Saint Lucia is an island in the Caribbean Sea, which is south of Florida and the U.S. Gulf States. One of the Windward islands, we are situated between Martinique and St. Vincent, and to the northwest of Barbados. There are more than a dozen airlines that service St Lucia’s two airports Hewanorra International Airport and George Charles Airport, from a host of international and local destinations. For those visitors arriving by sea, cruise lines and local ferry’s tie up daily at Port Castries and Soufriere. Whether you choose to fly direct, stop off on a cruise or just pop over from one of the neighboring islands you will find a warm Caribbean welcome awaits you.
Air Caribe, Air Martinique, American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta, US Airways, British Airways, LIAT, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet, Jet Blue, Thomas Cook Airlines, United Airlines and International Charters.
Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort is located 40 miles south of Castries. George F. L . Charles Inter Island Airport in Castries.
Cars, 4 wheel drive vehicles and scooters can be booked in advance through your travel agent or at the airports, hotels or car rental offices on the island.
Banks open Monday to Thursday, 8.00am – 2.00pm and Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm
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.
Major international credit cards are widely accepted at all large shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, etc.
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.
The duty free allowance into St. Lucia is 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, one litre of spirit or wine. Duty free shopping is available at Pointe Seraphine, La Place Carenage and at the departure lounge of Hewanorra Airport. Luxury items include Jewelery, Batiks, Giftware,Local Crafts, Liquor, Cigarettes and Cigars.
Departure Tax of EC $68 (US $26) for all passengers over 12 years is applied to ticket prices at the time of purchase.
Domestic Travel within the Island
Minibuses serve as the main ground transportation medium for the island. These buses run up to varied times depending on the route one desires to ply. Buses to Gros Islet, for example, run until around 10.00pm: (longer on Friday nights when the weekly “jump-up” takes place at Gros Islet). However, there is no scheduled bus timetable. Bus fares: Castries – North end of the island EC $2.50, Castries – South end of the island (Vieux Fort) EC $8.00. Car travel via the new West Coast Road from Castries to Soufriere takes about an hour. From Hewanorra Airport to Castries takes around an hour.
For your added comfort, Helicopter transfers are available from Hewanorra to Castries. There is a Heli-pad located at the Vigie Hanger near George Charles Airport. Jade Mountain Resort in Soufriere operates a private helipad.
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.
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
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
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
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.
An independent democratic nation and part of the British Commonwealth.
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.
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|
|Tapion Hospital||+1 758-459-2000|
English is the official language, but St. Lucians speak a French Creole commonly called Patois.
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 Value Added Tax of 10%. A service charge of 10% is also applicable. In some instances these charges are included in prices quoted, so it is best to clarify.
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 are easily available at taxi stands or by telephone. Fares vary by destination and nature of trip.
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.
St. Lucia is 4 Hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
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 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.
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|