St Lucia’s palm-fringed shoreline and stunning golden grains are no secret amongst beach aficionados, especially those in search of year-round sunshine. But as beautiful as the island’s beaches may be, there’s a whole lot more to discover sitting just a few short metres away behind the sand. St Lucia boasts some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery in all of the Caribbean, not to mention some of the most mountainous terrain. And with all this on offer, it does seem a shame to spend the entire time tanning…
The ideal adventure playground for intrepid traveller types, the core of the island is covered in dense rainforest and peppered with soaring peaks and the occasional free-flowing waterfall. With a unwavering commitment to conservation, St Lucia has some pretty strict rules when it comes to exploring it’s protected National Rain Forests but they are still easily assessable when accompanied by an expert guide. There are plenty of hikes and trails on offer across the island’s 19,000 acres of dense forest just waiting to be explored and a wealth of wildlife to spot on route.
Experienced climbers are sure to be seduced by St Lucia’s towering twin peaks The Pitons, which stand at around 2,000 feet, or even by the island’s tallest mountain Mount Gimie – which boasts incredible views from 3,117 feet – whilst less adventurous types may be content to breathe it all in from the forest floor. For a fantastic view of the Pitons, it’s also worth arranging a boat trip around St Lucia’s coastline, which would be a wonderful opportunity to do some snorkelling too.
Another must-see St Lucia spot is the atmospheric, though admittedly smelly, Sulphur Springs. Shrouded in mystery and local legend, this now dormant volcano and its bubbling pools of boiling water are a world away from the paradisiacal beach scenes over on the island's shores. Make sure to stop off just beneath the springs to bathe in the mineral-rich mud – which according to island folklore has strong anti-ageing properties. Well, it’s worth a try anyway.
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning