General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Bank of Saint Lucia (tel 758/456-6000), FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 758/456-1000), First National Bank of Saint Lucia (tel 758/455-7000), RBTT Bank (tel 758/452-2265), Royal Bank of Canada (tel 758/456-9200) and Scotiabank (tel 758/456-2100). ATMs are located throughout the island. Generally they accept Visa and MasterCard on the Electron/Plus and Cirrus/Maestro networks.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm Fri 8am-5pm Sat 8/9am-12 noon (only banks in the Rodney Bay Marina/Gros Islet area)
Post Office Mon-Fri 8:15am-4pm
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Predominantly Roman Catholic. Protestant, including Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Methodist, Pentecostal and Seventh-day Adventist, as well as Christian Science and Rastafarian also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of EC$5, EC$10, EC$20, EC$50 and EC$100 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and EC$1 pieces. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/828-0366 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 636/722-7111 (call collect) Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: A&C Ltd (Castries), 452-4191; Hippos Supermarket (Soufriere), 459-7956; Hippolyte Agencies, 454-5791 and Barnard Holdings, 454-6101 (Vieux Fort)
DEPARTURE TAX All passengers 12 years and older must pay a departure tax of EC$54/US$22.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS All visitors must have a valid passport and an onward or return ticket.
Nationals of countries other than Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States may require a visa. Consult your nearest St Lucia embassy/consulate, the High Commission for the Eastern Caribbean States, which provides full consular services for St Lucia, or call the St Lucia Consular Officer at 758/452-1178 or 468-4516.
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British High Commission: 452-2484 (Castries) High Commission of Canada: 246/429-3550 (Barbados, also for after-hours emergencies), 800/387-3124 (toll free to Ottawa) US Embassy: 246/436-4950 (Barbados), 246/431-0225 (Consular Section, Barbados)
As of January 9, 2007
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS There are a number of hospitals, as well as numerous health centres around the island. Tapion Hospital (tel 459-2000), which also houses Island Dialysis (tel 459-2620), and Victoria Hospital (tel 452-2421) are both located in Castries. Additional hospitals include Dennery Hospital (tel 453-3310), Soufriere Hospital (tel 459-7258) and in Vieux Fort, St Jude Hospital (tel 454-6041, emergency ext 113), which also has a dental department (ext 141). Additionally, all hotels have either a resident or an on-call doctor.
Medical care is limited and there is no hyperbaric chamber. Serious cases require medical air evacuation to Martinique or Miami, Florida. Doctors and medical facilities often require immediate payment. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are numerous pharmacies around the island. Soufriere (tel 459-7337), St Jude (tel 454-6041 ext 137) and Tapion (tel 459-2400) hospitals also have pharmacies on site.
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs. It is an offence, even for children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
For more information call Customs and Excise at 758/468-4800.
LANGUAGE English is the official language, although many people also speak a French-Creole patois.
POSTAGE The general post office (tel 468-4393) is located on Bridge St in Castries. There are numerous post office branches around the island, including those in Gros Islet (tel 450-8796), Soufriere (tel 459-7357) and Vieux Fort (tel 454-9036). They are open Mon-Fri 8:15am-4pm.
Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Feb 22 Independence Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Sunday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday May 1 Labour Day May/June (varies) Whit Monday May/June (varies) Corpus Christi Aug 1 Emancipation Day Oct (varies) Thanksgiving Day Nov 1 All Saints Day Nov 2 All Souls Day Dec 13 National Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Fri 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-4/4:30pm and Sat 8am-12/12:30pm. Shopping malls stay open until 7/8pm and are open on Sat afternoon. The shops around the marina are usually open on Sun.
TAXES Hotels and restaurants add an 8% government tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on St Lucia is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 758. Local phone numbers have seven digits. For directory enquiries dial 411 and for operator assistance dial 0. To call North America dial 1 + area code + local number. To call the UK dial 011 + 44 + area code + local number.
Cable & Wireless/C&W (tel 453-9500) provides telecommunications services. Public pay phones around the island accept coins and Smart Phone Cards, which you insert into the slot on the phone. Prepaid Calling Cards, which you can use from any public or private Touch-Tone phone - just dial the number on the card and follow the instructions - are also available. Both types of cards are available at C&W offices and authorized vendors around the island, including those at the airports and Rodney Bay Marina, as well as St Lucia Tourist Board Information Centres.
To use American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa dial 1-800-744-7777. You can also dial 1-800 CALL USA to use major credit cards, US calling cards or to make collect calls.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
AT&T Wireless (tel 456-1827), Cable & Wireless and Digicel (tel 716-7626) provide cellular roaming services. C&W also rents cell phones. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES Average year-round temperatures range between 70°F and 90°F. The rainy season is Jun-Nov.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.