We went to St. Lucia as a port stop on our Southern Caribbean cruise. After much research on what to do there, the number one suggestion was to book with Cosol Tours. There are so many things to choose from when it comes to sight seeing—volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, food tours, etc. Cosol Tours gives cruisers the opportunity to experience everything—and I mean everything!
Our first stop was to see and learn about banana plantations on the island. Our guide taught us about the importance of the banana to the local economy (most get shipped to the UK) and let us sample a banana, as well as locally made banana ketchup. Yes—banana ketchup! I’m not a ketchup fan, but it actually tasted alright!
We stopped at various viewpoints for photo ops and the chance to browse for local souvenirs. I liked the feel of buying from locals on the side of the road versus a signature, overpriced tourist gift shop right at the port. I found your typical magnets and shot glasses, but also handmade dolls and other items that were more unique and authentic feeling.
From the town of Soufriere, we took a boat ride over to Jalousie Plantation beach, also known as Sugar Beach, which sits right in between the two pitons. Fun fact: Our guide told us that Matt Damon renewed his vows on this beach. A quick Google search also indicates many celebrities have frequented this same spot. A season of The Bachelor was filmed on the island, to. We were able to relax here for about an hour. Again, there were locals ready to sell souvenirs, but they were not in your face about it like I have seen elsewhere. We tried getting in the water, but quickly decided it was too cold for us, so we laid out on the sand and people watched a bit.
After admiring the Gros and Petit Pitons on this ultra secluded beach, we took the boat back and headed to the mud baths and volcano. Having been to Volcano National Park in Hawaii, we were prepared for the strong sulfur smell, but it is intense if you haven’t experienced it before! We elected to skip the sulfer mud bath experience and get a closer look at the “world’s only drive in” volcano. This thing was impressive. As advertised, you can drive right up to it and be in the midst of natural hot vents and black rock.
After the volcano, we stopped at Toraille Waterfall—just one of the many beautiful falls on the island. By this time, it was the end of the day and you could tell the whole tour group was tired. This made the waterfall our shortest stop of the day, and half the group didn’t even get out of the van to see it. It was hard to get a good picture since there were so many people there.
Throughout the day, we were also given drinks and homemade food from the island to try. Lunch was a massive buffet of all kinds of dishes, from different meats, to vegetables, sides, and even desserts. There were so many dishes that if you liked something, you wouldn’t be able to remember where you got it from on the buffet table! I really liked being able to sample a dozen things instead of just one or two items. Any foodie would love this.
Here’s the truth: seeing St. Lucia on this tour package is a very long day, but so worth the price for a first time visit. A lot of the stops are overcrowded with tourists, so you’ll be enjoying the views with many others. This didn’t bother us since we were only at each spot for so long, and the fact is we were doing the exact same thing as every other paying customer! If you’re prone to car sickness, you should know that the roads are very windy. If you can get past that, this lush island has a lot to offer. You can easily book other tours and see one or two of these attractions for the same price you’ll pay to experience everything with Cosol.