Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
St. Lucia

St. Lucia Travel Tips: Hotels, Attractions, Weather

Piton volcanoes are the most famous landmark in St. Lucia.
Piton volcanoes are the most famous landmark in St. Lucia.

Cruise, hotel and resort vacationers in St. Lucia will find one of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean.

It also has one of the most beautiful harbors in the Caribbean. Rolling green hills surround it. At the right time of year, red flowers such as the Caribbean Pink Anthurium will splash the area with color.

The harbor was one of three experiences that made our visit to St. Lucia so memorable. The harbor water shimmers with that unique Caribbean green. The city of Castries itself will beckon people off the ship with shops and bustling activity.

A St. Lucia vacation ranks 16th in total tourism in the Caribbean, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Only slightly more people visit the island via cruises than with stopovers.

Hotel and Resort Tips

Hotel and resort vacationers will likely fly into the George F.L. Charles International Airport on the west coast of St. Lucia. It is only two miles from the capital city of Castries.

St. Lucia is a hilly and sometimes mountainous island, much of which is in natural reserves. So vacationers have limited choices on where to stay. Most of the hotels are clustered in three spots on the island: one near Castries, the second on the northwest coast at Rodney Bay and the third on the southwest coast at Soufriere Bay.

The Soufriere Bay location is interesting because it is right by St. Lucia’s most famous landmark, the twin Piton volcanoes.

St. Lucia has a higher percentage of all-inclusive resorts than many Caribbean destinations. So anyone with an interest in going there should plan their budget accordingly.

St. Lucia Excursions

Two other experiences on this trip were memorable and unique to St. Lucia. One was the ATV ride along an equally beautiful, private and unspoiled coastline for some members of our family. The second was the volcano mud bath for other family members.

St. Lucia snorkeling
Snorkeling is a popular excursion on St. Lucia. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Whether arriving by ship or plane, visitors will find not only numerous beaches for relaxing but also natural, historical and cultural attractions. Natural attractions include hiking, biking, horseback and ATV rides, plus that unique excursion to take part in a volcano mud bath. The Central Rainforest Reserve covers 19,000 acres and has numerous hiking trails.

Among cultural and historical attractions are Pigeon Island National Landmark, Fond d’Or Nature Historic Park and Fond Doux Estate.

Noteworthy standard attractions include an emphasis on touring the backcountry by hiking, biking, horseback and ATV mentioned above.

The island has two golf courses within about two miles of Castries. The St. Lucia Golf and Country Club is a par 71 course and the only 18-hole club on the island. The Sandals St. Lucia La Toc Golf course is nine holes and 3,141 yards long.

Tourism / When to Go

This video explains the best times to visit St. Lucia and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

Deciding when to go depends on the weather. The annual Caribbean hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, although September and October are the worst months.

As a result, St. Lucia has a heavy number of visitors from December through May, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Average high monthly temperatures during that time range from 84 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall reaches its lowest point from February through April.

The number of visitors declines somewhat in June, climbs again in July and drops sharply during the heavy rain months of September through November.

U.S. and Canadian stopover visitors require a passport. Cruise visitors simply need to have their ship ID cards available when leaving the ship and returning.

St. Lucia has strong and consistent visits from December through May. They drop in June and peak in July. The lowest visit months are September and October.

Weather Tips

St. Lucia monthly rainfall
St. Lucia weather has a dry season from January through April. © 2021 Scott S. Bateman

Temperatures are unusually consistent. The average high temperature is in the mid-80s Fahrenheit year round, while the average low temperature is in the high 70s.

The climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds. The dry season runs from January to April. The rainy season goes from May to November.

April is the best month for tourism because of a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.

Currency / Tipping

Currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. U.S. dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Tipping is typically 10-12 percent of a bill. Hotel and restaurant bills have an 8 percent government tax.

Culture / Geography

English is the official language, but French patois is common thanks to England and France exchanging control of the island 14 times over history. The geography is volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys. The economy increasingly relies on tourism and offshore banking.

Sources/ More information

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
August 21, 2023

St. Lucia Cruise Port Tips

St. Lucia photo
The Castries cruise port is one of the prettiest in the Caribbean. If flowers are in bloom, all the better.

Best St. Lucia Shore Excursions

St. Lucia Pitons
St. Lucia excursions emphasize the beautiful beaches and back country.

Best Times to Visit St. Lucia

St. Lucia snorkeling
The best times to visit St. Lucia are March and April. The worst time to visit is September.

St. Lucia Beaches Near the Cruise Port

St. Lucia Monthly Weather Averages: Rain, Temperatures

St. Lucia ATV Shore Excursion

St. Lucia Travel Tips: Hotels, Attractions, Weather

Soufriere St. Lucia Visitor Tips