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Travel Essentials PDF Print E-mail

New Entry Requirements will be effective January 23rd 2007.

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. One of the wonderful things about St Lucia is the wide choice of transportation available to the Island. 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.

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St. Lucia A to Z

A  Airlines, Airports, Automobile Rental
B  Banking
C  Churches, Credit Cards, Crime, Currency, Customs Regulations
D  Departure Tax, Domestic Travel within the Island
E  Electricity, Emergency Telephone Numbers, Entry Requirements
G  Geography, Government
H  Health, Hospitals
L  Language
P  Ports
S  Service Charges & Tax, Shopping
T  Taxis, Telecommunications, Time, Tipping, Tourist Information, Tours & Tour Companies
W  Weather
Y  Yacht Charter and Private Moorings

Airlines
Air Jamaica, Air Caribe, Air Canada, Air Martinique, American Airlines, American Eagle, US Airways, British Airways, BWIA, LIAT the Star of the Caribbean, Virgin Atlantic and International Charters.

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

Automobile Rental
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.

Banking
Banks open Monday to Thursday, 8.00am - 2.00pm and Friday, 8.00am - 5.00pm

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 inquire at your hotel reception.

Credit Cards
Major international credit cards are widely accepted at all large shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, etc.

Crime
The 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 is 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

Currency
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.

Customs Regulations
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
There is a Departure Tax of EC $35 for Caricom Nationals and EC$68 for non Caricom National passengers over 12 years old leaving the Island.

Domestic Travel within the Island
Buses serve the north of the Island around Castries and Gros Islet very well and run until around 10.00pm: (longer on Friday night 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 $2.00, 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 Vigie Hanger and the Jalousie Hilton Hotel. This can be booked directly with St. Lucia Helicopters Ltd on Tel: 758 453 6950, Fax: 758 452 1553 or Paradise Helicopters 758 450 9203.

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.

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

Entry Requirements
Visitors must carry valid passports. Visas are not required where the visitor is a citizen of the USA or certain Commonwealth countries (please click here for visa exempted countries), or where there is agreement for exemption between the home country and St. Lucia

New Entry Requirements, effective January 23 2007

Due to the volume of passport requests a decision has been taken that from now through September 30, 2007, U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for, but not yet received, passports can temporarily enter and depart the United States by air without a passport. To do so, U.S. citizens MUST HAVE a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport.

As early as 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.

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.

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      758 452 2421/7059
St. Jude’s Vieux Fort      758 454 6041
Soufriere      758 459 7258/5001
Dennery      758 453 3310
Tapion Hospital      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 12.30pm and 1.30pm 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 Po inte 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. For more detailed information on this topic Click here

Taxis
Taxis are easily available at taxi stands or by telephone and minibuses can be hired as taxis for groups. They generally can take up to 10 persons. Some guideline fares are from Castries to Hewanorra Airport (EC $120 up to 4 persons), Castries to Rodney Bay (EC $40 up to 4 persons).
For more detailed information on this topic Click here

Telecommunications
Telephones and Mobile Phones are operated by Cable & Wireless. Many card and coin public phone boxes are available around theisland. Cards can be purchased at Cable & Wireless offices, St. Lucia Tourist Board Information Centres and many other outlets including Airports, Rodney Bay Marina etc. Cellular phones are available for rent from the Cable and Wireless Caribbean Cellular offices at the Gablewoods Mall, Rodney Bay and the Castries Waterfront. Internet access is available at most shopping malls and at Cable & Wireless. Both domestic and international direct dialing are available in St. Lucia. Facsimiles are available through most hotels or through the Cable & Wireless 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 and 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.

Tours & Tour Companies
Tours can be booked through your hotel’s Tours Desk or alternatively, you can book them direct with one of the following Tour Companies:
Barefoot Holidays      758 450 0507
Cox & Company      758 452 2211
Heritage Tours      758 451 6058/458 1587
M & C Tours      758 458 8283
Solar Tours      758 452 5898
Spice Travel       758 452 0865
St. Lucia Reps/Sunlink Tours      758 452 8232
    
Travel Concepts      758 458 2243/458 2244

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 Rodney Bay. The companies and phone numbers in St. Lucia offering yacht charter services are:
Destination St. Lucia      758 452 8531
Escape to Paradise      758 452 0344
Moorings St. Lucia      758 451 4256
Tradewind Yachts      758 452 8424

 
Book Online
St Lucia Yellow Pages
Rodney Bay Suites
Sheer Class Travel
Radio St Lucia Supreme FM
Helen FM Hot FM

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© 2007 St Lucia UK