Headed to St. Lucia for a romantic honeymoon or anniversary trip? Maybe your whole family is going for an epic vacation at one the beautiful resorts? Before you enjoy the natural beauty and incredible culture of St. Lucia, your first stop will be St. Lucia’s international airport, airport code UVF.
St. Lucia’s major international airport, which receives nearly all US and European flights, is located at the very south tip of the Island. While there are a few resorts nearby, most resorts on the southwest coast or in the North in Castries are a good distance away from the airport. It can easily be 45 minutes to a southwest resort or 1.5 hours to the Northern part of the island. Traffic can greatly affect the travel time as well. This means it is best to prearrange an airport transfer to your hotel.
There are great things about smaller airports and some things to know before you go. Currently, St. Lucia unloads and loads passengers from the tarmac. They do have plans to expand the airport to change this, but for now…you’ll be getting off the plane onto the blacktop. Make sure you have everything easily stowed in your bag and any loose papers safely tucked away. It can get windy! You may also want an outfit that can take some heat as it will be warm right away.
Current immigration conditions are semi-air conditioned. You may wish to dress accordingly. To the left, there are immigration stations for officials and locals. Families with small children or special needs (like wheelchairs) may also be pulled into this line. With St. Lucia being a smaller airport, they try to stagger flight times to avoid long customs lines, but if there are delays the lines can be long. There isn’t much to drink, so you may wish to have water bottle with you in line. Each person will need their own immigration form though only one member of your family will need to fill out the backside of the customs sheet with declarations. Having a pen with you is very helpful. It’s also good to have access to your flight, passport, and hotel information as this will be required on the form. Your immigration official will give you a return slip. Put that in a safe place as they will request it when you leave the country. After immigration, you can claim your luggage. Luggage may be organized into sections by flight and stored in a large mass off to the side. If possible, send one member of your party to collect bags while the other gets in line for customs. It’s helpful to have luggage that is easy to identify in a large group. Taking a picture of your luggage before you check in at your home airport can also be helpful and allow you to show a baggage clerk to help in your search.
Once you have your bags, you will go through customs. Some individuals will be randomly searched others will simply be allowed through. It is common to be asked questions about where you are going and why. Travelers staying at Sandals will be directed to the Sandals lounge to check-in. All other passengers will proceed to the right to go outside. All the prearranged airport transfers are located outside. There will be baggage attendant trying to help you. If you do not wish to have help or you do not wish to tip them, proceed quickly outside. Otherwise, have small bills to tip.
It can be very busy on the small road outside the airport where transfers pick up. Find your transfer company and check-in. They will have your vehicle come once you have arrived. There are taxis available, but (currently) not Ubers. Be prepared that your transfer could be long and pricey if you did not prepay or prearrange. Have cash on you. USD is widely accepted. It’s very hectic near the small road with lots of people moving about, so watch your belongings carefully. There is some shade here, though the area is not air conditioned. If you are getting a rental car, it is recommended that you rent one in the North. Rental cars are not recommended for stay in the South or West.
If you are going to a resort that is far away, you may wish to take a prearranged helicopter transfer. You will be transferred from the main airport to the helipad where you will catch your helicopter ride to the North. Be advised that your large bags may not travel with you in the helicopter and will be arriving later by bus. Also, make sure you have transportation arranged from the helipad to your final resort destination. The helicopter is about a 10 minute ride.
Like any small airport, expect that long lines can form for departure. Make sure if you need to check bags that you arrive in enough time to do so. The area for airline check-in is not terribly large and is easy to navigate. You may need to print your luggage tags from a kiosk before being allowed to check bags.
There is no formal immigration booth currently for St. Lucia departures. Rather, there is a guard that will check your immigration documents before you go into the security area. Make sure you have your return slip, passport, and boarding pass as well as the current date on your return slip. Once you pass this guard, you will be in the normal security area.
Post-security, there are small shops and some seating. Seating is very limited. There is some additional seating upstairs. The souvenir shops do sell post cards, key chains, tshirts, and other items that make good gifts. There are a few jewelry shops and duty free shops as well. There are a few limited places to eat or get snacks. Once your flight is ready to board, you will que at a gate in front of an exterior door. Once your ticket is scanned, you will proceed outside to the tarmac to board the plane. Again, it’s helpful to have all your belongings stowed well so that nothing gets lost in the wind.
As St. Lucia specialists, we know how to design the perfect trip for you to this gorgeous island. Ready for expert help? Contact us today.
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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.