St. Lucia’s clear, blue, warm sea is ideal for water sports, and the climate permits year-round outdoor activities. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, swimming, sailing, deep-sea fishing, tennis, jogging, hiking and horseback riding are just some of the possibilities for the active visitor to explore. Dedicated fitness buffs can check into local gyms and fitness centres.
For radical fun on the water, the best location is Vieux Fort’s Anse de Sable beach, an immense stretch of white sand and blue water open to the Atlantic wind. It is the home of The Reef Kite + Surf centre. Windsurfing and kitesurfing lessons are available and equipment is for rent. Kayaks are available for hire.
Scuba diving is offered at several reputable diving operations on the island. PADI and NAUI certification courses are available. For the seasoned diver, there are several excellent sites to be explored and dive operations propose varied programmes including night dives. Fish life is particularly rich within the two marine reserves at Soufrière and Canaries. Check with your hotel for more information
Non-divers should ask about snorkelling, particularly in the marine reserves.
Explore the island’s countryside and beaches on horseback. Local riding stables offer various itineraries from one hour rides to half day horseback excursions with a barbecue lunch on the beach. Discover the Fond D’ Or Historical Park, Cas En Bas beach or take your horse for a sea bath. Equestrian centres are open seven days a week, they offer European and Western equipment and they cater to all levels of competence. All stables offer hotel transfers.
All major hotels have floodlit tennis facilities and many offer the services of a certified tennis instructor. Vernon Lewis, the Eastern Caribbean men’s champion and British Virgin Islands Open singles and doubles champion, is the resident professional at the Jalousie Plantation in Soufrière. With over 20 years of teaching experience, a few lessons with Vernon are sure to improve your game.
The St. Lucia Yacht Club at Rodney Bay has two squash courts. Open daily except Monday, the resident instructor is Charlie Sonson, the Eastern Caribbean number two men’s champion. Racquet rentals are also available.
Cricket is a West Indian obsession. The National Cricket Ground at Beausejour in the north of the island is the venue for local, regional and international events. The country practically shuts down whenever a test match or a one day international takes place. St. Lucia is one of the venues chosen for the World Cup Cricket series in 2007.
St. Lucia Golf and Country Club has the only 18-hole golf course in St. Lucia. Located in the northern part of St. Lucia at Cap Estate, the course was designed by John Ponko, a protégé of Robert Trent Jones Sr. It offers fabulous views of the Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines. The 6,815 yard, Par 71 championship golf course is a challenge to serious and recreational golfers. Club facilities include a 350 yard driving range and golf academy, a club house and pro shop. Club rentals are available. Lessons are provided by the resident golf professional. Golf carts are mandatory and golf shoes with soft spikes or tennis shoes are also required. Lessons and tee times can be reserved by calling (758)450-8523.
Sportivo at Rodney Heights, above Key Largo Restaurant, is the largest gym and fitness facility in St. Lucia. The centre offers a fully equipped gym, a cardio-vascular room with treadmills, steppers, bikes and Reebok Elliptical trainers. The 2,200 square foot wood-sprung dance floor is used for Jazzercise, Body Pump, Body Attack and Spinning. Other services include personal training and sports conditioning programmes. Look out for annual Fitness Jam Conventions. Open six days a week. (758)452-8899. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.SPORTIVONOW.com. Visit our website for further information on class schedules.