St. Lucia is an island country which is located within the Caribbean Sea close to the coast of Central America. Although these islands were inhabited for thousands of years, it was not until European exploration during the 15th and 16th centuries that trade began to develop. Due to the amenable climate here throughout the majority of the year, modern times have enabled St. Lucia to be an extremely popular tourist destination.
The Best Times to Visit St. Lucia
As this island is located within the Caribbean, a major concern is the chances of arriving during the hurricane season. This will generally run between late July and early November (depending upon the temperature of the water). Most visitors will choose to visit during the holiday season through early summer. For those who wish to avoid a massive influx of tourists, the early part of the spring is considered to be the best time.
There are two main airports found within St. Lucia. These are the George FL Charles Airport (SLU) and Hewanorra Internationl (UVF). It should be noted that George FL Charles Airport is located closer to most major holiday destinations and cities. While Hewanorra is approximately one hour away, it is the larger of the two. Therefore, those arriving on larger planes may need to use public transportation to arrive at cities such as Vieux Fort. Flights from New York City to St. Lucia will normally last five hours; assuming that they are non-stop and the weather is agreeable. Major airlines include US Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Delta and American Airlines.
Another notable benefit of St. Lucia is that there are a number of different types of accommodations to choose from. Due to the large number of international tourists, larger hotel chains abound. All are located within close proximity to the beach and major urban districts. However, many will prefer boutique properties which offer a sense of variety and bespoke luxury. Self-catering villas, rental condominiums and vacation apartments are likewise able to be purchased. For those living outside of urban districts, there are a number of car hire services as well.
Top Things to do in St. Lucia
One of the most popular attractions within St. Lucia is the ability for guests to visit the Sulfur Springs which are just south of a town called Soufriere. Tours are available while the baths themselves can be enjoyed. These geothermal anomalies are said to offer healing properties to those who suffer from ailments such as arthritis, so they are indeed quite respected on the island. Please note that there is a charge to enter, but daily excursions are always a possibility and group discounts can be offered.
A defining feature of St. Lucia is a large, cone-shaped mountain known as Gros Piton. Many who arrive here will choose to climb this landmark. It is an achievable ascent requiring a moderate level of endurance; the summit rising above the water approximately 2,600 feet (800 meters). The views from the top are spectacular and the natural splendor of this location is protected by national law. The combined ascent and descent will take approximately five hours and the base of the trail can be reached by a bus service or a taxi. Guided tours are available for those who wish to experience this wonderful example of nature at its finest.
Of course, no travel guide would be complete without mentioning the immaculate beaches to be enjoyed here. Due to the volcanic nature of the island, black-sand beaches are present as well as traditional white sands. Some are clothing-optional locations while others such as Pigeon Island afford greater levels of privacy for those looking to get away from it all. Most are flanked by verdant green jungles and provide perfect photo opportunities. Examples here include Anse Cochon, Anse Chastanet and Anse des Pitones (this beach is located at the base of the previously mentioned Gros Piton). The waters are quite warm throughout the year. Snorkeling, scuba diving and other aquatic attractions such as windsurfing are regularly enjoyed.