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In case you hadn’t heard, Saint Lucia, an island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, is a paradise for people in love. If you visit as part of a couple, you may find drivers, guides and concierges asking, “Did you just get married?” But it’s also a nature lover’s paradise, with verdant hillsides and mountain peaks. In fact, the real star couple in this romantic destination are Gros Piton and Petit Piton, two dramatic mountains situated on the island’s west coast. Add to the allure volcanic beaches, rainforests, excellent snorkeling and diving, and some of the top resorts in the world and you get an island that deserves much more than a cruise ship stop.
Hike the Pitons…
This was probably the least romantic activity of our trip to Saint Lucia, but only because I decided to stay behind and get a deep tissue massage instead of tackling Gros Piton with my husband. Sneaky, aren’t I? While he ascended the mountain with a guide, I enjoyed some “me” time and cheered him on from our private plunge pool at Ladera. If you’re in shape and ready to tackle the mountain together, it takes anywhere from 3-6 hours for most people. Bring good shoes and plenty of water and snacks.
…and snorkel at the base of them
You can’t come all the way to the Caribbean and not go snorkeling! We snorkeled three times and loved the sites at the foot of the Pitons the most. It’s a protected marine area, so there are more fish than you can count and some colorful coral near the surface.
Explore the world’s only drive-in volcano…
Saint Lucia’s smoking, sulfurous caldera is a source of pride — it’s known as the world’s only drive-in volcano, after all.
… then take a mud bath at Sulphur Springs Park
Just below the smoking, bubbling caldera is the chance to cover your traveling companion in mineral-rich mud from head-to-toe. Head to Sulphur Springs Park for the perfect dose of detox.
Enjoy a private moment at Toraille Waterfall
Most guides will take you to the volcano and mud bath first so you can wash off in Toraille’s refreshing falls, but if you want it all to yourself, reverse that and head to the falls before cruise passengers get there.
Explore Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths
If you’re at all interested in flora and fauna, definitely take some time to explore the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. Home to countless hummingbirds, you’ll find some of the most colorful flowers and trees you’ve ever seen on this short nature walk. I loved the Flamboyant Tree the most, with its bright orange blooms reaching skyward. You can also pay a bit extra to soak in the mineral baths pumped in from underground, which are said to have healing properties.
Take a sunset cruise
It was cloudy for most of our visit to Saint Lucia, so I worried our sunset cruise would be underwhelming. Glad I was wrong! The moment the sun melted into the horizon, the sky caught fire and we were in awe of the colors. And there’s nothing like seeing how the Pitons change hues as the sun moves through the sky, from green to gold to purple to silver.
Where to stay
Saint Lucia is spoiled with natural beauty, and the hotels near the Pitons take full advantage of the drop dead gorgeous views. We opted for Jade Mountain Resort. Jade Mountain’s sanctuaries don’t have a 4th wall so you can stare at the Pitons in many of the rooms from the comfort of your bed. There are private infinity pools with handmade glass tiles in most rooms and bridges connecting the sanctuaries to staircases and lush hanging gardens, not to mention the terrace on the very top level which is one of the best spots to catch a sunset on the entire island.
Have you ever visited St. Lucia? Tell me your favorite activities in the comments, and don’t forget to check out more photos from St. Lucia here!
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