COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: St. Lucia is an English-speaking, developing Caribbean island nation. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the
Department of State Fact Sheet on St. Lucia for additional information.
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SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Saint Lucia, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Downloading our free Smart Traveler app, available throughthe iTunes storeand the Google Play store, for travel information at your fingertips.
Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.
U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown
Wildey Business park
St. Michael, Barbados
Telephone: (246) 227-4399
Emergency after-hours telephone: (246) 227-4000
Facsimile: (246) 431-0179
Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Barbadian and U.S. holidays.
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ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter St. Lucia. For further information, travelers may contact the Embassy of St. Lucia at Tel: (202)364-6792/95, Fax: (202)364-6723, for the most current visa information.
All U.S, citizens traveling outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States. This extended to all sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service on June 1, 2009. Travelers must now present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. You can also learn more general information on Customs by visiting the Before You Go section of our site.
For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the U.S. (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, it is strongly recommended that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.
HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Saint
Lucia. Please verify this information with the St. Lucian Embassy before you travel.
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THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Visit the U.S. Embassy site for up-to-date messages for U.S. citizens.
Stay up to date by:
CRIME: Crime, including armed robbery, does occur and is rising in St. Lucia. Violent crime, including gun violence and targeted homicides, is often connected to narcotics trafficking. Petty crime also occurs, with tourists being targeted often.
Efforts by the St. Lucian authorities to improve public safety on the island are ongoing. Visitors should inquire about their hotel’s security arrangements before making reservations. Valuables left unattended on beaches and in rental cars are vulnerable to theft. Visitors should use caution, especially at night and in less frequented areas.
Take some time before travel to learn how to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for personal security.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back
into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
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VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
The local emergency line in St. Lucia is 911.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in St. Lucia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in St. Lucia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating St. Lucian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in St. Lucia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
IF ARRESTED: If you are arrested in St. Lucia, authorities of St. Lucia are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate
of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police
or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.
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SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in St. Lucia. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for U.S. Citizens Services on the island of St. Lucia. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their citizenship documents with them at all times so, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
Please see our Customs Information sheet.
LGBT travelers should review the LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBLITY: While in St. Lucia, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There is no legal requirement in St. Lucia mandating access to buildings for persons with disabilities.
Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if
they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent.
In general, restaurants, hotels and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps
major hotels and retail areas. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
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MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:
There are two public hospitals and one private hospital in St. Lucia.
Victoria Hospital, Castries – Tel No. (758) 452-2421 – is the main hospital.
St. Jude’s Hospital, George Odlum Stadium, Vieux Fort – Tel No. (758) 454-6041 is the second public hospital.
The original St. Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort was destroyed by fire on September 9, 2009. What started as a temporary facility operating out of the George Odlum Stadium is now operating as a fully functional hospital with two operating rooms, an ER Department, as well as a Medical, Paediatric and a Surgical Ward. There is also an ICU Unit and an Out Patient’s Clinic.
Tapion Hospital, La Toc Road, Castries is the private hospital - Tel No. (758) 459-2000. A new hyperbaric chamber capable of treating 6 patients is now in operation at this facility. They are certified personnel in the hyperbaric field who operate the chamber. The Chamber is undergoing the accreditation process by DAN (Divers Alert Network) and continues to be fully operational. However, to-date the certification process has not been completed.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
You can find information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
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MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance
may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a
very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
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TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning St. Lucia is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Vehicles travel on the left side of the road in St. Lucia. Roads are reasonably well paved but poorly marked, narrow and winding, with steep inclines/declines throughout the island. There are few guardrails in areas that have precipitous drop-offs from the road. In spite of these conditions, drivers often travel at excessive speed, and accidents are common. The drive from Hewanorra International Airport to Castries or to Rodney Bay is a winding road through mountainous terrain and takes between 1 to 1½ hours.
St. Lucia is served by privately owned and operated mini-buses, plying licensed designated routes. While most such services operate only on weekdays during daylight hours, some may operate at night and on weekends and holidays. Taxis are available at generally reasonable rates, but tourists are vulnerable to being overcharged. When using minibus or taxi services, travelers should agree to a fare ahead of time. The most commonly used trips such as Castries to Rodney Bay and Castries to Hewanora International Airport are fixed fares, and any dispute should be brought to the attention of the Tourism Authority U.S. dollars are widely accepted, but with less than competitive exchange rates. When using minibus or taxi services, travelers should agree to a fare ahead of time. When hiring a service at night, travelers should take precautions such as having their hotel call a reputable company for service. A local temporary driver's license is required. These can be purchased at all car rental offices and from the Transportation Office in Gros Islet.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of St. Lucia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being
in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of St. Lucia’s
air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for St. Lucia dated October 19, 2009 to update the sections on Crime and Medical
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