Destined to the Caribbean, holiday in St Lucia

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What's St Lucia like?

 

Getting to and around

 

Useful information

 

Where to stay

 

Restaurants and locals

 

Activities and sports

 
 

Printable guide

 

Links

 
 
 
 

Saint Lucia - Marigot Bay

 

Saint Lucia - waterfall

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR TRAVELING TO AND AROUND ST LUCIA

 

Documents and entry requirements

 

Entry requirements for some European visitors and US visitors is a valid passport and a return ticket or proof of intention to exit to a forwarding destination (airways or maritime.) Upon arrival customs will permit a 42 days visitors stay. Australians will need a Visa.

 

st lucia documents

 

Upon departure from St Lucia by air travel the exit tax is included in the price of your airline ticket. By maritime means the exit tax is 30 EC.
Payable in cash, both EC and US is accepted.
For driving a local temporary driving license is needed. This can be got from the immigration office in the airport, or through the main local police stations or via the hire car company. The cost is 54EC and is valid for 3 months.

 

 

Telephone and Internet

 

telephone and internet st lucia 

 

From St Lucia Cable & Wireless (WI) let you make international calls and local mobile calls. Telephone boxes/booths let you call out by credit card. Digicel has the most coverage on the island.
Internet is widely available from most touristic buildings and more than often a Wi Fi connection.
 

Local prefix St. Lucia: 758

International prefix: +1-758-XXXXXXX

 

Currency, payments and credit cards

 

Exchange rates from St Lucia Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC or XCD)

 

1 EC$ = 0.283987EUR

1 EC$ = 0.370370 USD 

(exchange rates 09/05/13)

 

 Currency Converter

 

st lucia currency

 

Major credit cards (Visa, American Express) are accepted in practically all hotels, restaurants and shops. You can take out cash from ATM/ cash points with your credit cards. Banks charge a fee for this most banks will display the fee on the screen at the time of withdrawal.

 

Restaurant, hotels, guest houses and hire car companies have to add a compulsory 8% tax. Add a further 10% service charge on restaurant prices. Often in smaller restaurants service charge is not added, so if you can leave a tip it will be gesture well appreciated, this is also true for taxi drivers and tour guide’s you meet on your excursions around St Lucia. Bear in mind that the average wage in St Lucia is around 800 EC a month.

 

 

Time zone

 

time zone st lucia

 

St Lucia is 4 hours behind GMT.
 

 

The climate in St Lucia

Meteo Castries

 

In St Lucia the climate is tropical and breezy. The season is divided into winter and summer. There is an identifiable dry period which starts in February and leads through to May and a wet season starting in June and leading through to October. Annual rainfall on average is between 1500/1750 mm on the coastline, 4000mm in the tropical forested areas. The average annual temperature is between 25/30 but during the wet season it can reach 32.

For the local weather fore cast and hurricane activity:

 

 

National Hurricane Center       Meteo France Antilles-Guyane

 

 
Roads and driving

 

roads and driving st lucia

 

It is left hand drive in St Lucia. The roads are generally in a good state of repair. Be careful always of the deep cannels on the road side. In the rush hour especially in the morning, there is a lot of traffic in the Castries zone. The local driving is quiet reckless so be careful when walking along the side of the road.
 

Water and electricity

 

practical info st lucia

 

The tap water has been declared potable/drinkable.
The electricity voltage is 220 Volt, 50 Hertz
The plugs are in a 3 point type G (British a 3 Pole) equip yourself with a adapter before leaving for St Lucia or ask the hotel ahead if they have them at disposition.
 

 

 
Health, dangers and general advice

 

The public health system in St Lucia is quiet lacking, there are hospitals and private clinics which you can turn to should you need to. fauna st luciaIn grave situations you should consider a transfer to Martinique. In case of emergency call 911, there are several hospitals: Victoria Hospital at Castries- St.Jude's Hospital at Vieux Fort -
Dennery Hospital at Dennery - Soufrière Hospital at Soufrière
A private clinic Tapion Hospital at Castries, with an A &E department 24h/24 758-4592000.
In St Lucia there is risk of bilharzias, it is advised not to swim in stagnant water. The viper fer-de-lance lives on the island and its bite can be fatal. Be careful of your belongings, especially if you go on Friday night to Gros Islet. Don’t wear too many jewels and only take the cash needed for the night. Stay aware and don’t stray too far from the centre of the party. It’s advised to wear fresh and light clothing, in the colder evenings you may need a cardigan or sweater. Swimwear is not advised in the town centers or villages or for getting round the island. Topless is forbidden.
 

 

 
Travelling with children in St Lucia

 

We noticed that St Lucians where all very accommodating whilst travelling through their country & in general appear to love children both younger and older. A few general words of advice though. Ask your Hotel if the bars on the balcony are large enough for a baby to pass through before booking, check on the size of the crib too, if you have a toddler. Mosquito nets are provided for kids, but it might be worth travelling with one for the push chair. Windjammer is especially Kid friendly with plenty of activities and a nanny service, (Book in advance 10 US an hour) if you wanted sometime to your self in the evening. A packet of nappies cost aprox; 20 EC for a local brand and 40EC for the well known brands. There is a large range of Johnson products easily available, if you travel light. I don't do artificial milk as I breast feed, but I did take note that most of the major brands are there and cost between 40 EC – 72 EC the box. Breastfeeding is acceptable in all public places and well viewed and supported, even with older children. If you are not from Tropics be prepared for your breast feeder to request more, but for shorter periods as they may be thirstier. If they are very small and not yet drinking water, you may need to offer the same breast twice instead of changing each time, in order to get to the hind milk. If they get constipated, this is usually the reason. If you have a wriggler, watch out for high chairs, they don't all have a harnesses, if you have a light weight travel one it might be worth taking for the ride if you plan to eat out regularly. All the car hire companies I met with had EU conformed kids car seats, which where clean and in good condition. Remember to specify the age & weight of the child. For older children apart from the beach, Windjammer if you are staying there, offer a host of children’s activities. Sea spray’s Pirate boat tour is especially exciting for kids and even paint there faces whilst onboard. Eastern Caribbean divers also do dive tours for Kids and take children as young as 8 for there first dives. In Rodney bay behind Pizza Pizza there is a very good playground with trampoline, 5EC dollars for 15 mins. On all outings remember bug spray, sun-hat and sun protection. Make kids drink plenty of water, especially if they are not used to the climate, they can dehydrate quickly.

Nathalie J.

 

Useful numbers


Emergency
Police 999
Ambulance and fire service 911

Airports

Hewanorra International Airport (Vieux Fort) 454-6355
Gerge Charles Airport (Vigie)
452-1156
 

 

Festivals and important dates

 

New Year's Day: 1-2 January

Independence Day: 22 February

Labor Day: 1 May

Jazz Festival 12: 5-13 May

Carnival:  July

Emancipation Day: August

Creole Day: October

National Day: 13 December

Christmas Day: 25 December

 

 

Shop and office hours

 

shops st lucia
 

Banks are open from 8.00 to 15.00, on Fridays they close at 17.00. Post offices are open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 16.30. Shops are normally open from 08.30 to 16.30, some have a lunch break and they are closed on Saturday afternoons. In the small villages alimentary shops stay open till 22.00. The main supermarkets in Castries, Rodney Bay and VIEUX Fort are open Monday till Saturday until 20.00.

 

 

What language do they speak?


st lucia language
 

The official language is English; Creole is widely used between the locals. The historical successions of both the English and French of the island has influenced its Creole, giving it life and a ‘patois’ with a heavy French influence, with which the locals can communicate with their neighboring French island Martinique.