Travel Essentials

Currency

The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is linked to the US dollar at US$1 to EC$2.70. You can also pay for most items with US dollars, and hotel rates are quoted in US dollars. ATMs issue EC dollars.

Electricity

Generally 220 volts, 50 cycles AC, with most sockets taking UK standard 3-pin square plugs. Adaptors are available at many hotels.

Entry requirements

Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Saint Lucia. For British passport holders, a visa is not required. For information on visa requirements for citizens of other countries, see www.stluciahcuk.org, or call the High Commission for Saint Lucia on 020 7370 7123. The duty-free allowance into Saint Lucia is 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2kg of tobacco, and 40 fluid ounces of spirit or wine.

Geography

The island is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, a total of 238sq miles.

Health

For up to date information, please check with your GP if any vaccinations are needed.

Language

English is the official language, but Saint Lucians speak a French Creole commonly called Patois.

Taxes and service charges

A government tax and service charge are applicable on many services in addition to the prices displayed. However, the prices on labels in shops are what you pay.

Time difference

In winter, Saint Lucia is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, and from late March to late October (British Summer Time) five hours behind the UK.

Weather

The weather is tropical, with daytime temperatures typically in the mid to high 20s Celsius year round.

Transport around the island

Buses

A network of minibuses provides public transport to most corners of the island, and fares are cheap.

Car hire

Vehicles can be rented from the airports and hotels, and booked in advance through travel agents and car rental offices. You will need a temporary driving permit, purchasable from the rental company for approximately EC$54/US$20. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is a good idea.

Helicopters

Spectacular aerial tours of Saint Lucia are possible, and helicopter transfers between Hewanorra and George FL Charles airports reduce the travel time between the south and north of the island. For more information, visit www.stluciahelicopters.com.

Taxis

These are widely available. Point-to-point fares are fixed, but it's still advisable to establish the cost of the journey before setting off. An average cost of a taxi from the Hewanorra International Airport to Rodney Bay is US$75, for up to three people. Taxis can also be booked for island tours. In Castries, Rodney Bay and Soufrière, water taxis will take you along the coast to nearby beaches.

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