Choosing where to spend my honeymoon wasn’t an easy decision. But the colorful and laid back vibe of St. Lucia immediately placed it at the top of my list. I was sold on the romantic and beautiful tropical paradise that provided options to experience botanical gardens, a drive-in volcano, sulfur springs and the stunning twin peaks of “The Pitons.” Many consider St. Lucia the Caribbean’s most beautiful island.
In this series, I won’t bore you with all the travel basics, like the best time to travel, best hotels, and where to stay, etc. I will, however, highlight the three things you need to know before you go…the things you may not find easily in a travel guide.
Relax, Get a Driver (or Taxi)!
When my husband and I decided to spend our honeymoon in St. Lucia, the first thing on the planning agenda was to figure out our transportation situation. How are the roads? Should we rent a car? How far are we from the hotel? Well, I have two words – don’t drive. The roads are narrow and the twists and turns (I don’t recall seeing many guardrails) you experience going around the mountains is best witnessed while riding in the back seat. In addition, when we visited the island was still slowly recovering from Hurricane Tomas which impacted many of the main roads. And although really inexpensive, I would not recommend using the local bus system either as it is not as reliable, there is no air conditioning, and it takes a lot longer to get anywhere. Just hire a driver or taxi in advance and save yourself the hassle.
The Friday Night “Jump Up”
Do whatever you can to ensure your vacation includes a Friday night! Every week the northern fishing village of Gros Islet (just north of Rodney Bay Marina) transforms into an all out street party for locals and visitors alike. Dance all night long as DJ’s blast soca, calypso and reggae music through the streets, grab some rice and beans, jerk chicken, curried goat, and conch from local street vendors, and sip on a few rum & cokes. This party starts at sundown and goes on into the wee hours of the night so rest up! If you are on the southwest side of the island, hit up Anse De La Raye for their Fish Fry Fridays and have just as good of a time. Friday nights in St. Lucia are legendary.
Do not miss the Sulfur Springs! These hot springs are just south of Soufriere and one of the main attractions on the island and located inside the famed drive-in volcano. You’ll experience full-body mud bath and treatments. The mud is said to contain restorative and rejuvenating properties. Very relaxing and well worth the nominal fee.
Being from Houston, I’ve had my fair share of cardio workouts running away from mosquitoes or trying to cover every inch of skin all in the hopes of avoiding the itchy end result. My advice is to spray yourself down with mosquito spray every chance you get while in St. Lucia. Invest in repellent that doesn’t smell bad and lay it on! After spending our honeymoon in a glorious open air 3-story villa, we quickly made the bedroom our hideaway during the evenings (it was the only closed-off and air-conditioned room). You are in the middle of the rainforest and as a result, the rain brings the biting army with it.
Double check that your hotel has air conditioning if this is a deal breaker for you. Also, The sun beats down on you pretty good so along with your insect repellent make sure to pack a good high-SPF sunscreen.