Saint Lucia travel advice

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Saint Lucia - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Saint Lucia

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Safety and security

Nationwide water shortage

Saint Lucia is experiencing a water shortage. Water can only be used for consumption and personal hygiene. Failure to comply can result in a fine or jail sentence.

Plan to keep an adequate supply of water.

Crime

Violent Crime  

Violent crime, including gun violence, has increased over the past year, particularly in Vieux Fort. Incidents of murders, sexual assaults, robberies, and gang-related violence have occurred.  

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times  
  • Avoid walking alone after dark 
  • Avoid isolated areas  
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewellery  
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables 
  • Stay in accommodations with adequate security measures 
  • Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe 

Petty Crime  

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs and increases with the approach of annual festivities, such as:  

  • festivals, including the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival in May  
  • carnival celebrations in July  
  • the winter holiday season  
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and your other travel documents are secure at all times.  

Fraud

Fraud involving use of credit cards, debit cards and ATMs may occur. 

When using your bank card or credit card:  

  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN  
  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others  
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature  
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business  
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements  

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment, verbal abuse and sexual assault. 

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

2SLGBTQ1+ travellers

2SLGBTQI+ travellers have been verbally harassed. 

Public displays of affection are not socially acceptable.   

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous as riptides are common.Beaches are unsupervised and don’t have warning flags to warn of unsafe conditions.   

  • Never swim alone   
  • Always maintain a safe distance from boats and restricted areas  
  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas 
  • Don’t dive in unfamiliar waters as hidden rocks or shallow water can cause serious injury or death   

Adventure tourism

Outdoor activities, such as zip lining, hiking, mountain biking, and other adventure activities can be dangerous if unprepared. Trails are not always marked, and weather conditions can change rapidly, even during summer.   

If you intend to practice adventure tourism: 

  • never do so alone, and don’t part with your expedition companions   
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be setting out   
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard   
  • refrain from using facilities or equipment if you have doubts on their safety   
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary   

Road safety

Road safety is overall good throughout the island. 

Cell phone reception is available across the island and is reliable for emergency calls. 

Emergencies services, including roadside assistance, are available. Response time may vary on rental companies. 

Road conditions

Road conditions are generally good across the island. 

Driving habits

Drivers don’t always respect traffic laws. They can be reckless.  

If you choose to drive during your stay: 

  • be wary of strangers offering to help you 
  • don’t pick up hitchhikers 
  • keep doors locked and windows closed at all times 
  • always carry a cell phone and charger 
  • keep a list of emergency numbers handy 

Public transportation

Minibuses

Regular minibus services are reliable but can be unsafe due to driving speeds.

Taxis 

Taxis are available at airports and resort areas. They don’t use meters.

  • Only use registered taxis with a blue number plate 
  • Negotiate the fare in advance 
  • Have small bills available for payment 

Ride-sharing apps 

Ride-sharing apps are available in Saint Lucia. 

Ferries

Ferry services are available weekly between Martinique and Saint Lucia and between Saint Vincent and Saint Lucia. 

Ferries are safe although sea waters around Saint Lucia are rough. 

Air travel 

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards. 

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Saint Lucia. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave Saint Lucia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 6 weeks
Business visa: not required 
Student visa: not required

Electronic Immigration Form 

If you are travelling by air, you must complete one electronic immigration form per family or group within 3 days prior to your arrival. 

You will need the following information to complete the form: 

  • flight details 
  • passport information for all family of group members 
  • a valid email address 

Electronic Immigration Form – Saint Lucia Tourism Authority 

Other entry requirements 

Customs officials may ask you to show them: 

  • a return or onward ticket 
  • proof that you have a place to stay 
  • proof that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay 

Children and travel

Children travelling unaccompanied or with only one parent may have to present: 

  • a notarized consent letter confirming that the child has permission to travel 
  • proof of parentage, such as a birth certificate showing the names of the parents 

Learn about travel with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited. Medical facilities are underequipped. They may lack of medical equipment, supplies and trained professionals. Medical services in Saint Lucia are expensive and often expect immediate cash payments for services.  

There are two public hospitals, Victoria Hospital in Castries and St. Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort, and one private hospital, Tapion Hospital near Castries.  

Emergency services in St. Lucia are underequipped and can be slow due to traffic. Ambulance services are provided by the fire department and not by hospitals. 

Travellers requiring specialized care or having sustained serious injury may need to be evacuated to Miami or Martinique.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medication  

Some prescription medications may not be available in Saint Lucia. 

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in the country. 

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you  
  • Always keep your medication in the original container  
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage  
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions  

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

No transfer of offenders treaty exists between Canada and Saint Lucia. If you’re convicted of a serious crime, you must serve your jail sentence in Saint Lucia. You may also have to remain in the island for a parole period after your release. 

Drugs

There are severe penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs. If you are convicted, you can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.  

  • Pack your own luggage and monitor it closely at all times 
  • Never transport other people’s packages, bags or suitcases 

Drugs, alcohol and travel

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Saint Lucian law criminalize sexual acts and relationships between persons of the same sex. 

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against or detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They could also be detained and face other charges such as:

  • cross-dressing 
  • gross indecency 
  • offence to public morals 

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could face up lengthy jail sentence. They should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Saint Lucia.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Saint Lucia.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Saint Lucia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

Investments

Disputes related to property acquisition or other investments are costly and take time to resolve.  

If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in Saint Lucia: 

  • seek legal advice in Canada and in Saint Lucia before making commitments 
  • choose your own lawyer 
  • avoid hiring a lawyer recommended by a seller 

Death penalty 

The authorities of Saint Lucia apply the death penalty for serious offences, though it is rarely enforced. 

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Saint Lucia.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Saint Lucia by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Saint Lucia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Camouflage clothing

It’s illegal for anyone who isn’t a member of the police force to wear camouflage clothing or to carry items that may look like military equipment. 

Driving

You need a temporary permit to drive in Saint Lucia. You can buy it upon presentation of a valid Canadian driver’s licence through: 

  • most car rental agencies 
  • the airport immigration desk 
  • any local police station 

You should ensure you rent a car from a reputable company and you sign a rental contract that includes car insurance.   

International Driving Permit

Traffic drives on the left.  

Traffic regulation is different from Canada: 

  • legal age to drive is 17 
  • legal age to rent a car is 25 

Money

The currency of Saint Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD).

U.S. dollars are widely accepted.

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Natural disasters and climate

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. You could face serious safety risks during a hurricane.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Earthquakes and tsunamis 

Saint Lucia is located in an active seismic zone. It is subject to earthquakes and is at risk of tsunamis. 

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning. 

In the event of an earthquake: 

  • monitor local media to stay informed of the evolving situation 
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders 

Useful links 

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 999
  • medical assistance: 911
  • firefighters: 911

Consular assistance

Castries - Honorary consul of Canada
Street AddressPO Box RB 2414Postal AddressRodney Bay, CastriesTelephone1 (758) 453-6431 or 1 (758) 484-6610Emailstlucia-stelucie@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/saint_lucia-sainte_lucie/castries.aspx?lang=engConsular district

Saint Lucia

Bridgetown - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressBishop's Court Hill, St. Michael, P.O. Box 404, Bridgetown, Barbados BB11113Telephone+246 629 3550Fax+246 437 7436Emailbdgtn-cs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/barbados-barbade/bridgetown.aspx?lang=engFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in BarbadosTwitter@CanHCBarbadosOther social mediaHigh Commission of Canada to Barbados and the OECS
Consular district

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Sint Maarten.

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, in Bridgetown, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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