Looking for something pretty amazing to do during your visit to St Lucia? I highly recommend a visit to Pigeon Island, a beautiful natural space full of St Lucia’s rich history.
You can even climb up to an incredible scenic viewpoint that looks over the island and bay – definitely one of the best views on St Lucia!
Read on to learn why you need to visit this gorgeous attraction.
Disclaimer: Our tour experience was kindly sponsored by Island Routes. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I will continue to promote only properties, destinations, products and services that I truly believe in 100%, and would wholeheartedly recommend to others.
- What is Pigeon Island?
- Where is Pigeon Island?
- How do you get to Pigeon Island?
- Pigeon Island history
- How much is admission to Pigeon Island?
- What are Pigeon Island’s open hours?
- What activities can you do at Pigeon Island?
- Is it better to visit Pigeon Island on your own or take a tour?
What is Pigeon Island?
Pigeon Island National Landmark is known as one of St Lucia’s most important historical monuments. It is, essentially, a beautiful living museum within a natural setting, nurtured and protected carefully to preserve St Lucia’s vibrant history.
The 44-acre island was originally completely surrounded by water. However, in 1972, it was was joined to the mainland by a man-made causeway. The Government of Saint Lucia recognized that there was a need to secure this site where the balance of late 18th-century naval power was decided, and they designated Pigeon Island as a National Park in 1979. Later, in 1992, it was also designated as a National Landmark.
Where is Pigeon Island?
Pigeon Island is located on St Lucian’s northwest tip, near Gros Islet and Rodney Bay.
How do you get to Pigeon Island?
This landmark is very easily accessible, north of Castries, and just a short drive from Gros Islet.
Taxi: Taxis are easy to use in St Lucia and drivers will know how to get to here.
Walk: The park is located close to many hotels, with the amazing Sandals Grande St Lucian being a super short walk away.
Drive: If you have a rental car and will be driving, there are parking spaces to park your rental vehicle along the access road adjacent to the Sandals resort.
Public Transportation: You can catch the Castries-Gros Islet Route 15 bus from behind the Castries Farmer’s Market, which can be found on the waterfront opposite the cruise ship docks.
You can also choose from many local tours which will take you here. I can recommend this tour offered by Island Routes.
Pigeon Island History
The island was first occupied by the Amerindians (mainly, the Caribs). Later, the island became occupied by pirates led by a captain named Francois Le Clerc. He had a wooden leg and was known to the French as “Jambe de Bois”.
Between 1779 to 1782, Admiral George Rodney took over the island and built Fort Rodney. To establish clear lines of vision, he ordered all of the trees on the island to be cut down. Rodney was then able to keep an eye on the French naval base on Martinique. Admiral Rodney sailed to confront the French fleet in 1782, which he defeated in the Battle of Saints.
Franklin Roosevelt visited the island in December 1940. The US Navy built a Naval Air Station at Reduit in 1941, and used the island as a communication station. The island was connected to the mainland via a causeway in 1971, and then designed both a National Park and National Landmark by 1992. Read the island’s more detailed history here.
How much is admission to Pigeon Island?
Admission is $10 EC for residents, and $10 USD for visitors to St Lucia. Children between ages 5 to 12 years old cost $3 USD.
What are Pigeon Island’s open hours?
The attraction is open to visitors 365 days a year from 9 am to 5 pm.
What activities can you do at Pigeon Island?
- Visit the ruins of military buildings used during the battles between the French and the British
- Climb to a lookout point at the top of the Fort, taking in a panoramic view of the Northwest coastline
- Spend time at an Interpretation Centre learning the rich history of the island
- Hang out at the park’s two beautiful beaches
- Enjoy a restaurant featuring local cuisine
- Chill out at a pub and restaurant with a historical theme
Is it better to visit Pigeon Island on your own or take a tour?
It depends on the experience you’re looking for!
Here are the benefits of saying yes to a tour:
- transportation may be included
- a great learning experience, if working with an educated guide
- refreshments may be included
- you’ll be able to ask questions and ask for recommendations
- a tour or guide will make sure you don’t miss the highlights of the location
If you’re short on time or looking for a more customized experience, going on your own might be the best option!
If you do decide to go with a tour, you’ll have a blast on this “Pirate Treasure Hunt” Pigeon Island tour offered by Island Routes:
- Spend a day in the park where you will be greeted by a spirited resident pirate
- Locate lost treasure by answering questions and following a custom designed map
- Win a return trip to St. Lucia for two or the cash equivalent, amongst other prizes
- End on a high with a swim on the beach where refreshments will be provided
No matter when or how you decide to enjoy this awesome park, you’re sure to have an awesome experience. I highly recommend climbing to the top of the Fort to take in the incredible views!
READ MORE ABOUT ST LUCIA ON MY OTHER ST LUCIA BLOG POSTS:
Or, check out this blog on how you can save money by staying at a timeshare in St Lucia like St James Club
Read up on 15 of the Best Things to Do on St Lucia
You need to see the Pitons during your visit to St Lucia – do it from the water with this create-your-own-adventure tour!
LOVE IT? PIN IT!
Questions or comments about Pigeon Island and St Lucia? Some other topics you’d like me to cover? I’d love to hear from you, just leave me a comment below!