Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

,, The island offers beautiful beaches, astounding rainforests, cascading waterfalls. If you are more adventurous, there and hiking trails which lead to amazing views. It is a volcanic island. The volcano is dormant, so it is of no threat." (2018)

,, Saint Lucia has two faces. The South is the most authentic; the region's inhabitants are cultivating their unique culture and identity. The north, where the capital, Castries, is located, is more touristy. The most important tourist area in Rodney Bay, which attracts a mainly North American clientele."

---------------------

“A beautiful island, and perhaps the most mountainous of them all. 617 square kilometers, with 174,000 inhabitants. After disembarking and taking a look at the various taxi offers and other forms of transport available around the port, we haggled with the owner of a small motorboat. There were about 10 tourists on the boat, the sailors spoke English, which was translated into French by one of our fellow tourists. English was most useful to us. Sailing along the island’s coast, we admired the beautiful topography, vegetation, luxury villas (e.g. Mick Jagger’s house).

The most recognizable features of the island, the double volcano (the Pitons), are unforgettable. We docked there and an SUV took us into the island’s interior. We could see an active volcano, and were even able to bathe in a stream which flows from the side of the volcano, with water which is 42 degrees Celsius. It was also possible to bathe in the mid, which was most popular among the ladies. They said it made their skin extremely smooth. The mud could only be completely washed off after two days. There was a waterfall with warm water, and we could stand under it. The fascinating beauty of the jungle is indescribable: flowering trees, special palms, etc. On the way back, the ship moored for a short time at Lovers’ Rock, which is a natural stone arch over the sea. Anyone who swims under it, especially if they kiss their partner, will have a long-lasting relationship. Enjoying the unlimited grog, we sailed back to the big ship in an excellent atmosphere, across the characteristically blue, warm Caribbean Sea.” (2016)

-----------------------

“As we approached the port of Saint Lucia, we had a feeling, even from afar, that this would be a much more regulated island than Antigua and Barbuda. From the hillsides, neat houses surveyed the landscape, colorful car traffic made its way up winding hillside roads. And I would say the port is quite pretty, too. The shops were arranged in a beautifully landscaped area, in a well-thought-out layout.

The island is covered with steep volcanic mountains, some of which are still active. Still, it’s true that none of them have erupted for at least two centuries. The main attractions are the Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which are two steep, cone shaped mountains standing next to each other.

Ever since the English took over the responsibility for governing the island acentury and a half ago, traffic has driven on the left. Plus, driving here means takin on steep and winding roads, lined with very deep ditches on both sides to deal with the heavy rains. So, if you’re renting a car here, practice for a day in a parking lot, driving a car with the steering wheel on the right side, to get used to judging where the left side of your car is. After all, if you drive into a ditch here, it will take a crane to get you out!

After a few photo breaks, we arrived at a banana plantation where we could taste the fresh produce. (Tastes just like at home in Tesco.) Last year’s hurricane did a nice job of clearing this place out, too, but it was clear that new shoots were already emerging from the banana tree trunks that had snapped in two. At another photo-point stop, local guys were selling birds folded from palm tree leaves while a local Bob Marley tried to entertain us with his worn-out old guitar. After a while, refreshments appeared from the depths of the fridge. Most of the other people on the bus were Americans, and they went straight for the Coca Cola, though there were plenty other treasures in that fridge. Local beer is bottled under the name Piton, and is a 5.2% lager, the only problem is it comes in tiny bottles. We also got to eat all kinds of delicacies, as well as some not-so-delicious things.

The highlight of the day was when we sat in speedboats and they took us to Sugar Beach between the two Piton Mountains, where we could take a dip. We also had the opportunity to snorkel, because we spent nearly an hour on the white sand beach. There aren’t too many beaches on the island anyway, which is why the number of tourists staying for more than a day or two is relatively small – most are cruise ship passengers, for whom all sorts of activities are organized. One of the most popular is to ride a cable car over the rainforests, but there are also some who pay for bird watching, or who go on buggy tours.

Our journey led to another local curiosity, the Soufriere mud volcano. It is actually a kind of sulfuric sludge to which healing powers are attributed. At the beginning of the last century, a lively businessman built a pool for thermal water cooled to 38 degrees and claimed that by slathering yourself in this mud, which contains volcanic ash, you could take years off your age. I don’t think this pool has been renovated since, but the price is constantly rising, either because of mass tourist credulity or just because it’s fun to get covered in smelly mud. The mud can then be washed off at the waterfall not far away, where bathing is allowed for a consideration.” (2019)



Saint Lucia - bays

Saint Lucia - south west - Laborie's beach

Practicals

Transport


Driving is on the left.

Car rental

That is the best solution if there are enough of you and you have little time. Most hotels also offer vehicles, often at prohibitive prices.

Take a look at the general condition of the car before you set off

An inconvenience:  If you are renting a vehicle, you will need to obtain a Saint Lucian driving license, valid for three months. You can get such permission at car rental agencies, immigration offices, airports, and police stations upon presenting your national driving license. That local license will cost you 20 USD. 

Driving is on the left.

Locals drive pretty much recklessly. The road network is improving, but still, potholes are plentiful. If you can afford it, hire a 4x4. Avoid driving at night.

Taxi

Take only an official taxi with a blue license plate starting with TX and a red badge on the windshield.

It is better to agree upon the price before getting off, as some taxis don't use a meter. The minimum is about 7-8 USD, even for a ride within the city limits.

A la carte minivans

Parked at Pointe Séraphine, they are the right solution if you don't want to drive. A driver is at your disposal to take you wherever you want. The price remains quite reasonable if you are many.


Public bus (minivan)

They are numerous (especially in the North ) and are easily recognizable. Their license plate is green and begins with an M. The road they serve is seen in yellow on their windshield (e.g., Route 1A: Cap Estate-Castries).

They stop on demand, and the ticket is very cheap. The central station is located behind the Castries Market on Jeremie Street. It is the daily means of transport for the locals. Music and speed: atmosphere guaranteed!

Do not take the bus timetables for granted.

A minibus can carry up to 10-15 people.

Saint Lucia - tuk tuk-type of taxi - m.v. photo

Saint Lucia - south of Castries - a bit rough road to Morne Fortune, a hilly residential area - c.a. photo

Saint Lucia - minivan taxi - k.l. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - MiniVan bus system - m.i. photo

Accomodation

Most of the hotels are in the north of the island.

Saint Lucia focuses on luxury tourism. There is a fine collection of luxury hotels, like, boutique hotels, villas, four and 5-star resorts, sometimes all-inclusive. These are mostly on the West Coast. The most romantic accommodations are on the southwest coast of the island.

Budget hotels, inexpensive guesthouses are more in the South, in Soufrière, Vieux Fort, or Laborie. There are few mid-range accommodations in Saint Lucia.

If you travel with 3 or 4 people, consider renting a villa, a cottage, or an apartment with an equipped kitchen. The largest concentration of rental villas is near Cap Estate and Soufrière. The price often includes the services of a cleaning lady.

Food

x

Saint Lucia - grilled fresh lobster - m.b. photo

Shopping


Stores are generally open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. At the north exit of Castries, at Rodney Bay and Vieux-Fort, a few newer shopping malls close at 7 or 8 p.m.

Banks are generally open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. Some open until 5 p.m. on Friday. Please note: banks are closed all weekend and on public holidays, except at Rodney Bay Marina, where they are open Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

St. Lucia - souvenirs - m.v. photo

Fun

x

Saint Lucia - Castries - sculpture of ciddle at the entrance of the Ministry of Finance - k.a. photo

Public safety

St Lucia is one of the safer places in the Caribbean. There is, however, a difference between staying and hanging out in one of the luxury hotels versus exploring towns like Castries or Vieux Fort. Take care when walking around at night time in these towns and do not carry any valuables with you. Importantly, although some pick-pocketing and mugging do get reported, there are very few severe crimes committed against tourists in St Lucia. Tourists can enjoy the island, worry-free!

The beaches are generally not supervised. So be very careful when swimming. If you are in doubt, do not hesitate to find out whether swimming is risky or not.

Bad news: There are snakes on the islands, even venomous ones (like the Fer-de-Lance Snake), and big ones (like the boa constrictor).

---------------------

“There have been one or two cases in recent years in which tourists on ocean liners have been robbed. The thieves were most interested in jewelry, mobile phones, video recorders, etc. You needn’t worry about personal safety. Basically, public safety on the island isn’t bad, but some drug-addicted local guys can easily turn to theft to fund their habit.

So many ragged, dirty, physically handicapped beggars appeared it was tough to even for a stomach trained on horror movies. What’s more, the zombies lurking in the center are drawn in the direction of food (i.e., two white tourists believed to be affluent). Talking to them doesn’t usually help in such cases, so I thought I'd give one of them the few coins in my pocket so that I wouldn’t have to bother with the rest of them anymore. Unfortunately, that was nowhere near enough. The herd followed us to the store, waited until we exchanged money, and then continued begging, sometimes even screaming from across the street. I have never encountered such aggressive panhandling (grabbing your hand, reaching into the car, etc.” (2016)



Health

There is no malaria in Saint Lucia.

The main health risks relate to diseases transmitted by mosquitoes Dengue fever, Chikungunya, Zika virus.
For these three diseases, there is neither vaccine nor effective preventive treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to protect yourself as much as possible from mosquitoes (long clothing, mosquito repellents, air conditioning, mosquito net). The severe forms are, fortunately, very rare. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.

Saint Lucia - on prescription for depressed - f.k. photo

Others

1. Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. The sockets are an American type.

2. There is wifi everywhere, in restaurants and hotels, and free in some municipalities, such as Vieux Fort.

Saint Lucia - don't worry, most spiders on the island are small and harmless (like this one) - c.t. photo

Saint Lucia - g.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - interior - k.a. photo

Background

Destination in brief

Saint Lucia  (or St. Lucia) is a, Eastern Caribbean island, an independetn coutry. Close islands: Martinique (north), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (south), Barbados (south east). The island is part of the Lesser Antilles geographical region. 

Size: 617 km² (238.2 mi²) - Saint Lucia is the second largest island of the so-called Windward Islands.

Capital city: Castries

Population (in 2020): 183,000 - 85,4 % Black/African descent, 11% mixed

Languages: English

Religions: 62% Roman Catholic, 10,5% Seventh-day Adventist, 10% other Protestant

Form of government:parliamentary democracy, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state with formal authority 

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 1500 USD

Most common surname: Joseph



Saint Lucia - national flag - p.l. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - from above - see the size of the cruise in the port - k.a. photo

Geography

Saint Lucia is of volcanic origin. A mountainous island with many rivers that run down Mount Gimie (959 m), the highest point of Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia - pathway

Climate


Hurricane season: tropical storms and hurricanes occur, roughly, from early June to late November. It is advisable to keep abreast of the weather situation's evolution on the National Hurricane Center in Miami website: www.nhc.noaa.gov. In the event of a hurricane, it is necessary to comply with the recommendations of the authorities.

Nowadays

x

Saint Lucia - town

Saint Lucia - Castries - Micoud Street - s.v. photo

Saint Lucia - not a backpacker destination - f.k. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - m.i. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - the village of Anse la Raye - k.a. photo

People

x

Saint Lucia - Castries - locals - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - guy - t.l. photo

Saint Lucia - character - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - street scene - k.a. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Avoid taking pictures of people without permission.

2. Do not criticize the taxi drivers for their fast driving. They are confident with the local road conditions, almost know each pothole.

Attractions

Beaches


Saint Lucia has beautiful beaches. The sand's color varies from golden blond in the North to grayer tones in the volcanic southwest.

Among the prettiest are Pigeon Island National Park, Reduit Beach, Smuggler's Cove, Grande Anse, Cas en Bas, Labas Beach, Anse Cochon, and Ansa Chastanet, Anse de Sables, Anse des Pitons. The liveliest beaches are in the North, the wildest on the east coast.


Saint Lucia - volcanic beach - f.k. photo

The Pitons

The island's most striking image is that of the two peaks, the large and the small. They are on the west coast, south of the town of Soufrière.

Saint Lucia - Petit Piton - m.s. photo

La Soufriere Drive-In Volcano

In Soufrière, you should not miss visiting the world's only drive-in volcano. Don't worry, the last eruption of the Soufrière (also called Qualibou) was in 1766. Nevertheless, the volcano is still active and likely to wake up in the decades to come.

Castries

Saint Lucia - Castries - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - library - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - Cathedral - i. m. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - Ministry of Legal Affairs - k.a. photo

Saint Lucia - Castries - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - k.a. photo

The town of Soufriere

Saint Lucia - Soufriere from above - k.s. photo

Saint Lucia - Soufriere - k.a. photo

Related posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.