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LUCIA TRAVEL TIPS
Here you will find the most important informations about St. Lucia
|St. Lucia General Information||St. Lucia Social Profile||St. Lucia Tipping|
|St. Lucia Entry Requirements||St. Lucia Safety||St. Lucia People|
|Getting Around St. Lucia||St. Lucia Health & Medical Facilities||St. Lucia Climate & Clothing|
|St. Lucia Communications||St. Lucia Currency/Money||St. Lucia Sports & Activities|
|St. Lucia Business Profile||St. Lucia Shopping||St. Lucia Time Zone|
St. Lucia (pronounced “loo-sha”), one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. This beautiful island midway between Martinique and St Vincent, and the second largest of the Windward Islands, St. Lucia boasts some of the best scenery in the Caribbean - rugged green jungles, undulating agricultural terrain, dazzling beaches and the volcanic, cone-shaped Pitons. For so small an island 27 miles (43 km) by 14 miles (23 km) it has a great variety of plant and animal life. There's even a dormant but still bubbling volcano called Soufriere that can be viewed from inside without any danger. If you plan to travel St. Lucia, take a moment to brush up on the travel tips that will help you be more prepared for travel anywhere in St. Luica.
Area: 616.3 sq km (238 sq miles).
Population: 155,996 (as of 2000).
Population Density: 253.1 per sq km.
Government: Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1979. Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor General Calliopa Pearlette Louisy since 1997. Head of Government: Prime Minister Kenny Davis Anthony since 1997.
Language: English and local French patois.
Religion: 78 per cent Roman Catholic; also Anglican, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist.
Volts 50 Hz
GEOGRAPHY: St Lucia is the second-largest of the Windward Islands. It has some of the finest mountain scenery in the West Indies, rich with tropical vegetation. For such a small island, 43km (27 miles) by 23km (14 miles), St Lucia has a great variety of plant and animal life. Orchids and exotic plants of the genus anthurium grow wild in the rainforests and the roadsides are covered with many colourful tropical flowers. Flamboyant trees spread shade and blossom everywhere. Indigenous wildlife includes a species of ground lizard unique to St Lucia, and the agouti and the manicou, two rodents, common throughout the island. The Amazona versicolor parrot is another, though more elusive, inhabitant of the deep interior rainforest. The highest peak is Mount Gimie at 950m (3117ft). Most spectacular are Gros Piton and Petit Piton, ancient, volcanic forest-covered cones which rise out of the sea on the west coast. Soufri (vents in a volcano which exude hydrogen sulphide, steam and other gases) and boiling waterpools can be seen here. The mountains are intersected by short rivers which in some areas form broad fertile valleys. The island has excellent beaches and is surrounded by a clear, warm sea.
ST. LUCIA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
All visitors to St. Lucia, including those from within the Caribbean, must have a valid passport and an ongoing or return ticket, regardless of their country of origin. Click here for more Visa informations
GETTING AROUND ST. LUCIA
St Lucia is only 44km (27mi) in length and 23km (14mi) in width, but its hilly terrain can slow you down. Most islanders use the cheap, convenient minivan bus service to get to town, school or work. Services are frequent on main routes (such as Castries to Gros Islet) during the day, but getting a bus after dark can be challenging. Very few buses run on Sunday. If there's no bus stop nearby, you can wave buses down en route as long as there's space for the bus to pull over.
Taxis are plentiful at the airports, in Castries and in the main resort areas. Always establish the fare with the driver before you get in, doubly so if you want to do anything 'unusual', like stopping to see a view.
are car rental agencies at the airports and at Rodney Bay. Unless you
have an International Driving Permit, you'll need to purchase a local
license, which can be picked up from immigration at both Hewanorra International
Airport and Vigie Airport. If you don't get a license on arrival, most
car rental companies will either issue one or take you to a nearby police
station to get one. Remember to drive on the left.
ST. LUCIA COMMUNICATIONS
Telephone: International direct dial service is widely available throughout the island. Credit card calls can be made through local operators or through AT&T, and phone cards can be purchased through Cable & Wireless offices throughout the islands
IDD is available. Country code: 1 758. Outgoing international code: 011
Mobile telephone: Network operated by AT&T, Cable & Wireless and Digicell. All phones should now work on the island, although visitors should ensure their telephone settings are correct before travelling.
Internet: ISPs include Cable & Wireless (website: www.candw.lc). Public access is available at the Internet kiosk at Pointe Seraphine. Three Internet cafes are also run by Cable & Wireless.
Fax: Available to the public in Castries at the offices of Cable & Wireless and at some hotels.
Telegram:Facilities limited to main towns, hotels and Cable & Wireless.
Post: Airmail to Western Europe takes up to one week. Poste Restante mail will only be released on presentation of suitable identification. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1630, Sat 0900-1330.
The main newspapers are The Crusader, The Mirror, The Star and The Voice
of St Lucia. Visions Magazine is published by the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism
ST. LUCIA BUSINESS PROFILE
Economy: St Lucia’s economy still relies heavily on agriculture but has broadened during the last 15 years. Light industry has been a key part of this process: the establishment of export processing zones and the successful attraction of foreign investment has created a healthy sector producing plastic, textiles and industrial gases and assembling electronic components. There is also a significant construction industry. The main agricultural exports are bananas, coconuts and cocoa. The Government is focusing its efforts on further diversification, principally directed towards the creation of a service sector based on tourism and financial services. It has also effected various deregulation measures and privatisation of a number of major state-owned enterprises. St Lucia is a member of the regional trading bloc, CARICOM, and the region’s principal political co-operative grouping, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. The USA and the UK are the main trading partners, the USA for imports and the UK for exports.
or long-sleeved shirt and tie or a light-weight suit are suitable for
most business visits. Office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1630, Sat 0830-1230.
ST. LUCIA SOCIAL PROFILE
Food & Drink: Most hotels have restaurants, in addition to a wide range in the major towns serving many different types of food. Waiter service is the norm. Local dishes include langouste (local lobster) cooked in a variety of ways, lambi (conch) and other fresh seafood, breadfruit and other local fruit and vegetables. The national dish is green fig and salt fish. Pepper pot and fried plantain are two local specialities worth trying. In general, the food is a combination of Creole with French and West Indian influences.
Many imported spirits are available, but the local drink is rum, often served in punch and cocktails. Caribbean beer, including the locally brewed Piton and Heineken, and plenty of delicious fresh fruit juices are also available.
Nightlife: Centres mainly in hotels and some restaurants. On Friday nights, the village of Gros Islet hosts a weekly ‘jump up’, popular with locals and visitors alike; Anse La Raye hold their Friday Night Fish Fry BBQ. Indies and The Late Lime are two of St Lucia’s most popular nightclubs, both featuring live entertainment. During summer, there is little nightlife, but during the winter the resorts are lively, with plenty of local music and dance.
and the jazz festival are calendar highlights, the latter regularly featuring
internationally renowned artists such as Wynton Marsallis and Herbie Hancock.
For more detailed information and a full list of events, contact the St
Lucia Tourist Board. The following is a selection of special events occurring
in St Lucia in 2005:
Jan 13-16 St Lucia Regatta. Mar 26-27 Caribbean Swim Championships. Apr 1 Earth Day. Apr 29-May 8 St Lucia Jazz Festival. Jun Festival of Comedy. Jun 18-19 Carnival. Aug 30 Feast of St. Rose De Lima (La Rose). Oct 17 Feast of La Marguerite. Dec Market Feast.
Some French influences still remain alongside the West Indian style of
life. The people are friendly and hospitable, and encourage visitors to
relax and enjoy their leisurely lifestyle. The madras and foulards are
not often seen in towns, but are sometimes worn at festivals such as the
Feast of St Rose of Lima in August. Casual wear is acceptable, although
some hotels and restaurants encourage guests to dress for dinner. Beachwear
should not be worn in towns.
ST. LUCIA SAFETY
Although crime statistics bear no resemblance to those of big cities in America or Africa, theft is unquestionable a factor in the Caribbean. It's better to not bring along expensive jewellery, luggage with prestigious labels or any other costly and desirable items. The majority of hotels have safety boxes, either at the reception desk or in the rooms, where you can deposit your valuables, passport, plane tickets, etc. Never leave valuable objects in a suitcase (even if it is locked) or in your hotel room. When you take a swim, get someone you know to watch over your belongings.
There are four medical facilities:
ST. LUCIA CURRENCY
The currency of St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is linked to the US Dollar at the exchange rate of US$1 to EC$2.65. US Dollars are readily accepted throughout the island. Most hotels will exchange reasonable amounts of foreign currency, and there are change bureaus in Castries. The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has a branch at Hewanorra International Airport where EC Dollars can be exchanged for foreign currency. It is open daily from 12:30pm until the last flight departs. A passport and ticket are required as proof of returning visitor status.
ST. LUCIA SHOPPING
Special purchases include unique batik and silkscreen designs made into shifts, sports shirts, table mats, cocktail napkins and shopping bags produced at a studio on the road between Castries and La Toc. Other craft outlets sell locally made bowls, beads, straw hats, flour-sack shirts, sisal rugs, bags, sandals and woodwork. The recently expanded Pointe Seraphine features over 30 duty free shops (open seven days a week), bars and restaurants placed around an open piazza. Another duty free shopping complex has recently been opened at La Place Carenage. Duty free shopping is available to all visitors, provided they present their passport or airline ticket when purchasing goods. Shopping hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1600, Sat 0800-1200 and 0900-2100 in shopping malls.
ST. LUCIA TIPPING
A tip is not automatically added and is usually about 10% to 12% of the bill. Tips are generally accepted by bellhops in hotels, taxi drivers and other persons providing service.
ST. LUCIA PEOPLE
The culture of St. Lucia undoubtedly plays a major role in its popularity. The island's culture evolved from the influences of highly contrasting groups of people. This diversity of experience draws tourists from across the globe. Indian food, British manners, Caribbean music, and varied languages are all present on the same block, if not in the same building.
Two St. Lucians are Nobel Prize winners. Sir W. Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979, and Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetry in 1992.
is a proud point for locals. The soil of St. Lucia is rich and fertile
due to past volcanic activity, and the island is famed for its produce.
Bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and many other tropical fruits grow on the
island. Locals blend Indian spices and Creole methods with fresh and delicious
seafood to create a distinct flavor found nowhere else in the world.
ST. LUCIA CLIMATE & CLOTHING
Climate: Hot tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout most of the year. The driest period is from January to April and there is increased rainfall in summer and towards the end of the year.
Clothing: For these tropical climes, lightweight, loose clothing is what you should pack, preferably in comfortable cotton. Casual wear is acceptable, although some hotels and restaurants encourage guests to dress for dinner. It's advisable to bring along something with long sleeves--a lightweight jacket or cardigan--for air-conditioned interiors or cooler evenings. Prepare for a tropical rainstorm by packing some waterproof protection. Besides sandals, a comfortable pair or sturdy, low-heeled walking shoes is indispensable for excursions. And it wouldn't be amiss to pack a pair of bathing shoes. Beachwear should not be worn in towns.
ST. LUCIA SPORTS & ACTIVITIES
Watersports: St Lucia is one of the world’s breeziest places, where the trade winds blow in from the sea to the southern shore. The sandy beach of Anse de Sable offers ideal windsurfing conditions for both novice and expert. The west coast, too, offers a selection of resorts and hotels geared to the special needs of the active watersports enthusiast, while elsewhere on the island guests can enjoy water-skiing or scuba diving. Enthusiasts’ equipment can be accommodated by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and BWIA, with windsurfers’ boards carried as excess baggage and charged according to size. All west coast beaches have good swimming. The Atlantic coast has rugged surf and is not recommended to anyone with little experience and ability, and even an extremely proficient swimmer should not go unaccompanied.
Sailing: Hotels offer hobbycats, dinghies and small speedboats by the hour or half-day; cost is dependent on the board basis of your hotel. From Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay, the more experienced sailor can hire a variety of craft from comparatively basic, small yachts to larger 12m (40ft) and 18m (60ft) vessels, with crew if required. Tour operators can also arrange for stays of a week or more on the island to be coupled with a ‘free floating’ holiday on board a chartered yacht visiting the neighbouring islands.
Nature trails and hikes: St Lucia Forestry Department and the National Trust organise a variety of rainforest, mountain and plantation walks. Local guides are available to help climbers tackle the Pitons. The main areas designated for birdwatching are the Bois d’Orange Swamp, Boriel’s Pond and the Rain Forest. Arrangements can be made through the St Lucia Forestry Department.
International Riding Stables in Gros Islet offer fully insured horseriding
for all levels. Another facility, Trims Riding School, is located at Cas
There are golf courses at Cap Estate, the northern tip of the island, and at La Toc. All the main hotels have tennis courts and arrangements can be made through hotels to play at St Lucia Tennis Club. Sea fishing trips are possible, fishing for barracuda, mackerel, kingfish and so on.
ST. LUCIA TIME ZONE
Saint Lucia is an island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Saint Lucia Time Standard Time is GMT- 4. Saint Lucia Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time
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