St Lucia is the second largest of the Windward Islands. Famed for its spectacular natural beauty, it has long attracted tourists but has battled not to become overdeveloped; bananas are still bigger business than tourism as a result and the West Indian way of life remains undisturbed.
Whilst it's possible to spend all your time sunning in a resort by the beach, this unspoilt island has a heavily forested interior that demands exploration, two spectacular Pitons that rise from ocean waves and a host of other dramatic rock formations created when hardening magma plugged the volcanoes on the island.
The capital Castries is set amidst a series of hills and has a beautiful natural harbour as well as a cathedral that sums up the country's mixed influences; the French-designed building is full of African-inspired colours, portraits of a black Madonna and child and services are delivered in English. Climb Morne Fortune, the ‘hill of good luck', for panoramic views of the city, which can get particularly busy when cruise ships dock.
The old capital whilst under French rule was Soufriere, at the foot of the volcanic Pitons; the twin peaks dominate the skyline and stand over the town like sentinels. Spend time admiring the scenery as well as the sulphur springs and mineral baths to the south.
Absorb local colour and flavour at the typical coastal town of Anse La Raye, stroll through the 19,000 acre St Lucia Forest Reserve to see achingly beautiful flora and fauna or hop to the pirate haunt Pigeon Island National Park for some excellent hiking, historical sites, beaches and annual jazz festival.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
The driest period is from December to May and there is increased rainfall towards the end of the year (June to November)
Throughout the year St Lucia is home to many events from calypso celebrations and street parties to the beginning of the cricket season. All are bathed in colour with music, dancing and feasting. The main festivals are the Carnival in February and the Jazz Festival in May, the latter attracting some of the world's finest jazz artists.
West Indian and Creole with French influences. Local dishes include langouste (native lobster) cooked in a variety of ways, lambi (conch) and other fresh seafood. Breadfruit and plantain are popular, and the local spicy dish "pepper potâ" is worth trying. Many imported spirits are available; local favourite is rum in punch and cocktails. Beers and fruit juices are also available.
The people are very hospitable and encourage visitors to enjoy their lifestyle. It is mainly a West Indian style of life, though some French influences still remain. Casual wear is acceptable, but some restaurants and hotels encourage you to dress for dinner. Beachwear should not be worn in the towns.
George F L Charles (SLU) 3 km from Castries. Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) 67 km from Castries.
All major centres served by a reasonably good road network. Car-hire, minivan buses, and taxis available.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in St Lucia. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in St Lucia, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in St Lucia. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
Alison Kent - Caribbean Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0616