St. Lucia

by Carrie Thompson  

St. LuciaSt. Lucia is a prime time honeymoon destination in the Caribbean. Whether you’re recently married or otherwise, it is a beautiful destination to visit. The island is an independent democracy within the British Commonwealth, which explains all of the cricket being played. There are several British fortress showcasing the islands past, which you can explore at your leisure. St. Lucia has everything you need, with fabulous food and music. All of the major beach-side activities are available for your enjoyment, as well as a little pampering in the spas.

The island is volcanic, making it much more mountainous than its neighboring Caribbean islands. The highest point of the island is Mount Gimie, at 950 meters high. The Pitons are the moniker of two other mountains that you will surely see on numerous brochures and websites.

Language

English is the official language of St. Lucia, but locals commonly speak Patois. Don’t worry, you won’t have to.

Money

The official currency of St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. The banks on the island are happy to exchange most types of currency and ATM’s are widely available.

Accommodations

Places to sleep run the range from modest guest houses to ultra luxurious resorts. Prices can be moderate with a few options in the $80 range and work their way up considerably.

Food and Drinks

St. Lucia offers a wide variety of restaurants, generally serving up a combination of International and Creole cuisine with fresh local ingredients and seafood. You’ll find the standard International fare such as French, Italian, Pizza, Indian and Steakhouses. Imagine, chicken tikka malasa in the islands. Yummy.

Holidays

Carnival is the main celebration on the island, but holidays abound.

Independence Day (February 22)
Labour Day (May 1)
St. Lucia Jazz Festival (May – dates vary)
Whit Monday (June 5)
Carnival (July)
Emancipation Day (August 1)
Feast of St. Rose de Lima (August 30)
Thanks Giving Day (October 2)
St. Lucia Food & Rum Festival (October – dates vary)
Jounen Kweyol Creole Festival (October – dates vary)
Remembrance Day (November 12)
St. Cecilia’s Day “Patron saint of Music” (November 22)
National Day (December 13)

Getting There & Around

From the U.S., you can take Air Jamaica, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. WestJet and Air Canada have you connected on the Canadian front, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic make the trip from the U.K. and LIAT Star of the Caribbean and Take Airlines offer inter-island service.

A departure tax of Departure Tax of $26 will have to be paid by all international passengers over 12 years old. If you’re traveling within the region, it will be $13.

Rental cars are the preferred method for getting around the island. Alternately, you can cab it.

Electronics

Electricity is generally 220 volts, 50 cycles AC with the 3 pin square plugs typical of the U.K. A few hotels are 110 volts, 60 cycles. Some places offer 2 pin round plugs or flat American plugs, but they are rare. If you don’t want to fry your Chi, you can leave it at home. If you want to take the chance, adaptors are generally available at the hotels.

Things to Do

You can spend your days diving & snorkeling, sailing, yachting, wind surfing, hiking, running and trail riding. Or if you’re feeling lazy, a spa day or massage is an option as well. To get away from the beach, you can take a cultural tour to learn about producing traditional cassava bread, tour a historic plantation or visit one of the several botanical gardens. Cricket is the popular sport, and something to check out (especially if you’re from the U.S. and you’ve never seen the sport played in the flesh). If you’re feeling frisky, you can even visit a volcano.

For more information, visit this guide to St Lucia.

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