st lucia beaches near cruise port

The port of Castries sees thousands of tourist leave the cruise ships every week to explore the exotic Caribbean Island of St Lucia. If you’re looking for the best beaches to spend the day within a short distance from the port, we’ve got you covered!

Choc Beach – A Hidden Haven

Choc Beach provides a sense of tranquility and an authentic local beach experience. It is a quiet beach offering plenty of shade as it backs onto a woodland area making it an ideal place to bring a towel and a picnic to chill out for the day. Despite its proximity to the port, it is not a tourist beach meaning you can expect a nearly empty beach during the week and locals on the weekend!

st lucia beaches near cruise port

Getting there:

By taxi, Choc Beach is approximately a 5-10 minute drive from the Castries port and costs around $10. It can be seen by the port so if you’re feeling energetic, the walk takes roughly 30 minutes. If you’re venturing by car, you can park by the main road like the locals do and if you’re coming by bus, you can take the 1A route, easily located in the port.

Food and Drink:

There aren’t any restaurants on the beach, however, a short trip across the road to the Gablewoods Mall will provide you with reasonably priced local food! Try the Roti and fish for an authentic St Lucian dining experience!

Activities:

Paddleboarding and kayaking are available and you can even venture out a short distance to Rat Island for a brief hike to explore. The beach boasts clear waters making it a perfect location for swimming, so bring along a snorkel and enjoy the tranquility.

Pro’s

  • Extremely close distance from the port
  • Uncrowded and calm
  • Lots of shade

  • A chilled place to bring the family for a beach picnic
  • Little, if any peddlers

Con’s

  • Limited watersports activities
  • Sun loungers unavailable to hire
  • Not for those wanting a large selection of restaurants to pick from
  • No restrooms along this part of the coast

Reduit Beach – Vistas and Vibes

The white sand of Reduit beach stretches for a mile along the North coast with stunning views in all directions. Its calm waters make it popular for families with younger children and overall it’s a clean and safe place to visit with so much going on by way of restaurants, bars and watersports, you’ll be spoilt for choice! A beach umbrella and two chairs will set you back around $20 but avoid settling down in the middle section of the beach where all of the cruise tourists are dropped off as this part is the busiest.

st lucia beaches near cruise port

Getting there:

A 20-minute cab journey from the cruise port will take you to the hugely popular Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay for roughly $25 one way.

Food and Drink:

There is a huge selection of places to eat and drink whilst visiting Reduit Beach. Spinnakers restaurant is easy to find and has a fantastic selection of Caribbean and international cuisine from barbecue and seafood to vegan options. Marie’s Shack is a casual beachside eatery for those seeking barbecued local cuisine.

If you’d like to remain in the comfort of your lounger there are numerous vendors selling refreshments and food on the beach. Local vendor Shirley sells traditional Rotis or for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage you can get a natural juice from another vendor named Yvonne.

Activities:

Speedboats, jet skis, wakeboarding, parasailing…the list is endless! Treat the kids to an afternoon at Splash Island Waterpark, a thrilling obstacle course located just off the shore complete with a trampoline, climbing walls, waterslides and much more! Prices begin at $26 per person for a two-hour pass and you can even purchase deals which include meals and beach chairs.

Pro’s

  • A short drive from the port.
  • Selection of places to rent sun loungers.
  • An abundance of options for food and beverages.
  • Plenty of activities to entertain kids.

Con’s

  • There are a lot of peddlers attempting to sell you their products, which can be harassing for those looking to relax in peace.
  • Can sometimes get overcrowded due to its popularity with tourists.

Marigot Bay – An Authentic Adventure

Situated on the western side of the island, the beach at Marigot Bay is the furthest on this list from Castries port but avoids being overrun by tourists. It may seem a little out of the way but for those seeking sun and serenity and an authentic Caribbean village, this is a total paradise. It is also one of the locations of the Pirates of the Caribbean film and Rex Harrison’s Dr. Doolittle!

st lucia beaches near cruise port

Getting there:

A taxi ride to Marigot Bay beach will set you back around $40 each way and will take 40 mins to travel from the port. It is best to pre-book taxis to save stressing over the return to the port. It is possible to travel by local minivans, however, this is not as time-effective and there is some trekking involved once you arrive.

Food and Drink:

On the south side of the Bay is a selection of waterfront restaurants such as Hurricane Hole, Chateau Mygo, and the Mangrove. You can take the free ferry over to DOOLittles where there are menu options for the whole family from seafood to burgers and pizza. If you feel like splashing some cash, Masala Bay is an incredible Indian/Asian fusion cuisine you will never forget! There are also a fair few local food vendors to make fun beverages for your kids or grab a quick bite!

Activities:

Watersport activities are up on the north side at Cosmo’s and you can purchase guided or unguided snorkeling tours or rent kayaks, Hobie Cats, and paddleboards to explore the mangroves! You can even hike up the hill to enjoy the incredible views the Bay has to offer.

Pro’s

  • Fewer tourists.
  • Picturesque
  • A huge variety of activities
.

Con’s

  • Further distance from the port .
  • Loungers and umbrellas can only be rented from local vendors and are supposedly limited
.

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park is located on the northern end of the island and is situated near Splash Island Water Park, so there are tons of activities for all the family. The beach boasts crystal clear waters and is ideal for snorkeling enthusiasts. On the grounds, there are two restaurants, a rum bar and there is a floating bar offering refreshing tropical drinks.

Take a short scenic hike to the top of Pigeon Island and visit Fort Rodney and Signal Peak for just an $8 entrance fee, where you will be greeted with incredible views of St Lucia and its neighboring island Martinique.

st lucia beaches near cruise port

Getting there:

Getting to Pigeon Island will set you back around $30 on way in a taxi. However, I would recommend splitting it up with Reduit Beach as they are right next to each other, this way you get to visit two different beaches and your kids will get to visit Splash Island Water Park too.

Food and Drink:

Located on the beachfront you will find Jambe De Bois, offer fresh food to cater for every taste, they offer everything from salads, pasta dishes, fresh fish and chicken fillets. There’s plenty of shade, lots of seating and even live music. You can take a quick shuttle bus or taxi to Reduit Beach where you will find a wide selection of different restaurants at the Gros Islet Quarter.

Activities:

There’s plenty to do at Pigeon Island so you won’t get bored here, take the short 15-minute hike to the top of Fort Rodney for some stunning views and great family photo opportunities, the entrance fee is only $8. Other activities include snorkeling and a Segway tour.

If you really want to explore the ocean in style then why not try a Sea Trek Tour, simply pop on a helmet and literally walk under the water keeping you head fully dry!

Beach chairs can be purchased for approximately $5-7, although there are plenty of grass and shaded areas to lay your beach towel down.

Pro’s

  • Lots of activities

  • Nice short hike with stunning views

  • Great for snorkeling

  • Lots of culture & history

  • Near Splash World Water Park

Con’s

  • Hiking path could be better sign posted

  • Not quite the white sandy beaches you’d imagine

  • A lot of the coral is dead

La Toc Beach

La Toc Beach is one of the most secluded and tranquil beaches in St Lucia, this stunning beach is mostly dominated by the Sandals Golf Resort, however, don’t worry as there is public access. The atmosphere is more relaxed at La Toc due to being hidden amongst the Sandals Resort. La Toc Beach features a nice long stretch of golden sand and beautiful blue waters. So, if you’re looking for a peaceful setting where you can build sand castles, go for a swim and grab a bite to eat in a relaxed environment then La Toc Beach is for you.

st lucia beaches near cruise port

Getting there:

You should probably expect to pay around $20 to get to La Toc Beach in a taxi. Be sure to ask your driver to take you to the public entrance to the beach, you can, however, go through Sandals as it’s a public beach and they should let you through for access.

Food and Drink:

If you get peckish at the beach then don’t worry as there are a good selection of restaurants to choose from, both locally and at the nearby establishments. Why not try some Asian cuisine at Kimonos, or dine in one of the many restaurants at the Sandals Resort? Personally, I try to venture out a little more mainly due to the prices of food at resorts and to avoid any awkwardness with me not being a guest.

Activities:

If you’re feeling active then why not play a round of golf at no better than the Sandals Resort or see if you can hire snorkel equipment or kayaks from the resort.

Pro’s

  • Fewer tourists

  • Calm, relaxed atmosphere

  • Large stretch of golden sand to run on build sand castles

Con’s

  • Be careful, the waves can get rough

  • Not a lot of activities on offer

  • No toilets on the beach

Our St Lucia Holiday

During our Caribbean Cruise, we couldn’t wait to visit St Lucia, it was the one we were looking forward to the most and with good reason.

We hired a private island tour with Christopher Taxi Service for the whole day which cost $180 for the three of us. We were met at the cruise port by our driver and were presented with a beautiful air-conditioned car with a cooler full of beer and soft drinks! A lovely touch!

sugar beach with toddlers

Here is our itinerary we decided to do:

  • Sugar Beach / Jalousie Beach
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Tel Paul Nature Trail
  • Piton viewpoints

The drive to the Pitons from the port took about 1 hour and 20 minutes, yes its a long drive, but it’s a beautiful one with regular stops and some stunning picture opportunities. I know it’s not close to the port, however, it was the most amazing trip we have probably ever done and well worth the drive, especially to see and walk around the famous Pitons.

If you would like to read more about our trip to St Lucia you can check it out here.

Essential travel gear

Here is some essential travel gear that we never travel without:

  • Water shoes: It’s important to protect your feet in the water, so I would recommend getting a pair of water shoes for everyone, especially the little ones. You will be able to run on the beach and even go swimming in the water with them.
  • MiFi device: Don’t pay for over the odds data roaming abroad, simply get one of these handy portable MiFi devices and stay connected where ever you are and save yourself a fortune on a fast reliable internet connection.
  • Portable charger: We never travel anywhere without a Power Bank, charge multiple devices and iPhones at the same time and up to 7 times faster. Never run out of battery again on your travels, and there’s no need for a socket! It’s totally portable.
  • Toddler Backpack: Why not give your little one their own toddler backpack when traveling to keep all their toys in, our son has one and he loves the sense of responsibility. He also has a Ride on Suitcase which he loves flying around the airport in, provides hours of entertainment.
  • Backpack for back pain: With all the walking up hills, cobbled streets and hiking you will need a good backpack, one that will help ease the load on your back, here are the best backpacks for back pain, that will be perfect for walking around Santorini.
  • Bug spray: As you may know, I get bitten a lot on holiday, too much in fact. So, I never travel anywhere without some mosquito spray. I even have to wear it at home here in the UK when I take my dogs for a walk to protect against other bugs and horse flies.
  • Snorkel gear: What holiday wouldn’t be complete without going snorkeling, we recently purchased the 360 degrees all in one snorkel and it really is amazing, you get such a better view and there’s no separate pipe that leaks water into your mouth! Here’s a list of our best snorkel sets.

Summary

Something to note is that public transportation in St. Lucia rarely runs on schedule as buses will wait until they are completely full before leaving.

It’s highly recommended to travel by taxis which are always readily available at the port or rent a car to travel to the places on this list and wherever you’re going, allow more time to travel to and from Castries port. Enjoy your visit to the beautiful island of St Lucia!

Kelly Bullock

I'm Kelly, we are a family of 4 who loves traveling the world and sharing our experiences. Offering travel tips, reviewing the best travel gear and gadgets to make your travels easier.
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