It’s easy to focus your Caribbean vacation on sun and sand, but you could be missing out on the islands’ rich cultural elements. If you’re staying in St. Lucia, there are numerous ways that you can immerse yourself in the local culture. From the rich cuisine to the vibrant parties, get to know the island’s personality and people in several memorable ways.
Attend a Jump-Up Street Festival
Jump-ups are distinctive street parties that take place on the island of St. Lucia. The town of Gros Islet hosts parties every Friday night. Speakers blare music into the streets, vendor stalls materialize with hot food and cold beer, and a distinctive festival atmosphere descends on the area.
If you’re interested in partying like a local, there’s no better way to do it. These jump-ups are a far cry from the more tourist-oriented parties you’ll find at resorts. Richly authentic, these events keep the spiced rum punch flowing long into the night, so you have plenty of time to connect with the locals and see the authentic side of St. Lucia’s culture.
Sample Local Cuisine
Image via Flickr by Henrique Vicente
Immerse yourself in local culture with a taste of some of the island’s most iconic foods. Green figs and salt fish are the national dishes of St. Lucia. This meal features fresh cod and sweet green bananas. The langouste, or spiny lobster, is another local specialty that can be prepared in various ways.
Local produce is abundant on St. Lucia in bananas, coconuts, and mangoes grown right on the island. Another fruit native to the island well worth your time is the breadfruit. This distinctive fruit is a staple of the local diets. With a starchy flavor similar to a potato, the breadfruit is available stuffed, boiled, or dipped in mayonnaise.
Celebrate a St. Lucian Event
St. Lucia’s special events put the culture on display in brilliant sound and color. Visit around the end of April to groove to the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. In October, you can celebrate the Arts & Heritage Festival of St. Lucia, which culminates in Jounen Kweyol, also known as International Creole Day. The holiday is centered around celebrating the distinctive Creole culture on the island.
Get Tips From the Locals
One of the best ways to experience St. Lucia’s culture is by getting to know the locals. Descend into some of the island’s small fishing villages and strike up conversations with those who have spent their lives navigating the island. Ask about hidden beaches, secret snorkeling spots, and secluded waterfalls. You never know what you might find.
Add a delightful dash of island flavor to your vacation by immersing yourself in the island’s distinctive culture. Getting to know St. Lucia on a deeper level will unveil unforgettable experiences.