When most people think of St. Lucia, the towering Pitons might spring to mind first, but the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean island deserve a shout-out, too. Despite its modest 238 square miles, St. Lucia has numerous sandy stretches to explore, each offering its own inimitable attraction. Even better, all beaches on the island are public. From the white sands of Anse des Pitons to the amazing snorkeling offered around Anse Chastanet, here are some of the best beaches St. Lucia has to offer.
1. Reduit Beach
If you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with plenty of other tourists and cruise passengers, then you’ll appreciate the mile-long stretch of sand that is Reduit Beach. You can base yourself here for a whole day and find everything you need, from various water sports to a range of places to eat and drink. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular beaches on the island. The south end of the beach is generally quieter, but if you’re visiting this spot, chances are you want the lively atmosphere and buzzing beach bars.
2. Anse Cochon
While the mix of white and black volcanic sand is part of the attraction at Anse Cochon, the amazing location -- bordered by lush vegetation -- is another draw. It’s a pleasant reminder that you’re on a tropical paradise island. The picturesque, unspoiled beach is a serene escape that also offers top-notch snorkeling opportunities. The water here is calm, so visitors can enjoy a relaxing swim in the clear blue sea while gazing back at the rainforest and palms encroaching on the beach.
3. Anse Chastanet
If you’re searching for snorkeling and diving, Anse Chastanet is the place to go. Located on the southwest part of the island, the sandy beach is home to a sharp drop-off, which is great for diving, as well as a coral reef that’s perfect for snorkeling. There are two resorts nearby -- Jade Mountain Resort and Anse Chastanet Resort -- if you want to base yourself close to the beach, although, like most beaches in St. Lucia, it is open to non-guests as well. At approximately 150 meters long, it isn’t the largest beach, but many people visit for the access to the reef.
4. Pigeon Island
Jutting out from the northwestern tip of St. Lucia, Pigeon Island beach is made up of two glorious strips of sand within the protected Pigeon Island National Park. Deceptively, Pigeon Island is not actually an island, so you won’t need your sea legs to get there. On top of sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters, the beach also has the national park at its doorstep. Visitors can explore the wildlife or visit Fort Rodney, where a short but steep climb to the top provides panoramic views of the island.
5. Anse des Pitons
One of the best things about Anse des Pitons is its postcard-perfect vistas. As the name suggests, the beach is located between the two Pitons, which means views of the mountains from the beach are some of the best on the island. Those with a keen eye will notice that the white sand here is an incongruous sight compared to the rest of the island’s black-sand beaches -- an anomaly due to the fact that it was imported and spread over the dark sand to create that quintessential Caribbean look. Despite the trickery, this beautiful beach, blanketed with palm trees and fauna, is a must-visit.
6. La Toc
Despite being close to the bustling capital, Castries, La Toc beach offers a surprisingly serene atmosphere. Dominated by the Sandals Regency La Toc, this long stretch of beach on the western side of the island offers some great views of the water and dense jungle coastline. While the beach is quiet, attracting few cruise passengers, the water isn’t the calmest place to swim. However, the Sandals Resort next to the beach will let visitors know if there is any danger with a red or yellow flag. If paddling -- rather than swimming -- on a beautiful secluded beach is enough for you, then La Toc should do the trick.
7. Marigot Bay
If you prefer a little yacht-spotting with your beach time, then Marigot Bay has your back. A haven for boats, the picturesque bay welcomes a wide variety of vessels to its calm, enclosed waters, but this doesn’t overly detract from the beautiful beach. Green hills blanketed with lush vegetation rise up steeply from the volcanic sand, lending the bay and its beaches a feeling of seclusion that is only interrupted by laid-back beach bars.
8. Grand Anse
It may be hard to get to, but the struggle is worth the peace and calm you’ll find at Grand Anse beach. Located on the eastern side of the island, away from a lot of the tourism and overdevelopment, the sandy beach is buttressed by mountainous hills that add to the Robinson Crusoe appeal of the often-empty beach. Don’t expect water sports and beach shacks, but enjoy a serene escape from the busier parts of the island. Plus, Grand Anse hosts mating sea turtles, who descend on the beach at night to lay their eggs. However, not everyone can watch the event -- limited turtle watching night tours are available with the conservation organization.
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