February 15, 2016
Keen to stay active on your holiday to St Lucia? Then rest assured; it’s not all sunbathing and sipping cocktails on the sand on this paradisiacal island. Activities to stretch limbs and get the heart pumping are plentiful in this dramatic, tropical landscape, from mountain biking across volcanic peaks and zip-lining through lush rainforest to climbing a rugged path up a Piton, driving a jeep off-road or scuba diving through an underwater garden of varicoloured coral. These are some of our favourite active excursions in St Lucia.
Year-round sunshine blesses St Lucia’s palm-fringed shoreline and golden beaches, making this one of the most popular spots in the Caribbean. Yet the island’s verdant rainforest is arguably even more impressive, with soaring mountain peaks rising up from bloom-filled ferns, shrubs and foliage. In amongst this resplendent natural scenery, you’ll find dozens of leafy trails for mountain biking, trail running, horse-riding and scenic, blood-pumping uphill treks.
Intrepid nature-lovers will discover dozens of natural hides from which to do some “˜extreme birding’ deep in the densely forested core of the island, while sweat-soaked trekkers can cool down in St Lucia’s free-flowing, gin-clear waterfalls; hidden within the island’s protected 19,000 acres of national rainforest, they’re most easily discovered with the keen eyes of an expert guide. Umpteen hikes and trails also offer unrivalled opportunities to spot a wealth of plants and wildlife, with more than 600 varieties of plant, tree and shrub found per acre of land and species such as iguana, tree frogs, hummingbirds and the endangered St Lucian parrot (jacquot) to discover.
Experienced climbers are sure to be seduced by St Lucia’s towering twin peaks (The Pitons), which stand at around 2,000 feet. Taking between five and six hours to complete, professionally-organised tours run daily to The Pitons, the Western Coast’s most photographed landmark. Other tours take in the island’s tallest mountain, Mount Gimie, which offers incredible views from 3,117 feet and is a truly challenging slog.
Feeling less adventurous? Then book a Tram-Wire Canopy Tour: a choice of different packages offers a thrilling and exciting way to sightsee the St. Lucia rainforest. Offering guaranteed close-up views of spectacular birds and wildlife, simply board the aerial tram in the company of a professional naturalist guide, and enjoy the ride!
Sea kayaking is one of the coolest ways to soak up the adventurous scenery of coastal St Lucia. Accompanied by certified ACA guides, kayakers can pick from five exciting kayak tour options that are matched to ability and experience, from novice paddlers to proficient kayakers. You’ll see numerous sea birds and aerial wonders as you paddle at your own pace around the coastline, and for individual comfort, choose from a range of sit-inside or sit-on-top models featuring rudders, ergonomic seats, and thigh braces. Additional special tours include sunset kayaking and early-morning bird-watching trips by kayak, when St Lucia’s birds are in and around their nests. Further eye-popping views of the Pitons can be enjoyed from a boat deck, where water sport cruises sail around St Lucia’s coastline, offering the opportunity to do some scuba diving and snorkelling, too.
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to St Lucia from London Gatwick, bringing these active adventures closer to home.
Have you tried any of these active excursions in St Lucia? Let us know in the comments section below.