I'd like to weigh in on this topic for just a moment. We just cruised last week on the NCL Dawn and we booked COSOL tours in St Lucia. I have been cruising for 20 years and this Cosol Tour was absolutely one of the best tours I have ever been on in any country. Not liking the price gouging by the cruiselines on shore ex, we usually hire a taxi when we arrive in port and have them take us wherever we like. However, this being my first time to St. Lucia I didn't want to miss anything. Cosol offered all the highlights I wanted to hit (as opposed to the cruiseline that offered only some of the sites.
These guys are very organized. Each van holds about 12-15 passengers and we had 3 vans in our "caravan". We were going right from the start at 8:30am. We drove through Castries to get out to the countryside. Our guide YELLOW BIRD (brother of Cosol) was fantastic. He tells the history of the island as we are driving through the city into the countryside. He answered every question we asked. Stopping for beautiful overlooks, we could get out and take some pix. Once in the countryside, the real fun begins and the feasting. The food on this tour was amazing. I was never hungry or thirsty. First stop the banana plantation. After a quick history lesson on bananas and how they grow, we sampled banana ketchup and banana bbq sauce on banana chips. Yum. Then we each got a whole banana to try. We washed it all down with a few homemade spiced rum shots - wow 10 am here I come!
Then on to see two different fishing villages. In the second village we stop for breakfast. All 3 vans together was less than 50 people and did not feel crowded at all. In fact most of the time we were getting out on the shoulder of the road for photos and we were not a big group. I won't spoil it for you but breakfast was an amazing variety of local foods all cooking right there. One of the vans had the "mobile bar" in the trunk. Water, beer, rum punch, soda, juices. As many as you wanted. I won't detail too much more because you should be surprised and delighted as we were. The water taxi to the beach between the Pitons was quick and the beach is wonderful. Be sure to swim on the hotel side for softer sand. You just cannot use any hotel chairs. We had a full hour there - lovely.
Back on the water taxi and on to the volcano. We only had 3 of our van who wanted to go into the mud baths so YellowBird set them up where they needed to go. Then he drove the rest of us up the hill to hear a guide speak about the volcano and sulfur springs. That was not part of it, but he gave us a great tour so we didnt just sit around waiting for the mud pit folks. And he paid all the entrance fees. Then we picked up the mud folks and headed to the waterfall. So beautiful. After working up an appetite we stopped for hot baked bread and cheese. Loving the homemade food on this trip plus of course more drinks from the mobile bar.
We started to head back to Castries. On the way a car came roaring up beside us honking their horn. Yellow bird got out to meet a woman. He came back into the van with baggies of homemade cookies for the ride back! This tour was absolutely the best bang for your buck and I feel like I got to see the whole island. Oh, and did I mention that it rained for most of the day? Anyone on that tour would agree with me. We were having so much fun that the rain didnt even matter. If you're on the fence, just go for it. You won't forgive yourself if you miss out. Only warning I have, take a dramamine before getting in the van. The hairpin turns are numerous. Ask your driver to show you the one stretch of straight road on the island... it's pretty funny. Have fun!