The beaches, mountains and exotic plant species… these things come to mind upon the mention of St. Lucia. While these hold true for St. Lucia, there is a lot more to this island nation than meets the eye. It is one of the many island nations that make up the Lesser Antilles region in the Caribbean. There were an influx of foreign visitors and colonizers but the French were the first ones to settle into the island. Then, the British came during the mid-17th century wherein they engaged in several wars with France to regain control over the island. This has led to St. Lucia being nicknamed as “Helen of the West Indies”. Before you travel to St. Lucia, make sure to read this travel guide.
Tourism is the main source of economy in the island. In fact, the tourism industry is also the biggest source of employment in the country. Aside from attracting foreign visitors for relaxation, St. Lucia is also a popular destination for foreign investors and businessmen. Offshore banking and manufacturing has supported the island’s economy for several decades.
St. Lucia features a tropical climate. The dry season starts in December and ends in May while the wet season begins in June until November.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Official Language: English is the official language in St. Lucia.
Wi-Fi Availability: The government of St. Lucia has launched a program that offered free island-wide access to the internet for all tourists and locals.
Airport/s: The Hewanorra International Airport is the main airport in St. Lucia for international flights that travel to St. Lucia.
Visa Required: There are 63 countries listed as visa-exempt countries in St. Lucia (including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and European Union passport holders) and they can stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Meanwhile, there are 54 other countries that can obtain visa upon arrival so they can travel to St. Lucia.
Driving: In St. Lucia, you must drive on the left side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? You need to obtain a temporary driving permit to drive in St. Lucia.
Crime: Over the past four years, there is a steady decline in homicide cases in St. Lucia. However, violent crimes are still persistent across various parts of St. Lucia.
Electrical Adapters: In St. Lucia, they use an electrical voltage of 230 volts at an electrical frequency of 50 Hertz.
Trivia: The year round average temperature in St. Lucia is 27-degree Celsius, making it a popular tourist destination all throughout the year.
Cuisine in St. Lucia
The cuisine of St. Lucia is a combination of the elements from the French and British cuisine. Most of the dishes in the island use spices from the Creole cuisine but due to the access to seafood and other fresh ingredients, they are quite prevalent in restaurants and beach bars.
Before the time of colonization, the Caribs who lived on the island use natural fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, avocadoes, tangerines, and mangoes. Salt fish is another staple in the daily meals of St. Lucia. To give you an idea of how the local dishes are prepared, they are made mostly of limited protein with lots of starch and fruits or vegetables. When it comes to protein, the local favorites include pork hocks, chicken back, and pig tail. As for seafood, snapper, tuna and mahi mahi are abundant in the island.
Aside from French and British influences, you will also find Indian culinary styles incorporated into the food options in St. Lucia.
Travel to St. Lucia – Attractions
Pitons – This is a natural site recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The Pitons management area covers up to 2,909 hectares of land area, which includes the two Pitons mountains. These twin mountains dominate the landscape of the island and are easily the most popular attraction in the island. This is one attraction you can’t miss when you travel to St. Lucia.
Sulphur Springs – Noted for being the world’s only drive in volcano, Sulphur Springs in St. Lucia sought after for being the most active and hottest geothermal location in the Lesser Antilles region. The park itself where the hot springs are located in measures 45 hectares.
St. Lucia Botanical Gardens – This natural attraction is also referred to as Diamond Botanical Gardens. It is where you will find the famous Diamond Waterfall and the island’s oldest botanical gardens.
Vigie Beach – This protected white sand beach is one of the most popular beaches in St. Lucia. It is located adjacent to the George F. L. Charles Airport.
Marigot Bay – This bay is located on the western coast of the island of St. Lucia. It is close by the Saint Lucia National Marine Reserve and is surrounded by steep and forested hills.