Taxi drivers double as tour guides
Many taxi drivers will ask you if you're interested in taking a tour. If you say yes, bargain with them on the price for the journey.
I'd read a tip here for it costing $80 for a tour to the Pitons and back from Castries. That sounded like a good idea. However, when the opportunity arose for us, the driver was firm at $100 for that tour. I suppose we could have haggled more, but it didn't seem like it would be productive.
The tour was worth it though, so it was okay.
Aircraft -- that's the way
Generally, if your destination is St. Lucia, you're going to hop on a few planes. From the U.S. West Coast, we had two choices:
Day 1: Fly to Toronto and spend the night
Day 2: Fly to Philadelphia
Day 2: Fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Day 2: Fly to Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia
The return flight would have us spend the night in Philadelphia.
Day 1: Fly overnight to Miami or Dallas/Fort Worth
Day 2: Fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Day 3: Fly to Castries, Saint Lucia
Ultimately, we went with the airline that had the best price. But you know what? American Airlines SUCKED! They also lost my bag for 24 hours when we got there (so I had to buy a swimsuit from the resort gift shop in order to go swimming on the 2nd day).
TIP: If you're staying in or around Castries, then you want to fly in to Vigie Airport (it's in Castries). Airport code: SLU. If you fly in to the airport at Vieux Fort, you'll have a 1 1/2-2 hour cab ride to Castries.
Brig Unicorn - trip on a pirate ship
The trip on the Brig Unicorn, an old replica of a pirate ship, is a wonderful way of viewing Saint Lucia's west coast from the sea. The ship actually appears in the films Roots and Pirates of the Caribbean. The trip starts at about 9 am in Rodney Bay and sails gently in 2.5 hours to Soufriere. During the trip you get beautiful views of Pigeon Island, Castries, Anse la Raye, Marigot Bay and of course the Pitons. After docking in Soufriere you're picked up by minibuses taking you to the sulphur springs and after that to Diamond Falls. Both short but impressive visits. Back on board lunch is served while sailing back north under the continuous delight of reggae music and rum punch. There is a beautiful snorkel stop at Anse Cochon and a detour through Marigot Bay. In the late afternoon you arrive fully relaxed in Rodney Bay.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Airport To Hotel
When you arrive at the airport you'll of course go through customs.. Once through you will have ot find your transportation to your hotel...
If you have booked a tour you will most likely have a ride..
the big problem in saint lucia is that most of the hotels are in the North end of the island and the airport is in the south...It is a long ride 2-3 hours, over mountains and not so great roads to get there...
This can be a trip in it self, you can get some great pictures of saint lucia and it's people..You will most likely see some vehicles off the road over the sides of steep banks etc...
LIke a lot of places locals drive crazy...
Just expect a long trip to your hotel
Hire a cabbie
If you want to see the most of St. Lucia that you can without spending a lot of money on hotel-organized tours.... hire a cab! My boyfriend and I didn't want to go on the guided tours through the hotel, so we called for a cab driver to take us wherever we wanted to go. The cabs offer tours through their services - so for $140 US dollars, we were picked up at our door at 11am, toured almost the entire left side of the island - from Rodney Bay to the Pitons and were home around 7pm. It was great because we didn't have to get up and leave on an 8am tour - wait for anyone else or pay about the same price and only see one or two things. We got to see and learn a lot about St. Lucia and the culture, it was a great way to see the island and I recommend it to anyone visiting there or any island for that matter.
how to get around on the cheap
Arriving from the US usually means coming to Hewanorra UVF on the south end of the island. You can get a cab ride with a tour guide to boot for US$50 to Rodney Bay, which is probably where you are headed. Once there take Jitney Bus for EC$1, best deal around and you get to meet the locals. Make all deals with cabbies in advance, where to, how long etc. US$100 will get you a car and driver all day. Dont even think about renting a car yourself, you will be killed. Cricks Funeral Home is just outside of Castries on the Gros Islet road. Do the jump up there on Friday nights, if you can make it. You can't walk onto a Sandals property, but if you are a good swimmer, then go that way. Once you are there the drinks and food are free, pretend you own the place, then take a cab home. You can have a blast for a whole lot less than you might expect.Related to:
- Budget Travel
AA to SLU
As always we chose American Airlines as our carrier to SLU. We departed JFK to San Juan. A short layover later and we were on a prop plane to St. Lucia. The flight from JFK was a good one and not very full. We had an extra seat to ourselves to stretch out. Our friends Chris and Karen had the same situation.
The plane ride from San Juan to SLU on the prop plane was a bit noisey and bumpy but it was a short ride.
We took a plane to get there.
Took a few taxis around town. That runs into big money really quick. Be sure to deal with he driver who picks you up with the hotel. If you are out and about you are at the mercyf the cab drivers and prices that can be way over the top!
If you have nerves of steel and the ability to drive on the left hand side of the road, you can rent a car. I just didn't have it in me. The roads are narrow, the driving in crazy, and all the honking you hear is most likely everyone honking at their friends!
Water taxi's were great fun, although not to convienant for getting into and around town!
Still the coolest way to see it was by boat!
St. Lucia is a cruise ship port and during our trip we encountered several in Harbor. Holland America and Carnival were the two lines I remember seeing in the port by Castries. The cruise ships seem gigantic compared to the little island town.
From Airport to Rodney Bay
The easiest way to et from the airport to Rodney Bay is by taxi. 200ECdollars. I will recommend one particular person Stannis... if he cannot do the job he will arange another person to do it. My friend booked this for me, tellinghim that I couldnt see, I would be wearing a panama hat, the driver ( not Stannis for me trip form airport) cam and found me, ok St Lucia is a small airport but there was good intention there.
Stannis also does island tours, I didnt do this , we hired a car so I cannot review this service.
There is no bus from St Lucia Airport to Rodney Bay, you have to go into the closest town, then go to Catries then on to Rodney BayRelated to:
- Water Sports
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
George FL Charles Airport
George FL Charles Airport (SLU) is the closer of the two airports to the major resorts of the island. This airport though is much smaller than Hewanorra International and you will be arriving via prop plane. I think despite it's small size it is the way to go if you want a short ride to your resort. Our ride from the airport to Sandals La Toc was under 15 minutes. The ride from Hewannorra can take up to two hours on winding and steep roadways.
Hiring Taxis to get around.
Most young St. Lucian men aspire to be taxi drivers -- that's where the money is. To be honest, most taxi drivers are a great source of knowledge about the island. You can hire a taxi for as little as $100/day (US). Just remember to tip, as well. The drivers will take you as short a distance as the nearest town for shopping, and as far as an entire island tour. Choose carefully -- you'll want an older driver, as opposed to a young hot-shot. There are no traffic laws in St. Lucia -- even for taxis -- and it shows. If you're a flat-lander, take a dramamine for an island tour. The roads can be narrow and curvy. If you're used to driving these kinds of roads, or if you live in mountainous terrain, it'll be just like home! If you're taking a short shopping trip, just tell your cabbie what time you want to be picked up, and he'll be there with bells on. The majority of the taxis are of the mini-bus variety, and are all Toyotas. You'll be amazed at how many people can fit into one.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Maxi Taxis -the locals taxi
Travelling by Maxi Taxis (mini van's) like the local's is a good way for getting a feel for the people and the culture. These Maxi Taxis often play Calypso music, and bump along to the many pot holes that charaterises the poorly maintained roads of St Lucia.
There are two airports that lie in St Lucia - one near the capital Castries, and one in the South next to View Fort. A ring road connects the Capital and the Southern airport, thus there are two routes from the South.
Anyone travelling to the Capital from the South of the Island using Public transport should AVOID taking the Road via Soufriere (Western Road) late in the afternoon. The taxis do not run the whole way to the capital and terminate at different locations on the way. So you will need to change to connecting taxis in the towns.
Also there is a section of road between Soufriere and Anse De La Raye were NO taxis run in the afternoon. We had to hitch hike along this long and mountainous winding road.
In summary- if you plan to Circumnavigate St Lucia via Maxi Taxi then take the Western Road in the morning and the Eastern road returning in the afernoon.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Airport Transfers were included in our Sandals vacation. After clearing Customs & Immigration we collected our luggage. Do not let the men in red shirts take your bags; they are just looking for money and the exit is only two feet away. After we exited; a representative from Sandals was waiting. We gave him our names and hopped into the shuttle van. We were with 4 other couples who were also going to the resort. The trip from airport to hotel was about 15 and gave a little tour of Castries.
Taking a helicopter was an option for arriving at the Sandals properties. We were arriving at SLU so our drive was about 15 minutes but if you are arriving from Hewanorra Airport the drive is anywhere from one and a half to two hours depending on road conditions (and very winding narrow roads). We met a couple at our resort who took the long winding road to the resort and deciding to spring for the $250 one way fare back to the airport.
Saint Lucia Hotels
If you are looking for an elegant resort with spectacular views of the Caribbean and the island, the...more
100 Anse Chastanet Rd, PO Box 7000, Soufriere, Caribbean
Good for: Solo
Rodney Bay Lot B, Gros Islet, 9999, LC
Good for: Solo
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