Tourist Attractions in St Lucia
St Lucia is a lush and mountainous island that typifies the term tropical paradise. Crescent shaped beaches, small fishing villages, rainforests, waterfalls, thermal attractions, and mountains dominate the landscape. This is a great island for both relaxing beach vacations and adventure vacations. The main tourist destinations around the island are Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, and the area around Soufriere. Castries, the capital city, is set around a harbour and is where the cruise ships dock.
Visitors to Castries will find an impressive public market with everything from produce and house hold items for locals, to local handcrafts, baskets, and souvenirs targeted towards tourists. The market is also a great place to see locals in traditional wear and get a sense of daily life on St Lucia. South of the market is the old town area, with some remaining French and British colonial architecture. At the western end of the old section is Derek Walcott Square, surrounded by several interesting buildings, including the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Set on a long crescent shaped beach, Rodney Bay is a popular area with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and shops. All kinds of watersports are available at the marina. This is not the place to come to get away from it all, but is a great place for those looking for something a little more lively. One of the main attractions in this area is Pigeon Island National Park located on a peninsula north of Rodney Bay. The history of Pigeon Island, a former naval base, is displayed at the Interpretive Center. There is also a lookout point and a fine sandy beach.
Marigot Bay features a lovely setting, where palm trees line the beaches of this sheltered bay and lush hills form the backdrop. Yachts frequent the area and can be seen anchored off shore. Water shuttles ferry people across the bay to the hotels on the opposite side.
The fishing town of Soufriere is set along the coast in a dramatic and scenic part of the island. Just beyond the town are the two landmark twin peaks known as the pitons that stand prominently along the ocean front. This is one of the most photographed sites on St Lucia and is frequently featured in travel brochures. Also in the Soufriere area is the Sulphur Springs Park, known as the Drive-in Volcano, with steam vents and hot mud pools in a moonscape environment. Not far away is the Diamond Botanical Gardens, Waterfall & Mineral Baths, with a lush setting, a beautiful waterfall tumbling over a golden colored stone wall, tinted from mineral deposits, and hot mineral spring baths.