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Imports include food, fuels, and manufactured goods.
Vieux Fort, at the southern tip of the island, and a smaller airport at Vigie for domestic and regional flights.
It is the second largest of the Windward group in the Lesser Antilles and is located about 24 miles (39 km) south of Martinique and some 21 miles (34 km) northeast of Saint Vincent.
Petit Pitons (2,619 feet [798 metres] and 2,460 feet [750 metres], respectively), two immense pyramids of rock rising sharply from the sea and enclosing a small bay.
The prime minister, leader of the majority party, heads the government.
Primary education is free and compulsory, and there is a branch of the University of the West Indies at Castries.
No Caribs remain on the island; the vast majority of the inhabitants of the island are black and there is a small minority of mulattoes and other mixtures.
The main population centres are Castries and Vieux Fort.
International shipping lines operate from the ports at Castries and Vieux Fort.
In addition, there is an oil transshipment terminal near Castries.
Saint Lucia lies in the path of the northeastern trade winds and has a tropical maritime climate. Average annual rainfall ranges from 51 inches (1,295 mm) on the coast to as much as 150 inches (3,810 mm) in the interior.
There is a dry season roughly from January to April and a rainy season from May to November.
The rich birdlife includes the Saint Lucian parrot (the endangered national bird), the Saint Lucia black finch, and the Saint Lucia oriole.