The mountainous island of St. Lucia has become one of the Caribbean’s most stylish and sophisticated destinations, known for its photogenic volcanic peaks, hidden beaches, luxury resorts, and lively nightlife. Here’s how to get a taste of what St. Lucia has to offer with just 24 hours on the island.
Head to the Jeremie Street area, and you’ll find covered markets with small wooden cabins selling street food, juices, second-hand goods, and souvenirs. A separate market offers tropical fruit and vegetables. Depending on your interests, you may want to visit in the evening to take part in a food tour or enjoy the city’s many popular bars. To see another side of island life, head to a rousing Sunday mass in the stunning Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, where a children's choir and children's band perform.
You can also take advantage of the town’s harbor and book a boat excursion: You can opt for a sunset cruise on a catamaran, take a sailing tour of Rodney Bay, or stay up late on a nighttime party cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
Castries is the ideal spot to adjust to the island’s rhythms after disembarking from a cruise ship or a plane.
At the market, rigorous haggling is the norm.
Remember to bring sun protection and bottled water.
How to Get There
Castries sits on St. Lucia’s west coast, near the island’s northern tip. Cruise ships dock in the city’s harbor, and George F. L. Charles Airport is very close to the city center.
When to Get There
St. Lucia’s high seasons are from mid-December to March and during the weeks around Easter. The island hosts festivals all year round: Come in February to celebrate Independence Day with a calypso parade; in April for the prestigious St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival; or in June and July, when the St. Lucia Carnival turns the streets into a massive party.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception’s plain stone exterior doesn’t prepare you for the warm wood covering the floors, pews, and ceilings and colorful decoration you’ll find inside. Sun streams through high stained glass windows, creating intricate patterns in bright yellows, greens, and reds that embellish the walls, and a vast mural by local artist Dunstan St. Omer illustrates scenes of the Bible.
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