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Saint Lucia Travel Tips

St Lucia is a wonderful place with a bit of different cultures that you may be amazed by when you first arrive. Your driver can answer any questions you may have along the way, and help to ensure you travel safely and with respect to local customs.

TRAVELLING ON ST LUCIA ROADS

Roads are very crowded with cars, trucks, bikes, pedestrians and animals especially in the city of Castries, Rodney Bay, Vieux Fort and Soufriere. At first glance there seems to be no road rules at all in Saint Lucia. This is why we recommend using a local driver or taking a taxi to navigate and negotiate the busy roads for you.

BEING A TOURIST IN ST LUCIA

Some of the poorer people may ask or beg for money, this can be distressing to first time travellers especially because many people really do need money. However we discourage giving money to them, instead, it is better make a donation to the local school or charity

CASH OR CREDIT CARD

Major international credit cards are widely accepted at all large shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, etc. However we advise that you always walk with some cash because most places do not accept CC or you sometimes find that the CC machines have lots of glitches.

Banks open Monday to Thursday, 8.00am – 2.00pm and Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm.

The currency of St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is linked to the US Dollar at the exchange rate of 1 US$ to 2.70 EC$. US$ are widely accepted on the island.

 

ST LUCIA TELECOM AND COMMUNICATION

We have two main telecoms companies in St Lucia ie Digicel St Lucia & LIME. The telephone Country Code is 758.

Mobile Telephone coverage is limited in forested areas and towns but is increasing all the time.

Internet and E-mail can be accessed from an increasing number of hotels and from Internet cafes across the country, many now with free Wi-Fi.

St Lucians are very hospitable people and will usually accept your different ways as a foreigner – if in doubt, simply ask your driver.

Airport Development Charge

Effective May 1st, 2011 travelers will be charged an additional US$35.00 which is an Airport Development Charge, on their airline tickets to Saint Lucia.

Airports

Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort is located 40 miles south of Castries. George F. L . Charles Inter Island Airport in Castries.

Automobile Rental

Cars, 4 wheel drive vehicles and scooters can be booked in advance through us “St Lucia Personal Tours”

Churches

Almost 80% of St. Lucians are Roman Catholic. Other denominations include Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of the Nazarene, Christian Science and the Salvation Army. Times of services vary at individual churches, so it is best to request additional information from your hotel reception.

Crime

Crime in St. Lucia can be considered consistent with that of similar countries. It is unfair to say that it doesn’t exist, however, to say that it is minimal and well under control by our competent police force, is a well placed statement. We do advise all visitors and even our nationals that common sense should prevail when traveling abroad. Refrain from making large displays of wealth (such as wearing expensive jewelry, producing large wads of cash, etc.), avoid venturing into areas that may appear to compromise safety. Crimes of any sort should be reported to the hotel, the St. Lucia Tourist Board, and/or the Police.

Electricity

220 volts, 50 cycles AC (a few hotels are 110 volts, 60 cycles). Most sockets take 3 pin square plugs (UK standard) but some take 2 pin round plugs or flat American plugs, which are more rare. Adaptors are generally available at the hotels.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

Police, Fire and Ambulance – Tel: 911. Police Headquarters – Bridge Street, Castries, Tel: +1 758-452-2854 or request the Police Rapid Response Unit – Tel: +1 758-452-2854 ext. 167. You may also contact the St. Lucia Tourist Board – Tel: +1 758-452-5968/453-0053/452-4094.

Entry Requirements

Visitors must carry passports that are valid for three months prior to the completion of travel. Visas are not required where the visitor is a citizen of the USA or certain Commonwealth countries, or where there is agreement for exemption between the home country and St. Lucia

As of January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.

This information does not reflect important changes to the WHTI expected from pending legislation. We will update this page once that legislation has been finalized.

Visas

Foreign nationals intending to visit Saint Lucia for business, pleasure or study are required to have a valid passport from their country and to obtain a valid Saint Lucian visa. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Department, is responsible for the issuance of Saint Lucian Visas. Contact Information for the visa office is as follows:

Immigration Department, Visa Office

Telephone: (758) 456 3825
Facsimile: (758) 456 3823

Email: immigration@rslpf.com

List Of Countries/Territories Whose Nationals Do Not Require Visas To Enter Saint Lucia

List Of Countries/Territories Whose Nationals Require Visas To Enter Saint Lucia

For further details in the USA, contact the St. Lucia Mission, 800 Second Avenue, 9th Floor New York, NY 10017 & for the UK contact the St Lucia High Commission 1 Collingham Gardens, London SW5 0HW.

http://www.stluciahcuk.org • +44 207-370-7123

Geography

Our neighbors are Martinique, 21 miles from our Northern tip and St. Vincent, 26 miles from our Southern tip. Both are visible on a clear day. Barbados is 110 miles Southeast. The island is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, a total of 238sq. miles.

Government

An independent democratic nation and part of the British Commonwealth.

Health

Immunization is not required unless coming from an infected area within six days of arrival, however, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid are recommended. Drinking water is safe from the tap and bottled mineral/distilled water is also available. There are several pharmacies in Castries, one on the Gros Islet Highway and one in Gablewoods Shopping Mall and in JQ Charles Mall Rodney Bay. Most hotels have “over the counter” medication, such as Aspirin and first aid facilities. All hotels have doctors either resident or available on call. A resident doctor’s visit costs approx. US$ 15 (approx. EC$40- EC$50). For a “call-out” visit it may cost more.

Hospitals

In an emergency, call 911 – there are five medical facilities which are:

Victoria Hospital +1 758-452-2421/7059
St. Jude’s Vieux Fort +1 758-454-6041
Soufriere +1 758-459-7258/5001
Dennery +1 758-453-3310
Tapion Hospital +1 758-459-2000

Language

English is the official language, but St. Lucians speak a French Creole commonly called Patois.

Ports

The main sea port is Castries and many cruise ships anchor at Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage. There is an additional deepwater anchorage for cargo and container ships at Vieux Fort in the south near the airport.

Service Charges & Tax

On hotel and restaurant bills there is a Government tax of 8%. A service charge of 10% is also applicable. In some instances these charges are included in prices quoted, so it is best to clarify. The prices on labels in shops are what you pay.

Shopping

Local shops are generally open weekdays 8.30am to 4.00pm and on Saturday 8.00am to noon. There are a wide variety of shopping experiences from Castries market, where local crafts are available, to Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage, two duty free shopping centers in Castries where resort wear, Colombian Emeralds jewelery, cosmetics and perfumes are available. A variety of shopping malls with extended opening hours offer a wide selection of boutiques and restaurants. Most hotels have boutiques and vendors’ markets.

Taxis

Taxis are easily available at taxi stands or by telephone. Fares vary by destination and nature of trip.

Telecommunications

St. Lucia has two very competent telecommunications providers namely Digicel and LIME. They both offer cutting edge technology and can both be contacted on island to secure needed services. Pre-paid mobile phone cards can be purchased islandwide for either provider.

Many card and coin public phone boxes are available around the island. Cellular phones are available for rent from either provider and more information is available at your port of entry or any tourist information centre.

Internet access is available at most shopping malls and at LIME and also at a number of internet cafes islandwide. Both domestic and international direct dialing are available in St. Lucia. Facsimiles are available through most hotels or through the LIME office in Castries.

The international dialing code for St. Lucia is 1 758. To call the UK from St. Lucia dial 011 44 plus number. To call USA dial 1 plus number.

Time

St. Lucia is 4 Hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Tipping

Tipping is not automatically added but is customary at about 10% to 12% of bills. Tips are generally accepted by bell hops in hotels, taxis and other persons providing service.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information can be obtained from hotel front desks and the St. Lucia Tourist Board’s Information Centers: Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage, Castries Tel: 452 7577 or Soufriere, Tel: 459 7419 and at both airports; George F.L. Charles Airport Tel: 452 2596. Hewanorra International Airport Tel: 454 6644. Generally, the information centers are open from 8.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Pointe Seraphine is open whenever cruise ships are in port. Information Centres at the airports are open during flight times.

Travel by Boat

When traveling to and around St. Lucia on a cruise, every cruise guest will be asked to provide an “ED card” once they reach the island if they wish to leave the ship to shop or go on an excursion. This document must be presented when travelers disembark and re-embark their cruise ship in St. Lucia. If a traveler does not already have this form, they will be asked to wait in line and fill it out before they are able to partake in any St. Lucia activities.

For convenience, travelers can download and complete an ED card here. Doing so will save time and help cruise guests get on and off the ship faster.

Weather

Sub tropical climate kept mild by cooling trade winds make St. Lucia a year round delight. From June to November be prepared for sporadic tropical showers.

Yacht Charter and Private Moorings

There are a wide variety of vessels available for both bare boat and crewed charters from St. Lucia to the Grenadines and other destinations. The two most popular marinas are at Marigot Bay and IGY Rodney Bay Marina. A number of companies offer yacht charter services, please check with your hotel or the Saint Lucia Tourist Board Information desk at the air and sea ports for assistance.

Destination St. Lucia +1 758-452-8531
Escape to Paradise +1 758-452-0344
Moorings St. Lucia +1 758-451-4256
Tradewind Yachts +1 758-452-8424

 

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