St Lucia


St Lucia has a mix of honey and black sand beaches, translucent waters sheltering reefs swarming with tropical fish, lush interior rainforests, and a rich cultural heritage. This beautiful island has produced two Nobel Prize winners - the poet and playwright Derek Walcott and the economist Sir Arthur Lewis. St Lucia is a family holiday destination and a romantic paradise for honeymooners, it offers something for everyone.


St Lucia was first inhabited by the peaceful Arawak Indians, but they were conquered by their old enemies, the fierce Caribs. Columbus navigator was the first European to discover St Lucia in 1499. Then the British came and in 1667 the French arrived. 
The first European to settle was Francois Le Clerc, known as Jambe de Bois or Wooden Leg. He was a pirate who settled himself up on Pigeon Island. From there he attacked passing Spanish ships. The Dutch established a base at Vieux Fort around 1600.
The name St Lucia (pronounced”Loosha”) was first used in the late 16th Century.

In 1746, the first town was established; Soufriere, a French settlement. By 1780, twelve French towns had been founded and the French built the first sugar estates. Within 15 years, 50 more estates were in operation. 
St Lucia was alternately British and French for the next 150 years, before it was finally ceded to the British in 1814.The most memorable Anglo-French conflict was in 1780 when Admiral George Rodney sailed the English Navy out of Gros Islet Bay and attacked and decimated the pride of the French fleet under the command of Admiral Comte de Grasse.
Wars between the English and the French prevented the growth of large plantations and the sugar industry suffered heavily with the abolition of slavery in 1838. 
The war has left fortresses and relics behind. Pigeon Island National Park, Fort Rodney, Morne Fortune (site of a key battle), and Marigot Bay (vital maritime base) are some examples.

In 1838, St Lucia joined the Windward Islands with its seat of government in Barbados. In 1842, English became the island’s official language.

St Lucia moved towards independence in 1951 when suffrage was granted to all citizens over age twenty-one. 
England granted St Lucia full self-government in 1967. The Island became completely independent from England on February 22, 1979.


St Lucia still has many British characteristics and, although English is the official language, French patois is widely spoken by the locals. In spirit, the island is influenced by many cultures. St Lucians drive on the left and have a passion for cricket. But the Caribbean influence surfaces in the drinks - rum and locally brewed beer – the Piton -, in the music - calypso, soca, reggae, in the richly flavoured Creole cuisine, in the carnivals, festivals and days of national pride, and in the open-air markets. The island also hosts an international jazz festival every May, internationally renowned.


To See

Sightseeing opportunities include the crater of a dormant volcano, bubblingsulphur springs, colonial fortifications including 18th –century forts, sleepy coastal villages and plantations. You’ll see banana and cocoa plantations, the majestic Pitons, with his massive twin volcanic cones that have become the island’s signature landmark. You can visit the eco-friendly Marine Turtle Watch, hike alongSt Lucia’s wild and unexplored Atlantic coast or bike or take the aerial train through acres of trails in one of these magnificent rainforest. Diamond Falls and Mineral Baths (mineral springs in which visitors can bathe) were built by the French king, Louis XVI, to refresh and heal his troops stationed on St Lucia. They are fascinating as is historic Soufriere, the old French capital.  

Usefull Information

Airports: Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort is located 40 miles south of Castries. George F. L . Charles Inter Island Airport is just outside Castries.

Area: 616 km2 (238 square miles).

Business: Banks are open Monday to Thursday, 8am-2pm, and on Fridays, 8am-5pm.

Capital: Castries.

Climate: Sub tropical climate kept mild by cooling trade winds make St. Lucia a year round delight. From June to November be prepared for sporadic tropical showers.

Clothing: Visitors should bring cool, comfortable clothing. While jacket and tie are rarely requisite, overly casual beachwear is rarely appreciated off the beach.

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar - EC$.

Customs: The duty free allowance into St Lucia is 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, one litre of spirit or wine. Duty free shopping is available at Pointe Seraphine, La Place Carenage and at the departure lounge of Hewanorra Airport.

Economy: Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry.

Electricity: 220 Volts AC, 50 Cycles.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official Saint Lucia tourism website (link below) or ask us.

Health: Drinking water is safe from the tap and bottled mineral water is also available. There are several pharmacies in Castries, one on the Gros Islet Highway and one in Gablewoods Shopping Mall. All hotels have doctors, either resident or available on call.

Holidays: New Year’s Day (01-02JAN), Independence Day (FEB), Good Friday & Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Labour Day (MAY), Whit Monday (MAY-JUN), Corpus Christi Day (JUN), Emancipation Day (AUG), Thanksgiving (OCT), National Day (DEC), Christmas (25-26 DEC).

Language: English, Creole patois.

Political status: independent nation, member of the Commonwealth.

Population: 168,000.

Religion: Roman Catholic and other Christian denominations.

Security: St Lucia does have its fair share of robberies. Valuables left unattended on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Tourists present a target of opportunity, and they are advised to stay on the main streets, which are patrolled.  Visitors should use caution, especially at night and while walking on the beach alone.

Shopping: Shops open on weekdays, 8.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm, and on Saturdays, 8am-noon. Payment cards accepted in most tourist locations.

Taxes & Service charges: On hotel and restaurant bills there is a Government tax of 8%. A service charge of 10% is also applicable. In some instances these charges are included in prices quoted, so it is best to clarify. The prices on labels in shops are what you pay.

Telecommunications: the international dialling code for St Lucia is +1 758 followed by the customer number. On the island, dial the customer number alone.

Time: Standard Time Zone: GMT – 4 hrs. St Lucia Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: Buses serve the north of the Island around Castries and Gros Islet very well and run until around 10.00pm. There is no scheduled bus timetable but bus fares are cheap. Car travel via the new West Coast Road from Castries to Soufriere takes about an hour. From Hewanorra Airport to Castries takes around an hour.



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