St.Lucia In A Nutshell: A Quick (And Useful) Guide To St.Lucia
One thing’s for sure, St.Lucia is well known for its luxurious resorts, mountainous landscapes and of course, the culture. But, like going to any new and exciting part of the world, there are always a few important things one must know before travelling. Here is a list of helpful and useful information which will prepare you for life on the picturesque island of St.Lucia!
AREA CODE – The country code of St.Lucia is +(1) 758. This may be useful in cases where you need to add local persons to your Whatsapp, e.g. landlord, driver, etc.
TOTAL AREA – St.Lucia is 238.2 Square Miles but it is more mountainous when compared to other Caribbean islands.
CAPITAL CITY – Castries is the capital of St.Lucia and the largest city on the island.
AIRPORT – There are two airports on the island – the ‘George F. L. Charles Airport’, which is located within Castries and the ‘Hewanorra International Airport’ which is located in Vieux Fort – a long 40 miles to the south of Castries. Before arriving in St.Lucia, it is quite important to know how far your accommodation will be from the airport, as you will either be subjected to a 15-minute drive or a 2-hour drive. But if you know the distance, there is also the option of a short helicopter ride.
MONEY – Not every place accepts credit cards so be sure to have local cash on hand. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) is the currency of St.Lucia and it is tied to the US Dollar at a rate of US$1 = EC$2.70. Always, be sure to check with the local banks for any other currency as it tends to fluctuate.
TAX – Value added tax is 12.5% – be sure to take advantage of the Duty-Free shopping at Hewanorra International Airport, Pointe Seraphine Duty Free Shopping or la Place Carenage!
WEATHER – St.Lucia tends to be consistently warm and sunny all year round with November being the hottest month (29°C or 83°F) and the majority of the rainfall occurring during September to November. Therefore, the best time to visit is between May and June when the weather is perfect, especially after the “tourist season” dies down.
TIPPING – While not mandatory, a 10%–15% of your bill is a welcomed, and polite gesture to acknowledge good service!
BUSINESS HOURS – Businesses usually open all week long from Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 4:30pm and from 8:00am to 12:30pm on Saturdays. Most importantly, banking institutions open from Monday to Thursday from 8:30am-3pm and Friday 8:30am-5pm. As a rule of thumb, be sure to call (or check online) as opening hours may change due to the company as well as the location.
ELECTRICITY – with 220/230V 50Hz and type G sockets (which are commonly used in the UK) it is always wise to bring an adapter with different settings. Better safe than sorry!
WATER – This precious commodity is safe to drink from the tap and we recommend that you drink lots (and lots) of water whether it be by the tap or bottle. It may taste a little weird if you’re not accustomed but trust me, it’s perfectly fine.
Remember to stay hydrated because in a climate with high humidity and somewhat unfamiliar for some, staying hydrated is very important!
LANGUAGE – English is the official language of St.Lucia and is the standard form of all types of communication on the island. While on the island, it is very likely that you will also hear ‘Saint Lucian French Creole’ being spoken in informal settings (and sometimes formal settings).
CRIME – St.Lucia has a relatively high murder rate with 25 murders per 100,000 but this should not deter anyone from travelling to the gorgeous island of St.Lucia as these statistics rarely involve tourists!
Now that you’re fully up to speed, your fantastic vacation in St.Lucia awaits!