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At Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia, The Art of Adventure

By: Bob Curley - June 27, 2024

Saint Lucia’s Anse Chastanet resort (the sister property to Jade Mountain) has a host of familiar amenities, including a spa, cooking classes, chocolate making classes, and water sports activities like scuba diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking. But it’s also the rare Caribbean property that’s a true adventure sports destinations.

Located on the beach that lends the resort its name, Anse Chastanet has a wide variety of rooms, from a shoreline villa to spacious, open-air rooms boasting views of St. Lucia’s iconic Piton mountains. Jade Mountain is even more elevated in terms of location and amenities. It’s a place where guests are invited to relax in seclusion and enjoy fine dining, leisurely beach days, and pampering amenities.

The “next beach over,” Anse Mamin, is also part of the resort’s 600 acres of lush property, and backing onto this equally beautiful stretch of sand is a former cacao plantation that’s now a hub of activity for adventure-minded guests.

The plantation grounds are laced with more than 12 miles of trails used for “jungle biking,” which in less tropical settings you’d call mountain biking. The trail network can accommodate a wide range of abilities, with mostly flat trails on the valley floor that are suitable for beginners and heart-rate accelerating paths snaking up and down the surrounding heights for expert riders only.

Bike St. Lucia rents high-quality Cannondale mountain bikes from a shop just off the beach and also provides lessons on a specially designed test track. Like a ski area, the mountain biking trails are regularly patrolled for safety. Destinations include a swimming hole and reservoir, and trails pass through areas where cacao and other tropical fruit still flourish; bird-watchers will delight in pausing their ride to observe the preserve’s abundant and colorful winged population.

Resort guests can bundle a stay with a jungle biking session, scuba diving, guided hikes through the rainforest, and kayaking. Off-property, St. Lucia has an abundance of activities that will keep even the most hardy amateur athletes sweating even when not under the sun.

That includes hikes to the summit of the legendary Pitons. Both can be climbed, although ironically its the shorter Petit Piton is considered more challenging; a guide is highly recommended and can be arranged through the resort’s activities desk. Really gung-ho visitors can attempt St. Lucia’s “Three Peaks Challenge” during a stay: climbing the 2,618-foot Gros Piton, the more technical 2,438-foot Petit Piton, and Mount Gimie, which at 3,117 feet is St. Lucia’s highest mountain.

saint lucia air canada nonstop pitons view

St. Lucia’s “drive-in volcano,” the island’s best known attraction, is fun but pretty tame: it’s a geothermal area with bubbling mud baths just a few steps from a parking lot. But other activities are more worthy of the adventure label, if not quite in the same league as the Three Peaks Challenge.

anse chastanete
The Anse Chastanet resort.

In addition to a tourist-friendly zip line course and ATV tours, St. Lucia has great hikes like the Tet Paul Nature Trail; this highly recommended 45-minute guided hike passes through an organic farm on the way to an overlook with incredible views of the Pitons and the St. Lucian coastline. The 2.6-mile En Bas Saut trail rewarded hikers with a stop at a waterfall and swimming hole in the middle of a rainforest. The Pigeon Island National Landmark Trail, about 1.3 miles with some moderate elevation gain, include shoreline segments as well as a visit to Fort Rodney, built by the English in 1779.

Whichever adventure you choose, it’s comforting to know that at day’s end you’ll find yourself back on Anse Chastanet with your feet up, cool drink in hand, and soaking up a sunset in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

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