Diving in Saint Lucia
The island of
Saint Lucia (Loo-sha) is at the tip of an
underwater volcano where divers can enjoy the stunning variety of coral,
sponge and marine life: huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic
barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and lace coral. Many dive sites
consist of seamounts rising from incredible depths to within a few feet
of the surface. Angelfish, black beauties, golden spotted eels, seahorses,
stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and many varieties of schooling fish
are as plentiful as they are colorful and varied. A few submerged shipwrecks
and a mysterious serpentine creature known as “The Thing”
(Saint Lucia’s very own “Loch Ness Monster on Vacation”)
add to the excitement of diving in the waters of St Lucia. Divers from
all over the world and every skill level have experienced the exotic
beauty and warm crystal waters of Saint Lucia. A great deal of care has
been exercised to ensure that the island, as well as the surrounding
water remains as pristine as it was a generation ago when it first began
attracting divers in search of a paradise less traveled.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens need a valid passport that must be valid 6 months beyond the date of entry into St. Lucia, with available space for entry stamp. No visa is required with proof of onward or return ticket and accommodation confirmation. Check the entry/exit requirements here.A departure tax of $68EC, approx $25.30 should be included in your international airline ticket.
Vaccinations are not required for entering the Caribbean
if you're coming from the United States. Before traveling check with the CDC here.
Culture and Customs
Since the first European discover of Saint Lucia, power over
the island has passed between many hands, and each of the island’s
inhabitants has helped to create a unique culture. Amer-indian culinary
styles are just the beginning of the cultural diversity you’ll find
in Saint Lucia. Though the British hold political control of the island,
there are many other cultural influences in Saint Lucia. Remnants of the
French influence are found throughout the island in everything from names
to language. You can read more about the people of Saint Lucia here.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
St. Lucia runs on 220 to 230-volt AC (50 cycles), so bring
an adapter if you plan to use U.S. appliances. Some hotels are wired for
Check with your local provider ot see what plans are available, otherwise you will be subject to roaming charges. The country/area code for Saint Lucia is 758.
Many hotels offer WiFi.
The local tap water is chlorinated and considered safe to drink. Alternatively, bottled water is available for purchase at restaurants, bars, hotels and local grocery stores.
Language & Currency
English is the official language, but islanders often speak
a French-Creole patois or Kweyol similar to that heard on Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Grenada and Dominica.
The currency in St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, (EC$). You can see the current exchange rate here. However nearly all hotels, restaurants, and shops accept US dollars. Change may be given in EC Dollars. ATMs are available which dispence EC dollars and credit cards are widely accepted.
Saint Lucia is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. St. Lucia is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).
History, Art, and Culture
Saint Lucia was first inhabited by the peaceful Arawak Indians,
but they were conquered by their old enemies, the fierce Caribs. These
early Amerindian cultures called the island "Iouanalao" and
"Hewanorra," meaning "Island of the Iguanas." Juan
de la Cosa, a lesser-known explorer who had served at one time as Christopher
Columbus' navigator was the first European to discover Saint Lucia in 1499.
Then the British came and in 1667 the French arrived. Saint Lucia was alternately
British and French for the next 150 years, before it was finally ceded
to the British in 1814. St Lucia gained internal autonomy in 1967 and
full independence, as a member of the British Commonwealth, in 1979.
In spirit, the island is influenced by many cultures. British
and French customs linger to this day. Saint Lucians drive on the left and
have a passion for cricket, yet the majority of locals speak a French-based
patois, attend Catholic churches and live in villages with French names.
The Caribbean influence surfaces in the drinks, (rum and locally brewed
beer), in the music (calypso, soca, reggae), in the richly flavored Creole
cuisine, in the carnivals, festivals and days of national pride, and in
the open-air markets. St. Lucia is also widely known for its yearly jazz
festival, where performers from around the world come to play and enjoy
the best in jazz. Read more about the history of Saint Lucia here.
Location, Size and Population
St. Lucia is a sovereign island country in the Eastern Caribbean that is part of the Lesser Antilles. St. Lucia is a mountainous island of 238 sq. miles, located about 25 miles north of St. Vincent and 25 miles
south of Martinique and northwest of Barbados.
The population of St. Lucia is 185,868 (2016).