Pigeon Island National Park is located on the North West coast of St. Lucia, a few miles from Rodney Bay Village. Originally inhabited by Amerindians, it has also served as a base for pirates, rebel slaves and colonial navies.
Exploring Pigeon Island is taking a walk through history as you visit barracks, forts and relics of a bygone age. The view from the Pigeon Island Fort is spectacular and provides views of Martinique, Rodney Bay and the North West Coast of St. Lucia.
Many of the buildings and structures remaining today date back to the late 18th century and were constructed by Admiral Rodney. Rodney established a British Naval base on Pigeon Island, and built the fort on the lower peak which remains to this day. From the upper peak, the British could spy on the French in Martinique, located to the north. The island also provided the British Navy with a strategic base from which they could defend the northern channel between St. Lucia and Martinique.
Although originally separated from mainland St. Lucia, Pigeon Island was joined via a causeway constructed in 1972.
I set off to explore Pigeon Island just after 2pm, avoiding the hottest part of the day. Just past the entrance gate is the headquarters of the St. Lucia National Trust, formerly the British Officer’s Mess. The Interpretation Center is located here and provides visitors with information about the island.
The St. Lucia National Trust Interpretation Center, Pigeon Island
As I continue on my walk, I go past the Soldiers Barracks before beginning my ascent to the fort. The path is tree-lined, even and of a medium gradient, suitable for adults and children. It takes me around twenty minutes to reach the fort, and I am greeted with magnificent views and a cool breeze.
David and Kristy at the fort
I meet David and Kristy at the fort, a young couple from Alabama. They are on holiday in St. Lucia and are getting married the next day!
I ask Kristy what her impression of Pigeon Island is.
“This place is amazing. I’ve never seen a view like this in my whole entire life.” – Kristy
And I ask David how his holiday in St. Lucia is going.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. We’re getting married tomorrow. I just couldn’t imagine myself in a better paradise. The view, the food, the service is just surreal. Just soaking it all in. This is really a beautiful place.” – David
A big thanks to David and Kristy for featuring in our blog! And on behalf of St. Lucia Freedom Holidays and our readers, we would like to congratulate you both on getting married and wish you a wonderful life together. We hope to see you again soon!
View from the Pigeon Island Fort
I really enjoy being up at the fort and I spend about an hour just admiring the views and relaxing. I could really stay here for longer but I need to get to the second peak (Signal Peak), so I head off.
The walk to Signal Peak takes around 10 minutes. Approaching Signal Peak, the path is uneven and more difficult to navigate than the path to the fort. I would recommend this part of the journey to those who are stable on their feet with good balance. There are also areas on this path where there are sharp drops offs and so children should be closely supervised.
Along the way, you can see the Musket Redoubt and the Gun Slide, where cannons were brought up from the sea suspended on ropes.
View of Signal Peak from the Fort
Once again, the views from the top of Signal Peak are spectacular and well worth the journey.
On my way back from Signal Peak, I hear some children shouting from the fort with their voices echoing. It reminds me of when I visited Pigeon Island as a child and used to do the same thing. I remember there was a place between the two peaks which produced some excellent echos. This is great fun for kids, but alas, I walk along in silence.
As I approach ground level again, there is a quiet beach to the right hand side of the path. A quick dip here is an excellent way to cool off after a tour of the park. Pigeon Island actually has two beaches inside the park. Beach chairs are also available to rent.
I have really enjoyed my afternoon at Pigeon Island National Park and would recommend it to both visitors and locals.
I would recommend that visitors wear comfortable walking shoes, and take suncream and bottled water when visiting the park. Avoid the hottest part of the day (10am to 2pm) and bring towels and swimwear if you plan on swimming as well.
Entrance Fees: Adults (12 and over) US $7 . Children (5-7 years) US $1.15. Children under 5 can enter free.
Guided Tours are also available for an additional US $21.
Opening Hours: Daily including holidays from 9am to 5pm.
Or you can phone the St. Lucia National Trust on (758) 452 5005 or (758) 453 1495.