Most visitors use taxis for getting around st lucia. They are readily available and regulated; the rates are fixed, but fairly high. Taxis are not metered and rates are quoted in US$, vehicles are designated by a blue “TX” license plate. Always make sure to negotiate prices beforehand. Drivers are generally reliable and friendly and will sometimes cut you a deal, especially if you use them more than once.
Sample Standard Taxi rates (subject to change)
Hewanorra to GFL Charles airport US$ 75
Hewanorra to Balenbouche: US$ 30 or EC$ 80
Hewanorra Airport to Soufriere: US$ 75
Soufriere to Castries: US$ 75
Castries to Gros Islet: US$ 25
Castries to Balenbouche: US$ 90
Castries to Anse La Raye US$ 40/EC$ 100
Rodney Bay to Pigeon Island: EC$25/US$10
Rodney Bay to Gros Islet town: EC$25/US$10
Taxi hire for the day: Between US$ 200 – US$ 250
Buses are the most affordable, local way of getting around st lucia and great way to experience island life, although many attractions and parts of the island are not serviced by public transportation. Privately owned and operated 14–seater minivans with green “M” license plates run individual routes between major communities. There is no schedule, simply wave them down along the main road and pay when you get off, unless the driver collects the fare before leaving. Within larger communities, there are specific bus stops, and buses will not depart until they are full. You may have to wait up to 30 minutes, and in most places public transportation stops after 6 pm. Fares range from $0.80 for very short distances to about US$ 5 to get from one end of the island to another.
The 4 major bus routes are:
Vieux Fort – Soufriere (4F)
Soufriere – Castries (3D)
Castries – Vieux Fort (2H)
Castries – Gros Islet (1A).
Getting around st lucia with a rental car
Rental cars are the best way of getting around St Lucia and are usually more affordable than taxis and organized tours. Daily rates range from US$ 65 for a small car to US$ 110 for a minivan or SUV. A 4×4 is only necessary for certain hiking trails and st lucia attractions and if you are planning to venture off the main road network. Driving is on the left, and you will need a local permit, which costs US$ 22 and is valid for three months (if you have an international driving license you do not have to pay but they still want you to get the stamp). Most rental agencies have offices at the airports and require a minimum age of 25 and three years of driving experience. Balenbouche Estate recommends St Lucia National car rental, which offers our guests a 10% discount and can pick up and drop off either at the airports or at Balenbouche.
There are many organized St Lucia tours which depart either from the north of the island or from Soufriere. Several smaller tour operators cater to visitors outside the major tourist centers and may do individual pick-ups. Ask your Hotel or Guesthouse which st lucia activities, tours and tour operators they recommend or can arrange.