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St Lucia

Getting around

Car & motorcycle

Rental

Avis, Hertz and National, as well as smaller (and generally cheaper) local firms, operate out of both Hewanorra and George FL Charles airports, nearly all offering unlimited mileage.

The cheapest cars, those without air-conditioning, rent for about US$65 a day; you’ll find the best rates on the internet. If you’re planning an extensive tour of the island, it’s advisable to hire a 4WD, as many of the roads are steep and smaller ones can become little more than potholed mudslides after a bout of rain.

Motorcycles and scooters are available from some rental-car companies. However, the hilly terrain, aggressive drivers and narrow roads make St Lucia suitable only for experienced riders.

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Bus & tram

Bus

Bus service is via privately owned minivans. They’re a cheap way to get around, and the means by which most islanders get to town, school and work. St Lucia’s main road forms a big loop around the island, and buses stop at all towns along the way. They’re frequent between main towns (such as Castries to Gros Islet) and generally run until 10pm (later on Friday); however, there is no scheduled timetable. Very few buses run on Sunday.

If there’s no bus stop nearby, you can wave buses down en route as long as there’s space for the bus to pull over. Pay the fare directly to the driver. Buses leave their stops when they are full, so often catching a bus on the road is limited by the number of seats available. At times it’s easier to backtrack to a larger town in order to find a bus that has a seat for you.

If you’re trying to circle the island by public transportation, note that afternoon bus services between Soufrière and Castries are unreliable, so it’s best to travel in a counterclockwise direction, catching a morning bus from Castries to Soufrière and returning via Vieux Fort (up the east coast) in the afternoon.

In Castries, buses going south to Soufrière and Vieux Fort or north to Gros Islet can be found east of the market on Darling Rd. Sample fares from Castries to Gros Islet (Route 1A) or Marigot Bay (Route 3C) are EC$2.50, to Vieux Fort (Route 2H) EC$7 and to Soufrière (Route 3D) EC$10.

Route numbers are displayed on the buses, but it’s best to check with the driver, just in case. Buses are easily distinguishable from taxis as they have a green license plate, while taxis have a blue or red one.

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Bicycle

Bicycles are not really available for rent on St Lucia. The island’s roads are very winding in places and the local drivers seem to relish taking blind corners with the ferocity of a Formula-1 driver. The roads are also peppered with hills and are devoid of any kind of shoulder. In other words, even if you could find a bicycle to ride, you probably wouldn’t want to.

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