St. Lucia is one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles and is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain. It lies between Martinique and St. Vincent and is north of Barbados. Only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, the Atlantic Ocean is on its eastern shore while the west borders the Caribbean Sea.
St. Lucia is classified as having a sub-tropical climate, kept mild by trade winds year round. June through November is “wet season” when you will experience sporadic tropical showers which come and go quickly. May is the hottest month with an average temperature of 28 Celsius and the coldest is February at 25 Celsius. The sea is at its warmest in September when the water temperature averages 29 Celsius!
Getting around –
When booking an all inclusive package your transfers to and from the airport are included, many resorts also offer complimentary transfers. If you wish to explore the island we suggest booking an excursion through your tour operator or resort however if you want to do some exploring on your own there are a few different options. Minibuses serve as the main ground transportation and you can check their schedules with your resort in destination. If you wish to arrive at your resort even faster some guests book a helicopter transfer from Hewanorra to Castries instead of travelling by ground.
The currency of St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is linked to the US Dollar. US dollars are also widely accepted throughout the island as well as major credit cards.
Language spoken –
English is the official language, but St. Lucians speak a French Creole commonly called Patois which you may hear them speaking amongst themselves.
The standard electrical supply in St. Lucia is 220 volts, a few hotels offer 110 volts so look into this before traveling. If your hotel is 220 volts and you are travelling from North America you will require an adaptor, some hotels are able to offer these but it is not standard.
What To Do:
St. Lucia is a wonderful destination for those who enjoy exploring and seeing the sites! You will most likely have trouble deciding between excursions as there are so many wonderful options available. Some of the most popular are –
Piton Mountains - Located near Soufriere, these primeval twin peaks, topping 2,000 feet, are St. Lucia's most famous landmark. Only the most daring climbers have ventured an ascent to their summits, but they can be seen in all their glory from Mt. Gimie or from the decks of a boat offshore
Diving -Diving off the waters of St. Lucia is ideal for both beginners and experts alike as there are a variety of dive operators on island who are dedicated to ensure an exceptional diving experience.
Sulphur Springs – Now dormant, it is the world's only drive-in volcano. A tour of its bubbly, steamy sulphur springs offers a direct and fascinating lesson in the violent geology of the Caribbean Rim.
Morne Fortune (Hill of Good Luck) – A highpoint overlooking Castries this was a key battleground. The French began constructing a fortress here as a strategic outpost but the British finished it when the French surrendered in 1796.
Derek Walcott Square - Located in the capital, Castries, a 400-year-old samaan tree shades the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1897.
Anse-le-Ray & Canaries -An afternoon visit to these tiny fishing villages offer an interesting study of one of St. Lucia's main traditions, fishing in dug-out canoes.
There are many more options and definitely something for everyone. Check your tour operator or resort’s website for a more detailed list as well as sample pricing.
Most of the shopping is centred in Castries along William Peter Boulevard and Bridge Street. Many stores will sell their goods at duty-free prices. Some popular items to purchase are bone china, jewelry, perfume, watches, liquor and crystal. Point Seraphine is also in Castries and is built for the cruise ship passengers who dock there however any one is able to visit. They have the most diverse collection of shops on the island as well as offices for car rentals and tax services. Most resorts also offer shops on site if you choose not to venture off property.
St. Lucia is known for the variety of its music and the local people never miss an opportunity to display their love for it. Most hotels and some restaurants offer entertainment, including Shak Shak bands, Steel Pan bands, limbo dancers and local dancers and singers. On Friday nights, the village of Gros Islet hosts a weekly "jump-up," a local street party for St. Lucians as well as visitors, lasting until the early morning hours. There is music in the streets and vendors selling barbecued chicken and other local foods and beverages.
On Wednesday nights, The Lime restaurant comes alive with music and dancing well into the night. There is live entertainment and theme nights at Indies and The Late Lime, two of St. Lucia's most popular night cubs at Rodney Bay. A variety of clubs in the Castries area also feature entertainment, including the Derek Walcott Center for The Arts, located at the Great House Restaurant.
St. Lucia has three golf courses:
Jalousie Hilton Resort & Spa - 9 Holes
Sandals Regency Golf Resort & Spa at La Toc - 18 Holes
St. Lucia Golf & Country Club - 18 Holes
Temporary memberships, lessons from the resident pro, and golfing equipment are available. If you know you will be golfing while in destination we recommend pre-booking your tee times if possible.
Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
St. James Club Morgan Bay