Our offers for shore excursions in Castries (St. Lucia)
Book your shore excursion in Castries to St. Lucia with us. You can select the right excursion for your cruise stay here:
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High reliabilityOn-time-back-to-ship warranty
Effective time managementBook your activities in advance
Cheap shore excursionSave money by self organising
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More information for excursions in Castries
The most beautiful sights in and around Castries
In St. Lucia, you can visit one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean. You can swim in the serene turquoise water or take a stroll along the sandy beaches. The island belongs to the Lesse Antilles and is a true paradise for nature lovers and people who love adventure: you can look forward to densely wooded mountains, romantic bays, rain forests, volcanoes, beautiful waterfalls and exotic and diverse flora and fauna. Let yourself be enchanted by the joie de vivre and the Creole lifestyle of the 178,000 inhabitants of St. Lucia.
Located on the northwest coast in a beautiful sheltered bay is the charming island capital Castries with approximately 3,700 inhabitants. This typical Caribbean small town was built by the French in 1765 and has fallen victim to fires several times during its history but has been rebuilt each time.
Derek Walcott Square is one of the attractions in the city centre. It was named after the poet, writer and Nobel laureate of literature who was born here and lived till his last day on the island. The Catholic cathedral is right around the corner. It is definitely worth a visit with its majestic walls, ceiling paintings. Some of the other buildings here, such as the central library, were spared during the two great fires and are therefore the oldest preserved buildings in the city. You will also find the largest market in Castries, the Central Market, in the city centre where hundreds of merchants sell their produce and other goods.
It doesn’t take much time to explore the main sights, so a short visit to the city is recommended even if you have previously been on a guided shore excursion to the rest of the island.
The 250 metres high Morne Fortune hill, also known as the “Hill of Happiness”, is about 1.5 kilometres south of the city centre. You can hike to the top where you’ll have a wonderful view of Castries, the harbour and the north of the island. With a little bit of luck, you may even get to see the outlines of the neighbouring island Martinique.
The most striking landmarks of St. Lucia are the two volcanic cones, called pitons. You can enjoy a great view of the pitons from the former island capital, Soufriere. It is the second largest town in St. Lucia, located southwest of the island. The twin peaks of Petit and Gros Piton are among the most spectacular sights in the Caribbean. The volcanic cones seem to be rising right out of the sea.
The Gros Piton is 770 meters high and can be climbed on a guided hike. However, this hike is recommended for experienced climbers only. Although the climb can be very demanding, it ultimately pays off with an overwhelmingly beautiful view. The Petit Piton standing next to itis slightly smaller with a height of 743 meters, but it’s much steeper. The whole area around the Pitons has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004.
The Sulphur Springs are among the other popular sights of the island. Here you can closely observe the volcanic activities that go on under. The bubbling Sulphur spring fields are also referred to as the world’s only “drive-in volcano”, as you can drive close to the springs by car. Through the many steaming and pungent-smelling craters, you can see the enormous heat that lies beneath the earth. From a small viewing platform, you can watch the natural spectacle from a safe distance.
You will also have the possibility of taking a mud bath in a pool below the Sulphur Springs. The mud is said to have healing powers. There is a small Visitor Centre where you can get further information.
The beach at Marigot Bay is one of the most famous beaches of St. Lucia. Relax on the sandy seaside, swim or snorkel in the turquoise water and enjoy the Caribbean flair on the palm beach. English writer, James Michener, once described the southern bay of Marigot as the most beautiful in the Caribbean.
In former times, the beautiful bay was used as a hiding place for pirates. You will find many small sailing boats, yachts, hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops here. The picturesque backdrop has been used to shoot several feature film scenes, including the film Dr Dolittle.
There are numerous serene beaches on St. Lucia. The Vigie Beach is only about two kilometres away from the harbour. The beach is located in direct proximity to the airport runway, but it is ideal for a small detour before heading back to the ship. Other popular beaches in the area include Reduit Beach at Rodney Bay with a small water park, Pigeon Island Beach in the north and Sugar Beach in the southwest.
Diamond Botanical Garden
As you walk through the botanical garden you can closely admire the most diverse tropical plant species. A beautiful pathway will lead you to the impressive 17 meters high “Diamond Fall”, which is considered to be the most colourful waterfall in the Caribbean. The mineral-rich water comes from underground springs and gives the rocks behind it a unique rainbow-like shimmer.
Map of the cruising port of Casteries
Several cruise ships can dock at the various berths on either side of the bay.
If your ship docks at Queen Elisabeth II Dock or La Place Carenage Terminal, you are in direct proximity to the city centre with numerous shopping possibilities. Cruise ships can also dock at the more modern Pointe Seraphine Terminal, which is a little off the beaten track on the other side of the bay. This harbour is just about two kilometres from the centre or 20 minutes by foot. Both terminals offer a wide range of shopping facilities, restaurants, bars and tourist information. You can go downtown on your own.
If you book a shore excursion with us, our tour guide will be waiting for you near the port. Please keep in mind that our cruise excursion usually takes place in English.
Useful Facts for Shore Excursions in Castries
Cruise Companies and routes
Entry and Visa
You do not need a visa to enter Castries as a part of a cruise. However, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of the stay. Please note that if you enter or exit the USA during your trip, the US entry regulations will also apply.
We generally recommend that you obtain information about all valid entry regulations directly from your cruise company and from the Federal Foreign office beforehand.
Taxi and public transport
In case you haven’t booked a transfer or a guided shore excursion, taxis are available at the port exit. Official taxis have number plates with “TX” written on it and are easy to recognise. Most taxis do not have taximeters and take rides on a fixed-price basis, especially for the most popular destinations and tours. It is absolutely necessary for you to arrange the prices with the driver beforehand.
In St. Lucia you will find several bus connections that take you around the island. These busses are marked with an “M” in the number plate. However, it is advisable to check with the local tourist information centre to find out about the bus connections on that particular day. Be sure to start the return trip early enough in case of unexpected delays.
If you want to drive around and explore the island by yourself, you can rent a car here. Keep in mind, you will need a local driving licence which can be purchased from the rental car dealer. Also note, cars are left-hand-drive on this island. Most roads are two lane, narrow and sometimes very winding.
The water taxis, which takes you from the coastal towns to beautiful beaches for little money are also very popular.
Castries usually has a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round and little fluctuations. The water temperature is suitable for swimming all year round as well. If you want to avoid the rainy season with short but mostly heavy showers, the best time to travel is in the winter months between the end of November and April. During the dry season, it is mostly sunny and the average temperature is between 25 to 30 degrees. Throughout the year, however, it is usually never colder than 26 degrees in Castries.
Port Operators and tourism organisation website
- Port Operator: The Saint Lucia Air And Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA)
- Official Website: Visit St. Lucia – Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
- Online Travel Guide: Wikitravel – St. Lucia
Video: Impressions of Castries
Cruise excursions with “My Cruise Excursion” makes your cruise stay in Castries a great Experience! You can choose the offer that suits you best and book it with us today.
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