Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, St Lucia is often called the most beautiful island. The landscape is dominated by mountains that rise straight from the sea, and the beaches are spectacular, with soft sand and crystal clear waters. The most famous attraction is the Diamond Waterfalls, where cascades tumble down into exotic gardens and rare wildlife.
St Lucia is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, and the island has a number of romantic resorts to choose from. A stay in a luxury villa on the beachfront offers the perfect opportunity to unwind, with private pools, Jacuzzis and spacious terraces. Many resorts offer the option of in-villa spa treatments and romantic meals, while some also have their own private beaches and access to a marina.
The island is known for its rich culture and traditions. The Amerindian peoples, the Arawaks and the Caribs, occupied the island before European colonization and their presence is evident in the cuisine. St Lucian food has a real mixture of influences, with French and Creole cooking techniques combined with West Indian ingredients and herbs and spices.
There are lots of opportunities to sample local cuisine, with some of the country’s best restaurants situated in the capital city of Port Charles. You’ll find an array of international dishes, but the local favorites include seafood and the delicious stewed meats known as jigga and callaloo. A trip to a local restaurant isn’t complete without trying the country’s national dish, green fig and saltfish. This is a dish that is said to have been a favorite of the slaves, who would serve it on boiled green bananas or yams.
Seafood is a staple on the menu in many St Lucian restaurants, with lobster being a particular favourite. However, the lobsters found on the island are different from those seen in colder climates and have long tails instead of claws.
A trip to St Lucia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the lush National Rainforest, an inland jungle of waterfalls, exotic plants and animals. Visitors can enjoy guided walks and bike rides, or take an aerial tram to get a birds-eye view of this environmentally protected wonderland.
In terms of religion, the majority of Saint Lucians are Christians – 61% of them identify as Catholics and 25% as Protestants. Other religious groups include Hindus, Rastafari and Muslims.
Despite the fact that it is a Caribbean island, St Lucia is not immune to hurricanes. Travelers should check the official weather forecast before booking a holiday, and if possible, avoid visiting during the hurricane season of May to September. However, the island has enjoyed a relatively low rate of hurricanes in recent years. For those who wish to see the islands during this time, St Lucia has a number of hotels and resorts that have been specifically designed with hurricane safety in mind. The government has made it a priority to support these types of tourism-focused facilities.