Ten Things to Know
1. The majority of flights and all the larger planes fly into Hewanorra International Airport in the southern town of Vieux-Fort. However, the majority of hotel rooms are located at the north end closer to Castries, served by George F.L. Charles Airport at Vigie. Taxi travel time from the Hewanorra Airport to the northern end of St. Lucia is 1 to 1.5 hours.
2. Most of the people speak a French-based Creole, or French patois, properly known as Kweyol, said to be the Caribbean’s only indigenous language.
3. Although St. Lucia was a British colony before independence, its city and place names are in French because St. Lucia’s educational system traditionally has been in the hands of the French-oriented Catholic church. (See Pronunciation Guide)
4. The two pitons of St. Lucia – Petit Piton and Gros Piton - on the island’s southwest coast are ranked a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Honeymooners love St. Lucia because it is what a romantic tropical island should look like: mountainous with numerous palm trees, scores of tropical flowers including orchids, giant ferns and birds of paradise. Some consider St. Lucia the Caribbean’s most beautiful island. I would not disagree with them.
6. St. Lucia has genuine rain forest, which means it rains a lot in some places: About 60 inches on the coast and up to 160 inches in the interior rain forests. January through April are the driest months, with April the driest of the year. June through October is the wet period, with August the rainiest month.
7. Due to the volcanic origin of St. Lucia, most of its beaches are dark sand, not the sparkling white of the Bahamas or the Virgin Islands.
8. St. Lucia has surprisingly chilly water temperatures: Despite its deep Caribbean location, the water around St. Lucia averages about 78-80°F, which requires a full wet suit or a shortie for most divers to stay comfortable underwater. (See Saint Lucia Water Temperatures by Month)
9. Although the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, or EC, is the island currency, US dollars generally are accepted everywhere.
10. Tiny St. Lucia also has produced two Nobel Laureates; both were born on a January 23rd through decades apart. The late Sir W. Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979. Poet Derek Walcott won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.
And two extras:
11. Most of the islands large hotels are all-inclusive. Some of St. Lucia's smaller hotels are known world-wide.
12. St. Lucia has the world’s only “drive-in volcano.”
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