Travelling to paradise is exciting, but at Bay Gardens Resorts we understand that you’ve got a lot of questions about the island; don’t worry, we’ve got answers!
Get prepared for your relaxing getaway to St. Lucia with our tourist advice and Caribbean travel tips below:
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 tips that you may want to take into account:
- Sun protection is extremely important in St. Lucia and the Caribbean. Be sure to pack a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to prevent burns and over-exposure.
- Pack brightly colored, loose-fitting and light-weight clothing to help keep you cool. Linen and cotton clothes tend to keep guests very comfortable during their stay.
- Like many other islands, Mosquito’s are present in St. Lucia. Pack some Mosquito repellant to take with you on excursions and tours around the island.
- We recommend guests bring USD currency with them as it is widely accepted across the island.
- If you plan on doing tours and other outdoor activities, be sure to pack a pair of sneakers along with your sandals.
- For anyone looking to drive while they are on island, be sure to pack your Driver’s License; you’ll need it in order to attain your 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 back 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 shopping!
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 known to be 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, 238.2 sq mile island. For more details, visit our Weather.
St. Lucia’s People & Safety
Just like in any country, it’s important to use regular safety precautions when you are visiting St. Lucia. Its 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. Additionally, right in Rodney Bay Village, there is also a Police Station located next door to the Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa.
The people of St. Lucia are known to be extremely friendly and welcoming, so don’t be alarmed if a local resident engages in casual conversation with you. While the primary language spoken on island is English, many locals also speak Kwéyòl (Creole) which is derived from the French language; therefore, there are many locals that can hold a fairly decent conversation in French.
Travelling 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 multitude of 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 & prices:
- Castries to Gros Islet US $25
- Rodney Bay to Gros Islet US $8
- Rodney Bay to Pigeon Island US $8
- Castries to Soufriere US $160
- Castries to Vieux Fort US $80
- Castries to Anse La Raye US $60
*Prices provided by Courtesy Taxi and are subject to change without notice.
The local busing 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 the local residents or the ladies at the Bay Gardens Resorts front desk 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 & prices:
- Castries to Gros Islet EC $2.50
- Castries to Rodney Bay EC $2.25
- Castries to Choc/Vigie EC $1.50
- Castries to Vieux Fort EC $8.00
- Castries to Soufriere EC $8.00
*Prices provided by the National Association and are subject to change without notice.
Many visitors choose to rent a vehicle 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 EC $54 (approximately US $20).
In St. Lucia, we drive on the left hand 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, Cliffside roads with sharp turns. Drivers should 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 on passing 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 lots of pedestrians walking around and shopping.
Other St. Lucia Tourist Advice
Here are a few other tips to make your trip to St. Lucia and Bay Gardens Resorts as enjoyable & 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, Inn or hotel is safe to drink.
Spa: Before you arrive to Bay Gardens Resorts, pre-book your desired Spa treatments at La Mer Spa. This helps to ensure that you get the appointment time you want before it is taken.
Dinner: No matter which Bay Gardens property you’re staying on, we recommend that you pre-reserve a table for at least one evening at the popular Trios Caribbean Fusion Restaurant, which is located our flagship property – the Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa – and is available to our other properties by a complimentary shuttle ride. Don’t miss out on a chance to try some fine-dining fusion cuisine!
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, the Rainforest etc. There are several tours you can take to ensure you see as much as possible while you’re here. To take advantage, visit our Cox & Company Tours desk on-property and they’ll be able to guide you accordingly!
Tipping: On-island, tipping is not expected. In fact, hotels charge a 10% Service Charge on services, which is then paid out to the staff for their hard work and dedication. However, when you are not on a hotel property, while tipping is still not expected, it is well-received.