Saint Lucia is a small island, bordered by a passage with the same name from the north and by the Saint Lucia Passage from the south. It is found between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic. The state has a total area of 616 sq. m. It is a volcanic island, which is why the coast is essentially a narrow low-lying furrowed area with gulfs and bays that are full of reefs.
The La Soufrière National Park has spectacular spots like the Wall Anse La Raye, the Lesleen M wreck and Anse Chastanet. Covered in sponges and gorgonians, these steep reefs accommodate creatures such as shrimps, seahorses, marine angelfish, anglers, various species of lobster and muraena, and turtles too. Night divers will find the large number of bioluminescent creatures fascinating.
It is possible to dive here all year round since the temperature is above 27 °C even in winter.
In Saint Lucia, you can find many dive shops with a full range of training services, from Open Water to Dive Master and Assistant Instructor certifications. They also organize dives. Many hotels have their own diving clubs and offer equipment and staff for any kind of underwater adventures.
In spring, the island is warm and the weather is good for diving and leisure. Thanks to the warm water (+ 28 °С) and the refreshing sea breeze, the period from March to April is the best time to visit the country. The monsoon season starts in May.
Summer in Saint Lucia is the rainy season, with stormy weather that lasts about 1/3 of that period. August is the hottest month. The average temperature reaches 31 °С and devastating tropical hurricanes are common at this time.
The rainy season ends in September, and warm and dry days stay until the end of autumn. Rains are weak and rare. The air temperature is +30… +31 °С, while the water warms up to + 29 °С.
The dry season starts in January, but there is still a chance of tropical showers. The average air temperature is 27 °C with small differences during the day. The sea water warms up to +26 °C and is comfortable for diving.
The coastal waters of Anse Chastanet are inhabited by about 150 species of fish. The shallow water are home to peacock flounders, octopuses, pipefish and turtles. Diving deeper, you will see muraena, parrotfish and lobsters.
The Anse La Raye Wall is popular among divers. Dive down below the shorter part of the wall, and you will see huge volcanic boulders covered in soft corals and gorgonians. Seahorses, jellyfish and many shrimps live here.
Healthcare services in Saint Lucia are equal to the highest European standards. Local hospitals are well-equipped and employ qualified staff. It is recommended to make a prepayment before starting treatment in a private hospital. Be sure to get health insurance. Vaccination is not mandatory, but it's better to get shots for enteric infections and mosquito-borne diseases.
The crime rate is low, but be careful of pickpocketers when visiting crowded places. Don't go to the beach alone in the dark.
When visiting Saint Lucia, be careful of sea urchins hiding on the rocky seabed and venomous reef stonefish that can look like stones. Muraenas or barracudas can bite you if you decide to feed them. Barracudas can be even more dangerous than sharks because they are unpredictable. Before diving, make sure you take off all shiny things like chains, bracelets or watches.
The local cuisine is a mix of French, African and Indian traditions. It is based on seafood, rice, local fruit and vegetables. A tourist should definitely try stuffed crab, roasted lambí molluscs, fish platters and traditional Callaloo soup with vegetables and spinach. And don't miss traditional beverages, such as rum, and herbal brews like mate. Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advised to consume only bottled water.