Saint Lucia is a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean Sea. Relax: do not waste your holiday on arrival! Nature is here exceptionally beautiful and unique, it’s not a myth! The population is really welcoming and their sincere smiles in the middle of poverty will give you many life lessons throughout your journey.
Visa and Passport: While some countries don’t need a visa for a stay up to 6 weeks (UK, US and Canadian citizens) or other countries with an exemption agreement, other need a visa before landing in Saint Lucia. Please check Saint Lucia visa policy before booking your flights. A passport valid for at least 3 months is mandatory. UK Foreign Travel Advise to Saint Lucia. If you are traveling from another country, please check the rules in your government website.
Saint Lucia Covid rules: Useful Covid related travel regulations from the Tourism Authority of Saint Lucia and complete the Traveler’s Health Form.
Time Zone: Saint Lucia is on Eastern time (GMT-4) and does not operate daylight saving time.
Phone: + 1758 Wi-Fi : it is available in most hotels but not necessarily in rooms so make sure to check before booking. If you need to buy a sim card with a data plan, you can go to FLOW or DIGICEL in Castries and Rodney Bay.
Electricity: Saint Lucia usually uses 240 Volts, 50 cycles AC and British power plugs and sockets.
The official language in St Lucia is English, but people also speak a form of creole similar to the French creole spoken in Martinique.
In the Northern part of the island, the roads are mostly well maintained and renting a car is a good way to move around and visit the main sites. However, the road going to the South (Soufriere or Vieux Fort) can be tricky because it is constantly turning, there are a lot of potholes and people (especially bus drivers) may drive recklessly. It is still possible to drive there with a rental car but one has to be an experienced driver and exercice caution.
The safest option is to hire a taxi driver for the day since you can enjoy the beauty of the scenery without worry, and he will probably point out every point of interest.
More adventurous travelers can also use public transports, which are really frequent between the capital city Castries and the North of the island (Rodney Bay or Gros Islet).
Currency: The local currency is called EC (Eastern Caribbean Dollar)and is also used in other islands such as Dominica or Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 1USD = 2,7 $EC. Most supermarkets and hotels accept USD as well as credit cards, but it is recommended to have some cash for small vendors or snacks. You can change money at the airport or at a bank in the city center. Banks open Monday-Thursday 8:00- 2:00pm, and Friday 8:00-5:00pm.
Taxes: The VAT is around 10% and it is usually added to hotels and restaurant bills. A service charge of 10% is also applicable. There is a departure tax included in the price of your return flight. Passengers leaving by boat must pay EC$ 33 or US$13 at the time of their departure.
No vaccine is required to visit Saint Lucia, but a good mosquito repellent is recommended to avoid contracting zika or chikungunya. Medical facilities in the country are basic but rather expensive. A full medical insurance is highly recommended. There are several pharmacies in the main cities, and basic medication like advil can also be found in supermarkets. Drinking water from the tap is safe, and bottled mineral water is easily available in supermarkets.
Crime do exist in Saint Lucia, and like in many other countries, common sense should prevail. Avoid showing signs of wealth (like expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash) or venturing into areas that do not seem safe.
Sustainable Tourism and responsible travel are our concern. Our programs always respect the cultural characteristics and local customs of the many different ethnic groups of our country. We work fairly with our local partners and always employ local guides. In this way, you can have your own picture of life in Saint Lucia – at the same time the communities in the regions visited are strengthened by the interest and the additional source of income in their assessment of their traditions and their original way of life.