St Lucia Weather, climate and geography
Weather and climate
Best time to visit
The weather in St Lucia is typical of most Caribbean islands. There is a hot, tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout most of the year with temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F). The driest period is from December to May and there is increased rainfall in summer and towards the end of the year (June to November). Regionally, there is some variation. The beaches around the North (Castries, Gros Islet) whilst hot, receive cooling trade winds, whilst the rainforested interior of the island can get very hot and humid. St Lucia can also suffer from hurricanes; typically the hurrican season runs from June to November.
In general, light breathable fabrics are best, along with beachwear. A light waterproof jacket may also come in handy during rain showers. Hikers should pack sensible footwear and warm clothes as temperatures drop at higher altitudes.
St Lucia is the second-largest of the Windward Islands. It has some of the finest mountain scenery in the West Indies and is rich with tropical vegetation. For such a small island, 43km (27 miles) by 23km (14 miles), St Lucia has a great variety of plant and animal life. Orchids and exotic plants grow wild in the rainforests, and the roadsides are covered with many colourful tropical flowers. Indigenous wildlife includes a species of ground lizard unique to St Lucia. The Amazona versicolor parrot is another, though more elusive, inhabitant of the deep interior rainforest.
The highest peak is Mount Gimie at 950m (3,117ft). Most spectacular are the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton, ancient, volcanic forest-covered cones which rise out of the sea on the west coast. The mountains are intersected by short rivers which in some areas form broad fertile valleys. The island has excellent beaches and is surrounded by a clear, warm sea.