Geography and Population
St Lucia is located 60-61deg W & 13-14deg N, & together with Martinque, Barbados & St Vincent makes up the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. St Lucia is 14 miles wide & 27 miles long with a total area of 238 square miles. The nearest mainland is Venezuela. According to the 2010 census the estimated population of St Lucia is 173,720 with the vast majority living in the capital Castries and the north of the island.
St Lucia has a tropical climate with NE Trade winds and a warm breeze. The temperature ranges from 22deg C (72 deg F) to 34deg (93deg F) with slightly higher average temperatures and humidity during the rainy season which runs from June to November. St Lucia lies within the Hurricane belt so can be affected by tropical cyclones, although this is relatively rare in St Lucia compared to some of it's Caribbean neighbours in this regard.
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Visitors must produce a valid passport on entry to St Lucia. Visitors from USA, Canada or the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, a Birth Certificate and Photo ID are sufficient. Commonwealth citizens do not require a visa for short stays. All visitors must possess a return ticket.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC) is the local currency, it has a set exchange rate of US$1=EC$2.7. For visitors from the UK a rough guide is £1=EC$4, this rate does vary according to the $=£ exchange rate but has proved relatively accurate over the past 5 or so years. Banks will exchange all major currencies. Their opening times are Monday-Thursday 8am - 2pm & Friday 8am - 5pm. Some of the Banks in Rodney Bay are also open on Saturday mornings. ATM machines are found outside most Banks. Major Credit Cards & US dollars are widely accepted although it is wise to check first.
Police - 999
Fire & Ambulance - 911
Country Dialling Code
The International Dialling Code for St Lucia is +1 758. The two telecomms providers for the island are LIME & Digicel.
The electricity on St Lucia is mostly 220-volt. Transformers will be required for 110-volt appliances. Sockets are usually UK standard 3-pin plugs. Adaptors may be available in some hotels while most larger hotels offer a combination of both 220 & 110 volt sockets.
Tap water is quite safe to drink in St Lucia although excessive rain or drought can impair the quality, so you may prefer to opt for bottled water, which is widely available on the island.
St Lucia has a casual laid back vibe and casual clothing is acceptable in most places, although people do like to dress up in the Evenings. It is worth noting that beachware is considered inappropriate outside of beaches or resorts. Nude or topless sunbathing is illegal and is not permitted anywhere on the island. Camouflage wear or military style clothing is also frowned upon by the authorities and is best avoided on the island.
Stores in Castries are uasually open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday and from 8.00 am to 12.30 pm on Saturday. Stores at Gablewoods Mall, J Q Charles and Baywalk Mall in Rodney Bay are open Monday to Thursday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm and from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Some of the stores in Rodney Bay are also open on a Sunday. The leading Supermarket Chain is Super J which has branches throughout the island. In Rodney Bay the supermarkets are also open on a Sunday Morning.
A 10% Service charge is usually added to your bill. Additional gratuities are welcomed but not expected.