SYLLABICATION: Saint Lu·cia
PRONUNCIATION: Saint Loo Sha
LISTEN TO THE PRONUNCIATION (Wikipedia): St Lucia
Where in the world in St Lucia?
St Lucia is said to be one of the early finds of Christopher Columbus, describing it to be the most beautiful island in the region. Simply beautiful! St Lucia is the emerald island in the Caribbean where you will find a unique mixture of history, culture and quiet charm. It is rich in natural beauty, from inland tropical forests to dramatic waterfalls and lovely sandy beaches.
St Lucia is famous for the twin peaks of the magnificent Pitons, rainforest walks, waterfalls, golden beaches and bubbling volcanic springs. It even boasts the world only drive-in volcano.
The St Lucian Jazz Festival attracts visitors from all over the world every May and Carnival in July is a week-long party for the whole island. In fact, St Lucians love to party and beside the annual flower festivals, Christmas, New Year, the Calypso Competition and the Independence Day celebrations, some of the villages hold main street jump ups every Friday night of the year.
St Lucia at a glance
- Full name: Saint Lucia
- Population: 174,000 (2010 est.)
- Capital: Castries
- Major languages: English (official), French patois
- Major religion: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Rastafarian 2.1%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%, other Christian 5.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5% (2001 census)[CIA.gov]
- Life expectancy: 74 years (men), 79 years (women)(2010 est.)[CIA.gov]
- Ethnic Group: Black 82.5%, mixed 11.9%, East Indian 2.4%, other or unspecified 3.1% (2001 census)
- Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
- EC – US: 1 US = 2.679 East Caribbean dollar
- Main exports: Bananas, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil
- GNI per capita: US $5,530 (World Bank, 2008)
- Internet domain: .lc
- International dialling code: +1 758
- Electricity: 220 ~ 240 volts, 50 cycles AC (a few hotels are 110 volts, 60 cycles). Most sockets take 3 pin square plugs (UK standard) but some take 2 pin round plugs or flat American plugs, which are rarer. Adaptors are generally available at the hotels.
- Location: It is located in the Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, north of Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and south of Martinique
- Geographic coordinates: 13 53 N, 60 58 W
- Area: total: Total: 616 sq km (238 sq miles) / land: 606 sq km / water: 10 sq km – 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
- Coastline: 158 km (61 sq miles)
- Maritime Claims: Territorial sea: 12 nm / contiguous zone: 24 nm / exclusive economic zone: 200 nm / continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
- Climate: Current Weather tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August
- Terrain: Volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys
- Elevation extremes: Lowest point – Caribbean Sea 0 m / highest point – Mount Gimie 950 m
- Natural resources: Forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential
- Natural hazards: Hurricanes; volcanic activity
- Geography – note: The twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton – see gallery), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean
- Government type: Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
- Administrative divisions: 11 quarters; Anse-la-Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort
- Independence: 22 February 1979 (from the UK)
- Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
- Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Dame Pearlette LOUISY (since September 1997)
- Head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony (since 28th November 2011);
- General assessment of Telephone Systems: adequate system
- Domestic: system is automatically switched
- International: country code – 1-758; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables, along with Intelsat from Martinique, carry calls internationally; direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados
- Internet country code: .lc
- Main Telecommunication Companies: Lime, Digicel, Karib Cable
- Airports: 2 – If you are traveling via an international flight, it is most likely that you will arrive at Hewanorra International Airport near the city of Vieux Fort. Most Caribbean based travelers arrive via George F. L. Charles Airport in the capital – Castries located in the north of the island.
- Roadways: total: 1,210 km (2002)
- Ports and terminals: Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort
St Lucia is for the most part an idyllic, laid-back place, but it is not without its hazards and nuisances. Hotels have gated security and there are police stations in each of the island’s districts.
The more densely populated areas like Castries and the Rodney Bay/Gros Islet area are patrolled by police regularly. Be mindful about venturing alone in deserted areas, or out late at night in unlit places. Keep your valuables locked up and be aware of your environment. Don’t pick up strangers when driving a hired car; take the precaution of informing your reception of housekeeping staff of your plans and anticipated return.
If you are travelling by yacht, then inform neighbouring yachts when you are going ashore for the day or evening. St Lucia’s many delights and its wonderful people are yours to enjoy with these few precautions in mind.
Dial 999 to reach the police in an emergency, 911 for fire or ambulance. Below is a listing of other useful numbers:
|Police Headquarters Castries||
|Crime Action Line||
|Golden Hope (Mental Hospital)||
|Gros Islet Polyclinic||
|St Jude’s (Vieux Fort)||
The duty free allowance into St. Lucia is 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, one litre of spirit or wine. Duty free shopping is available at Pointe Seraphine, La Place Carenage and at the departure lounge of Hewanorra Airport. Luxury items include Jewelry, Batiks, Giftware, Local Crafts, Liquor, Cigarettes and Cigars.