About St. Lucia

SAINT LUCIA is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique.

 

Land Area :-

617 sq. km (238.23 sq m) 27 miles long, 14 miles wide

 

Population :-

174,000 (2010)

 

Capital :-

Castries.

 

Currency :-

The East Caribbean dollar (sign: $; code: XCD)

 

Time Zone :-

St. Lucia is on Atlantic Standard Time Zone, which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time, except during Daylight Savings Time when the time is the same.

 

Major Cities
  • Castries – Capital
  • Vieux Fort
  • Soufriere – Old Capital
  • Gros Islet
  • Marigot Bay

 

St. Lucia has two airports
  • Hewanorra International (UVF), which is near Vieux Fort & is located approximately five minutes from the IAU campus
  • George FL Charles Airport (SLU), which is near Castries.

 

Languages

English (official), French patois

Virtually all residents will be able to converse with travellers in English.

The official language is English however Saint Lucian Creole French (Kwéyòl), which is a French-based Creole colloquially referred to as “Patwah” (Patois), is spoken by 95% of the population.

Climate

St. Lucia has a tropical, humid climate moderated by northeast trade winds that allow for pleasant year-round conditions. Mean annual temperatures range from 26 °C (78.8 °F) to 32 °C (89.6 °F) at sea level and drop to an average of 13 °C (55.4 °F) in the mountain peaks. The abundant annual rainfall accumulates to approximately 2,000 millimeters (78.7 in), with most precipitation occurring during the June to December wet season.

 

Saint Lucia boasts the highest ratio of Nobel laureates produced with respect to the total population of any sovereign country in the world. Two winners have come from Saint Lucia: Sir Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, and Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. Both were born on the same day in 1915 and 1930, respectively: 23 January.

St. Lucia’s physical features are strikingly beautiful. Dominated by high peaks and rain forests in the interior, the 616-square-kilometer (238-square-mile) island is known for the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton on the southwestern coast, its soft sandy beaches, and its magnificent natural harbors. Mount Gimie, the highest peak, is located in the central mountain range and rises to 958 meters (3,143 ft) above sea level

 

Saint Lucia’s landscape is a combination of high mountains, lush rainforests, low lying lands and beaches. Forests dominate the mountains, while jasmine, scarlet chenille and wild orchids provide splashes of colour to the lush green slopes

 

The volcanic origin of the island provides visitors with an opportunity to visit a “drive-in volcano” and take a dip in the reputedly therapeutic Sulphur Springs.

Tourism

Saint Lucia is known throughout the rest of the Caribbean and the entire global community for its breathtaking scenery, lush vegetation, rich cultural heritage and friendly people to name a few attributes. However, Saint Lucia is making waves and gaining recognition on the international front not only for its beauty but its quality of tourism product.

 

Perhaps the most highly ranked award is that of the “5-Star Diamond Award for Excellence” from the American Academy of Hospitality Studies granted to Saint Lucia in November of 2004. This famed prize has only been bestowed to two other nations, but never before presented to a Caribbean island, a feat Saint Lucia has accomplished.

 

Saint Lucia has received for the third consecutive year, the honour of being proclaimed the “World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” from the renowned World Travel Awards body. The World Travel Awards is held yearly and is seen globally as being an event aimed towards highlighting significant achievements and contributions in the tourism industry.

 

Modern Bride, one of the top bridal magazines in the US surveyed travel agents across the nation, to devise its annual list of the World’s 50 Best Honeymoons. As a result of this survey, Saint Lucia was ranked the “fifth best Honeymoon Destination and one of the Most Secluded Honeymoon Destinations in the World”. The island was classed together with recognized leading honeymoon destinations such as Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico and Tahiti who made this survey’s top four list; and ranked ahead of several Caribbean competitors such as US Virgin Islands, Aruba and Bermuda as well as an international contender, Italy.

 

St. Lucia has some of the most overwhelmingly beautiful scenery to be found anywhere in the world. Amongst the natural beauty of its splendid forests and soaring peaks are ancient fortresses, gem-like fishing villages, and gracious town squares, places waiting like buried treasure to be discovered by newcomers.

Attractions at St. Lucia

The Pitons, two volcanic plugs rising more than 785 m directly from the sea that form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Sulfur Springs – just south of Soufriere, these hot springs are one of the main attractions on the island. There is a pool that the hot water runs through, so make sure to take your swimming trunks and go for a dip! It is said to be the world’s only drive-in volcano

National Rain Forest

Mt. Gimie

Natural waterfalls

Diamond Falls

Latille Gardens

Mankote Mangrove

Birdwatching

Turtle Watching

Hardy Point Cactus Valley Walking Trek

Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base. It is located just north of Gros Islet, the park has some of the oldest buildings on St.Lucia and affords views across to Martinique.

Wildlife Two small islands off the coast of Vieux Fort, the Maria Islands are a nature reserve and the refuge of two species found nowhere else in the world. The Kouwes Snake, noted as the world’s rarest snake, and the Zandoli Te, a ground lizard whose males display a brilliant blue tail. Frigate Island is a haven for frigate birds during mating season.

Rainforest hikes – there are several official hiking routes on the island.

 

Climbing the Gros Piton is an achievable goal for most people. The trailhead begins at an elevation of about 600 feet (approx. 180 m) above sea level and requires about two hours of moderate to strenuous hiking to reach the summit of about 2600 feet (approx. 800 m) above sea level. A further 1-and-a-half hours are needed to descend.

 

Snorkeling is popular and a number of beaches are suitable.

 

SNUBA diving –

done at Pigeon Island, one of the island’s Historical Landmarks, as well as between The Pitons, a World Heritage Site.

 

St. Lucia Botanical Gardens –

This botanical garden has a wide variety of plant species, and a sulfur waterfall.

 

Our Planet Centre –

The first Our Planet Centre in the world has just opened in La Place Carenage, Castries.

 

Many other tours, activities and excursions can be done on the island such as Zip-lining, Snorkelling, Hiking & Deep Sea Fishing.

 

www.stlucia.gov.lc
The official web site of the Government of St. Lucia.

 

www.stats.gov.lc
The official web site of the Government Statistics Department of St. Lucia.

 

www.education.gov.lc
The St. Lucia Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports.

 

www.youtube.com/saintlucianow