Equal parts beauty and mystique, St. Lucia captivates anyone who sets foot on her coastline. Always evocative, she welcomes visitors with her soothing waves, warm beaches, and hospitable people. The only sovereign nation to be named for a woman, the island personifies adventure and inspiration. Her visitors invariably find themselves reluctant to leave and eager to return.
In the 1600s, the French, English, and Dutch all attempted to take St. Lucia as one of their colonies. The Dutch attempted to build Vieux Fort in the 1600s but were pushed out by the Caribs. In 1639, the British sent 400 settlers to the island, who were wiped out by the Caribs in less than two years.
In 1651, a member of the French West India Company purchased the land from the Caribs to make it a French colony, and the English immediately sent 1,000 men to take back the island. This fighting continued until 1814, when the French ceded St. Lucia to the English. Fast forward to modern times, St. Lucia was one of the last European colonies to finally declare independence. In fact, she only became independent within the British Commonwealth in 1979 and finally has a thriving, peaceful economy, and sovereign government.
Imagine yourself reclining on the sandy white beaches, soaking in the volcanic mud baths of Soufrière, ziplining through lush rainforests, indulging in authentic island food, club-hopping on the Rodney Bay strip, and riding ATVs through the countryside. Envision exploring abandoned sugar plantations, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, chasing brightly colored fish in the shadow of the Pitons, or experiencing a live sea turtle hatching in the last light of dusk.
St. Lucia Fun Facts
- St. Lucia was the first country to be named after a woman, one of just two countries in the world to be named after a woman (Ireland was named after the Celtic goddess of fertility Eire). St. Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse. Although the reasoning behind the name is unclear, it is said that it was the early French settlers who dubbed the island after the Patron Saint of blindness and throat infections – Lucy must’ve been standing at the back when they were giving out patronages.
- It’s home to the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. There’s plenty of volcanic influence happening all over St. Lucia – which is actually where the Pitons came from too. But the Sulphur Springs are warm volcanic pools which pull crowds of tourists from all over the world. With regenerative mud baths and plenty of fun activities available, including nature walks and, you guessed it, a volcano you can drive around.
- The Roseau Valley in St. Lucia is home to 21 different types of rum! Like many destinations in the Caribbean, rum is big business in St. Lucia. The Roseau Valley is home to a gigantic banana plantation and a plethora of distilleries turning sweet sugar cane into delicious rums.
- Over 70% of the island is covered in rainforest. St. Lucia shows its diversity, from stunning beaches to mountain peaks and lush rainforest.
St. Lucian Creole French Language
St. Lucian Creole French (Kwéyòl [kwejɔl]), known locally as Patwa, is the French-based Creole widely spoken in St. Lucia. It is the vernacular language of the country and is spoken alongside the official language of English.