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Geography of St Lucia


The Caribbean island of St Lucia, part of the Windward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles, is 43 km (27 mi) north to south by 23 km (14 mi) east to west, and has a total area of 616 sq km (238 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by St Lucia is slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Washington DC. Situated between Martinique to the north and St Vincent to the southwest, St Lucia has a total coastline of 158 km (98 mi).

The capital city, Castries, is located on St Lucia's northwest coast. Major towns include Gros Islet, Soufrière and Vieux Fort.

St Lucia's physical features are strikingly beautiful. Dominated by high peaks and rain forests in the interior, the 616 sq km (238 sq m) island is known for the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton on the southwestern coast, its soft sandy beaches, and its magnificent natural harbours. Mount Gimie, the highest peak, is located in the central mountain range and rises to 958 m (3,143 ft) above sea level, a contrast that is also evident in the abrupt climatic transition from coastal to inland areas. The steep terrain also accentuates the many rivers that flow from central St Lucia to the Caribbean. Fertile land holdings, which support banana farming, are scattered throughout the island.

St Lucia is in the tropical zone, although its climate is moderated by northeast trade winds. Since it's fairly close to the equator, the temperature doesn't fluctuate much between winter and summer. The dry season is from December to June, and the rainy season is from June to November. Average daytime temperatures are around 29°C (84.2°F), and average night-time temperatures are around 18°C (64.4°F). Average annual rainfall ranges from 1,300 mm (51.2 in) on the coast to 3,810 mm (150 in) in the mountain rainforests.


Location : Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates : 13 53 N, 60 58 W
Map references

: Central America and the Caribbean

: total: 616 sq km
land: 606 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative : 3.5 times the size of Washington DC
Land boundaries : 0 km

Coastline : 158 km
Maritime claims
: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate : tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August
Terrain : volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys
Elevation extremes
: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m
Natural resources

: forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential
Land use : arable land: 6.45%
permanent crops: 22.58%
other: 70.97% (2005)
Irrigated land

: 30 sq km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

: total: 0.01
per capita: 81 cu m/yr (1997)
Natural hazards
: hurricanes; volcanic activity
Environment - current issues
: deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region
Environment - international agreements
: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note : the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean




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