St. Lucia is a 238-square-mile island in the Windward Island chain, a sub-group of the West Indies. Martinique, a French department, is its nearest neighbor. Due to the island’s central location in the Caribbean and its fine natural harbors, the French and English fought endlessly for possession of it. With its gorgeous and diverse terrain including mountains, waterfalls, beaches and bays, there is no end to the number of diversions here. Read on to plan your perfect getaway! A few quick facts about the island.
168,458 (2006 estimate)
606 square kilometers
Mount Gimie, 950 meters (3117 feet)
St. Lucia’s currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. Exchanges can be made at banks, hotels, and at Pointe Seraphine, a duty-free shopping complex in Castries. The exchange rate for the US dollar is fixed at $2.70 EC to $1.00 US; however the banks (which give you the best rate) change at $2.68 EC to $1.00 US. Note that banking hours are Monday to Thursday 8 AM to 2 PM, and Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. All of the island’s ATMs distribute Eastern Caribbean dollars, and credit cards are widely accepted around the island.
Entry requirements vary for each destination; it is your responsibility to verify you have the correct documents prior to travel. As of December 31, 2006 a valid passport is required for travel to all the Caribbean and Mexico.
St. Lucia lies within Atlantic Standard Time, four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. The island is one hour ahead of North American Eastern Standard Time year round.
Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road on St. Lucia (like England).
Outlets on St. Lucia use 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Unless you’re coming from Europe, you will need an adapter for your travel appliances.
English is the official language. A French-based Creole is also spoken, a result of St. Lucia’s British and French heritage.
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