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Island Information2

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
TO YOUR ST. LUCIAN HOLIDAY

Island Information

Before you tour St. Lucia here is some helpful information to assist you:

 

Climate
The climate is tropical year-round with NE trade winds bringing a warm breeze. The temperature ranges between 22°C (72°F) and 34°C (93°F) with slightly higher averages and increased humidity between June and August. The rainy season runs from June to November. St. Lucia lies just inside the hurricane belt so can be affected by tropical cyclones.

Country Dialing Code
The International Dialing Code for St. Lucia is +1 758. Digicel and LIME are the two telecommunication providers on the island.

Crime and Harassment
With using common sense, you should have no issues. Use licensed operators and vendors, protect your valuables and do not venture far into isolated places, day or night.

Currency
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC) is the local currency, set at a fixed exchange rate of US$1=EC$2.7. Banks can exchange major currencies. Their opening times are Mon-Thurs 8am–2pm, Fri 8am–5pm. Some Rodney Bay banks are open on Saturday mornings. ATMs are found outside most branches. Major credit cards and US dollars are accepted in many shops and restaurants but it is advised to check first.

Dress Code
Casual clothes can be worn anytime but often people like to dress up in the evenings. Note that swimwear is fine for the beach but is inappropriate outside of the resorts. No nude or topless sunbathing anywhere on the island.

Drinking Water
Many choose to drink tap water but bottled water is advised and is readily available. Excessive rains or drought impairs the quality of tap water.

Electricity
Mostly 220-volt, 50 cycles AC. Transformers will be required for 110-volt appliances. Sockets are usually UK standard 3-pin plugs. Adaptors may be available in hotels.

Emergency Numbers
Police – 999 Fire and Ambulance – 911 Rodney Bay Police Station: +1 758 452 8155 or +1 758 456 4061

Geography
Located 60-61°W and 13-14°N, St. Lucia is one of the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Martinique is 21 miles north, St. Vincent is 26 miles south and Barbados lies 108 miles south east. St. Lucia is 27 miles long by 14 miles wide with a total area of 238 square miles. The nearest mainland is Venezuela.

Getting Around
  • Taxis: Fully licensed operators have number plates beginning with “TX”. Rates for tourist destinations and tours around the island are regulated. It is strongly recommended you agree on the fare before departing.
  • Public Buses: These mini-buses are distinguished by green number plates beginning with “M”. Mostly used by locals, they are inexpensive and go all over the island. Ask your hotel for assistance in using them.
  • Car Rental: Many companies offer a variety of appropriate vehicles. A temporary driving permit is mandatory and costs US$20 (EC$54) valid for 3 months, or US$12 for a one-day permit. They are available from car hire companies, airport immigration and local police stations. Drive on the left and always be wary of other drivers… and the odd pothole!

Hospitals & Medical Centres
Gros Islet
Rodney Bay Medical Centre: 453-6582
Gros Islet Polyclinic: 450-9661
Kent Glace – Dentist: 458 0167

Castries
Tapion Hospital: 459-2000
Victoria Hospital: 452-2421
Wellness Centre: 452-2289

Other Hospitals:
Dennery Hospital: 453-3310
Soufriere Hospital: 459-7258
St Jude’s Hospital – Vieux Fort: 454-6041

Immigration
Most visitors must present a valid passport to enter St. Lucia. If you are a citizen of the US, Canada or the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, a birth certificate and photo ID is sufficient. All visitors must possess a return ticket. Commonwealth citizens do not require visas for short stays.

Languages
English is the official language but you will commonly hear locals speaking Patois which is a French-based Creole.

Politics
St. Lucia gained independence in 1979, has its own Prime Minister and is part of the British Commonwealth. The queen’s representative is the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy.

Population
The 2010 census estimates 173,720 people with the majority living in the capital of Castries and the north of the island.

Sunrise and Sunsets:
The sun rise varies from 5.35am in summer (May-Jun) to 6.28am in winter (Jan-Dec). The sun set varies from 5.47pm in winter (Jan-Dec) to 6.36pm in summer (Jun-July).

Time Zone
London -4hrs GMT (-5hrs during BST).
New York hours are the same except +1 hr during DST.

Tipping
A 10% service charge and 8% government tax is added to your bill at most establishments. Additional gratuities are welcomed.


St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association

Tel: 1 (758) 453 1881 / 452 5978
Fax: 1 (758) 452 7967
Email: info@slhta.org
Website: http://www.slhta.org
St. Lucia Tourist Board

Tel: 1 (758) 452 4094 / 5968
Fax: 1 (758) 453 1121
Email: slutour@candw.lc
Website: http://www.stlucia.org