Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Saint Lucia

North AmericaSaint LuciaHow To Travel Around Saint Lucia

The main mode of transport for tourists in St Lucia is by taxi, whether organised by the hotel, taxi agency or individual operators. Tours organised by hotels are usually the most expensive way to travel, but they can provide food and drink. Using a local taxi company to organise your own adventure is much cheaper. Your hotel staff should be able to give you the number of a taxi office or taxi company they use regularly. Rates are usually fixed, but you can shop around for the best rate if you get several numbers. Many taxi drivers who shuttle between resorts and markets offer tours of the island for around $145 per van. Each van can hold between 6 and 12 people.

For budget travellers or adventurous tourists, local buses are a cheap and fun way to get around. These are small vans that seat 10-14 people and vary in quality. They run irregularly but frequently between rural towns and urban centres (e.g. Soufriere to Castries, Soufriere to Vieux Fort, Vieux Fort to Castries), with most going to Castries in the morning and returning to Soufriere in the late afternoon. They are very affordable and offer a unique experience each time; the vehicle operators often decorate the interior and play their own music, a mix of Caribbean or country flavours. If you want to try out transport, discuss your route and journey time with one of the local staff who are familiar with the bus system. Many of them probably use transport to get to and from work.

Water taxis are a major source of income for many residents and can be a much faster, more convenient and scenic way to travel short distances to private beaches or coastal towns. Many of the water taxi operators in Soufriere City are located on the pier. Fares for these drivers are somewhat high and can be negotiated down. There are a few taxi owners near the Hummingbird Hotel and Soufriere Beach who regularly play dominoes and sell drinks. They can offer a much cheaper fare. From Soufriere you can take a water taxi to the beaches of Anse Chastenet and Jalousie.

A helicopter taxi can be taken from Hewannora Airport to Vigie Airport. This is a quick and spectacular way to get to the northern resorts of the island.

It is also possible to rent a car at prices similar to those in the USA or Canada. There is left-hand traffic and you need a driving licence (US$12 for one day, US$21 for 3 months).