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Get prepared for your relaxing getaway to St. Lucia with our insider tips and advice.
St. Lucia Packing Tips
We know you’ve got your bathing suit and sandals in the bag already, but here are a few other packing essentials you may want to consider:
- Sun protection is extremely important in St. Lucia. Be sure to pack a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to prevent burns and over-exposure.
- Pack brightly colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing to help keep you cool and comfortable. Linen and cotton clothes are best.
- Like many other islands, mosquitos are present in St. Lucia. Pack some mosquito repellant to take with you on excursions and tours around the island.
- We recommend bringing USD currency as it is widely accepted across the island.
- If you plan to take tours or enjoy other outdoor activities, be sure to pack a pair of sneakers.
- If you’re planning to drive while you’re here, be sure to pack your driver’s license; you’ll need it in order to attain a Temporary Driving Permit.
- If you’re coming to St. Lucia to exchange marriage vows, make sure you bring all of the required legal documents with you.
- Don’t forget to leave some room in your luggage so you can bring home some St. Lucia souvenirs!
Thankfully, if you forget anything, the Bay Gardens Resorts properties are located right in Rodney Bay Village, where you’ll find the island’s best and widest selection of stores and boutiques.
St. Lucia’s Environment & Surroundings
St. Lucia’s land is very diverse; from lush rolling hills to volcanic rock, and sandy beaches to dense rainforest, this little island has it all! Anticipate some winding, hilly roads, lots of flora and fauna and warm sandy beaches.
Though all of the beaches on the island (with the exception of one) are public and open for you to explore, the best beach in St. Lucia is Reduit Beach located in Rodney Bay Village.
Weather-wise, while most of the year is hot and sunny, there are some periods of rain. Just don’t rely solely on the weather report as it can be hard to predict how the weather will affect this tiny island of just 238 square miles.
St. Lucia’s People & Safety
As in any country, it’s important to use regular safety precautions when you are visiting St. Lucia. It’s good practice to travel in pairs or groups and when you are crossing the street be sure to look both ways; there aren’t many pedestrian crossings, sidewalks or or intersections with traffic lights around the island. Rodney Bay Village, however, does have sidewalks and marked pedestrian crossing paths. There is a Police Station located next door to the Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa in Rodney Bay Village,
The people of St. Lucia are known to be extremely friendly and welcoming, so don’t be alarmed if a local engages in casual conversation with you. While the primary language spoken here is English, many locals also speak Kwéyòl (Creole) which is derived from the French language. You’ll find many locals who can hold a decent conversation in French.
Traveling Around St. Lucia
When it comes to transportation, there are a few options on-island you may wish to consider.
Around the island, and even more so in Rodney Bay Village, there are a many taxis. You’ll know it’s a licensed taxi if the vehicle has a blue license plate beginning in the letters ‘TX’. Taxi drivers are very friendly and often extremely knowledgeable about St. Lucia – they make great tour guides! Below is a list of common trips and rates:
Castries to Gros Islet -- $25 USD
Rodney Bay to Gros Islet -- $8 USD
Rodney Bay to Pigeon Island -- $8 USD
Castries to Soufriere -- $160 USD
Castries to Vieux Fort -- $80 USD
Castries to Anse La Raye -- $60 USD
*Prices provided by Courtesy Taxi and are subject to change without notice.
The local bus system is quite different than the public transportation systems in North America and the UK. Here, buses are essentially cargo vans driven by licensed independent bus drivers that hold about 13 passengers. You’ll know it’s a licensed bus if the vehicle has a green license plate beginning with the letter ‘M’.
While the buses here do follow particular routes, they don’t follow a particular schedule. Feel free to ask local residents or our Front Desk staff where you can hail a bus to take you to certain places. Once you stand in the right spot, all you have to do is stick out your arm when you see a green license-plated van. Below is a list of common trips and rates:
Castries to Gros Islet -- $2.50 EC
Castries to Rodney Bay -- $2.25 EC
Castries to Choc/Vigie -- $1.50 EC
Castries to Vieux Fort -- $8.00 EC
Castries to Soufriere -- $8.00 EC
*Prices provided by the National Association and are subject to change without notice.
Many visitors choose to rent a car while they are visiting St. Lucia. When you rent a vehicle, you will have to present your current drivers license and pay a small fee in order to be eligible for a temporary permit. The permit costs $54 EC (approximately $20 USD).
In St. Lucia, we drive on the left side of the road. While most of the roads on island are straightforward, expect a few roundabouts in the North, and on the West side expect a lot of winding, cliff-side roads with sharp turns. Always drive with caution.
You may also notice that many drivers will honk their horn. This isn’t often a sign of aggression, but rather a signal to say hello or to notify other drivers that they plan to pass them.
In terms of speed limit, while there are a few marked signs here and there, most drivers travel at a speed that pleases them. Try your best to follow the speed of other vehicles rather than to pay too much attention to the marked limit; it is very rare for people to get ticketed for speeding here. In Rodney Bay Village, however, it is recommended that you travel at a slower speed as there are usually many pedestrians walking around and shopping.
Other Tips For Tourists
Here are a few other tips to make your trip to St. Lucia and Bay Gardens Resorts as enjoyable and memorable as possible!
Water: Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during your trip to St. Lucia. Between the heat, the sun and the consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is very important to stay hydrated. The tap water in your Bay Gardens Resort property is safe to drink.
Spa: Before you arrive, pre-book your desired Spa treatments at La Mer Spa. This helps to ensure that you get the appointment time you want.
Top Attractions: While visiting St. Lucia, some popular things to see include The Piton Mountains (Gros & Petit Piton) in Soufriere, The Sulphur Springs & Drive-In Volcano in Soufriere, Pigeon Island National Landmark, the Castries Market, various waterfalls around the island, and the Rainforest. There are several tours you can take to ensure you see as much as possible while you’re here. Visit our on-site Cox & Company Tour Desk to plan your St. Lucia sightseeing adventures.
Tipping: On-island, tipping is not expected. In fact, hotels charge a 10% service charge, which is then paid out to the staff for their hard work and dedication. When you are not on a hotel property, tipping is still not expected but it is well received.