The Best Beaches in St. Lucia
All of St. Lucia’s beaches are open to the public—from the rain forest–shrouded coves of the west that hug the tranquil waters of the Caribbean, to the stretches that line the rolling waves of the Atlantic, frequented by kite-surfers and horseback riders.
Soufriere, St Lucia
The terrific Anse Mamin beach is walking distance from Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts. The beach is rarely crowded, and the calm turquoise waters and towering palm trees are hard to resist. Take refuge under a thatched seating area with loungers (for a fee), and splurge on lunch at the pricey beach bar, which offers tasty burgers, salads, and cocktails. Or just throw down your towel and enjoy the scenery, swimming, and snorkeling for a no-frills afternoon.
Cas-en-Bas beach, St Lucia
On the northeast coast in the Cap Estate area, you’ll find the lovely Cas en Bas Beach. The white-sand beach around a C-shaped bay offers some fun diversions, including horses—you can ride on the sand and even venture a bit into the water—as well as kitesurfers and windsurfers who take advantage of the steady trade winds. A visit will provide you with a contrast to the beach experience on the calmer, busier Caribbean coastline. On the weekend, locals come to fish and picnic. Another draw to the beach is one of the island’s most popular local restaurants and bars, the rustic Marjorie’s Beach Bar, which serves up local food and ambience.
Laborie, St Lucia
There isn’t much to do in Laborie, but the colorful spot on the southwestern coast offers visitors the experience of an authentic St. Lucian fishing village. The point is to slow down to local speed. Enjoy the views of the white-sand shore lined with pirogues, the traditional fishing canoes. Walk around the village, where plywood homes and ancient churches exist alongside newer structures. Whet your appetite with a trip to the open-air market, where you’ll spot green figs (bananas) and cassava bread for sale. Settle in for a grilled lobster lunch with a side of breadfruit at Mama Tilly’s. Then walk north along the water to Rudy John Beach Park, a shaded stretch of sand ideal for an afternoon nap and sunset.
P3F9+R73, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia
The Maria Islands—Maria Major and Maria Minor—off the southeastern coast are among the region’s most pristine environments. You can visit the protected wildlife reserve via a 20-minute boat ride from Pointe Sable. On Maria Major, a verdant trail leads you past a variety of unusual tropical flora and fauna, most notably the habitats of six rare native reptile species. Look for St. Lucia’s whiptail lizard and the racer, a nonvenomous grass snake that might appear from a rock crevice. Snorkeling off the beach is part of the experience, too, as the island’s waters are rich with coral reefs. The reserve, a birder’s paradise most of the year, is closed to the public in the summertime to accommodate the nesting season of migratory birds that flock here from Africa.
Marigot Bay, St Lucia
Marigot Bay, the crown jewel of St. Lucia’s harbors, is easy to fall in love with: Its nearly jade waters are dotted with sailboats, and brighter green hills hug its shores. Even hard-hearted pirates fell for this paradise. Take in views of the bay from the lookout, then spend a couple of hours down at sea level. There’s plenty to do: You can stroll the boardwalk, stopping at various waterfront bars and dining spots, or try something more active and rent a catamaran or kayak at the beach, or even hop a ferry across the bay to catch the sun setting over the water.
Stretched out from the northwest corner of the island like a small arm, Pigeon Island is a historical landmark and a satisfying all-in-one nature, beach, and hiking escape minutes from Rodney Bay Marina. The 44-acre mountainous green plot is home to the preserved ruins of British military forts and garrisons; the Brits chased the Caribs out and used the islet to monitor French activity. Walk among the ruins, and hike up to the cannons of Fort Rodney, where the lookout point offers a breathtaking panoramic view of St. Lucia’s coastline and the sea below, dotted with sailboats. Hike down to the beach for a swim and a toast to history at Jambe de Bois, a restaurant on the water.
Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia
Rodney Bay Marina is a lively entertainment hub located across the water from the resorts along Reduit Beach. Head over and take in the breeze, or dine at a number of small restaurants, bars, and cafés at any time of the day. Stop in at the Bread Basket in the morning, or visit the waterfront Boardwalk Bar for the sunset and dancing to a DJ or live soca music on Saturday nights. A catamaran cruise from Rodney Bay to Soufrière is one of the most memorable and popular activities while on the island. The marina also boasts a grocery store, a bakery, a liquor store, and ATM facilities.