Area : 238 sq mi km2
Population : 162,157 inhabitants
8hrs 45 mins. Castries being approximately 4,200 miles from London.
Hewanorra international airport is located to the south of the island, 40 miles away from Castries. Buses and shuttles link the north to the south in one hour and 30 mins, for a reasonable fare of approximately £1.30 (XCD 6). By taxi, allow roughly an hour's drive and £29 (XCD 130). George-F-Charles airport, two miles away from Castries, offers inter-Caribbean flights only. A shuttle service and taxis ensure transfers to various sites on the island.
Drug trafficking is not uncommon in Saint Lucia. Beware of pickpockets in marinas and other tourist areas and avoid walking alone at night in quiet neighbourhoods. Avoid deserted beaches as well, in particular the ones on Pigeon Island/b>.
Mobile phone number of the officer on duty (in case of an emergency): 484 31 67.
Police Officer: 452 28 54 (on duty).
English is the official language, but Creole is spoken by most of the inhabitants.
A valid passport and a return ticket are necessary. Allow about 53 XCD for the departure tax.
There is a total of 90.6 % Catholics, 3.4 % Anglicans, 2.4 % Adventists, 1.1 % Baptists, 0.9 % Methodists and small communities of diverse denominations.
The official currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). The exchange rate varies according to the American dollar, the reference currency which is also accepted everywhere on the island. The best thing to do is to arrive with US Dollars, then if you need to change currency when you arrive, the banks are open from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00am to 3:00pm, and from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Fridays. There are cash machines in Castries and in the marinas and international credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.
£1 = approximately 3.97 XCD.
The most picturesque and cheaper means of transport is the bus, a van from which music blares. The roads cover the whole territory. Allow roughly XCD 2 to go from one end of the island to the other. The ideal way to go places is hiring a car, which you can do at the airport or in Castries. A temporary driving licence is necessary. You need to apply for one from the Immigration department at the airport or at the port and it costs roughly XCD 54. No need to worry though about driving here as, being a former British colony, they drive on the left hand side like us. Another alternative: taxis have reasonable prices for short rides or even for an excursion.
No vaccine is required, but it is recommended to be up to date for vaccines against hepatitises A and B, poliomyelitis, tetanus, diphtheria and typhoid fever.
Tap water is drinkable, however, outside the major tourist sites, take precautions by bringing tablets for water purification, especially if you are going for a trek in the mountains or forests.
Voltage is 220V. Take an adapter with you, even though most hotels have some.
In a hotel, you must add an 18% tip to the price. Taxis include service in their price (which is also included in most restaurant bills). However, in small culinary establishments, you must add a tip of between 10 and 15% to the bill's total. USD $1 (60p) per bag is usually given to luggage carriers.
Saint Lucia's dialing code from the UK: 00 + 1758 (country code) + 7-digit number. To call the UK from Saint Lucia, dial: 00 + 44 (country code) + no. of your correspondent, excluding the initial 0.
High Commission for Saint Lucia:1 Collingham Gardens, South Kensington, London, SW5 0HW.
Tel.: (020) 7370 7123 (32-2) 733 43 28.
PO box 221, in Castries.
Tel.: 452 24 79.
British High Commission:
Karl Burrows Resident British Commissioner British High Commission Francis Compton Building 2nd Floor (PO Box 227) Waterfront Castries St Lucia
Tel.: (001) (758) 452 2484/5  (758) 455 60 60.