I can’t explain how much fun I had at Saint Lucia Carnival last year. I would prefer not to visit the same island country more than once. But Saint Lucia Carnival was so nice that I must do it twice.
Saint Lucia is an island country with much more to offer than its Carnival. Laced with beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and other activities, I know I will return to explore its beauty more than I did last year.
Saint Lucia carnival parades will take place on July 17-18 2023.
This blog will give you more than fete and carnival details. I will provide information on tours, CDC recommendations for travel, important numbers you should save, and contingency plans you should have in place. So read on!
Getting to Saint Lucia
There are two airports that you can fly into. Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) lies on the southernmost part of the island, and is about 90 minutes from Gros Islet and Rodney Bay. George FL Charles Airport (SLU) is approximately 25 minutes south of Rodney Bay and Gros Islet. If you are looking for flights now, I will say a prayer for you, because the ticket prices are through the roof. To learn how to save money by accruing airline miles, click here.
If you are coming in through UVF like I am, mentally prepare yourself for a LONG ride, as traffic is frequently heavy. A follower detailed her experience of a three-hour ride, but last year I don’t recall it taking longer than two hours.
To get from UVF to Gros Islet/Rodney Bay, anticipate your ride costing as much as 85 USD.
Where to Stay
Based on the feedback of various SLU revelers and tourists, it is recommended you stay in the Rodney Bay or Gros Islet area. The island may be small, but traffic is expected to be difficult (and lengthy) to navigate. Apart from Airbnb, some recommended hotels include:
- Bay Gardens Hotel
- Hideaway at Royalton
- Mystique Saint Lucia
- Royalton Resort & Spa
- The Harbor Club
The cost of travel to Saint Lucia Carnival has increased, and the costume prices are commensurate with the changing times. Based on the bands I have, last year’s prices for female costumes range from $700 to $1400. Click the names of the bands to head to their websites.
- Xuvo Carnival (You’ll find me with them again this year). Click here to register.
- Fuzion Mas
- Just 4 Fun Carnival
- Legends Carnival
- Red Carnival
- Taboo Carnival
- Looshan Revelers
- Phoenix Carnival
- Insommeil Carnival
Where to party for Saint Lucia Carnival
Saint Lucia is a vibe, and you will have a fantastic time regardless of which you attend. A comprehensive fete list is coming, so be sure to check back later. Some of the events I attended last year included: Mess, Famalay, Suits, and Sa Ka Fete.
Culture and Tourism
Experiencing the island and its culture is an absolute must. There is so much more to this island than Saint Lucia Carnival! I will be in SLU for more than a week and have a few experiences on my list. Here is a list of things to do while on the island:
- Hiking the pitons
- Marigot Bay
- Snorkeling in Anse Chastanet
- Tet Paul Nature Trail
- Sulphur Springs (Soufrière)
- Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens (Waterfalls and Mineral Baths)
- Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park
- Pigeon Island National Park
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It is a free service that allows US citizens and nationals to register their overseas travel with the nearest US Embassy.
The benefits of enrolling in STEP include:
Receiving important safety information about your area of travel.
- Establishing a means for the US Embassy to contact you in an emergency back home.
- Help the US Embassy contact you in a natural disaster or civil unrest.
Authorized Taxis in Saint Lucia have light blue license plates with a “TX” prefix.
- Fire and Ambulance: 911
- Police (Emergencies): 999
- Castries Police: +1 (758) 456 3871
- Gros Islet Police: +1 758-456-3830
- Marigot Bay Police: +1(758) 456 389
- Rodney Bay Police: +1 (758) 456 3832
- Soufrière Police: +1(758) 456 3627
Many hotels have a doctor on call. In-house visits are $15 USD.
- Victoria Hospital: +1 758-452-2421/7059
- St. Jude’s Hospital Vieux Fort:+1 758-454-6041
- Soufriere +1 758-459-7258/5001
- Dennery +1 758-453-3310
- Tapion Hospital +1 758-459-2000
- OKEU Hospital: +1 758-458-6500
- Gros Islet Polyclinic: +1 758-450-9661
There is no US Embassy in Saint Lucia, which is problematic if you lose your passport. You will need to first file a police report before contacting the Consulate General of Saint Lucia in New York.
For a health packing list and recommended vaccines before traveling to St. Lucia, click here.
Randoms, but important!
Currency in Saint Lucia: XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollar). As of April 28th, 1 XCD =.37 USD. Saint Lucia accepts USD, and currency exchange booths are available at airports. Some hotels and resorts also do currency exchange.
Electricity:Most visitors will need a converter/transformer. St. Lucia
uses 240 Volts and 50 Cycles of AC. You can find budget converters on Amazon here.
Communications: Digicel and FLOW
VAT: 10% on hotel and restaurant bills
Tipping: Customary 10-12%
Customs Regulations: Don’t try to bring weed or leave with it. Leave your camp print anything at home.
Duty-Free Shopping: Pointe Seraphine, La Place, Carenage, Departure Lounge
of UVF and Shopping Malls.
I hope to see you in Saint Lucia!
Saint Lucia carnival is easily one of my favorites, and I am confident it will be one of yours. I hope that you find all this information useful.. Please share with others planning to attend. Be safe, and most importantly, have fun! I do hope to see you on the road with Xuvo!