St Lucia's Piton Mountains
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St Lucia's Piton Mountains

© 123rf.com / Richard Thomas

St Lucia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

616.3 sq km (238 sq miles).

Population

186,383 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

266 per sq km.

Capital

Castries.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented locally by acting Governor-General Errol Charles since 2021.

Head of government

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre since 2021.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs generally have three square pins (as in the UK), but some sockets do take American flat-pin plugs.

Trade winds keep temperatures on the right side of sizzling in sunny St Lucia, where white sandy beaches, crystalline waters and luscious rainforests paint the quintessential picture of Caribbean island idyll.

St Lucia is in the business of creating lasting first impressions: visitors to the island are greeted by the unforgettable sight of the Piton Mountains, which are fringed by coral reefs, sandy shores and swaying palms as they rise majestically from the rolling surf.

While other Caribbean islands lay claim to equally beautiful beaches, St Lucia will tempt you out of the sun-lounger and into the ocean with its bountiful marine life and exquisite reefs, which are a playground for scuba divers and snorkelers. St Lucia’s waters are also prime for kite-boarding and windsurfing, thanks to the aforementioned trade winds. 

It’s not all about the coast, though. A trip to the island’s interior presents the opportunity to hike through verdant mountains, zip-line over forest canopies and watch boiling sulphur springs bubble away atop a volcano, all in a day’s work. If you’ve still got the energy for a night out, there are regular shindigs in the north of the island. Friday nights get particularly lively.  

Here visitors can experience the relaxed flavour of island life, as well as the unique mixture of West African, European and East Indian influences that infuse the local cuisine. St Lucia is also known for its folk music and world-famous Jazz & Arts Festival, which takes place every year amidst much fanfare.  

The island carries a unique cultural heritage, having changed hands between Britain and France no fewer than 14 times. The British eventually lost control in 1979, and St Lucia gained its independence. Various cultural legacies linger, from the colonial-style plantations that dot the landscape, to the French-influenced patois spoken throughout the country.

The result is a destination that will captivate visitors long after the emerald-green peaks of the Pitons have disappeared over the horizon.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Lucia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 clinics can be found on the government of St Lucia website.

International travel

British Airways, TUI and Virgin Atlantic (a seasonal service) are operating flights between the UK and St Lucia. Flights to and from the United States and Canada are operating, as are some regional flights. All flight schedules are subject to change. Check with the airline or your travel company for the latest information on flight schedules and rules prior to booking.

The inter-island ferry service between St Lucia and Martinique resumed on 1 July 2021.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do before and when you arrive in St Lucia.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there. Information on what happens if you test positive for COVID-19 while in St Lucia is available on the St Lucia Tourism Authority website.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • have any medication you might need
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in St Lucia

The following measures are in place:

  • Wearing face masks is optional in most public spaces but is highly recommended.
  • Face masks are mandated for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, has respiratory symptoms or is a direct contact of someone who has COVID-19. They are also mandated to enter a health facility, police or fire station, correctional facility, elderly homes.
  • Travellers may be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities

Call 311 for latest information and advice from the Government of St Lucia or see St Lucia Tourism Authority website

Accommodation

The St Lucia Tourism Authority website has the updated rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated residents and non-residents. There are no restrictions at present.

Public places and services

Social distancing and mask mandates are lifted as of 5 September although businesses and government offices can require some.

Health

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in St Lucia.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

The St Lucian government has established a dedicated helpline (to access, please call 311) to provide more information on St Lucia’s response to coronavirus. The service operates in English and Creole.

You can also check the latest on the St Lucia Ministry of Health Website and the Government of St Lucia’s facebook page

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, armed robbery and sexual assault.

You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times. Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark.

Only use licensed taxis and take particular care at late night street parties, especially during the festival season.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in a safety deposit box or hotel safe. You should check that the hotel safe is securely fixed before using it to store your items.

Road Travel

Driving is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving licence. The car hire companies will usually help with this. You must present a valid UK driving licence.

Take care when driving on the roads as there can be potholes and speed bumps. Observe the speed limits. You should take extra care on minor roads and in rural areas where there are narrow roads and blind corners. Pedestrians often walk on the roads and indicators are not always used.

Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible.

Don’t stop if you’re flagged down by pedestrians. Keep car doors locked when driving.

In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move the vehicle.

Taxis aren’t metered. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Agree the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off. You can often pay in US dollars as well as EC dollars.

Take care especially on the main east coast road to and from Hewanorra International Airport.

Public transport is available and cheaper. Minibuses drivers may drive above the speed limit.

Air travel

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in St Lucia.

Swimming

Take great care at all times when swimming as currents can be deceptively strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags. You should monitor all beaches carefully and obey any local warnings.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Lucia, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and don’t carry anything through Customs for anyone else.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal. LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page has information on travelling to St Lucia.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in St Lucia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how St Lucia’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

All travellers must print out the Health Screening Questionnaire from the St Lucia Government website, complete it and bring it with them.

If you’re fully vaccinated

Entry requirements for St Lucia are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Entry requirements for St Lucia are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Children and young people

Entry requirements for St Lucia are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

If you’re transiting through St Lucia

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

Transiting through St Lucia is permitted for travellers from the UK in line with the entry requirements set out above.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

You should check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Passport validity

If you are visiting St Lucia your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay

Visas

British Passport holders don’t need a visa to visit St Lucia.

On entry, you will be granted a specified period to stay. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the St Lucia Immigration Department.

It is an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Lucia.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

Departure tax is included in the flight costs.

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year.

UK health authorities have classified St Lucia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus
have been confirmed in St Lucia. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

The main government hospital can cope with many types of treatment but serious cases may mean emergency evacuation.

Medical treatment in St Lucia can be expensive.

Make sure that you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

Before choosing to be treated at a private facility, you should check their policies on pre-payment. Private clinics may not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Hurricanes

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Center.

See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

The hurricane season in the Caribbean frequently brings heavy rains, which may cause flash floods and landslides. In the aftermath of a storm or hurricane, power, communications, transport and water supplies can be disrupted. Even in holiday resorts, utility services can’t be guaranteed. In the event of extreme weather conditions flights to and from the UK may be delayed or cancelled.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally in the Caribbean, In the event of an earthquake, you should be directed by the local authorities. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Volcanoes

You should monitor the alert level of the underwater volcano ‘Kick’em Jenny’, located 5 miles off the coast of Grenada. Observe any maritime exclusion zones and follow the advice of the local authorities in the event of increased activity or an eruption.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.