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St. Lucia: The Year-long Summer Retreat
The Caribbean island of St Lucia has a thriving economy, which depends largely on tourism. Visitors have a choice of organized and self-governed methods of entertaining themselves and relaxing on this island paradise. A small country, its entirety must be explored or traversed to reach many of the most sought-after activities and destinations. Independent travelers will look to do this by securing a rental car.
After visiting the duty-free shops and the lively market street of Jeremie in Castries, visitors will look to take to the roads which traverse the island and offer access to some truly breathtaking views. The island is home to two mountains, the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton, the former of which is popular with hikers, but be warned that this can be a strenuous climb. Visitors say that it is worth it for the views. Driving from Castries will take a little more than an hour.
If hiking is not your speed, a visit to the Sulfur Springs may be a more relaxing outing. The springs are a curious environment to visit, and at the top where the springs are formed, the water is far too hot to enter. Further down, there is cooler water, and a mud bath. The many minerals in the volcanic water are said to have health benefits. Just be aware that, as the name suggests, there is a lingering scent of eggs in the whole vicinity.
Eating and sleeping at any of the islands hospitable businesses is likely to be a smooth experience for those who speak English or French, as almost all inhabitants are competent in both. The official language of St. Lucia is English, though French Patois is also widely spoken. Furthermore, the country is home to a diverse population, so travelers will likely meet speakers of languages from all over the world.
The official currency of St. Lucia is the East Caribbean dollar. US dollars are widely accepted by businesses, and most of the banks in St. Lucia will exchange major currencies. Also, larger chain-hotels will conveniently exchange major currencies at reasonable rates.
Fun in the Summer Sun
During the months of December to April, the island hosts many visitors who are escaping the winter chill. For the traveler wishing to get away with the family during school vacations, avoid the crowd, or travel on a budget, the remaining months are an ideal time to visit. During the low season for tourism, temperatures do not go above 90°F. Though humid, the country offers an array of methods to stay cool and comfortable.
Ways to Save
Visitors on a budget are best advised to plan their trip for the low season of May to November. During this range of time, customers will see cheaper rates of auto rentals, among other products affected by the seasonal variation. Renters can expect prices to start around $45 per day from the international airport of Castris.
When renting for a period of time shorter than 7 days it is very likely that prices will increase. This is a common practice, just as it is common to pay extra to leave the car at a different location than where it was picked up. However, some rental companies offer a special of a ‘one way’ rental, with no added fee when the drop-off location is different than the pick-up location.
Visitors to our site will find that there are many special offers to be found. Using the search engine features and filters found on the results page, inquiries can be specialized to show a particular size, transmission model (manual transmissions are usually cheaper), or car company. See Drive-o-Matic, ACE Rent-A-Car, and Sixt for some of our best offers.
Best Auto Rental Deals in St Lucia
Here’s our pick of the deals for this location:
- Chevrolet Spark or similar (mini class) – $49/day
- Suzuki Swift or similar (economy class) – $62/day
- Suzuki Jimny or similar (compact class) – $62/day
- Suzuki Ertiga or similar (standard class) – $70/day
- Hyundai Tucson or similar (intermediate class) – $97/day
Know the Rules
- Drive on the right.
- St. Lucia’s roads are well-developed and considered a pleasure to drive on.
- If you don’t have an international driver’s permit, you will need to get a local permit from the rental company for $20. International permits must be stamped at the airport immigration desk.
- The roads of St. Lucia are set among hills and uneven terrain, so the speed limit in urban areas is set at 30 mph (50 km/h), and 50 mph (80 km/h) in rural areas.
- Parking restrictions are not strictly followed in most cases, unless the vehicle is an obstruction or has been left for more than a day.
- If you need to use your cellphone while driving, you must have a hands-free set.
- Passengers in the front must be sure to wear their seatbelt at all times.
- Though the minimum age to drive for locals is 18, drivers from other countries must be 25 to rent a car. A driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a passport are required to be on hand when driving.