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Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia travel guide

St Lucia is the stereotypical picture-perfect Caribbean getaway, with a fantastic mix of golden sands, sheltered coral reefs and lush jungles.

This small paradise isle isn’t as developed as some of its Caribbean neighbours, and has a low-key, happy-go-lucky feel.

St Lucia is also a bit of a cultural mix, having alternated between French and British rule 14 times since 1650. You'll find French architecture and place-names all around the island, while the official language is English.

Visit St Lucia for a relaxed, informal and friendly atmosphere. Open markets cluster in authentic villages and, every weekend, locals party in the streets like there's no tomorrow. Chill out in a hammock with a view of turquoise waters, trek up into the mountains (the hike up the Pitons is one of the region’s best) or delve into the jungles in search of the protected St Lucian parrot.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. ‘Jump Up’ on a Friday night – Every Friday, St Lucians grab a beer, pump up the reggae and let down their hair at Gros Islet. Be prepared to dance into the small hours, eat too much barbecued food and drink too much rum.
  2. Snorkel around the Pitons – Instead of hiking St Lucia's green mountains, snorkel below them, to find reefs and fish all colours of the rainbow.
  3. Indulge at Anse la Raye's fish fry – Every Friday, from 9pm to midnight, a crowd of foodies gathers at this pretty town on St Lucia’s west coast to devour the fresh fish of the day; sit down at the large tables and eat with the locals.
  4. Watch turtles – Grab a guide and head to Grande Anse beach, where leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs from March to July. The beach is beautifully secluded, though bathing is not advised as the sea is often rough.
  5. Shop at Castries Central Market – Visit the rambling, chaotic and noisy market in island capital Castries. You can buy anything here, from bargain souvenirs to cheap eats.

Wanderlust tips

While fun is the main aim of Friday nights on St Lucia, leave your valuables at home. Also, female travellers should expect unwanted attention. Crime levels are low and the hassle is more irritating than threatening, but keep your wits about you.

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