St. Lucia is a remarkable place with breathtaking views, one-of-a-kind natural activities, the best beaches and an astounding sense of culture. I know I sound like I'm gushing... and I am. It exceeded my expectations and changed my travel life forever.
A few of us arrived together and took a car service to the hotel which gave us a 45 minute scenic tour of the island, seeing the stadium where soccer matches and major concerts happen, lush greenery, residential areas, shopping areas and of course, beaches that make you question why you live where you do.
Finally we pulled up to the luxe entrance of the gated resort and couldn't wait to jump out. We stayed at the Sandals LaToc, the largest of 3 different Sandals in St. Lucia. We were greeted with rum punch and smiles, cool rags to wipe off the mugginess of our travels and the warm French-Creole infused accents of the staff. We checked in, took a tour of the resort, looked at the bars, pools and beaches and were ready to enjoy life.
Things I did that made this my favorite island experience to date:
We took a mud bath at the Sulphur Springs in the volcano. It's a super cool experience. After covering yourself top to bottom in mud, letting it air dry for a few then rinsing off, it leaves your skin super supple and glowing for months! No joke. People were telling me in the middle of winter how "relaxed" I looked. Until now it was my little secret.
There are a few natural waterfalls around the island. It's beautiful and can almost feel spiritual and cleansing if you take it all in from that lens.
We went snorkeling between the Piton mountains - grandiose twin mountains that are the most important site to see in St. Lucia. Quite the landmark. The water in between the Piton mountains were crystal clear and literally perfect for snorkeling. People often say that you can see straight through the water in the Caribbean but this water was literally as clear as drinking water. And we saw lots of exotic fish. Amazing!
We took a risk and didn't take these excursions via the hotel, which is usually the safer bet. For some reason we felt comfortable around this tour group on the beach made of 3 Lucian locals. We did all of the above excursions on a speed boat, saw the most memorable blue waters, kissed under the natural love tunnel, had a meal in a local town and much more for $100 per person, about half the cost of the hotel. That price being negotiable the more people you book with.
The same guys brought us to a block party in "town" that they have every Friday night. It was sooo much fun! A super turned up time with locals and visitors from all around the world -- no literally every continent was represented at this street fete. I'm pretty sure of it. It was a great mix of music and authentic food and drinks on sale and a mega party in the middle of the street.
The beach connected to the hotel and really all the beaches that we visited were unparalleled. Just epic. And I don't use the word "epic" loosely. Warm, beautiful blue water with no seaweed floating.. or anything floating for that matter other than the occasional school of fish (awesome touch to confirm that you are in paradise), perfect CLEAN sand. Enough talking, check out the PHOTOS.
Other spots to try if you're down to travel in St. Lucia for the turn up:
Rodney bay - Cocoa Palm, Bay Gardens
Others in the group went zip-lining and had a blast. I was totally good without that. Didn't feel like the right trip for it.
I will DEFINITELY be back as soon as possible! Love Saint Lucia. Simply Beautiful, indeed.