How to get to St. Lucia
If you’re coming from North America, BWIA flies weekly from Miami and New York via Barbados; American Airlines offers a direct service between Miami and St. Lucia; American Eagle flies daily to and from Puerto Rico into George Charles Airport situated near the capital; US Airways directly, twice a week to and from Philadelphia; Delta offers a direct flight five times a week from Atlanta; Air Canada has a direct service to St. Lucia from Toronto and Montreal. Virgin Atlantic,
British Airways, British Midlands and BWIA fly weekly between the
United Kingdom and St. Lucia.
During the peak season, between mid-November and mid-March, a number
of tour companies operate charters from Frankfurt, London, Toronto and
various Caribbean destinations.
Inter-island travel is well serviced by LIAT, BWIA, Caribbean Star and
Air Caraïbes. By sea, Express Des Isles runs a high-speed ferry service
between Martinique and St. Lucia. Cruise ships tie up daily at Port
Castries and Soufrière. Major lines are represented in St. Lucia by Cox
and Company Ltd. or Minvielle and Chastanet Ltd.
For visitors arriving by private or chartered yacht, moorings are
available at the fully serviced Rodney Bay Marina, a picturesque lagoon
on the northern tip of St. Lucia, at the Moorings Marina at Marigot Bay
(a famous hurricane hide-out) or at Castries Yacht Centre, located at
the entrance of Castries Harbour.
When entering St. Lucia, American and Commonwealth citizens need to
carry proof of citizenship, a birth certificate, some form of photo ID
and or passport, and a return or onward ticket. Other visitors need a
passport along with return or onward tickets. Some countries do require
visas. Valid vaccination certificates are required of travellers
entering from infectious areas. When leaving St. Lucia, non-nationals
are required to pay a departure tax of EC$54 (US$21) per person (credit cards not accepted).
The main language in St. Lucia is English. A French-based Creole is
also spoken, a result of St. Lucia’s dual British-French heritage.
St. Lucia lies in the Atlantic Standard Time zone - four hours behind
Europe, five during daylight saving time. It is one hour ahead of North
American Eastern Standard Time all year round.
Electricity is available for the most part at 220 volts, 50 cycles AC
and unless you are coming from Europe, you will need an adapter for
your travel appliances.
St. Lucia’s currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. Currency
exchanges can be made at banks, most hotels and at Pointe Seraphine,
one of two duty-free shopping complexes at Castries. The exchange rate
for the US dollar is fixed at $2.70 EC to $1.00 US; however, commercial
banks change at $2.68 EC to $1.00 US. The rate is around $2.60 EC if
you purchase local currency at stores or hotels. For the European Euro,
the exchange rate is about $3.40 EC to 1 Euro.
Banking hours are from 8 am to 2 pm, Monday through Thursday, and
Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Banks are closed on weekends and holidays.
However, the Bank of Saint Lucia and the First National Bank have
Saturday morning hours at their sub-branches in and around Rodney Bay.
Most major credit cards are accepted in St. Lucia. All ATM machines on
the island distribute Eastern Caribbean dollars.
Rotary International: St. Lucia Clubs meet at 12:30 pm on Tuesdays at
the Royal St. Lucian Hotel in Rodney Bay; on Wednesdays at Juliette’s
Lodge in Vieux Fort; on Fridays at Sandals Halcyon St. Lucia at Choc
Lions Club: 1st and 3rd Thursday each month at Lions’ Den in Sans
Souci; 2nd and 4th Thursday each month at Glencastle Resort in Gros
Kiwanis: 8 pm on Thursdays at Green Parrot Hotel in Castries; 5:30 pm
on Tuesdays at Green Parrot Inn in Castries; 7:30 pm at Chak Chak
Restaurant in Vieux Fort.
Store hours throughout Castries, the capital city, may vary, but are
generally from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and from 8 am
to 12:30 pm on Saturday. Stores at the Gablewoods Shopping Mall at
Sunny Acres are open from 9 am to 7 pm. Stores at J.Q. Charles Shopping Mall in Rodney Bay are open from 9 am to 7 pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9 am to 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Most are closed on Sunday.
Julian’s Supermarket and J.Q’s Supermarket are the two leading chains
with island wide outlets. At Rodney Bay, both supermarkets offer
extended shopping hours, seven days a week.
St. Lucia has a liberalised telecommunications market. Services are
provided by Cable & Wireless (WI) Ltd. and Digicel.
Cable & Wireless offers international direct dialling to over 180
countries worldwide; mobile cellular services; credit cardcalling and
Digicel’s network, based on superior GSM technology, has introduced
state-of-the art technology, smart new handsets, innovative and
competitive rate plans, to an otherwise ailing mobile communications
Taxis are a popular means of getting around. Drivers are well informed
and friendly and are familiar with the points of interest. Before you
hire a taxi, settle on the price. Fares are standard to all destinations. All authorised taxis have special number plates.
There are several reputable car rental companies on the island.
Drivers need to purchase a local driving permit, which is issued on the
presentation of a foreign or international license. These permits are
obtained from the immigration offices at Hewanorra and George F. L.
Charles Airports and issued by the major car rental agencies.
All towns and villages are connected by major roads. It takes roughly
one hour to drive from Castries to Vieux Fort along the east-coast
road, fifty minutes from Vieux Fort to Soufrière, and forty-five
minutes from Soufrière to Castries along the west-coast road. Further
inland, some roads may be difficult to negotiate. In St. Lucia, we
drive on the left.
The climate is tropical, with temperatures ranging from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties (25 to 30 Celsius). During the hottest time of the year, from June to August, temperatures can reach the mid-nineties (32 Celsius). Things are kept pretty cool however, by the constant trade-winds. Average rainfall ranges from 60 inches in the coastal regions to 160 inches in the interior rain forests. The rainy season is from June to
What to Wear
Due to the tropical climate, light summer clothes are worn all year
round. During the cooler evenings, you might need a pullover. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach and is not appropriate on the street or in town.
Most St. Lucians are Roman Catholic, but other denominations include
Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist and Pentecostal.
Services are held early every Sunday, and larger churches hold services
on Saturday evenings as well. Information on services is available at