Whats St Lucia Like – A perfect holiday destination?
St Lucia is one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. It is located in the Eastern Caribbean north of Barbados, between Martinique and St Vincent. The Caribbean laps its western coast and the Atlantic its eastern coast. It is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide.
Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, who were the island’s first long term, European settlers. It is the only country in the world named after a woman.
Renowned for its natural beauty, St Lucia boasts lush rainforest and. beautiful mountains with flourishing fields of bananas, mangos and coconut trees in between.
Whats St Lucia Like – History
The Dutch tried to colonise the island in 1600 but remained in control only briefly before the French invaded. There followed three centuries of the French and the British alternately ruling the island. Competition for supremacy was particularly fierce during 18th century when the sugar trade began to take off. The abolition of the slave trade by Britain in 1807 eventually led to the slaves of St Lucia being completely freed in 1838.
In the twentieth century, St Lucia joined the West Indies Federation when the colony was dissolved. It did not become fully independent until 1979 remaining a member of the British Commonwealth with English as the official language. Today Patois is spoken by 95% of the population.
Whats St Lucia Like – Geography
St Lucia is volcanic island and boasts one of the few ‘drive in volcanos’. After this, you can cool off in the small pools and sulfur springs just outside of the volcano. The volcanic mud is reputed to have healing benefits. St Lucia is more mountainous than most of the Caribbean islands. Its highest peak is Mount Gimie which is 3,120 feet high. More famously, the Pitons form twin peaks on the west side of the island.
The capital city is Castries home to a population of 60,500, around 33% of the population.
Whats St Lucia Like – Climate
The climate in St Lucia is tropical, enjoying year round temperatures of around 29 degrees during the day, dropping to around 24 degrees at night. This is moderated by northeast trade winds.
The wet season lasts from the beginning of June until the end of November. However annual rainfall is only around 51 inches on the coast rising to 150 inches in the mountain rainforests.
Whats St Lucia Like – Tourism
Tourism is growing in St Lucia and is essential to the economy. In many ways it is the perfect tourist destination with its wonderful tropical beaches and wealth of activities for leisure travellers.
The most popular time to visit is during the dry season December to May.
Aside from just swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches, the island’s steep coastline and colourful reefs offer great opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving.
The island has great facilities for golf, tennis, and sailing. Indeed, St Lucia the home of the end of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers every November, attracting over 200 cruisers.
Cricket fans will know that it is a very popular sport in St Lucia. Their Daren Sammy Cricket Ground hosts international games for the West Indies..
St Lucia’s rich colonial history has left many historic buildings and remnants of the sugar cane industry offering a glimpse into the past. Notably, a visit to Pigeon Island National Park will include a look at Fort Rodney an historic British military base.
The lush rainforests are a paradise for birdwatchers and hikers. Nature lovers will also not want to miss the Botanical Gardens. Located in Sofriere in the south west of the island, the Botanical Gardens are home to the Diamond waterfall and countless species of tropical plants.
Music plays a big part in the culture of St Lucia. Their music has influences from Africa, East Indies, France and Britain reflecting their heritage.
The highlight of the cultural year is the St Lucia Jazz 7 Arts Festival which takes place in May, featuring visual art, education, fashion and food as well as a whole range of musical styles.
Whats St Lucia Like – Food
St Lucia boasts some very luxurious resorts with high class restaurants serving high quality International Cuisine.
If you want to get out and eat with the locals here is a glimpse of what you may find.
The national dish of St Lucia is green figs and saltfish.. The Island’s cuisine is a blend of African, East Indian, British and French. Typical dishes include macaroni pie, rice and peas, stewed fish, seafood and meat with soups packed with locally produced vegetables.
Essential food stuffs include potatoes, onions, thyme, celery, coconut milk, flour, cornmeal and the scorching hot scotch bonnet chillies.
The island is famous fried dough, known as ‘bake’ or Johnny Cake. Bake is sometimes served with saltfish and peppers.
The large Indo-Caribbean population in St Lucia ensures that curry remains popular but a Caribbean twist. Bread is very flat and often wrapped around curried vegetables or seafood such as conch or shrimp or meat for example, chicken, beef, goat and liver.
The people of St Lucia are known to be very friendly and welcoming. Although the crime rate is low, as in all places where tourists gather, petty crime happens.
It pays to take all the precautions you would in any area. Protect your possessions. Do not flaunt wealth and stay in well-lit populated areas.