Saint Lucia is more than just the emblematic Pitons and the Sulphur Springs; our quaint fishing villages speak volumes about this land and its people. Each unique, with a different energy filling the air, our villages should not be missed when visiting this unforgettable island.

Saint Lucian Villages

Anse La Raye

Canaries

Castries

Choiseul

Dennery

 

Gros Islet

Laborie

Micoud

Soufrière

Vieux Fort

Anse La Raye

Population: 6,071

Background Information: The French settlers, when they first came to Saint Lucia, named it after the plentiful ray fish that populated the area. Two large rivers flow from the forests behind the village to meet the sea – Petit Rivière de Anse La Raye and Grand Rivière de Anse La Raye.

Attractions: Fish Festival held on Friday nights.

Co-ordinates: 13°55′N, 61°01′W

Canaries

Population: 1,862

Background Information: Canaries is Saint Lucia’s smallest fishing village and is named after the Amerindian word for clay pots.

Attractions: Plas Kassav where you can buy delicious cassava bread; the Canaries River; the picturesque beach; the “snake man” who displays a boa constrictor at the roadside north of the village.

Co-ordinates: 13°54′16″N, 061°04′01″W

Castries

Population: 70,000

Background Information: The French were the first European settlers to establish Castries in  1650. It was then known as “Carénage”, meaning safe anchorage.  In 1756 the town was renamed after Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries, a French commander of an expeditionary force to Corsica that year.

Attractions: The Castries markets; Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Derek Walcott Square; Morne Fortune (Hill of Good Luck) for panoramic views of the city.

Co-ordinates: 14°01′N, 60°59′W

 

Choiseul

Population: 6,323

Background Information: Choiseul was originally named Anse Citron and is home to a thriving arts and crafts community.

Attractions: Local arts and crafts like hand-made wooden chairs, coal pots, woven baskets and place mats.

Co-ordinates: 13.7744°N, 61.0505°W

Dennery

Population: 12,876

Background Information: The main sources of income are fishing and agriculture (lima beans, bananas and local fruit).

Attractions: The Sault Falls or Errard Falls, a 20 ft high waterfall; the Frigate Island Nature Reserve.

Co-ordinates: 13°56′N, 60°55′W

Gros Islet

Population: 21,660

Background Information: Originally settled by the Amerindians, the French were the first Europeans to occupy the area. It is known as the tourist hub of Saint Lucia.

Attractions: Pigeon Island National Landmark; IGY Rodney Bay Marina; JQ Charles Shopping Mall; Baywalk Shopping Mall; Gros Islet Fish Fridays.

Co-ordinates: 14.081°N, 60.953°W

Laborie

Population: 7,414

Background Information: Like most communities on the island, Laborie was first occupied by Amerindians and later settled by French colonists. The village was named after Baron de Laborie.

Attractions: The Rudy John Beach Park; the Papèl Arts & Craft Centre.

Co-ordinates: 13°46′N, 61°00′W

Website: www.ilovelaborie.com

Micoud

Population: 16,620

Background Information: The area was named after Baron de Micoud, a French governor of Saint Lucia in the 18th century. Micoud has a rich Amerindian history with archaeological artifacts found in several sites within the area.

Attractions: Mamiku Gardens (believed to have been named after the Baron’s wife, Madame de Micoud, whose name was abbreviated by locals to ‘Ma Micoud’).

Co-ordinates: 13.819°N, 60.900°W

Soufrière

Population: 7,935

Background Information: French settlers in the 18th century made Soufrière the first capital of Saint Lucia. The town has been rebuilt several times due to destruction by hurricane and fire. The Empress of France, Joséphine Bonaparte, spent most of her childhood in Soufrière.

Attractions: The Pitons; the Sulphur Springs with the world’s only drive-in volcano; Soufrière Estate, or Diamond Estate, where the Diamond Falls are located; Fond Doux, a local cocoa plantation still in operation; Saint Lucia’s Rainforest.

Co-ordinates: 13.854°N, 61.0592°W

Vieux Fort

Population: 15,750

Background Information: The area was named after a nearby fort. Vieux Fort was an integral part of the sugar industry during the 18th and 19th centuries and until the industry collapsed. The Hewanorra Airport was built by the Americans during World War II and was originally named Beane Army Base. It is the main point of entry for visitors to Saint Lucia.

Attractions: Kite surfing on Sandy Beach; the Moule à Chique Lighthouse.

Coordinates: 13.728°N, 60.954°W

Photographer: Mishael Fabien