St. Lucia is one of the Caribbean islands that is perfect for any type of traveler to visit. The local inhabitants and their blend of French, English, Creole, and Indian culture are diverse, as are the accommodations and attractions available. For everyone from couples looking for a romantic getaway to families in need of some quality time, St. Lucia is a great destination.
Another perk of traveling to St. Lucia is their summer tourism programs. During the summer months the St. Lucia Tourist Board works with a number of hotels, restaurants, and tour companies to create specialized packages to draw in tourists with discounted rates and enticing opportunities. A testament to the hard working people of the island, St. Lucia was named "Best Island in the Caribbean" by monthly business-traveler magazine Global Traveler in 2013.
|Currency||The official currency of St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The U.S. dollar is widely accepted, but you may still receive change in EC$. The exchange rate is permanently fixed at about EC$2.65 to each US$1 (EC$1 = US$.37).|
|Electricity||St. Lucia uses a 220- or 230-volt system, so bring adapters for U.S. appliances.|
|GDP Per Capita||The average per capita income is about $6,033(USD).|
|Island Size||The island is about 238 square miles in area.|
|Language||English is the official language, but Kwéyòl, a French patois, is widely spoken.|
|Population||The island is home to about 180,870 residents, and sees about 250,100 visitors annually, with 36 percent visiting from the U.S.|
|Entry Requirements||All visitors to St. Lucia, including those from within the Caribbean, must have a valid passport and an ongoing or return ticket, regardless of their country of origin.
St. Lucia is a volcanic mass located in the Windward Islands region. The island has a total area of 237.8 square miles, and is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean. Mount Gimie features the tallest peak, reaching 3,143 feet above sea level. St. Lucia is volcanic in origin, and the island's topography is comprised of rainforests, fertile valleys, sandy beaches, and natural harbors.
The culture of St. Lucia undoubtedly plays a major role in its popularity. The island's culture evolved from the influences of highly contrasting groups of people. This diversity of experience draws tourists from across the globe. Indian food, British manners, Caribbean music, and varied languages are all present on the same block, if not in the same building.
Due to its location near the equator, St. Lucia's weather is typically hot and very humid. Temperatures range from averages of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with June through August being the hottest months. St. Lucia has an average of 51 inches of rain on the coast each year, which does providing a cooling element, and northeast trade winds take the edge off the heat as well. Click here for information about average monthly rainfall.
Travelers can arrive on the island by a variety of methods. Two airports are located on the island, though Hewanorra International Airport is easily the most popular air travel destination, and the majority of long-distance flights arrive here. Guests may find that the rugged and winding road leading from the airport towards the hotel zone in the northern region of the island is an unpleasant way to begin a vacation, so consider an exciting helicopter flight to your hotel. Cruises and boat charters are another popular traveling method amongst tourists.
...rock climbers of all experience levels will be thrilled with a climbing adventure of a lifetime...
St. Lucia's mostly warm, sunny days allow vacationers more than enough time to get outdoors and explore the island. Many start out their vacation with their toes in the sand or out in the ocean swimming, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, or diving. All of the beaches are public, but in order to participate in water sports you'll have to rent equipment or hire a professional to take you out in the ocean. Popular beach locations include Reduit Beach and the secluded stretch at Anse Chastanet. An alternative to the beach scene, taking a trip to the towering Pitons is highly recommended. At the Pitons, rock climbers of all experience levels will be thrilled with a climbing adventure of a lifetime as professional guides take you up one of the Twin Mountains.
The Saint Lucia National Trust and Department of Forestry host eight trails through the island's rain forest, from easy paths to strenuous. You can try them on your own, or hire a guide to lead you through the brush and point out all of St. Lucia's indigenous plants and animals. Horseback, ATV, and biking tours are also popular ways of viewing St. Lucia's natural sites. For an extra special trip, take a whale watching tour, where you can learn about 20 different species of whale, and possibly see a few in their ocean habitat. Other destinations where travelers can revel in the great outdoors includes: the Rainforest Aerial Tram Adventure, the ‘drive-in’ volcano of Mount Soufrière, the marina at Marigot Bay, hiking on the Petit Piton and more.
After you've learned all about St. Lucia's nature, it's time to immerse yourself in some more cultural attractions. The island is famous for its annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival held each May, where artists from around the globe come to treat guests to ten days of musical performances. Numerous art galleries and studios allow visitors to view (and possibly purchase) the works of native artists; historic homes, forts, and businesses provide an opportunity to find out how locals lived and worked years ago; and museums such as Pigeon Island Museum and Interpretative Center showcase it all. Click here to learn more about the history of St. Lucia.
...the island is overflowing with tropical beauty.
Relaxation is key on your Caribbean island vacation. St. Lucia has numerous ways for visitors to unwind, including golfing, shopping, and enjoying a spa treatment or two. Many Hotelsresorts and hotels will also do everything they can to pamper their guests.
A top priority for every traveler is ensuring that your hunger needs will be satisfied while exploring new destinations. For vacationers headed to St. Lucia, the dining options are seemingly endless. Although guests can find anything from Continental cuisine to Chinese food, the most popular influence on St. Lucia fare is Creole flavor. Tempt your taste buds with traditional meals like salted fish, a variety of curried dishes, fresh seafood, green figs and more. Local produce will impress you with fresh fruits like avocados, papayas, mangos, passion fruit, plantains and more. Read more about the culinary styles by clicking here.
St. Lucia has about as much crime as major metropolitan areas like London or New York. Use common sense when traveling to this island. Don't flaunt cash or expensive jewelry, don't carry large amounts of cash on your person, and don't leave valuables unattended. Be wary of hitchhikers. Also keep in mind that the use of narcotic drugs is illegal, and your government cannot help you much if you are arrested for their use or possession. Local prisons are not a great way to spend your visit.
If you are looking to spend your next vacation in the Caribbean, there is no better place than St. Lucia. Not only is it filled to the brim with natural and cultural attractions, but the island is overflowing with tropical beauty. Everyone has a place here: from explorers to visitors who want to get away from it all; so what are you waiting for? Choose St. Lucia.
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