St Lucia has gained fame as a romantic getaway at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. The forested volcanic peaks, white sand beaches and exclusive celebrity getaways have defined St Lucia as a luxury destination perfect for memorable weddings and honeymoons.

But for those who venture beyond their Caribbean hotel, the island of St Lucia offers a surprising variety of things to do. Let’s take a look at Soufriere.

Soufrière,  in the southwest corner of the island, was once the capital of St Lucia in colonial times. The small, quaint town is close to beaches shrouded in cool, lush rainforest. The relative remoteness of beaches near Soufrière means the area is a perfect secluded spot to spend a honeymoon. Tall palm trees shade sunbathers from the heat of the tropical sun, while snorkelers will find a paradise of reefs and hundreds of varieties of tropical fish just a few feet from shore.

Following a day spent in relaxation and privacy during a St Lucia Honeymoon on the beach, many visitors like to return to Soufrière for dinner or drinks. There are several tourist attractions nearby, including historical Ft Charlotte. Mourne Coubaril Estate, a working farm that grows cocoa and coconuts, is open to the public. The site features a re-created farmworkers village, and Daniel’s Ark is a new attraction at Mourne Coubaril suitable for children as well as adults.

Also close to Soufrière are the Daimon Botanical Gardens, which offer rainforest walks and waterfalls, a nature trail, as well as fine dining and a spa with mineral baths.

If you prefer to spend your time in the crystal clear Caribbean, local “dive spots” provides divers with many opportunities to interact with resident dolphins, sea turtles, eagle ray and even humpback whales.

Back in Soufrière, there are many different places to eat. The rich cultural heritage of this island, sometimes considered the crossroads of the Caribbean, means there are excellent opportunities to experience French, Indian, Creol and Caribbean cuisine. If you’re after shopping, nearby Rodney Bay features traditional handmade crafts and souvenirs, as well as a beach with full amenities for day visitors.

– Charles Edwards blogs about St Lucia resort topics.