[Destination Saint Lucia] I went to Pigeon Island National Landmark

I traveled by boat from Guadeloupe to Saint Lucia, from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th august 2023. My trip was really short. It was my first time in Saint Lucia, an english-speaking island in the Caribbean sea. It was sunny, it was very hot when I left Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at around 8:20am, instead of 8am. It was also sunny in Dominica and Martinique. However, it started raining when I arrived in Castries, Saint Lucia, at 3:30pm instead of 2:45pm. Then, I was in a long queue at immigration and customs. I was outside the Ferry Terminal at 5pm. If there were flights to go to Saint Lucia from Guadeloupe, I would have not spent a whole day traveling. I was really tired but I had the strenght to go out and visit some places. K@ribbean Newsweek shares with you some pictures.

I went to the Friday night street party in Gros Islet, in the northern part of Saint Lucia. Then on Saturday morning, I went to the capital Castries, to be at the Derek Walcott Square where there are the statues of Sir William Arthur Lewis, an economist, and Derek Walcott, a poet, painter and playwright. I could not visit the Walcott House Museum, because it is opened from Monday to Friday. What a pity ! I went also to the Castries Central Market and Craft Market.

The same Saturday, I went to Pigeon Island National Landmark in Gros Ilet. I paid a fee of EC$26.70 (US$10) for an adult visitor. Pigeon Island National Landmark is open 365 days, and its hours of operation are 9:30am to 5:00pm. Unfortunately, I could not visit the Interpretation Centre, a pink building, because it is opened from Monday to Friday.

The site is maintained by the Saint Lucia National Trust, a non-profit organization responsible for the upkeep of numerous protected sites around the island, like the Walcott House Museum.

I was disappointed when I visited this Pigeon Island National Landmark because I thought I could see traces of the life of Afro-descendants.

A little bit of history

Pigeon Island National Landmark is a symbol of history and culture in Saint Lucia. The site was first occupied by the Amerindians, later by pirates. In the 18th-century, it became a highly strategic point for battles between the British and the French soldiers.

The 44-acre nature reserve was once a separate island and it was joined to the mainland in 1972 by a man-made road. Recognized as a living museum, it was named Pigeon Island National Park in 1979, and later it was designated as Pigeon Island National Landmark in 1992.

Visitors can explore its 18th-century military ruins and fortifications, can also climb a well-marked path to Fort Rodney, which affords panoramic views of the ocean and Rodney Bay. There are green spaces, beaches, restaurants, hiking trails and two peaks the visitors can hike at the top, a 330-ft. lookout point, Signal Peak, where the sea views extend to the french island of Martinique.

Located in the restored British officers’ mess (circa 1808), the museum/interpretation center holds artifacts and multimedia displays detailing Saint Lucia’s history, from the Amerindian occupation to the seesawing battles between French and British naval forces for control of the island.

Pigeon Island National Landmark is also a center-stage locale for the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (, held annually in early May.

The island

In Saint Lucia, people speak english, but aslo Kwéyòl. I could speak both with them. It was very interesting. Castries is a city for work and business. It is a clean city. Travelers can find some restaurants and bars.

However, most of the island’s hotels are located in Rodney Bay, a marina located in the Gros Islet District. The place is well known by tourists, there are many bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, malls, casino, etc.

I met nice people who helped me. Among them, the employees of Pigeon Island National Landmark. If I had more time, I would have visited the National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia. I don’t know what I could find. I wanted to visit a museum about the history and life of the Afro-descendants in Saint-Lucia. Emancipation is observed annually on 1st august, and marks the passing of the Abolition Act of 1833 in Saint Lucia. Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day) was also celebrated on Saturday 28th october 2023.

On Sunday 27th august 2023, the boat was supposed to leave Castries at 1pm but it left at 2:30pm. I arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre at 9:30pm instead of 8pm. I spoke with angry passengers from the french islands who criticized the ship company for not respecting the schedule because it has a monopoly.

An Kwéyòl

Mwen pasé dé jou Sint Lisi, vendrèdi 25 a dimanch 27 out 2023. Sé té on voyaj fap fap. Mwen vwè Friday night street party a Gros Islet, mwen alé dé koté kon mawché principal a Castries sanmdi, mwen alé osi Pigeon Island National Landmark mem jou-là. Mwen té vlé vrèman vwè on mizé pou nèg Sint Lisi, sa yo fè an tan lontan jis jodi-jou. Sint Lisi ka komémoré Jou Esclavaj fini é Jounen Kwéyòl.

Zot pé vwè imaj é vidéo an mwen an lè Instagram.

St@y connected !

Salaura DIDON

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