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St Lucia : Useful information about St Lucia


Basic facts

Time difference: GMT - 4.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (although US Dollars are widely accepted).
Language: English. A French-based creole language is spoken by many islanders.
Population: Approximately 180000.
Visa information: Holders of a British passport can stay for 90 days without a visa.


Travel arrangements

St Lucia’s main airport is Hewanorra International Airport in the south of the island, while George F. L. Charles Airport is located in the north and is a destination for inter-Caribbean flights. 

There are regular direct flights to St Lucia from London Gatwick (flight time 8-9 hours) - British Airways flies daily and Virgin Atlantic flies four or five times per week.

Outbound flights leave the UK in the morning and land in St Lucia early afternoon, while return flights leave St Lucia in the evening and land in the UK the following morning. There are weekly Thomas Cook flights to St Lucia from Manchester during the winter season and Thomson will offer weekly or fortnightly flights from London Gatwick from May 2017.

Visitors to St Lucia can easily get around by taxi or local bus. It is also possible to hire a car - driving is on the left.

 

History

It is believed that the first settlers on St Lucia were the Arawaks who arrived in dugout canoes from South America in around 200AD. The remains of paintings and pottery have been found, while some words are still used today that have their origins in this native language. The Arawaks were overruled by the ferocious Caribs who arrived in about 800AD and called the island Hewanorra.

The Europeans arrived in the Caribbean in the early 1500s, wrestling with the Caribs for power over the course of the next few centuries. The Spanish, French and British all attempted to take possession of the island, with the British finally succeeding in making the island a Crown colony in the early 1800s.

By this stage the sugar trade was well established, largely due to the West African slaves that were introduced in the 1760's. For several years the island was stable and prosperous, but following emancipation in 1834, the sugar estates fell into disrepair. The economy recovered and over the next century the island became a stable democracy and multicultural society.

St Lucia gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979, although the country remains part of the Commonwealth.

Tourism is St Lucia’s most important industry, while agriculture is still a major source of income.

See ‘Things to Do’ for more information about activities and places of interest, or see ‘When to go’ for more information about local events.

Our Resorts on St Lucia

Anse Chastanet Resort, St Lucia -  1

Anse Chastanet Resort

  • Incredible views of the Pitons
  • Hillside accommodation
  • Two beaches
Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa, St Lucia -  1

Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

  • Lively and fun
  • Varied board basis
  • Fully furnished suites including kitchens
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, St Lucia -  1

Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

  • Restored original estate house
  • Large lodge accommodation
  • Entire property can be hired
Calabash Cove St Lucia, St Lucia -  1

Calabash Cove St Lucia

  • Romantic, boutique resort
  • On the hillside
  • Accommodation includes swim-up suites
Cap Maison, St Lucia -  1

Cap Maison

  • Cliff-top location
  • Unique, private hideaway
  • Cove-like sandy beach
East Winds, St Lucia -  1

East Winds

  • Premium all-inclusive
  • Tropical gardens with local wildlife
  • Luxurious intimate escape
Jade Mountain, St Lucia -  1

Jade Mountain

  • Luxury sanctuaries
  • Breathtaking views
  • Unique architecture
Ladera Resort, St Lucia -  1

Ladera Resort

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Adult-only open air resort
  • Rainforest location near the beach
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella, St Lucia -  1

Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella

  • Eco-friendly and boutique in style
  • Large and luxurious
  • Set in a bay on the west coast
Rendezvous, St Lucia -  1

Rendezvous

  • Couples only, boutique resort
  • Elegant and intimate
  • Particularly romantic
St James Club, Morgan Bay, St Lucia -  1

St James Club, Morgan Bay

  • Set on a secluded cove
  • Large vibrant resort
  • Perfect for families
Stonefield Estate Resort, St Lucia -  1

Stonefield Estate Resort

  • Plantation luxury
  • French, colonial-style villas
  • Spectacular views
Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia -  1

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

  • Spectacular views of the Pitons
  • Range of complimentary activities
  • "Best Long Haul Hotel" Times & Sunday Times 2016
The BodyHoliday LeSport, St Lucia -  1

The BodyHoliday

  • Focus on wellness, health and fitness
  • Tailored schedule to suit you
  • All-inclusive experience
The Landings, St Lucia -  1

The Landings Resort & Spa by Elegant Hotels

  • Five star resort
  • Adventure activities available
  • Perfect for families, couples or groups
Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, St Lucia -  1

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

  • Small, quaint and unique
  • Elegant and simple cottages
  • Perfect Caribbean style getaway
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, St Lucia -  1

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

  • Set in the hillside
  • Wide range of accommodation
  • Well-suited to all guests
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