Castries Travel Information
Local time is GMT -4.
240 volts, 50Hz. Three square-pin plugs are standard.
English is the official language, but St Lucian Creole is widely spoken.
There are few health risks associated with travel to St Lucia, although the mosquito-carried dengue fever is a risk throughout the island. HIV/AIDS is prevalent and precautions are always advised. Bilharzia is endemic. No vaccinations are required, however a yellow fever certificate is necessary for travellers arriving from infected areas. Health care costs are high on the island and health insurance is recommended, which should cover medical evacuation. EHIC card holders are entitled to emergency medical treatment in the case of evacuation to Martinique, on the same terms as Martinique nationals, of which 70 percent of the costs can be reclaimed.
A service charge is not automatically added to bills and about 10% of the bill is expected. Taxi drivers, porters and chambermaids also expect small tips.
Most visits to St Lucia are trouble-free, but visitors should take common-sense precautions against robbery and theft. Isolated areas, such as beaches, should be avoided after dark. Hurricane season is generally from June to November.
It is an offence for anyone to dress in camouflage clothing. Homosexuality is illegal.
Due to its popularity as an offshore banking location, business dress in St Lucia requires a level of formality. Handshakes for both men and women are the common form of greeting at the beginning and end of meetings, and business cards are usually exchanged. Business hours are generally 8am to 4.30pm throughout the week and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
The international access code for St Lucia is +1 758. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom); the outgoing code is not needed for calls to Canada and the US. City/area codes are not in use. Pay phones accept coins and pre-paid cards, available at shops throughout the island. AT&T calling cards can be used for cheaper international calls. Mobile phone operators provide good GSM 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 network coverage of the island. Email and Internet access is available at Internet cafes throughout the island.
Travellers to St Lucia may bring in 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 225g tobacco, and 1.2 litre wine or spirits without paying customs duty.
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