Saint Lucia is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique.
Saint Lucia is one of the Windward Islands, named for Saint Lucy of Syracuse. It was first visited by Europeans in about the year 1500 and first colonized successfully by France who signed a treaty with the native Carib peoples in 1660. Great Britain took control of the island from 1663 to 1667 then went to war with France over it fourteen times, and finally took complete control in 1814. Representative government came about in 1924 and from 1958 to 1962 the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. Finally, on February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island nation celebrates this every year with a public holiday.
St Lucia enjoys a hot, tropical climate throughout the year. The average daily temperatures of 80°F (27°C) tend to be tempered by trade winds. The driest time on the island is between January and March but showers can occur throughout the year, however they are usually over quickly.
Tourism is vital to St. Lucia’s economy and the economic importance of such is expected to continue to increase as the market for bananas becomes more competitive. Tourism tends to be more substantial during the dry season (January to April). St Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical weather and scenery and its large number of beaches and resorts.
Other tourist attractions include the world’s only drive-in volcano, Sulfur Springs (at Soufriere), the Botanical Gardens, the rain forests and Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base.
The majority of tourists visit St. Lucia as part of a cruise. Most of their time tends to be spent in Castries, although Soufriere, Marigot Bay and Gros Islet are popular locations to visit. Tourists should venture from the beaten path of shops and beaches and explore the beautiful nature of St. Lucia.