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The island's beaches are certainly inviting—but St. Lucia is a volcanic island, so you won't find long stretches of fine white sand. Reduit Beach, in the north and considered the island’s best beach, has more than a mile of golden sand.

St. Lucia offers excellent diving, particularly along its southwest coast near Soufrière. Dive shops located at Anse Chastanet, an upscale resort near the Pitons, and Ti Kaye, farther north at Anse Cochon, specialize in beach-access diving.

Deep-sea fishing is also first-rate. And a day sail on a catamaran is one of the best ways to see the island and perhaps the best way to travel from Castries to Soufrière, or vice versa.

St. Lucia's crown jewel is its well-preserved rain forest, which is best explored on a guided hike.

Climbing one of the Pitons is a rewarding experience for adventurers, but you must hire a guide.