Traveling Luck for Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is located in Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago.

Land in Saint Lucia is volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys.

Saint Lucian land covers an area of 616 square kilometers which is 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

As for the Saint Lucian climate; tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August.

Saint Lucian(s) speak English (official), French patois.

Saint Lucian National Map

Saint Lucian Map

Regions of Saint Lucia

The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.


Saint Lucia Country Profile

Changes in the EU import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia. The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be cut.

Saint Lucian natural resources include forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean

Saint Lucian religion is Roman Catholic 67.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%, other Christian 5.1%, Rastafarian 2.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5% (2001 census).

Natural hazards in Saint Lucia include hurricanes and volcanic activity.

Travel Advice on Saint Lucia

St Lucia

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Local Laws & Customs section (British arrests).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 80,000 British nationals visited St Lucia in 2005.  Although most visits to St Lucia are trouble-free, levels of violent crime have risen and can sometimes affect tourists.  Crimes include muggings, and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes.

  • The most common problems for which British nationals require consular assistance in St Lucia are loss or theft of passports, money and other documents.  During November 2006, eight British nationals were arrested for drug-related offences, including trafficking.

  • The Hurricane season in St Lucia normally runs from June to November.  Please see Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice and Hurricanes for more further information.

  • If you are travelling to St Lucia for the ICC Cricket World Cup, which runs from 11 March to 28 April 2007, you should see ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 for general advice you may need before you travel.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Crime

Although most visits to St Lucia are trouble-free, levels of violent crime have risen in the past year.  Although mainly contained in local communities, violent crime can sometimes affect tourists. These crimes include muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes and are occasionally accompanied by violence.  Two tourists are reported to have been raped during 2006. You should take common sense precautions and be vigilant at all times.  Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark.  Take particular care at popular late night street parties and "jump-ups". Do not carry large amounts of cash and jewellery.  Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes or hotel safes.  If staying in a residential/holiday villa, take sensible precautions to secure your valuables, lock doors and windows.  The St Lucian authorities are working with the tourism industry to maintain a safe environment for visitors.

Road Safety

Motorists drive on the left in Saint Lucia.  Most roads are narrow by UK standards and many are in need of repair.  In mountainous areas roads can be extremely steep and have sharp hairpin bends, some of which are not clearly marked.  Automatic four-wheel drive vehicles are popular, and in some areas essential.  Given local conditions, you should drive slowly and cautiously.

It is common for pedestrians to flag down vehicles in an attempt to get a lift.  You should not stop to do so.

There are regular mini bus services, which provide relatively cheap and fast travel within Saint Lucia.  Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations but you should clarify the fare with the driver before the beginning of the journey.  You can hire self-drive cars, but you will require your full UK licence in order to purchase a local driving permit which costs US$20.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

There are severe penalties for all drug offences.  There has been a marked increase in British nationals arrested for trafficking of cocaine, with eight arrests in November 2006.  Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

You should be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Certain homosexual acts are illegal under Saint Lucian laws.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

British Passport holders do not need visas to enter Saint Lucia for visits up to 42 days.  It is an offence to stay beyond 42 days without permission from the local immigration authorities.  It is also an offence to take any form of paid employment without a work permit.

Entry requirements may change from time to time and should be checked with:  St Lucian representation in the UK.

If you wish to bring meat or plant products into Saint Lucia you must obtain a licence in advance from the Ministry of Agriculture.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance, which includes medical evacuation by air ambulance, before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.  Medical treatment can be very expensive and serious cases are transferred overseas (usually to Miami or Martinique) incurring air ambulance costs.

In the event of a medical evacuation to Martinique, you may be entitled to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as nationals of Martinique if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which was issued in the UK or France. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance.  You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature.  The EHIC provides emergency health cover for treatment in Martinique by the French State health service for which you will have to pay but for which you will be able to claim back up to 70% of the costs on your return to the UK.

You should obtain an EHIC before leaving the UK.  The EHIC is available free of charge through most UK Post Offices or through the UK Department of Health via their website at:  www.dh.gov.uk or by telephoning 0845 6062030 (from outside the UK call: +44 191203555).

The dengue fever mosquito is found throughout St Lucia.  You should take normal precautions against mosquito bites, including using insect repellent during daylight hours and after sunset.

Drug use and excessive consumption of alcohol can increase your chances of falling victim to crime, accidents and sexually transmitted diseases. 

You should be aware of the high prevalence of the HIV/AIDS virus in the Caribbean region and take precautions to avoid exposure to it.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk.

NATURAL DISASTERS

The hurricane season in St Lucia normally runs from June to November.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation.  You can also access the http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ for updates.  Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a hurricane.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help.
Keep a copy of the photo page of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.
If you are on a package holiday, you must travel on the specified return date.  If you fail to do so you will have to pay the additional costs of accommodation and a replacement air ticket.
Although the official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (EC$), most tourist establishments will also accept US dollars and will quote prices in either or both currencies.  Make sure you know which currency you are being quoted.  ATM machines are readily available in main towns.
You will have to pay a departure tax of EC Dollars 68 or US Dollars 25 per person (12 years and older) when leaving Saint Lucia.
Most airlines will allow passengers to check two pieces of luggage on transatlantic flights.  However, local inter-island flights will generally only allow one piece at 20kg.  You may therefore wish to confirm baggage entitlements with your airline if you are travelling between islands.
In the event of loss of your passport, you will need to apply to the Passport Office at the British High Commission, Barbados for a replacement.  The British High Commission in St Lucia can advise you how to do this, and supply you with application forms.  Urgent applications can be speeded up if you pay for courier costs, but even so, the issue of a replacement passport could still take several days.
In cases of genuine emergency, the British High Commission in St Lucia may be able to issue an Emergency Passport valid for a single journey back to the UK.


OTHER

St Lucia Country Profile