Hiking on Pigeon Island, St Lucia

During our stay in St. Lucia, we spent a half-day to explore the Pigeon Island National Landmark, next to Gros-Islet. Accessible from the beach, and a 7-minute walk from the Sandals Grande St. Lucia Resort, it was definitely a must-do while we were visiting.



The admission price to Pigeon Island is $7 (US) per person, but gets you unlimited access to the entire island, and you can visit without worrying about a time limit. There are two restaurants that you can dine at (we didn’t, because our meals were free at the resort) if you get hungry.

The island itself used to be completely disconnected from St. Lucia by the sea, but eventually was connected for easy passage in the 1970s. Some prior history we learned about Pigeon island was that it was once a base site after a pirate named Francois le Clerc arrived and settled there, signing a peace treaty with the native Caribs. In 1778, British Admiral George Rodney arrived and he built a fort on the tallest mountain peak, most specifically to spy on the French naval base on the island of Martinique. You can read all about the history of the island on the Calabash Cove website here.

We started out by checking out the shoreline and interesting trees and plants that we don’t have back home in Canada…





As we headed toward the base of the mountain, we wandered through all of the old, beaten down ruins. It was really neat to imagine how these soldiers once lived on the island, as well as the natives before them.

The sign reads: “The colonial struggle between Britain and France and her allies continued into the 1800s, although fighting was interrupted by short-lived treaties and peace settlements. British troops were still sent to garrison the far-flung outposts in the West Indies. These barracks were built to hold 60 men. The two sets, built side by side, were damaged in the hurricane of 1817 and rebuilt in 1824. A kitchen between the two completed the complex…”




Making our way up the first of two peaks, we found some more ruins, but also had what we thought to be a great view of the land and water below.


After our stop at this peak, we headed over to the other, much taller one. It was quite the climb – very steep! We did meet some cool critters though.


Pro tip: If you plan to hike Pigeon Island and its mountains, wear appropriate clothing, shoes, and bring lots of water, and not to mention sunscreen!! It must have easily been warmer than 35 degrees Celsius at some point on our way up, with no breeze until we reached the top! There are a couple of handrails and paved steps for some of the way, but if you’re not quite in the best of health, this may not be an easy climb for you. Proceed with caution!



Once we FINALLY got to the top, we were able to enter into Fort Rodney. The views from here were spectacular. The photos don’t really do it justice.




On top of Fort Rodney, there is a small opening where you could climb down into the original building and take a look around. Of course, Alicia had to venture down there to check it out. It was quite dark inside, but very cool to explore.

The sign reads: “Pigeon Island, only some 40 kilometres south of the French base at Fort Royal, Martinique, had long been recognized by the British Admiral Rodney as an important observation and defensive site. […] Fort Rodney was built in 1778 with an armament of three 34-pounders and two eleven and a half-inch mortars. The cannons sat on timbers on the cobblestone platform, and the platform also served as a water catchment…

If you ever have the opportunity to travel to St. Lucia, and get the time to do some day-time escapades (ha…did it again…escapades…because of our blog… ok nevermind) we definitely suggest that you check out Pigeon Island. There is a lot of history here and it is just a wonderful place to see in person!

–The Calkins’

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  1. […] During our stay, we also made our way over to the Sandals Grande St. Lucian. As a guest of Sandals in St. Lucia, you have all-inclusive access to all 3 Sandals resorts, with a free shuttle bus between each resort that runs once every 2 hours. One of the days during a visit to the Sandals Grande, we made a trip over to Pigeon Island for a hike. This national park is a 7 minute walk from the resort and provides EXCEPTIONAL views of the bay, beach and mountains. Check out our post about it here! […]


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