Is lock down bringing you down? Well, instead of surfing the internet blindly, why not learn a thing or two? Last November we visited the beautiful island of St. Lucia and thought we share a few interesting St. Lucia facts to help you feel smarter. So take notes, people. Let’s start learning about this little known island in the West Indies.
The West Indies is located between the Eastern Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Oceans. Saint Lucia is one of 13 independent island countries in the region that make up the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles.
Fun Facts about Saint Lucia
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Both the Eastern Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean borders St. Lucia. It is also known as Saint Lucia. Like Canada, while the monarch is the head of state the governor-general represents her.
Saint Lucia is a Member of the Commonwealth of Nations
Saint Lucia is a member of the commonwealth, just like Canada. It is a democratic nation but Queen Elizabeth II is the head of State. And just like Canada, Queen Elizabeth is merely a figurehead and she is represented by the Governor General.
And St. Lucia has a parliamentary system just like other members of the commonwealth of nations therefore it is run by a Prime Minister. The current prime minister of St. Lucia is Allen Chastanet.
Saint Lucia is Small
It is a small island at only 617 square km (238 Square miles). It runs is only 43 km (27 miles) long and 22 km (14 miles) wide. But driving through St. Lucia takes time because the roads are winding and it is very mountainous. We drove that 27 miles and it took 90 minutes!
The capital city of Saint Lucia is Castries. This is the most popular city for tourism and where all the cruise ships come into port.
The nearest islands to St. Lucia are Martinique, St. Vincent, and Grenadines and a little farther to the East is Barbados. You can easily see Martinique Island from the North and St. Vincent and Grenadines can be seen in the South on a clear day.
Interesting Facts – Women in History
Some of the more interesting facts about Saint Lucia have a woman connection. One involves the wars of men and another involves death.
Only Country in the World Named After a Woman
Saint Lucia is the only country in the world to be named after a woman. How cool is that? Saint Lucy of Syracuse was killed in 304 AD during something known as the Diocletianic Persecution (I had to look that up). She was a Christian martyr who became Saint Lucia. French sailors apparently named it after her as they were shipwrecked upon its shores on December 13 known as Saint Feast Day.
Helen of the West Indies
The nickname of St. Lucia is the Helen of the West Indies. It was named after Helen of Troy is because St. Lucia was constantly in the midst of war between the French and British for two centuries. Saint Lucia was like the Trojen Horse. Armies kept mobilizing to conquer and kept falling.
After all the fighting between France and England, Saint Lucia became a British territory in 1814 and the island now a part of the commonwealth.
More Interesting Facts and Stats
Official Language of Saint Lucia
English is the official language of Saint Lucia is, but we noticed many people speaking French Creole. So while English is the official language, you will notice most people speak their own Saint Lucian French Creole.
Facts about St Lucia’s Flag
St Lucia’s flag is very pretty – The colours of Saint Lucia’s flag represent the blue of the sea and sky. It is an island surrounded by water and the blue represents the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Yellow represents sunshine and the white and black represent the harmony between the races.
Saint Lucia and Slavery
Sadly, like many of other Caribbean Islands, slavery was a part of Saint Lucia’s past. But slavery was abolished in 1834 on the island.
Saint Lucia Currency
St Lucia’s Currency is the East Caribbean Dollar is the Saint Lucian Currency. What’s so interesting about the East Caribbean Dollar? It has a fixed rate of $1USD.
Population of Saint Lucia
- The population of St. Lucia is 181,899
- Population of the Capital City of Castries is 4173.
St. Lucia’s Economy
Saint Lucia’s main economy is tourism. Not surprisingly it makes up the bulk of its GDP as a popular Caribbean Island to visit attracting people from around the world.
But agriculture is also a large part of the economy such as bananas, avacados and mangos.
Facts about Saint Lucia Nature
Home to the Pitons – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The symbol of St. Lucia is the Pitons. The Gros Piton and Petit Piton are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are not to be missed. These impressive volcanic spires or volcanic plugs jut out of the Caribbean Sea up to . Both of them can be hiked.
Gros Piton is 798.25 m (2618feet) high, and Petit Piton is 743 (2437 feet) m high. It is the Pitons that make St. Lucia our choice for the most beautiful Caribbean Island.
Highest Point of Saint Lucia is not Gros Piton, contrary to popular belief. The highest point on the island goes to Mount Gimie which is 959 metres (3,145 feet) high.
World’s only drive in Volcano
St. Lucia houses the world’s only drive in volcano. Yep, you heard me correctly, you can drive into a volcano The sulphur springs are located in a collapsed volcanic crater and you can drive right up to it. Below the surface, things are still boiling and tourists can bask in the hot springs below.
La Soufriere is the name of the volcano and it last erupted in 1776. We hear that they are due for another eruption but don’t worry. Volcanologists are keeping an eye on it, so people are still free to visit the world’s only drive in volcano for years to come. In Fact, the boiling sulphur springs help supply hot water to the town of Soufrière.
Saint Lucia Parrot
The Saint Lucia Parrot is the national bird of St. Lucia and it is the only place on earth it can be found. It is also known as the Jacquot. We did not see one Saint Lucia Parrot during our stay on the island.
Famous Saint Lucians
Not one but Two Nobel Prize Winners
Saint Lucia has the second most Nobel laureates per capita to any nation other than the Faroe Islands. But then again the Faroe Islands only has one, St. Lucia has 2 so that makes it number one in my books.
For a small island, there is a very cool fact we would like to shar with you about St. Lucia. It is home to two Nobel prize winners.
In 1979, Sir William Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics and In 1992 Sir Derek Wallcott won the Nobel Prize for literature.
Saint Lucia was home to pirates. Blackbeard himself is believed to have stashed his treasures at Vieux Fort in Southern Saint Lucia.
Pigeon Island on the south was also a hideout for pirates.
History of French and English
Both Pigeon Island and Vieux Fort were strategic military points on Saint Lucia as well. The British and the French fought over Saint Lucia for more than two centuries. England took control and then France took control. It was a non stop yo-yo.
Between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries saint Lucia changed hands 14 times. Eventually England prevailed and Saint Lucia has been a part of the Commonwealth since 1814.
Saint Lucian Facts Food
Beer of Saint Lucia
The national beer of Saint Lucia is Piton Beer. Named after the islands only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Piton Beer is brewed and bottled on the island of St Lucia. And it is delicious!
Saint Lucian Rum
Saint Lucia’s national spirit is rum. Like all Caribbean Islands, Saint Lucia is passionate about rum. The St Lucia Distillers is the islands main rum distillery and makes more than 25 different varieties of rums
Saint Lucia in the Movies
Saint Lucia was heavily featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. How could it not be. Saint Lucia is so photogenic.
Diamond Falls was featured in Romancing the Stone. Other movies include Superman II, White Squall and Dr. Doolittle.
When traveling to St. Lucia during COVID-19
The island opened up in November to welcome visitors again and we saw first hand the measures they are taking to keep both tourists and locals safe.
We travelled to St. Lucia while the CDC had it at a level 1 COVID-19 low rating and they are doing everything to make the island safe and ready for visitors in 2021.
- You must take a COVID test within 7 days before departure.
- You must complete a travel registration form (online – 7 days before travel, Print and travel with a copy of the auto-response email)
- You must carry your health screening Form (download, print and travel with the completed form) along with your negative COVID test.
- You must wear a mask in public at all times. (masks can be taken off when sitting by the pool, sitting down for food and when at the beach.
- Also, you will have your temperature taken when entering any establishment.
While in St. Lucia, you can only stay at certified COVID safe hotels, you can only take certified COVID safe transportation and only certified COVID safe attractions are open.
You can read all the details here at St Lucia’s International Arrivals Information page.