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Quick Facts

Area: St Lucia is 238 square miles (619 sq. km), 27 miles long and 14 miles wide

Time: St Lucia is 4 hours behind GMT

Language: English is the official language of the st lucia government and island. A French-based Patois (Creole) is also widely spoken.

Population:

GDP per capita:

Passports

British, Canadian, and French nationals do not require passports or a st lucia visa for short stays (weekend to one week). Due to the re-entry requirements by the United States, US nationals require a passport to travel to St. Lucia, as well as all other nationalities. A st lucia visa is required for citizens of some countries.

Immigration, Customs & Taxes

You are initially allowed to stay for 42 days (6 weeks) on a st lucia tourist visa, which can be extended on a monthly basis for US$ 80 per month for up to 6 months. You must have a return ticket. Nationals of some countries are required to obtain a st lucia visa. Duty free allowance: 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, one liter of spirit or wine. The departure tax of EC$ 68 or US$ 25 for all visitors over 12 years old as well as an airport development tax of US$ 35 has been incorporated into ticket prices on International flights. For regional travel, a separate departure tax still applies.

Public buses

The most affordable, local way of traveling and great way to experience island life. However, many 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. Within larger communities, there are specific bus stops. You may have to wait up to 30 minutes, and in most places public transportation stops after 6 pm. Buses don't run on Sundays and holidays. The 4 major bus routes are: Vieux Fort – Soufriere (4F) Soufriere – Castries (3D) Castries – Vieux Fort (2H) Castries – Gros Islet (1A).

Rental Cars

Rental cars are the best way to get around and are usually more affordable than taxis and organized tours. Daily rates range from US$ 60 for a small car to US$ 110 for a minivan or SUV. A 4×4 is only necessary for certain hiking trails and if you are planning to venture off the main road. Driving is on the left, and you will need a local permit (US$ 22, valid for three months (if you have an international driving license you do not have to pay but still need to get the stamp). Most rental agencies have offices at the airports and require a minimum age of 25, maximum age of 65, and three years of driving experience.

Taxi Rates

Hewanorra to GFL Charles airport US$ 75 Hewanorra to Balenbouche: US$ 25 or EC$ 60 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

Money, Taxes, Tipping

The local Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is fixed to the US$ at 1 US$ = $2.6882 EC$. The exchange rate on the street, in hotels and stores varies from 2.50 to 2.65 Bank hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 2 pm. All ATM’s distribute local currency. Major international credit cards are accepted at most large shopping centers, restaurants, hotels etc. However, many smaller st lucia guesthouses and stores do not accept credit cards. American Express cards are also not accepted everywhere due to high fees. There is a 10% value added tax for tourism services and a 15% VAT for most other goods and services. A service charge of 10% is also typically added to your bill by most hotels, guest houses and restaurants. Additional tips are always appreciated, especially when the service charge is not included.

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