Things to do in St Lucia

Besides the gorgeous views, St Lucia has a lot to offer for everyone. Whether your goal is to lay on the beach, snorkel or scuba dive in the Caribbean waters or explore the rainforest, you will find plenty to do.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if you stay at an all-inclusive, the resort will have many options available for exploring the island. If you decide to venture out on your own, you will enjoy the sites far more if you hire a taxi, via your hotel.

While we were on the island, we stayed on the northwest side of the island in Rodney Bay. We visited the volcano by taking a cruise along the coast. I highly recommend the cruise because you develop a better appreciation of the beauty of the island. If you travel via the extremely winding road, even if you don’t drive, it is difficult to relax. We cruised to Soufriere and from there took a small bus to the volcano. Some members of the party chose to relax in the mud baths while the rest of us enjoyed a short, though interesting history of the volcano.

Another activity I would recommend is a visit to the rainforest. I booked the aerial tram tour which takes you through the rain forest. I read reviews about the tram tour before booking it and some people were disappointed by the lack of colorful vegetation and birds. I found it very calm and relaxing. Often on trips, we are so busy trying to do everything that we tend to forget this is a vacation and that it’s okay to relax. On the way back through the rain forest, my son and I decided to zip line down the mountain.

I mentioned in a previous post that if you visit the island of St. Lucia, try to dine at the Pink Plantation House. It has phenomenal views and delicious food. It is difficult to find on your own. We stopped at least three times to get directions from the locals. It was well worth it, once we arrived.

 

 

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St Lucia

St Lucia is a sovereign island country in the east Caribbean Sea. It is a volcanic island, so you can see the pitons (shown in the picture above) and enjoy a lush tropical rain forest. St Lucia is also known as a honeymoon destination.

Before we headed to the island, I read that St Lucia is one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands. It also has a drive-in volcano. I wasn’t sure what to make out from the last description. As we saw, you can drive up and through the crater of the volcano. The last picture is of steam flowing from the crater.

If you go to St Lucia, I do not recommend driving. My husband, who loves to drive and has driven all over the world, was not comfortable driving because the roads are extremely narrow with extreme drop offs and many sharp turns. I recommend that you book a shuttle service or taxi through your hotel.

Many people who visit St Lucia stay at all-inclusives. We love to explore on our own. If you eschew a tour and explore on your own, be sure to book a driver through your hotel.

New Year Let Down

It’s January which means a new year. In contrast to feeling excited and eager about this month, there is a feeling almost akin to depression. I find myself waxing nostalgic about loved ones who are no longer alive and past memories that keep haunting me. As I glance at the calendar on the wall, yes, I still have one, there is no holiday or event to spur me on.

The frigid temperatures do nothing to cheer me up. From talking to others, I realize that I’m not the only one stuck in this state of mind. So, what to do? My first challenge is to get back into a routine. I didn’t say this would be fun or easy. I’m also trying to find small events and dates to encourage me through this long, dreary month. A visit to a museum, going to the movie theatre to view a comedy, listening to a local concert, even visiting a local library serve as diversions. I also enjoy viewing pictures from tropical locations. Enjoy the pictures and let me know how you get motivated after the holidays.

Grand Cayman Adventure Highlights

Dolphin Discovery on Grand Cayman is an experience that our entire family enjoyed. I was adamant that I wasn’t going to join in, but I’m happy to say that I gave in and had a wonderful time. The only downside to the adventure was the photo prices once we finished swimming with these magnificent creatures. Since you’re not allowed to take pictures, the only pictures available are the ones for purchase.

Once the adventure was finished, my family immediately wanted something else to do. The Cayman Turtle Center was right across the street, so we traipsed over there. I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this adventure, especially after swimming with the dolphins, but I’m glad we went there.

Initially, I figured we might spend 30 minutes exploring this center. Instead, we stayed almost 3 hours. There are salt water pools for snorkeling. There were people of all ages engaged in this activity and they all seemed to be having a marvelous time. There’s a nature trail, a couple of water slides for kids and an aviary. Besides the turtles, the aviary was one of the highlights of the center. The colorful birds weren’t afraid to land on you and eat out of your hand.

We saved the turtles for last. We enjoyed learning about and interacting with them. If you remove your shoes, you can get in with the baby turtles. Highly recommend.

 

Queen Elisabeth II Botanic Park

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Whenever I plan a trip, I make sure I keep the trip chock full of fun and interesting things to see and do. When I mentioned the Queen Elisabeth II Botanic Park, my family greeted this news with groans. They and I were pleasantly surprised to find nice walking paths (this is especially welcome when you’ve been busy sampling the local cuisine), and some blue friends.

I read reviews about this park on trip advisor and some reviewers were disappointed that they were unable to spot any blue iguanas. We spotted at very close range as evidenced by the picture above, several blue iguanas. This was biggest one and very happy with his spot in the sun.

In addition to the iguanas, there are colorful parrots and other birds. We visited the park over the Christmas holidays, however, we were told if we return in May or June, ┬áthe orchids are in bloom. If you decide to visit the park, which I recommend, wear sunscreen and bring water. There’s little shade and, depending on the time of year, can be quite hot.

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman is known for its coral sand beach which I found out is actually 6.3 miles long. This is also one of the most developed areas of the island. Luxury hotels and pricey restaurants litter this space of beach, so be prepared to budget in advance. Grand Cayman, in general, tends to be one of the pricier islands.

Missing Maui

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I try not to discriminate when it comes to visiting islands. I’m trying to see how many I can visit in my lifetime. A few recommendations for visiting the beautiful island of Maui include enjoying the gorgeous beaches (Ka’anapali beach is depicted in the picture above), exploring Haleakala crater, snorkeling/snuba at Molokini Crater and Hana coast day trip.

Maui is not as hectic as Oahu but not as secluded as Kaui. If visiting Haleakala crater, make sure warm clothes are included in the excursion. The temperatures at the top, which is over 10,000 feet in elevation can be 30 degrees colder than below. For sunrise enthusiasts (3 a.m. to 7 a.m.), reservations are a must and can be made online up to 60 days in advance. I was lucky to get my group up the mountain by 9:00. At that time, no reservations are necessary.

Molokini Crater is a popular snorkeling destination. Unfortunately, the day we visited this site the waves were anything but calm. Snorkeling was not an option, so a few members of our party, not me, tried snuba and seemed to enjoy it. On the way back to shore, we were accompanied by a school of dolphins!

The Road to Hana is challenging to navigate on your own because of the extremely narrow winding road and steep drop offs. That being said, I wish we would have done it ourselves instead of doing a tour. My husband loves to drive and there are plenty of places to stop, besides the tourist traps where the tour guide receives a commission. Plan on spending an entire day doing this trip because travel is slow. One of the many highlights of the trip was Honokalani Black Sand Beach. Spend the night in Hana, if you have time, and return the next day.