Safe Travels to St. Lucia: How to travel safely

Lush rainforests, turquoise waters, waterfalls & volcanic landscapes make St Lucia a stunning travel destination.

St Lucia is a friendly and welcoming eastern Caribbean country home to the world's only drive-in volcano (thankfully dormant) and an annual jazz festival in May.

It's also a popular destination for cruise ships and a favourite with honeymooning couples.

Crime on St Lucia

The population is only 173,000 so it's not like the beautiful tropical island is an overcrowded ghetto. St Lucians are relatively well-off (although the GFC hit the economy hard) and so crime rates are low.

There were four incidents in 2010 involving local residents in a quiet and poorly-lit area of the Rodney Bay Village and you should avoid establishments outside the main village area. The St Lucian authorities are working with the tourism industry to maintain a safe environment for visitors and a new police station has opened in the Village.

Nevertheless, muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes do occur, and are occasionally accompanied by violence, and there have been a number of serious assaults involving tourists and residents in recent years.

There have been armed robberies at waterfalls in the Anse La Raye area in the past and these sites should be avoided.

Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, including beaches, after dark, and only camp out in large groups.

Take care at popular late night street parties and "jump-ups".

Be cautious about accepting lifts and use only licensed taxis.

Getting Around

Most roads are narrow by world standards and in varying states of repair.

In mountainous areas roads can be extremely steep and have sharp hairpin bends, some of which are not clearly marked.

Four-wheel drive vehicles with automatic gearboxes are popular, and in some areas essential. Driving standards are variable and you should negotiate roundabouts with extreme care. Given local conditions, drive slowly and cautiously.

It is common for pedestrians to flag down vehicles in an attempt to get a lift. You should not stop to do so. It is advisable to keep car doors locked when driving.

Care should be taken on a number of roads including the main east coast road to/from Hewanorra International Airport, which are still being repaired following damage during Hurricane Tomas in October 2010.

There are regular mini bus services, which provide relatively cheap, but sometimes dangerously fast, travel between all main towns.

Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations but you should clarify the fare with the driver before the beginning of the journey.

The drive from Hewanorra International Airport to Castries or to Rodney Bay is a winding road through mountainous terrain and takes between 1 to 1.5 hours. If you are prone to travel sickness, some anti nausea medication might be advisable.

Local Laws/Hazards

Camouflage clothing and luggage are banned.

Climbing one of the twin Pitons is a popular attraction. Gros Piton is the most accessible, but ensure you are physically fit enough to handle the 4 hour return trip.

As on other Caribbean isles, street vendors can be intimidating.

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