The sky’s so pink it’s turning the sea into a dream. As the sailboats rock to a lullaby of light, I can’t help thinking this is one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. But it shouldn’t surprise me. My entire trip to the Caribbean has been amazing, and there’s no reason the sunset should be less impressive. I’ve spent 1 week in St Lucia, and I’ve fallen in love.
1 Week in St Lucia
My boyfriend and I booked an incredibly last-minute getaway to this gem of an island, and now that we’re here we’re determined to do three things. The first is to relax after a stressful period of work. The second is to get fit following a long stint of overindulgence and under-activity. The third is to discover a travel destination that we’ve both heard great things about.
With those goals in mind, we begin our 7-day adventure on the Caribbean coast of St Lucia.
As with any good island trip, we start at the beach. We’re staying right on the sand, and there’s sun loungers and a hammock waiting for us when we arrive. We make good use of them throughout our stay, quickly achieving our relaxation goal.
But there’s more to the beach than just sand, and in addition to reading and reposing we swim, snorkel, and watch the aforementioned sunset. The seaside scenery in St Lucia is hard to beat, and by the time our first day is over we’re convinced that this is the most beautiful Caribbean island we’ve ever traveled to.
When we’re not on the beach, we’re on the sea. One day we take a sailing trip to explore the island by boat. Up the coast we go, stopping to snorkel off Sugar Beach, Anse Chastanet, and Anse Cochon, where we see everything from iridescent squid to yellow coral tubes.
From there we sail past Castries and up to Rodney Bay, where the point of Pigeon Island National Park waves hello. Then we sail back down to Marigot Bay for lunch on the waterfront. Fresh mahi mahi with creole sauce goes down a treat, and gives us energy for the sail to the colorful town of Soufriere.
And while the fresh fish in St Lucia is a culinary highlight of our trip, chocolate shares the spotlight. The island is known for its chocolate production, and with 1 week in St Lucia we’re able to sample everything from chocolate-banana daiquiris to chocolate mousse with coconut ice cream. We even sneak in a few chocolate bars.
But since one of our trip goals is to get fit, we have to balance our cocoa consumption with an equally ambitious exercise regime. We’re virtuous with five days of tennis and three of Pilates, but we still want something more to help us burn off the calories (I think there are a few from Christmas lingering around my stomach).
We find our desired challenge in the form of the Gros Piton. One of the highest peaks in St Lucia, this 2,619-foot (798-meter) coastal behemoth beckons. We take a water taxi to the beach at its base, unwittingly punishing ourselves with an extra 600 vertical feet beyond the usual climb (most hikes start from a parking lot higher up the trail).
And what a climb it is. I’ve done a lot of hiking, but I’ve never faced a trail as steep and rocky as this one. It’s a painful two hours each way, but the views of neighboring Petit Piton and the rest of the island are spectacular. By the time we get back to the beach I’m feeling half-dead and fully virtuous. A mud massage at an island spa and local fish lunch at the iconic Petit Peak restaurant in Soufriere revive me, and I consider my fitness goal accomplished.
The same goes for my goal of discovering the island. From amazing beaches to lofty peaks, great food to expansive views, I’ve enjoyed every part of my experience in St Lucia. But while I’ve found a lot to love about this place, I’ve also realized how much more there is to it than just the bits I’ve seen.
Waterfalls, volcanoes, and botanical gardens are just a few of the other highlights, and I think I’ll need a few more weeks in St Lucia before I’m fully familiar with it. Good thing it won’t be difficult to convince myself to return.
Have you been here? How would you spend 1 week in St Lucia?