Whether you want adventure, fun, romance, or a little of all of the above, St. Lucia may be the perfect vacation spot. This small island in the Eastern Caribbean is packed full of things to do, from diving and snorkeling to street parties and carnivals.
The best way to have a fabulous vacation is to know the ideal time to visit St. Lucia. From weather to attractions, we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting St. Lucia and when the attractions are at their best advantage.
Plus, we will give you tips on how you can most enjoy your time on the island. For there to be the best time to visit St. Lucia, there must also be certain times that you may want to avoid a St. Lucia vacation.
Read on to learn all about the best and worst times to visit the island, as well as any other travel considerations you need to think about before you book.
Why You Should Visit St. Lucia
Everything you could possibly want in a vacation is nestled in St. Lucia. The sea, land, and air all offer boundless opportunities to relax and discover new sides of yourself.
While other islands have their appeal, beautiful St. Lucia has an eclectic array of activities sure to please everyone. The island offers so many opportunities for you to immerse yourself in nature.
Snorkel or scuba dive with tropical fish and sea turtles or walk along white sandy beaches. Many visitors enjoy kayaking and swimming in the pure, clear water. You can even watch baby sea turtles hatching.
St. Lucia is home to The Pitons, two extinct mountainous volcanic plugs that are the world’s only drive-in volcano. These formations provide beautiful hiking trails.
You can take a mud or mineral bath in Sulphur Springs and wash off in a rushing waterfall. Discover the island’s history by exploring ruins and old colonial estates on working plantations, or walk around Old Town in Soufrière.
Dine in its 5-star restaurants, watch the gorgeous sunsets from exotic villas on the beach, and tour botanical gardens and lush rainforests during your stay here.
St. Lucia offers her visitors a vibrant nightlife. Weekly street parties are an exciting way to experience local culture. The Saint Lucia Carnival, arguably one of the Caribbean’s best, is a popular annual event with locals and tourists.
The main event is in July, but there are months of parties, celebrations, and entertainment to be had in the months leading up to it. Pigeon Island National Park is on the north side of the island, and it offers plenty of adventurous nature opportunities.
You’ll also want to spend time on the island’s south side for beautiful hikes, beaches, and ruins. Finally, the island’s central area is known for its beautiful plants and animals in the Edmund Forest Reserve.
Overall Best Time to Visit St. Lucia
While the best time to visit St. Lucia depends somewhat on your personal preference, schedule your visit from December to April if you want sunny skies. The other seven months of the year are known as the rainy season.
For the best possible weather, you should aim for late spring. During the season’s warm weather, you can take full advantage of the island’s amenities and activities. All of the water sports and hiking trails should be available to you during the sunny period.
In particular, this season is ideal if you want a gorgeous St. Lucia beach vacation. The temperatures tend to be more moderate during this time of the year. So, while it’s warm and dry, it’s not too hot.
The temperatures in the first few months of the year tend to be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait a few months until May, and the water temperatures will rise to a lovely 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some people also love to visit St. Lucia during what is known as the shoulder season. This season is the period that exists between the wet and the dry seasons. If you get lucky and time everything well, you can reap the benefits of both seasons.
You may get the fun of the dry season with some of the cheaper options offered by the wet season. Weather is not the only consideration when it comes to timing your visit.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of seasonal or weekly events on the island. For example, some cities are busiest during the week. So, you may want to visit during a calmer time, such as during the weekend.
You may want to time your trip so you can witness a special event. The premier jazz festival in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia Jazz, is an exciting event to attend in May.
As we mentioned before, Saint Lucia Carnival takes place in July. If you want to experience the food and drink of the island, aim to visit the Food & Rum Festival, also held in July.
Cheapest Time to Visit St. Lucia
The cheapest time to visit St. Lucia is during the rainy season, which lasts from May to November, with the wettest months being September and October. Tourists tend to avoid the island during the rainy season, so prices are more affordable.
As a result, the cost of airfare and accommodations will be significantly lower–several hundred dollars lower in many cases. Activities on the island may also be cheaper but less bountiful during the rainy season.
If you plan your trip based on the cheapest time to go, you should do some research beforehand to determine which activities you want to do in that kind of weather.
For example, underwater and beach activities may be less viable during the rainy season, but hikes through the rainforest or tours of the island’s many botanical gardens may be just what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, you might minimize your exposure to the rain by staying close to the coasts. The islands’ rainforests are mostly inland and tend to receive more rainfall. Many people stick to the resorts and visit local cities during the offseason.
Luckily, a few small festivals are going on during the less-popular period. There are certainly creative ways to use this cheaper time of year to your advantage.
Least Busy Time to Visit St. Lucia
The least busy time to visit St. Lucia tends to be in early autumn. Not many people visit during September and October because of the average eight inches of rainfall the island receives during these months.
In comparison, St. Lucia usually gets about two inches of rain in April. Hurricanes are also more common at this time of year. Tourists who travel to St. Lucia during these months may not understand how intense the rainy season can be.
However, some people purposely visit during this period because it is cheaper. On top of weather concerns, fewer people visit during early autumn because children go back to school and summer vacations end, so the island tends to be less crowded.
Compared with the lower visitor rates in September and October, St. Lucia seems most popular in December, March, and July. December and March have a reasonably mild climate compared to the autumn months.
These months are also particularly popular because they relate to the school year. March is often when spring break occurs, and July and December usually have school breaks as well.
Worst Time to Visit St. Lucia
Generally, the worst time to visit St. Lucia coincides with hurricane season, which can be pretty active in September and October. However, the island has not encountered too many hurricanes over the years.
The last hurricane, Tomas, to directly affect St. Lucia was in 2010. You will likely encounter humidity of around 90% during the rainy season and temperatures near 90 degrees.
There are still plenty of things to do during these months, including visiting cities and enjoying festivals, but you may not want to spend a lot of time at the beach. One advantage here is these months tend to be a bit cheaper than other times of the year.
However, it’s a good idea to try a less weather-active time of year for your first visit to St. Lucia. Then, perhaps if you fall in love with the island and become more familiar with its charm, you can visit again at a different time.
Things to Consider
Knowing more about the unique cultural aspects of St. Lucia is essential when it comes to having a great vacation. Consider these unique characteristics of St. Lucia as you plan your vacation:
- Ask plenty of questions! Before going on any swims, hikes, or other activities, do some research by asking about the safest way to participate in the fun.
- All beaches in St. Lucia are public. However, if you stay at a resort, you may have special access to certain loungers and other amenities on the beach.
- St. Lucia borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Bring plenty of sun protection to protect your health and comfort. Wear sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and long sleeves whenever possible.
- Wearing an army or camouflage pattern in St. Lucia is illegal.
- The water is safe to drink in St. Lucia, though some may not enjoy the taste of a slight amount of chlorine.
- As is common in many Caribbean islands, a giant street party happens every Friday night. Tourists and locals alike join in on the fun.
- Firmly decline interaction from any aggressive vendors.
- Tipping culture is different than in the United States. In St. Lucia, restaurants and bars add around 10 percent to every bill, and you can add anything on top of that that you would like.
- On the subject of money, while the Eastern Caribbean dollar is commonly used in St. Lucia, so is the United States dollar. It is a good idea to have some of both because you may not always be able to pay using a credit card.
- While English is the most common language, it’s a good idea for you to practice a bit of the other languages spoken on the island. Even knowing some French may be helpful in certain circumstances.
- Make trying plenty of local food a priority. Saltfish, other seafood, stewed meat, banana-based items, avocado, breadfruit, rum-based foods and drinks, cassava, plantains, and black pudding are just a few of the delicious dishes you can find on the island.
- You can get to the island via airplane or as a stop on a cruise.
Frequently Asked Questions
What clothes should I wear in St. Lucia in January?
January is one of the most beautiful times to visit St. Lucia. Therefore, you will likely not need to pack heavy clothing. Instead, stick to light fabrics like linen and cotton. You can wear t-shirts and shorts during the day and bring nicer outfits to go out to dinner.
Even though January takes place during the dry season, you should still bring a light raincoat. It is also good to bring a swimsuit, cover-up, and a hat. Remember, it is illegal to wear any kind of camouflage prints on the island.
What should I avoid in St. Lucia for safety?
St. Lucia is a relatively safe island with a very low crime rate. However, you should still take proper precautions and follow common sense. Try to stick with a friend or always let your friends know where you are going on your travels.
When swimming, always check where strong currents are and get advice on the safest places to swim. Avoid quiet, dark areas or areas where crime recently occurred.
Only use a licensed taxi service and avoid rides from strangers. Be very careful and familiarize yourself with local geography and driving laws if you drive around yourself.
When is hurricane season in St. Lucia?
The official hurricane season of St. Lucia is from July to November. However, the island has not had a direct hit from a hurricane since 2010. Only two storms above a Category 3 have affected the island since the 1850s.
In general, the risk of a hurricane hitting St. Lucia is similar to the risk in New York or Boston.
If you are worried about hurricanes, you should avoid the island in September and October. They are the two most common months for hurricane activity across the Caribbean.
What languages are spoken in St. Lucia?
When you visit the island, you will see that most of the signs are in English, which is the official language of St. Lucia. However, other languages can be heard on the island.
Patwa (or Patois) is a Creole language that most locals speak. Saint Lucian Creole French, which has its origin in West African languages and French, is also common.
There are also a few languages spoken by those indigenous to the island. However, many of those languages are now extinct.
What types of wildlife exist in St. Lucia?
St. Lucia is the home of an array of flora and fauna. The island’s animals include more than 2,000 indigenous species, some of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world. So while out on a hike, you may encounter iguanas, boa constrictors, mongooses, lizards, or even a St. Lucian Parrot.
The St. Lucian parrot is the national bird. It’s green, blue, and red. Thanks to this colorful parrot, St. Lucia is also a popular spot for birdwatching.
Don’t be surprised if you see stray cats and dogs around as you walk down the street. Unfortunately, these animals are a normal part of daily life despite the efforts of animal rescue groups.
When it comes to knowing about harmful creatures that you should avoid, only one snake fits that description. The St. Lucia viper is the only poisonous snake on the island. It is unlikely that you would encounter one during your visit.
There are not many other wild animals which you should worry about. However, insects such as mosquitoes can bite and spread disease. To avoid any issues from mosquito bites, wear plenty of bug spray at all times.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Saint Lucia?
So, what’s the best time to visit St. Lucia? Well, if you want beautiful weather and don’t mind a busy island, December to April is the ideal time to book your exotic beach vacation. Want to attend one of the biggest parties in the Caribbean?
Don’t miss Carnival in July. And if you love hiking in the rain? September and October is your time to go. Whatever you decide, start booking your exciting trip as soon as possible!