Saint Lucia – Travel Guide and Latest News

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PHOTO: A view of the famous Piton Mountains in Saint Lucia. (photo via dani3315 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Saint Lucia is an island country in the Eastern Caribbean Sea on the border with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north / northeast of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique, and covers an area of ​​238 square miles.

Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, with more mountains than most of the other Caribbean islands. The highest point is Mount Gimie at 3,120 feet above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island’s most famous monument. They are located between Soufrière and Choiseul on the west coast of the island. Saint Lucia is one of the few islands in the world to have a volcano accessible by car.

Castries is the capital of Saint Lucia, home to around a third of the population. The main towns are Gros Islet, Soufrière and Vieux Fort. The island climate is tropical, tempered by the northeast trade winds, with a dry season from December to May and a wet season from June to November.

Saint Lucia is popular because of its tropical climate, lush landscapes, and numerous beaches and resorts. Tourist attractions include Sulfur Springs (in Soufriere). The hot spring complex has a swimming pool with hot water flowing in, so visitors should bring their swimsuits. The twin peaks “Les Pitons” are a World Heritage Site, and climbing Gros Piton is an achievable goal for most people. The trailhead begins at about 600 feet above sea level and takes about two hours of moderate to strenuous hiking to reach the summit at about 2,600 feet above sea level. One and a half hours extra is needed to descend. Guides are required and admission costs US $ 30. Taxis or local buses can be used to reach the trailhead. There are also several other official hiking routes on the island. The website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has links to information on hiking routes.

Most tourists visit Saint Lucia as part of a cruise, usually aboard one of the major cruise lines. Most of their time tends to be spent in Castries, although Soufriere, Marigot Bay, and Gros Isletare are popular places with visitors. Cruise ship tours over the years have led to a Duty Free Mall (Dockside, Point Seraphine, Castries) with jewelry, souvenirs, art, liquor / rums and other typical local offerings. cruise buyers. Travelers will also find lower “tax free” prices available throughout the island at malls and resorts.

Local cuisine is prepared across Saint Lucia; ask a local for a recommendation and you’ll be sure to be directed somewhere nearby. Many rum shacks in rural towns also prepare food if notified in advance. Fish, vegetable, chicken and goat dishes are very common and are usually accompanied by several sides, including salad, plantain, breadfruit, macaroni and rice prepared in different ways. For a quick snack, barbecues with chicken and pork can be found in any community on Friday nights.

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