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SeaWatcher65

Pigeon Island National Park

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A day at Pigeon Island National Park? Any thoughts? https://www.slunatrust.org/

 

In port 8am-6pm. I don't see much information on cruise critic. What I've learned is it's about 23 minutes away, maybe $70 round trip taxi? Or we could book a private driver to tour all day and make a few other stops along the way. Historical site with buildings, scenic views, (Signal Hill, Fort Rodney), two sandy beaches, a restaurant in the park (Jambe de Bois) and a cellar bar in an old fort (Barnacles).

 

Other options are to go to Reduit Beach or Vigie Beach but looking for something different to do. Originally wanted to do a boat ride to Sugar Beach between the pitons but concerned after some not so good reviews about transportation.

 

Thanks for any review, opinions, thoughts.

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Pigeon Island is more like 30-45 minutes away, depending in traffic. Yes, $35 each way. Leave plenty of time for return. Beautiful national park, great hikes, ruins, restaurants inside, lovely small beach. $8 entrance fee per person.

Serenity offers a beach break including chairs, drinks cooler, entrance and transport.

Plenty of taxis available to take you and return, do leave plenty of time for return..

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One of our favorite excursions, although we just took the pirate ship (rum) excursion through the cruise line and spent about an hour there.

Also the girls’ favorite drink at the bar there, the “White Sand”.

 

Reedprincess, I thought the bar had a French name when we were there several years ago when we had that drink, do you remember? Is that Serenity now?

And thank you again for all of your info and insight about St Lucia over the years - very helpful to so many of us travelers!

 

[EDIT] The bar/restaurant was by itself I believe and close to the trail going up the hill. Stony water entry there and no sand. But again, this was probably 10 or so years ago...I can’t remember if the Landings was just being built or that was right after because we looked at that after our cruise there...

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There's two restaurants/bars at Pigeon Island - Jambe des Boise, named after a. Infamous pirate aka Peg Leg. On the waterfront, past the main beach area, near to the trails going up to Signal Hill, etc. And Captain's Cellar, in the restored headwaters type building on the righthand side of the park when you enter, in the downstairs cellar area.

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Thanks Reedprincess and blue_water! I remember blue water from planning past cruises. Thanks again.

 

I know Serenity is a tour company recommended by a few people. For a private driver/tour, a friend used Frank of St. Lucia and highly recommended him. More than double the price of a round trip taxi but then we can do things on our own time, make a few extra stops if time. Maybe a stop at a beach shack like Maries Fish Shack or something like that. Was thinking about going to Howelton Estate too to get some Batik but it's out of the way. I also found Sea Island Cotton Shop that sells batik and is close to Pigeon Island. Some pretty batik clothing would make wifey happy and maybe some thank you gifts for people taking care of things at home while we cruise.

 

Taxis are always cheaper but we liked having private tours - learn a little bit from a local, someone to watch our stuff, do things on our time. I'm sure the driver would know of any interesting stops along the way.

 

One of our favorite excursions, although we just took the pirate ship (rum) excursion through the cruise line and spent about an hour there.

Also the girls’ favorite drink at the bar there, the “White Sand”.

 

Reedprincess, I thought the bar had a French name when we were there several years ago when we had that drink, do you remember? Is that Serenity now?

And thank you again for all of your info and insight about St Lucia over the years - very helpful to so many of us travelers!

 

[EDIT] The bar/restaurant was by itself I believe and close to the trail going up the hill. Stony water entry there and no sand. But again, this was probably 10 or so years ago...I can’t remember if the Landings was just being built or that was right after because we looked at that after our cruise there...

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I will be at Pigeon Island from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Dec. 6, off of Windstar Star Pride. This is where they have the beach party/barbeque. Are there walking trails or anything to do close by to where the Windstar tenders drop you off? Are there likely to be taxis meeting this ship to go elsewhere on St. Lucia? Very few ships actually dock at Pigeon Island when calling on St. Lucia.

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23 hours ago, susiesan said:

I will be at Pigeon Island from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Dec. 6, off of Windstar Star Pride. This is where they have the beach party/barbeque. Are there walking trails or anything to do close by to where the Windstar tenders drop you off? Are there likely to be taxis meeting this ship to go elsewhere on St. Lucia? Very few ships actually dock at Pigeon Island when calling on St. Lucia.

Yes there are walking trails at Pigeon island which will take you to Fort Rodney and Signal Point. Signal Point is a bit more difficult than hiking to Fort Rodney. The Windstar will tender you to Pigeon Island. Outside of the park there are taxis line up which can take you to other arts of the Island.

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Just Returned -- We just returned from a cruise with a stop in St. Lucia.  We pre-arranged a driver to take us to Caribelle Batik in St. Lucia -- had a wonderful selection of batik clothing, purses, and other gift items and at a lesser cost than what we saw in St. Kitts.  Then we went to Pigeon Island.  Small fee to enter, short hiking paths to different fort structures with incredible scenic views.  There are two small beaches with NO vendors at all.  Chairs and umbrellas are rented by the park.  There's a company at one of the beaches (Aqua Sports) that does Snuba and some other things.  The restaurant Jambe de Bois had excellent island type food and drinks but service was very slow.   The restaurant also has artwork by local artists for sale but not cheap (my perception) about $150 to $350 US dollars depending on the size on simple wood frames.  If too big to carry on, they will roll it for you.  Bring a shipping tube to protect the art work.  We had to buy one at a later island stop.  Many people suggested enjoying the South part of St. Lucia for more tropical rainforest scenery and things to do (mud baths, etc.).  I'd skip Rodney Bay - it was just a beach are reports are of aggressive vendors, we saw it but skipped it.  Because Pigeon Island is a National Park, there are no vendors harassing you.  Next time, we will go to the Southern part of St. Lucia which I hear is more beautiful. 

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3 hours ago, SeaWatcher65 said:

Just Returned -- We just returned from a cruise with a stop in St. Lucia.  We pre-arranged a driver to take us to Caribelle Batik in St. Lucia -- had a wonderful selection of batik clothing, purses, and other gift items and at a lesser cost than what we saw in St. Kitts.  Then we went to Pigeon Island.  Small fee to enter, short hiking paths to different fort structures with incredible scenic views.  There are two small beaches with NO vendors at all.  Chairs and umbrellas are rented by the park.  There's a company at one of the beaches (Aqua Sports) that does Snuba and some other things.  The restaurant Jambe de Bois had excellent island type food and drinks but service was very slow.   The restaurant also has artwork by local artists for sale but not cheap (my perception) about $150 to $350 US dollars depending on the size on simple wood frames.  If too big to carry on, they will roll it for you.  Bring a shipping tube to protect the art work.  We had to buy one at a later island stop.  Many people suggested enjoying the South part of St. Lucia for more tropical rainforest scenery and things to do (mud baths, etc.).  I'd skip Rodney Bay - it was just a beach are reports are of aggressive vendors, we saw it but skipped it.  Because Pigeon Island is a National Park, there are no vendors harassing you.  Next time, we will go to the Southern part of St. Lucia which I hear is more beautiful. 

 

Thanks for your report! When we were at Jambe de Bois we enjoyed their White Sand, great drink on a hot day. I remember one gent being very aggravated or put off because the service was slower than he thought it should be. They are not fast but they do a great job there....

Thanks again!

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Good to hear this report. We stayed for a week in st Lucia and have been 3x since but were never at pidgeon. We arranged for serenity to take us there and back with their beach tour. I really like the vendor less aspect. I'll be there in April and will report back. Just out of curiosity, how was snorkeling? We have our own equipment. 

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It is hosted on another site so I believe I cant post it but google "day trip to pigeon island" and it is on the top of the search page for me.

 

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17 hours ago, wacko said:

It is hosted on another site so I believe I cant post it but google "day trip to pigeon island" and it is on the top of the search page for me.

 

You can post the names of tour operators you've used.

Jean87510 - Serenity TVL,  Viator,  ShoreTrips, Barefoot Holidays,  Solar Tours,  etc all offer a day trip package for Pigeon Island.  Alternatively,  you can take a cab and pay your entrance fee yourself, the hikes and beach, etc are all included in the National Park fee ($8pp), lunch on your own, etc..often less expensive than a tour...

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We will be in St. Lucia on 12/15/18, by cruise ship, and would love to see Pigeon Island. We are only in port until 4 pm though, so I was wondering if just taking a taxi there and back would be the best way to do this. Would there be taxis readily available for the trip back to the ship, or would we need to rely on our cab driver returning at a specific time? Our ship's tour is another option, but their time on Pigeon Island seems too brief. Thanks for any information.

Edited by Debzee53

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4 hours ago, Debzee53 said:

We will be in St. Lucia on 12/15/18, by cruise ship, and would love to see Pigeon Island. We are only in port until 4 pm though, so I was wondering if just taking a taxi there and back would be the best way to do this. Would there be taxis readily available for the trip back to the ship, or would we need to rely on our cab driver returning at a specific time? Our ship's tour is another option, but their time on Pigeon Island seems too brief. Thanks for any information.

Taxis are readily available for your return, there's a whole stand of then right outside the gate.. Most likely, your driver will offer to do your return, and will wait around outside till your ready to go also..

Coat is $35USD one way...

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$22 each so 44 for the two of us round trip on Day trip to pigeon island. It was far better than the taxi.

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Just returned from at week's stay in St. Lucia at the "well known" name resort right next to Pigeon Island. I did Pigeon Island on my own one morning, and can confirm what other posters above have said. The island is beautiful, with some good hiking to very scenic views from the Fort and Signal Hill.

 

The hikes are of moderate difficulty and both are fairly steep, but fairly short. The hike to the Fort is mostly paved with handrails. The hike to Signal point is a rough, unimproved trail with no handrails, very steep in sections. Views at the top of both are spectacular.  

 

The island has a number of scenic ruins, a "Carib Cave" (did not visit this) and two restaurants and a beach. Since I was staying right next door, I had no need of the beach or restaurants. I have snorkeled at the rocky end of Pigeon Island below the fort - snorkeling was ok, not exceptional. 

 

Entry fee to the Park is $8 U.S. per person. There are taxis always waiting at the park gates. Best aspect is that inside the park you will be left quite alone to do as you please. You can hire the services of a park tour guide at the front gate if you wish, but the park trails are well mapped and easy to follow.

 

I would agree that if you are coming from the cruise dock at Castries you should allow at least 30 minutes each way...possible more later in the afternoon going back. There's absolutely no need to do this tour through the ship - it's simple and easy to do on your own.

 

Edited to add: There is a public beach right outside the park gates, between the park and the resort. The beach is decent, with the usual chair and umbrella rentals, and two bar/restaurants. There's the usual # of vendors but they're not too aggressive. I'd pay the park entrance fee and use the beach in the park if a beach break was your goal.

 

Edited by VideoTech

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Thank you Video Tech...this is all great information. We are leaving in a  few minutes to catch our flight to Fort Lauderdale and then to start our cruise. Pigeon Island is certainly looking to be a highlight for us. I'd like to hike a bit and then check out the beach. I booked this morning with Viator and spoke to them on the phone as well, so I feel more confident about our decision. Thanks again to all who have offered information on this beautiful island tour.

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