Stay Safe in Saint Lucia
St Lucia is not an incredibly dangerous place, but the rates of murder, rape and assault have risen dramatically in recent years. You should exercise the same caution that you would at home. Also, try to stay in groups and be careful in remote areas. Robberies at gunpoint in water are an increasingly popular criminal activity, so hide your valuables well. Pickpockets exist in all countries – just be careful in crowded places.
The use of camouflage bags is illegal in St Lucia unless you are a member of the military. If you turn up at the airport with such a bag, it will be confiscated.
Street vendors are definitely less aggressive than in most Caribbean countries. A simple “no thank you” is enough.
Some locals will offer you gifts when you stop, but don’t be naive, they expect something in return. So refuse the gift in the first place or be prepared to pay a dollar or two for the “gift” offered. These people are very poor and unemployment is high. So tourists are often their only way to earn a little money.
Driving can be fun, but you need to be a safe driver as driving on the left side, the roads can be narrow, steep and in poor condition. A 4×4 or similar high safety vehicle is required if you want to venture into the mountains. There is only one main road so it is difficult to get lost, but if you do, the locals will help you find your way.
Sexual acts between men are illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, although it is not known to what extent this provision is enforced. Homosexual travellers should be safer here than in Jamaica, for example. However, caution is advised and public displays of affection can be met with hostility. There is no law explicitly prohibiting lesbianism.
Stay Healthy in Saint Lucia
This island is made up of a series of hills and mountains. The main west coast road is the most dizzying series of hairpin bends you’ll ever see, especially between Castries and Soufriere. The east coast road is more direct, but it still takes about 90 minutes to get from Hewannora Airport (UVF) to Castries and Gros Islet in the north. In anticipation of the commute, those staying in the north who are prone to motion sickness should carry Dramamine and take it immediately upon arrival at Hewannora Airport.
Tap water is safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available for those who want it.