoute Beach, a more rugged beach of grey sand and pebbles.
From Soufriere, it’s a short distance to Sulphur Springs, often described as the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. It’s true you can literally drive right up to the edge of the steaming mineral springs. But, you’ll want to get out to really see and experience the thermal features formed by a weak spot in the crust of an enormous, collapsed volcanic crater. It’s short walk down to some bubbling pools of mud where you can enjoy a therapeutic mud bath. Then, get sparkling clean under a 50-foot waterfall in a lovely tropical garden.
There are more mineral springs nearby at Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, fed by Diamond Waterfall. The springs and garden are part of Soufriere Estate, occupied by the Devaux family since 1713. Tall, tropical trees provide shelter for the brilliantly colored flowers that grow beneath.
More options for excursions on St. Lucia include rainforest hikes, snorkeling adventures, ziplining through the rainforest canopy, skimming over the water on a catamaran, touring a rum distillery or playing a round of golf. Or, visit the working plantation at Morne Coubaril to learn about cocoa and coconut processing and enjoy a French Creole lunch.
It’s easy to cruise to St. Lucia, which is on the itineraries of many cruises of the eastern and southern Caribbean. You have your pick of cruise lengths, lines and ships, from the family-oriented to the luxurious. For help exploring your options, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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