Saint Lucia Quick Guide

If you are looking for an ultimate luxury tropical getaway, then Saint Lucia might be what you are looking for. A former British colony, it shares its boundaries with its larger neighbor, Barbados. Both nations enjoy equally beautiful environments with different topography: steep mountains and tropical rain forests, sandy beaches and hilly terrain. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the island. This article will help you plan your next holiday.

The island's largest city, Santa Cruz, is on the west coast with the capital, St. Lucia, at the centre. Its scenic beach front offers spectacular scenery and the Anse beach is rated as one of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches. It is also ideal for scuba diving, windsurfing, boating, sailing and other water sports. There are plenty of car rental services and Caribbean yacht charter companies in Saint Lucia that can help you get around.

The rainy season in Saint Lucia's calendar is the best time to visit. The waters are calmer, the sands are softer and there are fewer visitors during this time of the year. The rainy season in Saint Lucia can last anywhere from three months to two years, so plan your trip accordingly. Keep in mind that there is more than just sun and sand to explore in this small island. There are plenty of interesting things to do in Saint Lucia, including exploring caves, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding and more. The island is a good destination for nature lovers, ecotourists and adventure seekers.

A must-see attraction on the island is Pitons or "Pitons." Pitons are rugged outcrops located inlets in and around Grand Etang Canada. They are formed by the sea floor, and their rugged appearance makes them unique. A Saint Lucia travel guide will tell you about the history of the Pitons and about the colourful culture that are emerging on the island.

During the dry months of the year, visitors can enjoy a wide range of boat tours, kayaking, rafting, fishing and swimming. The waters of Grand Etang River provide a good place to kayak, as do several sulphur springs. You'll find abundant wildlife on the island, including sea lions, lemurs, crocodiles, tropical fish and a large variety of birds. Among the most popular wildlife on the island include the crested bear, giant squirrels, tufted titmouse, giant iguanas and the rare giant hedgehog. Several animal sanctuaries and national parks protect certain animals on the island.

The island has a large amount of limestone coastal land, and it is here that the world's largest piece of coral reefs can be found. At each end of the coral reefs, there are dozens of man-made islands. These islands, known as horseshoe shape, feature plenty of beach restaurants, dive sites and snorkeling options. Some horseshoe shaped islands have been built high enough to accommodate luxurious resorts, but many feature easy access to the beach, with clean water and easy parking lots. The largest island, St. Lucia, features four horseshoe shaped villages that are each home to dozens of families. Here, families can go deep sea fishing, paddle boats, canoe or take a ride on one of the island's ferries.

The fourth major attraction on the island is the national park known as Pitons or "Pitons." This park covers nearly half of the island's area, and is the most popular destination for bird watchers, hiking enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. On Pitons' northwest coast, there is the last remaining authentic Portuguese settlement, Port Louis. In Pitons National Park, visitors will find the only remaining stand of low-lying forest along the north coast of Saint Lucia, surrounded by lush grassy volcanic soil.

Visitors who enjoy exploring the island's unique culture and waters can follow the path of the Raton Pirates, who last decade have been featured in movies such as Dead Man Walking, Black Rain and Invictus. Visitors can also view the endangered turtle, the manatee or the flamingo. A good Saint Lucia travel guide should provide recommendations about where to eat, explore and kayak, including information about St. Lucia's historic artifacts and its unique culture. In addition, a good Caribbean travel guide should include information on how to get to and around the island, what to see and where to stay. By combining knowledge about the island with recommendations and user-generated reviews, an experienced Caribbean explorer can find the best way to maximize his or her time in the region.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Saint Lucia are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The best time to visit Saint Lucia is in the high season, from Mid-December to Mid-April. During this season, you'll experience the most sunshine. If you are looking for a more laid-back vibe, the 'wet' season might be your pick during the months of June to November. Often you'll find accommodation at a lower rate.

Do I need a Visa?

British Passport holders don't need a visa to visit St Lucia. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the St Lucia Immigration Department.

See which forms you may need for entry into Saint Lucia.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Saint Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Saint Lucia you can grab amazing Eastern Caribbean Dollar deals via (GBP to XCD).

What about the wildlife?

St Lucia animals include several unique species; the St Lucia parrot (Amazonas Versicolor also known as “Jaquot”), the St Lucia Forest thrush, the rare St Lucia Whiptail lizard (Zandoli Terre), and a tiny snake, the racer snake or worm snake.

What is the traditional food?

French food? Saltfish is Saint Lucia's national dish and is usually accompanied by unripened bananas (green figs). Salt fish often consists of kippered herring or dried and salted cod that has been cured with dry salt, soaked overnight, and preserved.

What Languages are spoken?

The natives of St. Lucia have English as their official language but quite a large amount of the St. Lucian population speaks a French dialect called creole. This creole is not patois or broken French as other types of creole. You can learn some basic French before you travel to Saint Lucia and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Saint Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (Tipping in Saint Lucia is discretionary and should reflect the service you have received, however, a service charge of between 10 - 12% is recommended. In some restaurants, a service charge of 10% may be automatically added to your bill.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 911 or 999
  • Ambulance: 911 or 999
  • Fire: 911 or 999
  • UK Embassy: +1 758 452 2484

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is -5 hours

Travel Apps

Grab a travel app or two

Learn French

Learn some French before your trip to Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia Guidebook

Stay informed before, during and after your trip to Saint Lucia by buying a guidebook.