St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Things to do - general

The volcanic island of Saint Lucia ( St. Lucia ) is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 feet) above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island’s most famous landmark. They are located between Soufriere and Choiseul on the western side of the island. Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano.

The capital city of Saint Lucia ( St. Lucia ) is Castries (population 60,263), where 32.4% of the population lives. Major towns include Gros Islet, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. The local climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds, with a dry season from 1 December to 31 May, and a wet season from 1 June to 30 November.

Flag
Country St.Lucia
Visa requirementsNo Visa Required
Languages spokenEnglish
Currency usedEastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) $1 USD - $2.70 XCD
Area (km2)617 km² /238.23 sq mi

Things to do

The Pitons Photo by John Fife / CC License

The most iconic mountains on St.Lucia if not in the entire Caribbean. The pair of mountains called the Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton ). The Pitons are gorgeous standing side by side towering into the sky the pitons are beautiful from both land and sea and offers an amazing hiking trail


Rodney Bay Photo by John Fife / CC License

The most iconic mountains on St.Lucia if not in the entire Caribbean. The pair of mountains called the Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton ). The Pitons are gorgeous standing side by side towering into the sky the pitons are beautiful from both land and sea and offers an amazing hiking trail


Pigeon Islands Photo by Scott Ingram / CC License

Pigeon Island, located next to Rodney Bay, is beautiful and steeped in history. It is home to numerous forts,  used by the british to spy on french ships. But the island is not only a historic site but it offers beautiful beaches to enjoy, and is ranked pretty high on the things to do in St.Lucia list.


Jazz- Festival jazz-2 We touched on the St.Lucia Jazz Festival in our last post, and it is definitely one of the top things to do in St.Lucia . Excelent cuisine and amazing music by artist such as Robin Thicke, Flo Rida, Beres Hammond and John Secada. The St.Lucia Jazz Festical is known worldwide  and is a great opportunity to experience a large festival while still enjoying the Caribbean.
Treetop Adventure Park zipline2 Trees flying by, wind rushing through your hair, soaring over a rich green canopy. Zip-lining is such a rush of adrenaline and no adventure vacation to St.Lucia is complete without  a visit to the Treetop Adventure Park not onliy is ziplining available but many other adventurous activities that you will find absolutely thrilling, it is a must. Adventure tours website : www.adventuretourstlucia.com/
Soufriere (Worlds only drive in Volcano)

Soufriere welcome to what is advertised as the worlds only drive in volcano, If you are envisioning driving through a cave with lava flowing down the walls into pools of magma, like some journey to the center of the earth, that would be awesome but incredibly dangerous. on the other hand Soufrier allows you to drive up the side of the volcano to the top where your able to enjoy sulphur Baths as well as soaking in water heated from the volcano below


Pigeon Island pigeon-island Pigeon Island, located next to Rodney Bay, is beautiful and steeped in history. It is home to numerous forts,  used by the british to spy on french ships. But the island is not only a historic site but it offers beautiful beaches to enjoy, and is ranked pretty high on the things to do in St.Lucia list.
Splash Island Water Park image taken from Splash island water park Image Source: splash island water park

Within Rodney Bay itself is a rather new attraction but an awesome one, and it is called Splash Island Water Park, no day at the beach (Rodney Bay in specific) is complete without experienceing the Splash Island Water Park. Lots of fun to be had and a great place for the entire family to hang out  


Jounen Kweyol 5db91f6d80a6a6b4d04b7412651c2019 Get engulfed in the culture of St.Lucia with the fesitval Jounen Kweyol (Creole Day). Local dishes and drinks like roasted breadfruit, Green fig and Salt fish, Souse, fried bake and floats, golden apple juice, cocoa tea and many more, as well as lovely Kweyol music. The culture of St.Lucia really does come alive in festivals such as these. Jounen Kweyol is celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

Culture and history info

History

The French pirate Francois le Clerc (also known as Jambe de Bois, due to his wooden leg) frequently visited Saint Lucia in the 1550s. It was not until years later, around 1600, that the first European camp was started by the Dutch, at what is now Vieux Fort. In 1605, an English vessel called the Olive Branch was blown off-course on its way to Guyana, and the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia. After five weeks, only 19 survived, due to disease and conflict with the Caribs, so they fled the island. The French officially claimed the island in 1635 but it was the English who attempted the next European settlement in 1639, but that too was wiped out by the Caribs.

French colony

In 1643, a French expedition sent out from Martinique by Jacques Dyel du Parquet, the governor of Martinique, established a permanent settlement on the island. De Rousselan was appointed the island's governor, took a Carib wife and remained in post until his death in 1654.

In 1664, Thomas Warner (son of Sir Thomas Warner, the governor of St Kitts) claimed Saint Lucia for England. He brought 1,000 men to defend it from the French, but after two years, only 89 survived with the rest dying mostly due to disease. In 1666 theFrench West India Company resumed control of the island, which in 1674 was made an official French crown colony as a dependency of Martinique.

18th and 19th century

Both the British and the French found the island attractive after the sugar industry developed, and during the 18th century the island changed ownership or was declared neutral territory a dozen times, although the French settlements remained and the island was a de facto French colony well into the eighteenth century.

In 1712, George I of Great Britain granted both Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent to John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu. He in turn appointed Nathaniel Uring, a merchant sea captain and adventurer, as deputy-governor. Uring went to the islands with a group of seven ships, and established settlement at Petit Carenage. Unable to get enough support from British warships, he and the new colonists were quickly run off by the French.

During the Seven Years' War Britain occupied Saint Lucia for a year, but handed the island back to the French at the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763. Like the English and Dutch on other islands, the French began to develop the land for the cultivation of sugar cane as a commodity crop on large plantations in 1765.

When the French Revolution occurred, a revolutionary tribunal was sent to Saint Lucia, headed by captain La Crosse. Prior to this, the slaves had heard about the revolution and walked off their jobs in 1790-1791 to work for themselves. Bringing the ideas of the revolution to Saint Lucia, La Crosse set up a guillotine used to execute Royalists. In 1794, the French governor of the island declared that all slaves were free, as also happened In Saint-Domingue. However, the decree was unevenly carried out.

A short time later, the British invaded the island as a part of the recently broken out war with France. On 21 February 1795, a group of locals led by Victor Hugues, defeated a battalion of British troops. For the next four months, a group of recently freed slaves known as the Brigands forced out not only the British army, but every white slave-owner from the island (coloured slave owners were left alone, as in Haiti). In 1796 Castries was burned as part of the conflict. In 1803, the British finally regained control of the island. Many of the rebels escaped into the thick rain forests, where they evaded capture and established maroon communities.

The slavery on the island was continued for a short time, but anti-slavery sentiment was rising in Britain. The British stopped the import of slaves by anyone, white or colored, when they abolished the slave trade in 1807. In 1836 the institution of slavery was abolished on the island and throughout the British Empire. After abolition, all former slaves had to serve a four-year "apprenticeship," to accustom them to the idea of freedom. During this period, they worked for their former masters for at least three-quarters of the work week. Full freedom was duly granted by the British in 1838. By that time, people of African ethnicity greatly outnumbered those of ethnic European background. Some people of Carib descent also comprised a minority on the island.

Saint Lucia continued to be contested by France and Great Britain until the British secured it in 1814, as part of the Treaty of Paris ending the Napoleonic Wars. Saint Lucia was considered part of the British Windward Islands colony.

20th century

In the mid-twentieth century, Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation (1958 - 1962) when the colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government. In 1979 it gained full independence under Sir John Compton of the conservative United Workers party (UWP), who served as prime minister from 1982 to 1996, after which he was succeeded by Vaughan Lewis.

Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony of the Labour Party was prime minister from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, the UWP, again led by Compton, won control of parliament. In May 2007, after Compton suffered a series of small strokes, Finance and External Affairs Minister Stephenson King became acting prime minister and succeeded Compton as prime minister when the latter died in September 2007. In November 2011, the Honorable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony was re-elected as prime minister for a third time.

Culture

The culture of Saint Lucia has been influenced by African, East Indian, French and English heritage. One of the secondary languages is Saint Lucian Creole French, spoken by almost all of the population.

The biggest festival of the year is the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. Held in early May at multiple venues throughout the island, it draws visitors and musicians from around the world. The grand finale is held at the Pigeon Island which is located to the North of the Island.

Together with Caribbean music genres such as Calypso, Soca, Dancehall, Reggae, Compas, Zouk and Salsa, Saint Lucia has a strong indigenous folk music tradition. The dancing in Saint Lucia comes from the Caribbean and is quite active.

St Lucia's national dish is green banana and saltfish and the island's cuisine is a unique blend of West African, European (mainly British and French) and East Indian cuisine; this creates dynamic meal dishes such as Macaroni pie, Stew chicken, rice and peas, hearty fish broths or fish water, hearty soups packed full with fresh locally produced vegetables. Typical essential food stuff are potatoes, onions, celery, thyme, coconut milk, the very hot scotch bonnet peppers, flour and cornmeal. All mainstream meat and poultry are eaten in St Lucia; meat and seafood are normally stewed and browned to create a rich gravy sometimes served over ground provisions or rice.

Due to St Lucia's Indo-Caribbean population curry is very popular, however due to the blend of cooking styles, curry dishes have a distinct Caribbean twist. Roti is typically served as a fast food meal, the bread itself is very flat (sometimes very thin) and is wrapped around curried vegetables such as chickpeas and potato, seafoods such as shrimp and conch, or meats such as chicken, beef, goat and liver.

Culture and history image

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