|Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort||Gros Islet||7 nights||FI|
|Ladera Resort||Soufriere||3 nights||B&B|
The small fishing village on the northwest tip of St Lucia is within walking distance of the resort town of Rodney Bay - the popular tourist hub of the island. This quiet gem is ideal for visitors looking for some respite from the loud bars and tourist traps. Colourful buildings, an old church and street stalls create the charm of the village, and there’s a picturesque beach out front too. Every Friday night the streets are closed to traffic and food vendors, rum stalls and live Caribbean music fill the lanes. Try out Gros Islet’s famous fish grill.
Nestled between green hills in the southwestern region of St Lucia, Soufriere makes a dramatic impression. To the left of the horse-shoe bay are iconic landmarks, the twin peaks known as the Petit and Gros Pitons. The small town was the original capital of St Lucia and many traditional wooden homes remain. There are plenty of charming restaurants and a market in town, you can start your wanderings from the old catholic church. Besides enjoying the beach, get your hiking shoes on for views of the Pitons on the Tet Paul Nature Trail, visit the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens or hire a boat and visit the nearby coves that are perfect for snorkelling.
The Caribbean island of St Lucia is home to beautiful, volcanic, palm-fringed beaches, excellent reef-diving sites, countless little luxury resorts and some charming fishing villages. With a lush interior featuring soaring mountains, dense rain forest, fertile valleys, and acres of banana plantations, St. Lucia is mostly distinguished by the Pitons - a pair of dramatically tapered mountains on the southwest coast. Hike through the rainforest to discover magnificent waterfalls, zip-line over forest canopies or see boiling sulphur springs bubble away atop a volcano. If you’ve still got the energy for a night out, you will find a lively party scene the north of the island. Whether you're after romance, rejuvenation or adventure, Saint Lucia is the perfect destination.
Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD; symbol EC$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of EC$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of EC$1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. US Dollars are also accepted as legal tender.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is tied to the US Dollar at EC$2.7 to US$1.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency.
Banking hours: Generally Monday-Thursday 08h30-15h00, Friday 08h30-17h00. Some banks at Rodney Bay Marina are open Saturday 08h00-12h00.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted at all large shopping centres, restaurants, hotels etc. Most banks have ATMs.
Travellers cheques are accepted. US Dollar cheques are preferred and will help to avoid additional exchange rate charges. Change may be given back in EC$.
When exchanging currency US Dollars ensure a better exchange rate.
Helicopter transfers operate between George F L Charles and Hewanorra airports.
All major centres are served by a reasonably good road network. The main cross-island route runs from Vieux Fort in the south of the island to Castries in the north. Roads are narrow and mountainous roads are steep, often with hairpin bends which are not marked. In rural areas watch out for livestock crossing the road.
You can hire cars in Castries, Soufrière and Vieux Fort, or through hotels. Most cars are suitable for driving in St Lucia, but if you're driving through mountainous terrain or in bad weather conditions, a 4-wheel drive may be your best option. Hotels and local tour operators run coach trips for groups. Vehicles are driven on the left side of the road. You need to show your national driving licence or International Driving Permit to obtain a temporary local licence. These are available from car hire firms or police stations for a small fee.
Hiring a taxi is easy and cheap. Standard trips usually have fixed rates, but you should agree upon these before you get in as tourists are vulnerable to being overcharged. Doublecheck what currency the taxi driver is quoting (US Dollars or EC Dollars). When hiring a taxi at night, always choose a reputable company. Tipping is unnecessary.
Boat charters are easily available at Castries, Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay. Water taxis are an easy way to access private beaches or go island hopping.
In general, light breathable fabrics are best, along with beachwear. A light waterproof jacket may also come in handy during rain showers. Hikers should pack sensible footwear and warm clothes as temperatures drop at higher altitudes.
Mains water is normally chlorinated, and whilst relatively safe, may cause mild abdominal upsets. Bottled water is available. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat but take care to ensure that all foods are properly prepared and cooked. Barracuda should not be eaten due to risk of ciguatera poisioning.
St Lucian food is a combination of Creole with French and West Indian influences. Most hotels have restaurants, in addition to a wide range in the major towns serving many different types of food. Waiter service is the norm.
Tipping: An optional 10 to 12% is sometimes added to bills.
Electrical sockets in Saint Lucia are the "Type G " British BS-1363 type. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in.
Electrical sockets Saint Lucia usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance is not compatible with 220/240V output, a voltage converter will be necessary.
The weather in St Lucia is typical of most Caribbean islands. There is a hot, tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout most of the year with temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F). 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). Regionally, there is some variation. The beaches around the North (Castries, Gros Islet) whilst hot, receive cooling trade winds, whilst the rainforested interior of the island can get very hot and humid. St Lucia can also suffer from hurricanes; typically the hurrican season runs from June to November.