It is hard to choose a place for a holiday when you travel with kids. One option could be going to St. Lucia. This is a small island in the Caribbean which offers low-key fun for families.
If you yearn for calm water you could chose accommodation closer to Castries, but if you have younger children, however, give some serious thought to an all-inclusive resort in the south near Vieux Fort, a quiet area where several properties have wonderful children’s activities that leave you free to lounge in the sun all day. The resorts have beautiful pools and supervised water parks that are probably a better choice for little ones—and they can still build sand castles.
If you travel with teenagers you can try windsurfing in the south and east coast. Novices will need to plan for a two-day set of lessons before going out on their own.
Many hotels / resorts in St. Lucia provide supervised children’s activities, with an emphasis on rainforest and marine education.
St. Lucian food, as with much Caribbean cooking, features quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, protein from poultry and fresh seafood, and aromatic spices. The kids can enjoy fresh squeezed juices or fruit-flavoured water; adults should take the opportunity to sample the local cocoa tea, as well as island-produced rum.
The hotels and resorts, especially the all-inclusive, have plentiful food available at all hours. But for a real taste of Caribbean cooking, you’ve got to get out and get to town. There you can sample dishes like fried plantain and breadfruit, curried chicken or fish, and a side of mixed grains. Take the kids to one of the open air markets in Castries, Soufriere, or Vieux Fort for tropical fruit, freshly extracted coconut juice, and sweets made with locally grown cocoa. Remember to take cash, as these kinds of small vendors rarely take credit cards.
What to Do
Snorkel in the Caribbean Sea: this is a fun activity for even small children if they are confident swimmers. There are dozens of colorful fish species, turtles, and other marine life to experience, and the crystal water makes for excellent viewing. The Caribbean side of the island has much calmer water and more sheltered inlets.
Ride a Zipline Through the Rainforest: At least two different outfitters, Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia and Treetop Adventure Park, provide canopy tours for adrenaline junkies. These tours are appropriate for adults and older children. Rainforest Adventures excursions start at £41, and have a minimum age of 12. Treetop Adventures asks for a minimum height of 50”, and fees range from £29-35. For families with children as young as 3, Treetop provides a “Treetop Adventure Tour” that skips the zipline, but includes a mini-course with suspended bridges and safety equipment.
A visit to the Planet Centre: This interactive site offers a wide range of fun but educational activities where kids can learn what it is like to be inside a hurricane, view the earth from space, and much more.
Rainforest Hike: There are a variety of trails to choose from, including some that are perfect for families with smaller children.
Pigeon Island National Park: the ruins of the fort would be a good place to let the kids run free and blow off some steam.
Horseback riding: you can find tours that last from 1/4h up to 2 h and the minimum age is 5 years old. Be sure to bring towel, swimsuit, cash and camera. Prices start from about £36 for adults (2h) and the children can ride with you.
Tip: Look for St Lucia family deals outside of peak school holiday periods if you have any flexibility on that front.