Not interested in lazing on the beach all day long day after day? Saint Lucia is the right choice for your vacation. Organizations like the Saint Lucia National Trust and the Department of Forestry offer a number of nature trails some more strenuous than others. In the mountainous rainforests of Saint Lucia there are approximately 30 species of birds. You may be lucky to spot the rare and beautiful parrot, Jacquot.
Hiking, trekking, jeep safaris, bird watching, turtle watching and whale watching are all alternative means of keeping you busy in Saint Lucia.
Caribbean islands' 2000 Ecotourism Award Saint Lucia was the proud recipient of the Caribbean islands' 2000 Ecotourism Award for its Heritage Tourism Programme. So, whatever your mood, Saint Lucia can offer you a tour which will enchant you. Wherever you go, colours will mesmerise you. Vistas will astound you. And the tropical air will caress you. You'll find all your senses working overtime on Saint Lucia.
All-Terrain Vehicle Riding See the wild side of Saint Lucia on an All Terrain Vehicle. Experience the thrill of riding an ATV through Saint Lucia's lush countryside...over mountains...through banana plantations... and lots more!
Biking Biking has also become popular way to enjoy the island, and there are some excellent biking tours for beginners and the more experienced off road riders. There's lots to see on 2 wheels in Saint Lucia. For the adventurer, head into Soufrière for an ocean-side trail ride at Anse Chastanet. With a beautiful view of the world-famous Gros Piton and Petit Piton mountains, this is one ride you can't find anywhere but Saint Lucia.
Hiking Exploring the beauty of Saint Lucia's majestic rain forest is a great way to relax and appreciate the island. A variety of natural trails lead hikers through the rain forest, to the top of Saint Lucia's mountains, through old plantation grounds, along beaches, to Cactus Valley, to Pigeon Island and more. As visitors hike, they will see spectacular rain forest waterfalls, flora and local birds like the Saint Lucia Parrot, the Saint Lucia Oriole and the Saint Lucia Black Finch. Comfortable shoes are a must.
Union Nature Trail and Mini-Zoo < EASY >: In 1960, a section of the Union Agricultural and Research Station was set aside to be used as a nursery by the then Forestry Division. Later the Department constructed a hillside trail, a garden trail and a medicinal garden as parts of its ecotourism products. The present Union Nature Trail runs through that land, starting from the Visitor Center just beyond the forest nursery, and traverses in a wide loop. To enrich the natural forest of the area other non native tree species such as Teak, Mahogany, and Blue Mahoe, were introduced. The Visitor Center which is located next to Mini-Zoo provides visitors with information on the forest and wildlife in general. Mini-Zoo of the Forestry Department includes a number of indigenous as well as exotic species such as Saint Lucia Parrot, St .Lucia Iguana and so on. Travel Time : 15 minutes from the city of Castries
Forestiere Rainforest Trail < MODERATE > The Forestiere Trail is only 20 minutes drive from the city of Castries, situated in the community of Forestiere. The Trail is part of an Old French Road which traverses through pristine rainforest. Perhaps some of the most distinctive features on this trail are the abundance of large spectacular fig trees, epiphytes and fens. This 5 km (3miles) long trail begins as a gentle slope through natural dense foliage meandering among L¡¯Encens trees(Protuim attenatum) that produce a white sap with a highly pungent smell. Also common is the majestic Chataignier tree, which is supported by a system of elegant buttresses spreading around its base like the gentle folds of a regal gown. Travel Time : 20 minutes from the city of Castries and 30 minutes from Rodney Bay
Barre de L¡¯isle Rrainforest Trail < MODERATE > Located along the highway between Castries and Dennery is the Barre de L¡¯isle Nature Trail. The Barre de L¡¯isle Forest Reserve gets its name from the fact that it is ridge that divides the Eastern and Western halves of Saint Lucia. It takes approximately one hour to walk this 1.6km(one mile) trail and another hour to climb to the top of Mt. La Combe. The Barre de L¡¯isle trail provides panoramic views of certain parts of the island from four lookout points along the trail. Observe the mystic view of mountain rainforest from a distance. One can see Cul-de-Sac vally and the Caribbean Sea on the West from a vantage point, and a commanding view of the Mabouya Valley and Fond d¡¯Or beach on the Atlantic coast on the East. Travel Time : 30 minutes from the city of Castries
Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail < MODERATE > Located in the heartland of Saint Lucia, is the Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail ; a haven of bird life. Over thirty species of birds can be found there, including five endemic species such as Saint Lucia¡¡Parrot, Saint Lucia Black Finch, Saint Lucia Oriole, Saint Lucia Pewee and Saint Lucia Warbler. This trail provides a breath taking view of the Roseau Dam, the largest in the Eastern Caribbean at 2 km long with an output capacity of 6.3 million gallons of water daily. It takes approximately two hours to complete the 2.8 km (1.73mils) walk, which is moderate to strenuous, perched at about 1,000 feet above sea level. Travel Time : 45 minutes from the city of Castries and 15 minutes from Marigot Bay.
Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail < STRENUOUS > The Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail is located within the 19,000 acres Central Forest Reserve, 6 miles East of Soufriere at the foot of the highest mountain, Mount Gimie. The Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail is 5 km (2.5miles) trail. Remote, wild and unbelievably scenic, with a combination of Rainforest, Cloud Forest, Elfin woodlands, and observe the rare Saint Lucia Parrot, Saint Lucia Oriole, Saint Lucia Black Finch, Blue Hooded Euphonia and the Mountain Whistler. The peaks of Piton Canarie, Piton Troumassee and Mount Gimie stands predominant not too far from the trail. Enbas Saut when translated to English means ¡°below the falls¡±. Thus the trail is most famous for its two cascading waterfalls and pools at the head of the Troumassee river, where you can bathe in pure rainforest water. Travel Time : 100 minutes from the city of Castries and 30 minutes from Soufriere
Edmund Forest Reserve < MODERATE > Located in the heart of the island, not far from Enbas Saut Waterfall Trail, is the Edmund Reserve. As one treks along, one can see numerous plants such as bromeliads, orchids, mushrooms, lianes and others attached to large buttress even dangling on the sides of the trail. At intervals one is able to have long distance views of the Caribbean Sea. At some point along this trail one emerges out of the cool shade of the forest to a magnificent view of the island¡¯s highest peak, Mt. Gimie. Travel Time : 105 minutes from the city of Castries and 35 minutes from Soufriere
Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail< MODERATE > To Experience a botanical paradise, exit the highway at Mahaut of Ti Rocher gap to explore Saint Lucia¡¯s most pristine rainforest. Drive 9 km(6 miles) inland from the east coast highway along a secondary road. Explore the definite possibility of seeing the rare birds, especially Saint Lucia Parrot. Trek through the ultimate rainforest, view the wonderful verdant forest and discover many of Saint Lucia¡¯s endemic wildlife as you walk this 4 km(2.5miles) trail. Travel Time : 90 minutes from the city of Castries and 30 minutes from Vieux Fort
Rainforest Hikes: Explore the Rainforest Reserve with a guide from the Forest and Lands Department on a 3¨ö hour trek. Visitors trek past indigenous tree species and along paths lined with tinier plants, bromliads, orchids and mushrooms. Throughout the tour, beautiful birds including the indigenous Saint Lucia Parrot (Amazona Versicolor) can be seen. Emerging from the dark shade of the forest into the open, a magnificent view of Mount Gimie, Saint Lucia¡¯s highest peak. For more information contact Forest & Lands Department. Travel Time : 20 minutes from the city of Castries and 30 minutes from Rodney Bay.
Contact the Forest & Lands Department at (758) 468-5649/5645/5648 for more information on exploring one of the following Nature Trails:
Barre de L¡¯isle Rrainforest Trail
Union Nature Trail and Mini-Zoo
Forestiere Rainforest Trail
Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail
Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail
Edmund Forest Reserve
Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail
Fregate Island Nature Trail
Morne le Blanc-Laborie
Horseback Riding The ambiance of Saint Lucia can be captured through a number of horseback riding excursions. The International Riding Stables offers an assortment of trail rides, including a ride winding through the countryside along the beach, with time for swimming and a beach picnic at Cas en Bas. Trim's Riding Stables offer a variety of treks including a carriage tour to Pigeon Point and Fort Rodney.
Trek the lush trails of Saint Lucia, canter along almost deserted beaches on horseback and revel in pure serenity. Cantering a horse along a stretch of beach on the Atlantic coastline with the tropical wind whipping your face and eager mount springing forth uncoaxed. Touring Saint Lucia on horseback will enable you to truly take in the sights and feel part of the surrounding giving you a chance to take in more of the interesting aspects of the country.
For information on horse riding contact:
International Riding Stables: a fantastic tour offered by these stables is their beach picnic at Cas en Bas. This is not only a super ride but extra time is allowed for swimming of more riding along the beach. For more information contact Floria on Tele: 758 452 8139 or 758 484 9995.
Trims National Riding Academy :Trim's National Riding Academy promises horseback riding in a way you've always dreamed of. We can make all of your riding fantasies come true because riding with us is truly fun, exciting, and adventurous!
We have four riding sessions a day where you can enjoy one or two hour rides, swimming is optional. The times are as follows: 8:30am, 10:00am , 2:00pm, 4:00pm. Ask about our group coastal tours where we also serve a spectacular lunch.
. For further information telephone: 758 450 8273 or 758 450 0637 (24hr).
Morne Coubaril: Unleash your curiosity by visiting a family plantation, which is full of activities, one of which includes horseriding. Discover the traditional ways of processing cocoa, copra and Manioc. Walk through a mixture of tropical flowers. For more information: 758 459 7340.
Whale and Turtle Watching Saint Lucia is recognised as one of the leading whale watching sites in the area. Over 20 species are regularly spotted throughout the year, including humpbacks, pilot whales, sperm whales and spinning and spotted dolphins.
Turtles are another fascinating thrill for nature-lovers. The abundance of these majestic reptiles on Saint Lucia is due to the protection provided by local environmental activists, who have ensured there is a permanent suspension on turtle hunting.
Diving and Watersports Saint Lucia has a stunning variety of sea life and sub marine wonders waiting for you to explore. Get into the swim of things with your snorkeling or diving gear and experience the warm clear water that makes the Caribbean famous for underwater adventure. Click here to search for dive operators and scuba centers, or here for more information on other watersports in Saint Lucia.