Every time we talk to people about St. Lucia they say the same thing: we have ALWAYS wanted to go there. And they aren’t wrong. We have absolutely fallen in love with the island of St. Lucia, especially for vacations, honeymoons, and anniversary trips. It has a romantic bent that we haven’t seen in very many places around the world. The beautiful mountains, incredible farm-to-table food, and welcoming beaches should definitely be on your bucket list for your next beach vacation or romantic getaway.
St. Lucia is full of the best kind of surprises…new foods you’ll love, jaw-dropping natural wonders, and the friendliest of people. But there are other surprises you should know about before going on a vacation to St. Lucia so that you can make sure you have the best vacation, honeymoon, or anniversary trip for you.
The main international airport for St. Lucia (UVF) for flights from the US or Europe is located on the Southern tip of the island. While there are one or two resorts close by this airport, most of the vacation resorts in St. Lucia are located along the West Coast heading north. The most populated part of St. Lucia is the North in the Castries area. This is approximately 1.5 hours from the main airport by road. This makes airport transfers more expensive. If you were expecting a 5-10 minute taxi, you will be quite surprised. The roads can also be pretty curvy and mountainous. Even if you are headed to some of the Southern resort areas, it can be a good 45 minute drive due to the mountain switch backs. If you get motion sickness, you should plan ahead with medication. Every driver we had asked about motion sickness before driving us. We got the best advice from all of them: tell your driver so they can slow down and open the windows for you. If curvy roads are not for you, we recommend a helicopter transfer to the North of the island. This takes about 10 minutes and the view is fantastic!
As we already mentioned, the main airport for St. Lucia vacations and honeymoons is in the South. There is a smaller airport in the Northern Castries area that is more often used for flights within the Caribbean islands. There is also a helipad. Your international flight will most likely come into the Southern airport (UVF). Many a traveler has thought they were flying into the North airport and been surprised at the transfer time (see point number 1).
The backroads of St. Lucia contain beautiful views and some treacherous turns. The mountain switchbacks are not something we recommend for tourist drivers, even experienced ones. Most of the roads do not contain street lights. At night, it would be all too easy to miss a mountain curve or have an accident with an oncoming vehicle on a narrow road. Some villas require you to have a rental car. These are best done in the Castries area where the driving is easier. We highly recommend you arrange a driver for most of your transportation needs in St. Lucia unless your accommodations require otherwise. Most resorts are happy to help with this.
Like many mountainous islands, St. Lucia has a variety of gorgeous beaches. Beaches have their own personality. Many beaches, especially in the South of St. Lucia, are coved inlets. These make for some wonderfully private moments and great snorkeling. The longer stretches of beach are mostly located in the North. If the shape of the beach is important to you for your vacation or honeymoon, make sure you know what kind of beach your resort has.
St. Lucia has a huge geographical variety. Some of the most beautiful, lush, tropical forest areas are located in the Southwest of the island. Here, outside of Soufriere, you will find the famous mud baths, waterfalls, botanical gardens, drive-thru volcano, and world-class diving and snorkeling. You’ll also find area fish fries and many cultural hot spots in the South. Many excursions, especially catamarans, come from the North of St. Lucia to the South to see these areas. While there are resorts located in the South, they are more spread out and remote than the resorts in the North near Castries. If you stay in the North, you’ll want to plan at least a half day or full day of your vacation to see the South part of St. Lucia and experience the natural wonders.
St. Lucia is flanked on the west by the Caribbean Sea and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. While there are few resorts located on the Atlantic side, there are some. The water is very different. If you are wanting that beautifully tranquil aquamarine water of the Caribbean, you’ll want to be located on the west shore of the island for your beach vacation.
St. Lucia has incredible mountains. This means many resorts are built up into the steep mountainside. Many resorts have beach access via a long series of steep steps. Some resorts in St. Lucia will run a shuttle to the beach and back for those who don’t want to do all those steps on their vacation or honeymoon. If you have physical limitations, you will need to pick your resort for your St. Lucia vacation very carefully. We promise that the beaches are worth the workout!
Unlike some other areas of the Caribbean, St. Lucia is more temperate. It does not get some of the super high or low temperatures that can plague other areas. At night, it cools down to very comfortable temperatures. Because of this, many resorts do not have air conditioning the rooms, especially those located up in the mountains. Normally, there is a good breeze going. Any resorts that have the popular 3-wall concept rooms are not air conditioned. Many restaurants are open-air. You’ll want to plan your evening attire accordingly. Other resorts have the bedroom air conditioned but not other areas of the suite. If this matters to you, you’ll want to make sure you have a room with air conditioning. However, we would argue that some of the most fantastic boutique hotels in St. Lucia that don’t have air conditioning are very much worth it!
The US dollar is widely accepted throughout the island of St. Lucia. The better resorts can also have your taxis charges put on your room bill to pay with a credit card at the end of your vacation.
St. Lucia’s electrical system requires both an adapter and a voltage converter for your US appliances (like curling irons). Some resorts have them on hand for US travelers, but you’ll often want more than one for all your charging needs. We found on our trip that heavier electrical devices like curling irons or straighteners never got hot enough to use.
St. Lucia has some of the most unique and incredible resorts anywhere in the Caribbean. Ready to plan your vacation, honeymoon, or anniversary trip to St. Lucia? Contact us today to find your perfect trip.
About The Traveling Compass:
The Traveling Compass is a full-service luxury travel agency. Our success is built on a foundation of unmatched expertise and outstanding customer service. Our travel agents specialize in international travel, corporate incentive trips, destination weddings & honeymoons, multigenerational travel, luxury leisure, and family travel. We are also Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with experience assisting families that have children with special needs or large families or groups with complicated dining reservations for over 20 guests. Our personalized travel itineraries are designed to help discerning, time-pressed travelers plan the most elaborate vacations, down to the smallest detail. As luxury travel agents, we are dedicated to creating and facilitating travel experiences that expand awareness and give each person a real sense of the country and culture they are visiting. It is our mission to make sure you have the travel experience of a lifetime, every time.