Cheaper St Lucia travel insurance? We've got you covered.
St Lucia is a mountainous tropical island bordering the Atlantic to the east and the Caribbean Sea to the west, and north of Trinidad and Tobago.
Often thought of as an expensive honeymoon spot, St Lucia offers much more than just pricey hotel resorts (although they do exist in high numbers) and lying on the beach. The island has adventure and excitement in the form of watersports, hiking in rainforest, exploring waterfalls and deep sea fishing. You can hike in high mountains – the famous Piton volcanoes – or explore under the sea. So if you want to sit still, of course you can. But why would you?
We offer a choice of great value policies that will give you all the benefits and cover you'll need, depending on the level of cover you need. So if you have St Lucia in your sights for a Caribbean holiday of a lifetime with the family we can cover all of you at a price that's fair, even if one or more of you has a medical condition or is over 70. Our Superior policy will give you up to £10 million emergency medical expenses and gadget cover – as well as cancellation, loss of baggage, documents and money - whilst our Economy policy still offers all the basics but will save you a pretty penny. Either way, all our policies will give access to 24/7 emergency assistance wherever you are in the Caribbean.
So don't go without us!
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Your quick guide to travelling in St Lucia
East Caribbean Dollar EC$
Fire Department: 999
Visiting St Lucia
Many visitors to St Lucia arrive on cruise ships and have just a day to explore. So you might find beaches near the capital Castries are busy during the day but quieter in the evenings. Choc Beach and Reduit Beach are popular with day trippers, as is Pigeon Island national park and Mount Sufriere Drive In Volcano.
Driving is on the left. Hiring a car will require a full UK driving licence and a local driving permit, which costs EC$54/US$22. Most roads are narrow and can be steep with sharp hairpin bends. In some areas a 4x4 will be essential.
As always, driving can be erratic and unpredictable and you may get flagged down by locals looking for a lift. Keep your doors locked and don't pick up hitch hikers.
Buses are minibuses and go almost anywhere on the island but tend not to follow a timetable too strictly, going when full rather than on time.
Taxis are available anywhere and have fixed prices from point to point. That said, check the price before you get in. Hiring a driver for the day will cost around $100.
Weather: it's hot hot hot (with some rain)
Much like the rest of the Caribbean, St Lucia can be hot and humid year round, with average temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. In summer time, which is June to august the temperature can hit the mid to late thirties. In winter it's not much different with averages in the late twenties. The rainy season, which runs from June to November, brings heavy, rapid showers, followed by blue skies. It all happens rather quickly and isn't a reason not to visit at this time of the year!
The weather around the island can vary, with cooling breezes at the coast, hot and sticky, windless days in the rainforest and cooler temperatures high in the mountains.
Weather: hurricane season
St Lucia has a 'hurricane season', much like the rest of the Caribbean, which runs from June to November. However, since the island is in the south east of the Caribbean it is not directly in the hurricane belt, which lies far to the north. That said, St Lucia does get hurricanes, although often these are categories 1 or 2.
A natural spa: sulphur springs
Apparently there is such a thing as a drive-in volcano. And it's in St Lucia! The sulphur springs in St Lucia are the island's biggest tourist attraction where it is possible to drive right up to the volcano's edge – hence the nick name. In reality, following an accident a few years ago you can only walk up to the edge of the crater these days but it's worth it to see the steam, and smell the sulphur. A little further downstream you can get a St Lucia style beauty treatment by covering yourself in the mineral rich volcanic mud then washing it off in the hot spring water. It's supposed to be great for the skin...
Currency: it's fixed!
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is fixed to the US Dollar at the rate of EC$1 to US$2.65 so it's value never changes – if you are converting US Dollars. However, that also means that the fortunes of your spending money may well fluctuate if the US Dollar performs badly against the pound.
US Dollars are accepted almost as widely as the EC$, along with most major credit cards. Currency can be exchanged at major hotels as well as banks. On departure you can exchange your EC$ at the National Commercial Bank at the airport from 12.30 until the last flight leaves.
Visas and charges: getting in and out
If you hold a British Passport (it must be valid for at least six months from the date of exit from St Lucia) then you don't need a visa to enter Saint Lucia for visits up to 42 days. If you want to stay longer you will have to apply to the Immigration Department at the Police Headquarters in Castries for an extension as it is an offence to stay beyond 42 days without permission. You may not accept any paid work whilst in St Lucia without a work permit.
When you leave St Lucia you will be required to pay a departure tax of EC$54 per person in cash.
If you have an EHIC card take it as you may be able to use it if you have to be transferred to Martinique for hospital treatment (more in the HEALTH section).
Crime: Be vigilant!
St Lucia is easy going. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't always be vigilant. Crimes against tourists – including armed robbery, assaults and violent crimes – do occur. Tourists have been robbed at popular spots, such as isolated beaches and beauty spots and robberies from hotels and yachts are not uncommon and can be accompanied by violence.
Therefore it's important to be vigilant, avoid public displays of wealth, keep your money out of sight and leave jewellery at home. Leave your vital documents in a safe place, don't accept lifts from strangers and take care at street parties and late night 'jump ups'.
Electricity: no need to adapt
Some people can't leave home without some kind of gadget these days. IF you are among them it will please you to know that you won't need any kind of adaptor for St Lucia. It uses a standard 3 pin plug at 220 volts. So no problem!
Drugs and customs: it's no go to camo
It is an offence to wear camouflage anywhere in St Lucia. This also applies to children, so don't get caught out. And, as usual, don't take, buy or sell illegal drugs. There are severe penalties for all drug offences. That means it'd be smart to take your prescriptions with you if you take medication.
If your medication is lost or stolen while you're away, we'll cover the cost of replacing it under the medical section of our policies.
Note that certain homosexual acts are illegal under Saint Lucian laws.
Healthcare: Do you need vaccinations?
While you don't need specific vaccinations required for visitors travelling to St Lucia, you should be up to date on your routine immunisations, including tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella. Yellow fever vaccination certificates are required for travellers, over one year of age, travelling from infected areas. It is also recommended to ensure your Hep A and B are up to date and to consider Typhoid if you are staying outside of major tourist areas.
Healthcare: medical services in St Lucia
If you are unlucky enough to be taken ill in St Lucia, be prepared for big cash bills and potential transfer overseas to either Miami or Martinique, where there are better facilities. So it's vital to ensure you have good travel insurance cover from World First. You should also make sure you can get your hands on funds enough to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, transfer by air ambulance and repatriation.
If you are evacuated to Martinique for emergency medical treatment, you may be entitled to it on the same terms as residents of Martinique if you have a European Health Insurance Card. The EHIC provides emergency health cover for treatment in Martinique by the French state health service (you will have to pay for this but can claim up to 70% back on your return to the UK).
If you are taken ill, contact us on your emergency number shown in your policy documents as soon as is possible.
Smoking: the last outpost?
There are no specific non-smoking laws in St Lucia, which means you can legally light up just about anywhere. However, sensitivity must always be taken when smoking in public places in confined spaces and where children are present.
Smoking is not permitted in public areas of St Lucia's Sandals resorts.
St Lucia: Know Before You Go
For up to the minute travel news that doesn't make the headlines, check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's website. Their Know Before You Go site has information on all risks to all travellers in more than 255 countries and territories around the world.
See the latest information at Know Before You Go HERE.
Follow the FCO on twitter HERE.
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