North of Castries, Pigeon Island National Landmark is a living museum that is hailed as one of the most important national monuments of St. Lucia history. The 44-acre island is home to historical attractions including military buildings used during the epic battles between the French and the British. A lookout point sits atop of Fort Rodney, providing breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s northwestern coastline. A causeway was constructed in 1972 to connect Pigeon Island to the mainland, or guests can opt to travel to the island on a kayak safari. Paddle across Rodney Bay along a resplendent coastline and come ashore on a deserted beach.
Just as the forests on St. Lucia are teeming with a multitude of flora and fauna, the waters offshore are brimming with brightly hued marine life. The shallows over the prismatic coral reefs that ring the island quickly drop away to 1,000 feet or more of open water.
St. Lucia’s west coast, known for its outstanding beauty and biodiversity, is the setting of the world-renowned Marine Park, part of the Soufrière Marine Management Area. Some of the top dive sites near Castries include Anse la Ray Wall, where a dramatic underwater wall covered in soft corals slopes off the coast of the charming fishing village of Anse la Raye. At Anse Cochon, a reef begins in shallow waters then steeply slopes down to 40 feet. Large boulders covered in sponges and patches of coral are feeding grounds for sea horses, sea turtles, trumpetfish, octopuses, and flounder. And as its name suggests, Turtle Reef is a prime place to spot hawksbill and green turtles.
St. Lucia is also one of the leading whale-watching sites in the world. On any given expedition, there is a chance of sighting at least one of the more than 20 that frolic in the waters—and spotting pods of Spinner and Atlantic Spotted dolphins is an added bonus. St. Lucia’s Pitons set an astounding backdrop from nearly all points surrounding the island.