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The Pitons of St. Lucia.


The Caribbean island of St. Lucia is located just a few miles north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Being only 14 degrees north of the equator, it has a tropical climate with lush rain forests surrounding coconut and banana plantations.  more...


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The Caribbean island of St. Lucia is located just a few miles north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Being only 14 degrees north of the equator, it has a tropical climate with lush rain forests surrounding coconut and banana plantations. Considered one of the larger Windward Islands, St. Lucia is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide with a slumbering volcano, mountains plunging to deep valleys, and lovely dark sand beaches. It is best known for having twin volcanic peaks, called the Pitons, which dramatically rise out of blue tropical waters edged with colorful coral reefs.

St. Lucia island changed hands fourteen times between the English and the French before the British gained ultimate control of the island in 1814 and finally gained independence from Britain in 1979. While the official language is English, the natives also speak French patois. Most of the population of 170,000 live in and around Castries, with the rest scattered in small villages throughout the island, linked by either boats or a few narrow roads, which twist and turn through the rugged terrain. Hewanorra Airport in Vieux Fort (UVF) and George Charles (Vigie) Airport (SLU) near Castries in the Northwest. Most of the hotels and tourist developments are located in the more "modern" north side.

Beaches along the west coast vary from powdery white sand in the north to sparkling silver volcanic sands in the south, many tucked away in pretty little coves. St. Lucia's interior rainforest touches upon all your senses and is where a nature photographers dream comes true. Both wild and tame, the rainforest is a side of this small Caribbean island that many, including St. Lucians, rarely visit.

Several trails cut through the thick forests. The Barre de L'Isle (Island Ridge) trail winds along the large north-south central ridge that divides the island's east and west sides. Key vantage points offer views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic coast. A favorite trail is the path from the Edmund Forest Reserve in the west to the Des Cartiers Rainforest in the east; follow in the literal footsteps of colonials and slaves on walking paths used to traverse the island. Give yourself half a day and you can hike coast to coast.

The most notable and the most photographed landmarks in St Lucia are without a doubt the Pitons. The towering twin Volcanoes of Gros Piton and Petit Piton dominate the landscape of the west coast of St Lucia. Gros Piton stands 797 metres above sea level and it's smaller twin Petit Piton stands 750 metres above sea level. The truly adventurous can climb the Pitons (not for the out of shape!).

The dry season with cool tropical breezes is the first of December to end of April. The wet season (meaning short tropical showers unless a hurricane blows through) is May to November and it can be hot and humid at times. Scuba divers probably won't notice the summer heat since much of their time will be spent under water. Water temperature runs from high 70s in the winter to mid 80s in the summer. Perfect wouldn’t you say?

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