Last month me and Theo took an eight hour flight from Gatwick to Saint Lucia in search of sea, sunshine and lots of rum. What we found was a lot more exciting than we imagined with activities galore spread across this tiny 24-mile long island in the West Antilles. There was so much to do, from snorkelling to zip-lining and spa treatments to chocolate making – seven days on this wonderful island was not enough. Here are eight things to do in St Lucia…
1. Making our own chocolate at The Rabot Estate, Hotel Chocolat, St Lucia
The 140-acre Rabot Estate is situated in the South West of Saint Lucia, near Soufriere – the original French capital and divided up into 16 different côtes or areas of terroir, with evocative names steeped in history, such as L’Hermitage, Ti Jardin, Marcial, Mathilde and Rameau. The rich and fertile volcanic soil, high altitude (c.1000ft above sea level) and rainforest water all combine to create a unique environment (terroir) that is perfectly suited to growing Hotel Chocolat’s fine and rare strains of cocoa.
Unique to the Rabot Estate, and drawing on our expertise as a chocolatier and as a grower, the estate offers an exclusive opportunity to discover cocoa like never before, as well as create your own chocolate. The experience starts with a walk through the estate’s cocoa groves selecting ripe cocoa pods to harvest from the tree, and ends with crafting your own chocolate bar. The tour includes all the fascinating stages in-between – from the cocoa seedling nursery, fermenting room and sun-drying station to grinding, mixing and lots of tasting! Read more here.
2. Spending the day sailing around St Lucia
On another day in Saint Lucia, we grabbed our beach bags and a couple of towels and went sailing in St Lucia. We headed to Rodney Bay to jump on the Tout Bagay Catamaran Day Tour with Seaspray Cruises as they stop at St Lucia’s best tourist hot spots including Toraille waterfalls, Marigot Bay, Sulphur Springs, ziplining and the drive-in volcano.
On our tour Tout Bagay, we sailed down the West Coast and admired the famous Pitons as they rose majestically out of the sea. As we approached Soufriere we were given two options – to visit the bubbling Drive-In Volcano to learn how the island was formed or visiting Toraille Waterfalls and the Sulphur Springs – we opted for the latter. Read more here.
3. Finding my inner jungle Jane in the rainforest
On our third day in Saint Lucia we jumped in a taxi and headed 30 minutes from St James’s Club to Rainforest Adventures to go zip-lining! In the UK I’ve spent a lot of time at GoApe swinging from the trees, but always in a forest or park, such as the one at Woburn Safari Park. I knew that this style of zip-lining was going to be completely different!
Situated in the highland community of Chassin, in Babonneau, Rainforest Adventures offers visitors a unique opportunity for full immersion in the island vibrant rainforest life. Guests can choose to amble along different things to do in St. Lucia, such as eavesdropping on nature’s conversations along the nature trail, soaring up and away through the forest canopy on gondolas, or thrill-seeking on a zip line, gliding from platform to platform, high on the stoic trunks of the ancient sentries of the rainforest. The unique and memorable adventure inspires a sustainable use of the environment and appreciation of the local culture while making a positive impact on our communities.
We opted for a little bit of both, taking the gondola from the bottom of the rainforest, through the five layers of the canopy, before heading off to do some zip-lining. The Rainforest gondola transports guests up and away from the heat and bustle of the lowlands to an ecological park located in the heights of St. Lucia’s forest reserve, with views across the rainforest and as further afield as Martinique, the next island along. Read more here.
4. Relaxing with a Bamboo Massage at St James’s Club Morgan Bay
The Tranquility Body and Soul Spa has 8 treatment rooms and a hair salon offering a range of treatments including massages, facials and pedicures. Booked in for the day after our arrival at St James’s Club, we were both treated to a Bamboo Full-Body Massage. I have been to quite a few spas, but there is something extraordinarily serene when you can overlook a glistening Caribbean ocean, with nothing but the sounds of birds, the sea and the wind blowing through the palm trees. This was paradise! Our Bamboo Massage lasted about 90 minutes and was one of the best massages I’ve ever had. He used hot stones and bamboo sticks during the treatment, rolling the bamboo across my muscles. I am sure I fell asleep twice during the massage it was that good, and that never happens. Waking up from a deep sleep, I felt dazed, but incredible. I felt limp in all the right places, and felt like I had shed a mountain of stress from my body and shoulders. Read more here.
5. Hitting the water for kayaking and paddleboarding
St James’s Club Morgan Bay really did have it all – from the four swimming pools, to the watersports, and the fitness classes to the spa. You could honestly spend the whole holiday on the resort and not get bored. There is an extensive list of activities available during your stay, and we certainly made the most of them, joining or trying out water volleyball, aqua aerobics, pilates, bootcamp, kayaking, paddleboarding and tennis. When I say we tried everything, we really did… I particularly enjoyed aqua aerobics at 11am each morning, which filled all the ladies in the pool with giggles, and we tried to do one watersports for each day we spent at the resort. At the watersports hut you can reserve time for windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, Hobie cat sailing, water-skiing and paddle boarding, or if staying on land is more your thing you can try out volleyball, tennis, pilates and bootcamp which takes place on the beach every morning. It’s super easy to book in and you simply pop back at a time which suits you – easy peasy! And it’s all included within your stay! Read more here.
6. Visit Toraille Waterfall and take a dip!
On our catamaran tour of the island, we stopped off at Toraille Waterfalls. As soon as we arrived it was a race to quickly undress and jump on in. Toraille is one of the better waterfalls on the island, with a high-volume cascade falling into a large pool surrounded by greenery. You could visit here by car or by tour like we did!
7. Soak in the Sulphur Springs of Soufriere
Next we headed to the famous Sulphur Springs which last erupted in the 1700’s – over 200 years! It originated from a weak spot in the crust of a collapsed volcanic crater, and is considered to be a dormant volcano – unlike the active Soufriere Hills Volcano in the island of Montserrat. One of the best features of the volcano is the ability to dive into the mud baths, and if that doesn’t take your fancy instead you can have a swim, and cover your body in the rich mineral mud and waters. It’ll leave your skin feeling silky smooth!
8. Snorkeling at Anse Cochon
On our journey home from our Tout Bagay tour with Seaspray Cruises we stopped off for 45 minutes snorkelling in one of St Lucia’s protected bays, Anse Cochon. The calm water and adjacent reefs, part of the National Marine Reserve, are superb for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. In fact, most catamaran cruises to Soufrière stop here for day-trippers to take a quick swim on the northbound leg. Moorings are free, and boaters and swimmers can enjoy refreshments at Ti Kaye’s beach bar. Snorkeling equipment is available ($11) at the dive shop on the beach. Even though it was a super quick stop-off it was one of my favourite activities from our time in St Lucia!
Thank you to St James’s Club Morgan Bay and Travel St Lucia for hosting such a wonderful stay on the island paradise of Saint Lucia!