COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: St. Lucia is an English-speaking, developing Caribbean island nation. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State Background Notes on St. Lucia for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living or traveling in St. Lucia are encouraged to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain updated information on travel and security within St. Lucia. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.
The U.S. Embassy is located in Barbados in the Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael, telephone 1-246-436-4950. The telephone number for the Consular Section is 1-246-431-0225. The Consular Section fax number is 1-246-431-0179. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except Barbados and U.S. holidays.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS: The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires all travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada to have a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States. U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport when traveling by air, including to or from Mexico. All sea or land travelers are now required to have a U.S. passport or passport card. We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports. Contact the Embassy of St. Lucia at Tel: (202)364-6792/95, Fax: (202)364-6723, for the most current visa information.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution, can be found.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.
CRIME: Crime, including armed robbery, does occur and is rising in St. Lucia. Violent crime 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.
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
The local emergency line in St. Lucia is: 911.
See our information on Victims of Crime.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical care is limited. There are two public hospitals and one private hospital in St. Lucia, none of which provide the same level of care found in an American hospital. The main hospital is Victoria Hospital (Telephone (758) 452-2421). St. Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort was destroyed by fire on September 9th, 2009. A temporary facility is currently operating out of George Odlum Stadium in Vieux Fort, but lacks any operating room capacity, has no overnight stays and is generally limited in the amount of care that can be provided. A new hyperbaric chamber capable of treating 6 patients is now located at Tapion Hospital (telephone (758) 459-2000). The chamber is undergoing the accreditation process by DAN (Divers Alert Network) but is fully operational. 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.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of St. Lucia. Please verify the requirements with the Embassy of St. Lucia before you travel.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.
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. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s website.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate on St. Lucia. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for consular issues on St. Lucia, including American citizen services. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport or passport card with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. Please see our Customs Information.
Like all Caribbean countries, St. Lucia can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from 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).
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating St. Lucia 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. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.
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THIS REPLACES THE COUNTRY SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR ST. LUCIA DATED APRIL 10, 2009, TO UPDATE SECTIONS ON ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS, CRIME, MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION, TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS, AND SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.