A Trip To Saint Lucia For The Adventure Seekers Among Us…

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saint lucia pitonsSaint Lucia’s Pitons. Photo courtesy of Derek Hatfield.
While Saint Lucia is famous for being one of the world’s most romantic destinations, it also offers a lesser-known adventurous side. Showcasing one of the Caribbean’s most diverse terrains, the island features a mix of mountains, beaches, volcanoes, rainforests and fertile valleys, allowing for a range of experiences.From flying like a bird through the rainforest to scuba diving shipwrecks, here are the most adventurous things to do in Saint Lucia in the beautiful outdoors.

Ziplining Over the Rainforest

At Mourne Coubaril Estate, visitors have the chance to explore history and culture through a tour of the cocoa planation, gardens and replicas of village stick huts from more than 200 years ago. Not only that, but the estate is a hub for adventure as it offers the opportunity to zipline through the rainforest treetops at 30 miles per hour. The highest line is 45 feet, although some pass over narrow ravines that add an extra 30 feet of depth.

Zipline-StLucia

To make the flight even more adventurous, guides give the option to hang upside-down (although precarious looking, it is said to be completely safe). While flying, take in views of lakes below, Petit Piton, the Caribbean Sea and the Soufriere Valley. And if you still want more, visitors can also take part in tree climbing and learn the unique art of scaling a palm tree.

Because an adrenaline rush can work up an appetite, there is onsite buffet restaurant serving typical Saint Lucian dishes such as ground provisions, jerk chicken and tuna with green banana.

Scuba Dive One of the World’s Top Spots

Because Saint Lucia was formed by a volcano, its underwater banks provide an unusual landscape that offers a mix of beginner and expert scuba excursions. For example, at the accessible Anse Chastanet Reef, divers can view unusual tropical marine life in 20 to 140 feet of calm, translucent water. Be on the lookout for seahorses, needle fish, peacock flounders, octopus, parrot fish, moray eels, puffers and more.

scuba-diving-StLucia

Additionally, Keyhole Pinnacle provides unworldly scenery, with four seamounts rising up from deep below the water to almost reach the surface. Divers can swim around these natural wonders, taking in lush undersea flora and fauna like black coral, pencil coral, rainbow-coloured Creole wrasse, gold Rock Beauties and purple and yellow fairy basslets. Just be warned that strong currents and deep drop-offs make the dive a bit challenging and it is best done as a drift dive.

For those wanting to explore an old shipwreck, the Waiwinette freighter resides 90 feet below the surface at the southern end of the island. This is a challenging excursion for experienced divers only; however, off the coast of Castries, beginners may explore a different wreck in only 20 feet of water.

Climb the Island’s Highest Point

The highest point in Saint Lucia is the volcanic peak of Mount Gimmie, at 3,118 feet. Expect a strenuous six to eight-hour hike, with steep ascents and descents, a 3,150-vertical-foot elevation gain and difficult terrain, as well as some of the island’s most unusual plant and bird species. Hikers cross rivers, trek through lush jungle and traverse boulders and rock as well as slippery conditions.

Even for those wanting an adventure, a guide is recommended, as trails can be obscure and hard-to-see drop-offs exist along the way. While challenging, the views from the top are worth the effort, with Pigeon Island to the north, Vieux Fort to the south and the Pitons to the west.

Piton-StLucia

A few other adventurous hikes include Petit Piton, Gros Piton, Millet Rainforest and En Bas Saut Rainforest.

Downhill Waterfall Cycling

One of Saint Lucia’s most beautiful waterfalls is Errand Falls, also known as Sault Falls. Located in the rainforest at Dennery on the island’s eastern side, Errand Falls is about 60 feet high and pours dramatically from a rounded cliff. To reach the natural wonder, you’ll have to bike downhill through the jungle and cross the Dennery River. Remember to bring your bathing suit to take a dip in the falls’ refreshing waters.

Dennery-StLucia

Because of the falls’ proximity to the charming fishing town of Dennery, it’s common to continue the journey into town for more exploration. If you want to attempt the adventure on your own, you’ll head toward the Treetop Adventure Park in Dennery. Pass it until you come to a fork in the road and veer left, driving until you come to a shack surrounded by garbage. This is your trailhead.

What’s your favorite al fresco adrenaline rush in Saint Lucia? Please share in the comments below.

 

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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