Life’s a beach
Unlike many Caribbean islands, Saint Lucia’s beaches are open to all – even if they are in front of a hotel. So take advantage and explore as many as you can – each is unique. The island’s volcanic nature means some beaches have striking black sand, whereas others are postcard-perfect white with swishing palms. The west coast is sheltered in the calm Caribbean – ideal for families, while the trade winds that whip the east coast – particularly the long stretches at Anse de Sables and Cas en Bas – mean these waters are not suitable for swimming, but perfect for wind and kite surfers. Tough access (long, rough roads or forest hikes) mean these beaches are frequently deserted: Crusoe wannabes take note.
The northwest of the island is more heavily lined with resorts and hotels, so you are unlikely to find secluded spots – but if you fancy a day on a sunbed, or easy access to bars, boat tours and water sports – this is the place to head. Saint Lucia also has plenty of reefs to explore for divers and snorkelers – try Anse Cochon, on the west coast (accessible by boat), and Anse Chastanet in the south, which leads out to the Maria Islands Nature Reserve.