Guests at all-inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia have a lot of choices to make: Where to eat, how long to stay at the beach or pool, what shows to see, what drinks to sip and how much activity they want, if any.
A great alternative to all that lovely lounging is the wide range of excursions the tour desk at the resort will happily book for you, about two dozen in all, from rainforest zip lining to sunset cruises to scuba diving to nature walks. Excursions cover nearly every part of this small, lushly vegetated island, some of which are (listed are 2011 prices):
Rainforest zip line adventure: A zippy trip through St. Lucia’s exotic rainforest, ages 6 and up, $99 per person, $79 for kids.
Island Jeep safari: This full-day ride in a Land Rover takes you to Balembouche, a 19th-century English estate, the Pitons in Soufriere, the Morne Coubaril Estate, Marigot Bay, Fond D’Or Heritage Park, to name but a few. Cost is $110 per person, $59 for kids.
Soufriere experience: This half-day private tour takes you through scenic fishing villages and through the world’s only drive-through volcano (Sulphur Springs Park), along with a stop at the Diamond Botanical Gardens. Cost is $120 per person, maximum of 4 per tour. A full-day tour of Soufriere is $150.
Mystic Man deep-sea fishing: This sets sail out of Soufriere and is a five-hour trip to possibly hook blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo, kingfish and dorado. Cost $110 per person.
Piton snorkeling: This starts with a scenic ride up the West Coast to Jalousie Beach, with snorkeling right next to the towering Pitons, the iconic mountains of St. Lucia. Cost is $60 per person, $40 for kids.
All-inclusive Carnival catamaran land and sea adventure: This day-long event starts at 7:30 a.m. with a drive to Dennery and stops at various scenic viewpoints before hitting the capitol city of Castries, then boarding the cat from Vigie Cove to set sail down the Caribbean coast. Arriving at Soufriere, you then check out sites such as the drive-through volcano, Diamond Botanical Gardens and other hot tourist spots. Cost is $110 per person, $55 for kids.
Martinique splendor: This long trip (5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) takes you to the neighboring island of Martinique, a 90-minute ride that comes with breakfast, a trip aboard a Flying Ray catamaran that combines snorkeling, swimming, shopping and sightseeing. Breakfast, barbecue lunch and open bar on board included. Cost is $250 per person, $150 for kids.
Couples escapade tour: A romantic tour for two on the southwestern coast, includes local fruits, drinks, cold towels and entrance fees to sites such as Diamond Botanical Gardens and Sulphur Springs Park. Cost is $150 per couple.
Des Cartier Rainforest nature walk: Tour leaves Coconut Bay at 7:30 a.m., returning at 1 p.m., with a drive up the east coast and through the farming town of Desruisseaux into the Des Cartier Rainforest Reserve. There’s a good chance here to see the national bird, the St. Lucian Parrot, and other wildlife. Tour includes entrance fee, juice and light snacks. Cost is $65 per person, $29 for kids.
The best of St. Lucia: This tour is Wednesdays and Fridays only, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and includes stops at Chateau Belair, where a half-hour walk at the Tet Paul Trail affords incredible views of Little Piton. Also included is a visit with a local known as “Country Man,” who shares his life stories and a visit to his 18th-century Amerindian style hut. Also visited is the Morne Coubaril Estate and a Piton warm mineral fall where you can have a soothing bath. Tour includes entrance fees, tour guides, local juices and fruit. Cost is $85 per person, $55 for kids.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa
St. Lucia, West Indies
Excursions from $45-$250 per person