Business opening hours
As a general guide you can expect the following:
- Banks: 8am – 2pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am – 4pm on Friday. 8:30am – 11am on Saturday.
- Shops: 8.00am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, and 8.30am – 1pm on Saturday. Almost all are closed on Sundays, except some shopping malls, supermarkets and mini-marts which would remain open until 12:00pm
- Shopping Malls in Rodney Bay are open much longer hours
Light summer clothing may be worn all year. Dress is informal, even at elegant hotels and plantation inns. Nudity is not permitted at any beach. Swimwear or scant clothing should never be worn in towns or villages. Shorts and stout trainers or hiking boots are recommended for trekking in the rainforest.
You should also be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing. Nude bathing is illegal.
Credit cards and currency
The Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar is used on St Lucia and can be obtained at any bank. Most places accept US dollars, but change will be given in EC dollars. Most hotels, restaurants and larger stores accept credit cards, but local stores seldom do. Bank ATM machines will give EC dollars.
ATM machines are widely available.
We suggest you take US$ or £GB and exchange them for local currency. Obviously, travellers cheques are safer than cash.
There are a number of different churches on St Lucia and visitors are welcome at services.
We can arrange car or jeep hire for you when you book your holiday or our agents will be pleased to arrange car or jeep hire for you locally. They will arrange all necessary permits as well as insurance and your vehicle will normally be delivered to and collected from your accommodation. There is a good network of paved roads and while most of the main roads are in good condition, there are many potholes in country areas so opting for a 4×4 as your vehicle rental is a good idea. Please note that driving is on the LEFT. You will need to take your UK driving licence with you.
St Lucia runs on 220 volts. Please consult your accommodation fact sheet (which we will send out with your tickets), for more details about plugs and sockets etc at your particular hotel or villa.
Internet services are available at all of the hotels.
All hotels will offer necessary assistance. Pharmacies are very well stocked with all usual medications. There are three hospitals in St Lucia.We advise you to take sufficient supplies of any medication that you normally take and as always, make sure you have adequate medical insurance before you travel.
Mosquitoes and other pests
While Caribbean islands have very few creepy crawlies and the like, mosquitoes can be a nuisance and precautions are recommended.
Safety and security
St Lucia is a very friendly and relatively safe place, but it makes sense to take reasonable precautions against crime wherever you travel. Be particularly careful on isolated beaches and when visiting the island’s fun “jump-up” street parties. Crime of any sort against tourists is rare, but we still advise visitors to use taxis after dark whenever possible. Restaurants will offer help with taxis to and from their premises. For more information, see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/st-lucia.
Local calls are inexpensive and telephones are readily available. Many European mobile phones will work in St Lucia however it is advisable to check with your service provider before travelling to confirm roaming facilities and texting options. Some villas provide cell phones for your use while you are on the island and the bigger hotels have in-room phones. Phone cards for use locally or overseas are available through the LIME telephone company.
Tax and tipping
There is 10% VAT on meals at hotels and restaurants. Most also add a 10% service charge, but some do not, so check your bill before you settle. Additional gratuities are at your own discretion.
Lock up as you would at home. Most hotels have safety deposit boxes and we advise you to use them. It is sensible to only carry a minimum amount of cash with you when you are out and we would suggest that you do not take valuables to the beach or leave possessions on view in your hire car. The police emergency number is 911 in St Lucia.
The water is of good quality and suitable for drinking. It is collected from direct precipitation, mountain springs and wells and is chemically treated for purification. Locally bottled water is also available.