St Lucia lies at latitude 13 54’ north of the Equator and 60 50’ west. One of the Windward Islands, it is located in the middle of the Eastern Caribbean chain of islands and is approximately 21 miles south of Martinique and 90 miles northwest of Barbados. Castries (population 50,000) is the island’s capital and is situated North-west of the island.
The main language in Saint Lucia is English although many St. Lucians also speak French and Spanish. Kwéyòl, St Lucia’s second language, is widely spoken by the St. Lucian people including all walks of life such as doctors, bankers, government ministers and the man on the street! Kwéyòl is not just a patois or broken French, but a language in its own right, with its own rules of grammar and syntax. The language is being preserved by its everyday use in day-to-day affairs and by special radio programmes and news read entirely in Kwéyòl.
The island is 238 sq. miles (616 sq. km), 27 miles long, 14 miles wide with a combination of high mountains, forests, low lying lands and beaches. A central mountain range runs the length of the island, with peaks ranging between 1000 and 3145 feet. Forests dominate the mountains, while jasmine, scarlet chenille and wild orchids provide splashes of colour to the lush green slopes. The two towering volcanic cones on the southwest coast, Gros Piton (797m) and Petit Piton (750m) are one of the Caribbean’s most famous landmarks. The volcanic origin of the island provides visitors with an opportunity to visit a “drive-in volcano” and take a dip in the reputedly therapeutic Sulphur springs.
The climate on island is tropical with temperatures ranging from 70 – 90 Fahrenheit. The rainy season is from June to November and the drier period between December and May. Average rainfall is between 160-360cm depending on altitude.
Currently estimated at 150,000 with a workforce of about 65,000. Annual population growth rate is approximately 2%. English is the official language of St Lucia however, a French-based patois is widely spoken.
St Lucia is relatively easy to get to with single connection flights on Delta, US Airways, and American.
Activities and Attractions
SCUBA and snorkeling
St Lucia is a diving paradise. The island is at the tip of an underwater volcano where both beginner and experienced divers alike will enjoy the stunning variety of coral, sponge and marine life. Artificial reefs have developed around a number of sunken ships which have become home to huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and black lace corals. Exciting Caribbean diving trips will reveal turtles, nurse sharks, seahorses, angel fish, and golden spotted eels, to name but a few, among the dazzling cross section of Caribbean marine life.
With the sparkling Caribbean Sea on one side and the mysterious depths of the Atlantic Ocean on the other, sailors and fishermen will fall in love with St Lucia. Not only is it possible to charter any form of sea-going vessel anywhere on the island, but St. Lucia also offers opportunities for some of the best deep sea fishing in the world. Described as “an angler’s dream come true”, it is home to several species of big game fish, and you may even catch a trophy white marlin as your prize!
Exploring the beauty of Saint Lucia’s majestic rain forest is a great way to relax and appreciate the island. A variety of natural trails lead hikers through the rain forest, to the top of Saint Lucia’s mountains, through old plantation grounds, along beaches, to Cactus Valley, to Pigeon Island and more. As visitors hike, they will see spectacular rain forest waterfalls, flora and local birds like the Saint Lucia Parrot, the Saint Lucia Oriole and the Saint Lucia Black Finch. Comfortable shoes are a must. Rainforest Hikes: Explore the Rainforest Reserve with a guide from the Forest and Lands Department on a 3½ hour trek. Visitors trek past indigenous tree species and along paths lined with tinier plants, bromliads, orchids and mushrooms. Throughout the tour, beautiful birds including the indigenous St Lucia Parrot (Amazona Versicolor) can be seen. Emerging from the dark shade of the forest into the open, a magnificent view of Mount Gimie, St Lucia’s highest peak. For more information contact Forest & Lands Department.
Most hotels and resorts offer some form of entertainment throughout the week – including local live bands and cultural performances. There are also a number of bar and restaurants all over the island that are fun spots at night.
Deep in St Lucia’s mountainous, tropical islands interior almost 1,800 feet above sea level, lies 19,000 acres of rainforest and the 29 miles of trails that run through it.
The rainforest is respected as a habitat for rare birds and plants, a world where lushness is overpowering, where elusive parrots squawk overhead, orchids scent the air, hummingbird buzz near brilliant heliconia and climbing palms encircle tall trees like lovers in a parting embrace.
It has taken centuries for St Lucia’s tropical island rainforest to become its current well-developed refuge. Nonetheless, two thousand years ago, Arawak tribes associated the dark woods with evil spirits and for centuries the forest remained untouched and the spirits the Amerindians feared evolved into island folklore.
St. Lucia has a variety of shopping experiences to suit all types of travelers. Whether you are arriving for the day on a cruise ship, spending a romantic holiday at an all-inclusive resort, or challenging your senses on a sporting or diving holiday near the world-famous Piton Mountains, you will find the shops and markets compatible with your needs and tastes.
In and around St. Lucia’s city capital of Castries, visitors can find a variety of unique shopping experiences. Pointe Seraphine, a new harbour-front shopping complex, offers duty-free designer perfumes, crystal, china, jewelry, cigars and clothing as well as wood carvings and other local arts and crafts in more than 20 modern shops. The 100-year old Castries market is a must-see for visitors to the island, where local vendors offer thousands varieties of island memorabilia, spices and foods, and local fishermen offer the daily catch. Gablewoods shopping center, just north of Castries, offers a full array of shops and services including international books and news, postal services, restaurants and a supermarket. In Castries at Artsibits Gallery you can find St. Lucia’s distinctive paintings and carvings. And just 2 miles south of Castries on La Toc Road you will find the studios of Sydney Bagshaw, a skilled local artisan with shops at Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage.
St. Lucia is very proud of its’ heritage in the arts. For a taste, head to the Eudovic studios in Goodlands 10 minutes south of Castries to see beautiful works of art sculpted from wood. Or combine sightseeing and shopping at the 100 year-old Caribelle hilltop house, where you can watch artisans make batik and screen-prints while you shop in the exotic boutique. On the southern coast of the island you will find the Choiseul Arts & Crafts center, a wonderful source of hand-woven baskets, unique placemats, chairs and woodcarvings.
St. Lucia Photos
St. Lucia Resorts
Royalton St Lucia
Nestled in lush a landscape and set upon one of the most picturesque islands in the Caribbean, Royalton Saint Lucia welc
Ladera St Lucia
The only resort in St. Lucia overlooking the Pitons, two volcanic spires and a recognized World Heritage Site, with the
Sandals Grande St Lucian
Situated on a peninsula surrounded by the sea on both sides, this resort boasts incredible rondovals, suites- in-the-rou
Sandals La Toc
Set amidst 210 lush acres on a half-mile crescent-shaped beach, this spectacular resort offers a 9-hole golf course, 8 r
This intimate 169-room beachfront resort is an island paradise for two. Overlooking a serene bay with pristine white-san
Sugar Beach a Viceroy Resort
The Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort is without question located in one of the most spectacular sites in the world, the maj
Tucked away on gently sloping, tropical beachfront on the northwest coast of the island, Calabash Cove is an upscale res
Ti Kaye Village
Nestled along a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and away from the hustle and bustle of the island, lies a St. Lucian
"Rising majestically above the 600 acre beachfront resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain is a cornucopia of organic ar