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ST LUCIA guide

General Information for Visitors to St Lucia

 

Passports

All UK Nationals need a Full passport, valid for at least 6 months after the return date. Children who are British citizens are now required to travel on their own passport.

 

Visas

There are no visas required for UK Nationals. Other nationalities will need to check with the Embassy/Consulate for full visa/entry requirements.

 

Health Requirements

There are no compulsory vaccinations required. Please consult your local GP for latest information and advice.

 

Climate

St Lucia enjoys a tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout most of the year. The driest period is from December to May and there is increased rainfall in summer and towards the end of the year (June to November). The average temperature is 27 degrees Centigrade. The hurricane season is generally from June to November.

 

Language

English is the official language but French patois is also spoken by some of the population.

 

Time Zone

GMT – 4

 

What Clothes to Take

As St Lucia is in the tropics, we suggest you pack light cotton dresses and light jackets for formal wear. Beach attire is appropriate for the beach but not town, shops or restaurants. Tourists will need to stay clothed on all beaches because topless and nude sunning is prohibited. Some hotels and restaurants stipulate jacket and tie for men and dresses for women in the evening. Don’t forget sunglasses, sun block and beach footwear.

Food and Drink

St Lucian food consists mainly of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and a variety of curry, jerk, rice and stewed dishes. The coal pot is a delicious stew, traditional to native carib cultures and can be found at many local restaurants in Castries, Soufriere and Vieux-Fort. Vegetarian and meat rotis can be found at a number of small local restaurants. Ask any local for the best roti shop and he or she will tell you how to get there. Rotis are usually made fresh in the morning so, if eating a spicy early lunch is of interest, it's highly recommended. Fish, veggie, chicken and goat meals are very common and usually come with a number of sides including salad, plantain, breadfruit, macaroni, and rice prepared a number of different ways. Rodney Bay is full of people from all over the world and the restaurants reflect the diversity. You can find a variety of cuisines, from East Indian to Italian including local dishes of course, in a small area. Rum is the island’s local spirit and St Lucia also brews a local beer called Piton lager.

 

First Aid Kit

A small first aid kit is useful and could contain plasters, antiseptic cream, anti-insect cream (before and after) and sunburn lotion. Stomach upsets are not common in Antigua but it is wise to carry preparations to combat diarrhoea, just in case!

 

Tipping

Most restaurants and hotels will also include a service charge of 10 percent. However, you are welcome to leave additional tips to supplement these charges, especially when service is friendly, helpful, and professional. Always examine your bill to see what charges have been included. If the service charge is not included, leave 15 percent or more as a tip.

 

Valuables

It is advisable to avoid bringing items of great value such as jewellery. Observe sensible precautions – use safety deposit boxes in hotels for passports and money and take care of your handbag or wallet when in crowded areas.

 

Getting About

The main way for tourists to get around St. Lucia is by taxi, arranged by the hotel, taxi agency or individual operators. For the budget travellers or the more adventurous tourists, local buses provide a cheap and fun way of getting around. They are small vans which hold around 10-14 people and vary in quality. They run irregularly, but frequently from rural towns to urban centres, (i.e. Soufriere to Castries, Soufriere to Vieux Fort, Vieux Fort to Castries), each day most travelling to Castries in the morning and returning to Soufriere late afternoon. They are very affordable and provide a unique experience each time; the vehicle operators often decorate the interiors and play their own music, either a mix of Caribbean flavours or country. If you want to try and take a transport discuss your route and travel time with one of the local staff familiar with the bus system. Many of them likely take a transport to and from work.

Water taxis are quicker, convenient and a picturesque method of travelling short distances to private beaches or coastal towns.



Best Buys

Castries market is a good place to buy gifts as is the JQ Shopping Mall in Rodney Bay. There is also La Place Carenage, a duty free and gift and souvenir outlet located in the main harbour of Castries. There you will find fine jewellery arts and crafts, ideal for gifts. Supermarkets have quite good prices on rums produced or bottled on the island, e.g., look for Elements 8, Admiral Rodney, Chairman's Reserve.

Visits by cruise ships over the years have generated a duty free mall (at dockside, Point Seraphine, Castries) with jewellery, souvenirs, art, liquor/rums and other offerings typical for cruise shoppers.

You may also find lower, "duty-Free" prices available across the island in strip malls and resorts. You may need identification as a visitor to qualify for duty-free treatment.

 

Useful Addresses

St Lucia High Commission in the UK

1 Collingham Gardens, London SW5 0HW, UK
Tel: (020) 7370 7123.
Website: www.stlucia.gov.lc
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 0930-1730, Fri 0930-1700.

St Lucia Tourist Board in the UK

1 Collingham Gardens, London SW5 0HW, UK
Tel: (020) 7341 7000.
Website: www.stlucia.org 

 

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