Animal Encounters in St. Lucia

Big Animals in Blue Water

You scan the horizon, where the blue of the tropical sky meets the deeper blue of the Caribbean. At first nothing, then suddenly, a body the size of a school bus erupts from the water, hurtling itself in a twisting skyward arch. The leap ends in a reentry that sends clouds of spray into the air and shivers down your spine. This is St. Lucia's big animal show, and at any moment, you might be treated to a repeat performance. But it's not the only act, and there's an equal chance of discovering a pod of playful dolphin surfing in your boat's wake.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone, experiences including watersports, yoga, spas and soft to rugged adventures
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: Steady trade winds account for relatively minor differences in seasonal air temperatures, which range from the 70s into the mid 80s. Rain showers are less common from December to May

St. Lucia Information

Animal Interactions in St. Lucia Overview

More than 20 species of marine mammal can be found in the waters of St. Lucia on a seasonal or year-round basis. Most commonly sighted are pilot whales, sperm whales, humpbacks and false Orcas, along with spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphin. Whales are usually seen singly or in small groups, while dolphin often travel in pods of 100 or more animals

Animal Interactions in St. Lucia Tips

The chances of seeing at least one species of whale and or dolphin in the waters of St. Lucia are better than 80 percent at any time of year. Sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales and large pods of dolphins hang around all year, while the high-flying humpbacks visit between December and April. Tours fill up quickly during this time of year, so make sure to secure reservations well in advance. For added excitement, choose a hydrophone-equipped boat that lets you listen to the whale and dolphin songs.

Best Places for Animal Interactions in St. Lucia

Encounters take place in the deep waters near the northwest corner of the island, several miles from the harbor at Castries. Seas are calmer there than in the open channel between St. Lucia and Martinique, and migrating species often pass through this area as they move north and south. Dolphin pods may be encountered all along the coast.

What to Pack for Animal Interactions in St. Lucia

Bring binoculars if possible, and a camera with a telephoto lens. If you are unsure of your sea legs, take a motion-sickness medication before departure. Polarized sunglasses will reduce the sun's glare on water and reveal the shapes of marine animals swimming just below the surface.

Packages

Animal Interactions

Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

7 nights gardenview accommodations, breakfast daily, WiFi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on biking, hiking, ATV Tours, zipline, dolphin and whalewatching tours.
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From $1,467 per person double occupancy

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Animal Interactions

Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

7 nights gardenview accommodations, breakfast daily, WiFi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on biking, hiking, ATV Tours, zipline, dolphin and whalewatching tours.
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From $1,467 per person double occupancy

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Animal Interactions

Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort

7 nights Firefly Studio accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on biking, ATV Tours, hiking, zipline, dolphin and whale watching tours.
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From $633 per person double occupancy

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Animal Interactions

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

7 night premium oceanview accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on biking, hiking, ATV Tours, dolphin and whalewatching tours.
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From $1,286 per person double occupancy

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Resorts

Animal Interactions

Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort

MARIGOT BAY - Marigot Beach Club and Dive Resort is a villa-style St Lucia hotel that has true St Lucian character. Sitting on the water’s edge nestled within a lush tropical rainforest on the north side of Marigot Bay and accessible only by boat, the resort’s understated elegance blends effortlessly into its natural surroundings.
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From $878 per person double diver

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Animal Interactions

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

7 night premium oceanview accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on biking, hiking, ATV Tours, dolphin and whalewatching tours.
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From $1,286 per person double occupancy

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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.

Immunizations

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

St. Lucia is a land of vibrant greens set in a sapphire sea. Rainforests cover the island's interior, providing vacationers with a variety of eco-adventures that range from sedate birding hikes and relaxing rides on an aerial tram to off-road adventures and soaring zip line flights through forested canopies home to endemic birds such as the St. Lucia parrot. The lush surroundings also set the stage for a number of unique resort properties that blend luxury and nature, and provide some of the best dining experiences in the Caribbean. The island's rich volcanic soil yields a cornucopia of tropical fruits and vegetables. This bounty is reflected in the savory dishes of traditional Creole cooking, and it has inspired a new wave of organic and fusion cuisines that have earned island chef's top honors in international culinary competitions. In addition to enlivening resort kitchens, St. Lucia's farms and orchards support a thriving agricultural export sector that includes bananas and chocolate. One of the island's sweetest day trips involves a tour of historic cacao plantations, followed by a chance to create your own chocolate confections. Across the island English influences are obvious, but so too are the cultural contributions of France and Africa. The local version of relaxing is known as “going on the lime” or “liming,” which simply involves stopping by a favorite local pub or rum shop and spending time with friends.

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 U.S. appliances.

Check with your local provider to 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.

Water Quality

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 dispense EC dollars and credit cards are widely accepted.

Time

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).

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).