The second stage of our St Lucia adventure saw us head north to explore more of the sandy coastline towards La Toc. Our base for the two nights would be Sandals Regency La Toc; a vast sprawling 220-acre resort that encompassed an entire 9-hole golf course, plenty of dramatic coastline and a number of different accommodation and eatery options. It was almost like a city within a city and, while it was perhaps a little too large for our tastes, there was certainly plenty to do and see here with a level of service to match.
Our suite for the two-night stay was in the aptly named Sunset Bluffs; a collection of rooms overlooking the ocean below in prime position for the sunset. The room itself was suitable for the stay with everything you could need (including a personal butler), but the real standout feature was the balcony bathtub that let you enjoy the dipping sun from the comfort of a hot bath. Throw in a personal bar cart and it was the perfect place to relax for the evening. We did actually go to Gros Islet for the weekly street party, but the weather wasn’t playing ball as so the sanctuary of the room beckoned.
As the weather was typically tropical during our stay, we decided to venture back down south to Soufriere to navigate the thick rainforest and scout out the famous peaks of the Pitons; two 700-metre volcanic mounds that grow out of the Caribbean Sea on the West coast. Loading up Google Maps was a little strange; a little under 30 miles to traverse with an estimated driving time of 80 or so minutes. Doing the maths, and judging the map, we would be driving at a fairly reserved speed on very, very tight and windy roads. Fair assessment, it was safe to say.
Of all the recommendations for a trip to St Lucia, a 4X4 is high up on the list. Sure, a normal car will get you along the majority of St Lucia’s roads without any strain, but the coastal road to Soufriere is best enjoyed in the comfort of an off-roader. The roads are very steep and littered with fallen mangoes and wet leaves, so it’s always good to know that you’re in a car that can handle the conditions. We went with Best Rates Car Rental in Castries who gave us a very reasonable rate.
As well as the Pitons and a number of waterfalls, Soufriere is home to Jade Mountain; a hidden resort that houses rooms and a restaurant perched high up on the cliffs overlooking the bay below. A place reminiscent of a big budget Indiana Jones film set, it was certainly worth the slightly arduous half hour off-road drive to get to the restaurant. Viewing the Pitons from above over a long lunch is definitely the most relaxed way to do it and, with full bellies and a renewed sense of adventure, we headed back up towards La Toc as the afternoon grew old.
As we neared La Toc, the clouds finally began to part as the wet weather eased off. Then, as if on demand, this Caribbean island gave us the most incredible gift from above; a pink sunset that filled the whole of the sky. It was a fitting end to our day trip and, after having a lovely meal in the on-site restaurant, we headed to bed early. First up the next morning before our departure to Pidgeon Island in the north, we explored the beaches of La Toc under the blazing morning sun. Before we knew it, it was lunch time and so we grabbed a quick plate of jerk chicken and the obligatory mango smoothie before heading north to our next destination: Sandals Grande St Lucian.