It can be hard to navigate a new place for the first time and I know I was lost when I first arrived in St Lucia.
Over the course of my week-long trip, I gradually got used to the island and by the end, I felt like I knew the place well.
If you’re visiting St Lucia and you’re in need of some assistance with how to get around, you’re in luck.
In this post, I’ll be covering exactly how to get around the island, how long it takes and I also give tons of insider tips to help make the experience easier.
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How Long Does It Take To Drive Around St Lucia?
St Lucia is a relatively small island so, on average, it will take between 2 and 3 hours to cover the entire island.
If you drove straight from top to bottom then the drive would take just 1 hour and 23 minutes so if you were to do a round-trip it would take 2 hours and 46 minutes.
If you want to make lots of stops along the way to do activities then driving around St Lucia can easily take 5 to 6 hours or more depending on the amount of stops.
Full-day guided tours which include snorkeling, a tour of the whole island, waterfalls and volcano visits take up to 7 hours.
My Experience Driving in St Lucia
When I did this trip recently, I was staying in Rodney Bay which is in the north of the island. We drove all the way down to Vieux Fort which is right on the southern tip. We then drove all the way back up to Rodney Bay on the same day.
We made a few stops along the way, mainly in the town of Soufriere where we stayed for a couple of hours to get some lunch.
We also stopped several times at various viewpoints along the highway and at a few beaches near the Pitons.
Overall we spent around 8.5 hours on this trip including the time driving and the stops.
St Lucia is super scenic and during our drive we saw so many incredible sights like mountainous views, sandy beaches, tropical plants and flowers.
A real highlight was the spectacular Piton mountains which sit at the southwest of the island as well as the drive-in volcano complete with bubbling sulfur hot springs.
How Big is the Island of St Lucia?
St Lucia is approximately 27 miles long and 14 miles wide which means it’s a relatively small island.
It’s no surprise that it won’t take long to get around this island, which means you can hop from one side to the other with no problem.
How To Get Around St Lucia
There are several transportation options to help you get around.
The most popular way to get around St Lucia is on a guided tour as you can learn all about the island and let go of the stress of driving yourself or trying to figure out public transport.
Other popular alternatives to guided tours are renting a car or getting on a minibus.
Another option is using a rideshape app like Allez as St Lucia doesn’t have Uber.
No matter your decision, you’re bound to have fun sightseeing and enjoying attractions along the way while you make your stops around the island.
Guided Tours Around St Lucia
Guided tours and excursions are an exciting way to adventure around town and learn more about what the island has to offer.
This guided tour around St Lucia is my absolute favorite if you want to see everything that St Lucia has to offer.
Not only can you head out into the sea with provided snorkel gear, but you’ll also adventure around the island by land.
While exploring the land by vehicle, you’ll head into the “Drive-In Volcano”, witness the stunning Toraille Waterfall, and you’ll get to see a bat cave!
This tour includes lunch and drinks like soda or any special alcoholic beverages. Set up your pick-up time and expect some fun for a full 7 hours.
In addition, there are plenty of other tours that allow you to truly soak up the wonderful beauty that this island has to offer.
Here’s a few more of my favorite tours in St Lucia:
- Snorkeling excursion from Marigot Bay
- Rainforest adventure and zipline tour
- ATV tour
- St Lucian cooking class
- Gros Piton guided hiking tour
Car Rental in St Lucia
Renting a car is a super convenient way to get around St Lucia.
Car rentals are great because you can go by your own schedule and make as many stops as you want. You won’t feel rushed at all.
I recommend booking a car rental with rentalcars.com as they have great prices and offer a super easy to use service.
Simply set your pick-up location, compare prices, and feel safe knowing you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
You do need to be at least 25 years old to rent a car in St Lucia.
💡Tip: As St Lucia is a former British colony, they drive on the left side of the road.
Make sure you have the correct type of license to drive in St Lucia (more info on this below).
How Much Does a Rental Car Cost in St Lucia?
Prices for rental cars in St Lucia start at around $50 per day.
For $50, you can get a decent 5-seater car which is big enough for a couple or even a small family.
Here’s what I found on rentalcars.com:
Can I Use GPS?
Yes, GPS works in St Lucia and is the easiest way to find your way if you have a rental car.
Some cars have GPS built in already and you can request one of these cars from the rental company if you need it.
If you have access to the internet then Google Maps is another great alternative.
St Lucia Minibus Routes
If you don’t want to spend money on car rentals or tours, then public transportation is your best bet.
St Lucia’s main public transportation system is minibuses which will get you from point A to point B in no time.
They are found all over the island and are, by far, the cheapest way to travel around the island.
Minibus Schedule St Lucia
The one thing to understand is that these minibuses are more sort of van-style rides than large buses.
This means the minibuses tend to wait to fill up and leave whenever the bus gets full. This is why there is no certain schedule or timetable for these routes.
Once the buses get full, they each make varied stops on the route, and there are several different routes to take for each one.
While these minibuses don’t have a set schedule they usually run until 10PM most days and a little later on Friday nights. There is a reduced service on Sundays so watch out for this.
There are several marked bus stops along the island that you can wait at, and you can spot these buses by the recognizable “M” on the green license plate.
To get on a bus, either wait at one of the designated bus stops or, if you see one passing by, simply wave it down and they will stop to pick you up.
Prices range from 1.50 to 11 Eastern Caribbean dollars depending on the distance traveled. This is around $0.60 to $4.10.
To get from one end of the island to the other, expect to pay $4.10. You can view the pricing and routes here.
Make sure you pay in the local currency. Although most drivers will accept US dollars, they will sometimes overcharge you.
They will sometimes ask for the same number but in US dollars e.g. if the fare was 8 Eastern Caribbean dollars, they’ll accept 8 US dollars from you (8 Eastern Caribbean dollars is equivalent to only $3).
Driving in St Lucia – What to Expect
Driving around St Lucia can be somewhat tricky if you aren’t used to mountains and curves. Sometimes, the roads can turn sharply, making it hard to see.
Not only are the roads quite mountainous, but there are plenty of roundabouts which can make driving a little confusing – especially at night.
You also need to watch out for one-way roads which are super common in the capital city of Castries.
In the more rural towns and villages, you need to keep an eye out for loose animals like cows, sheep, goats and horses as they occasionally run out into the road.
For those inexperienced with these road conditions, it might be better to use other forms of transportation.
For those who are used to navigating these roads, renting a car might not be such a bad idea.
However, keep your eyes focused and beware of the different blind corners and sharp turns.
Related Post: Is Castries Safe?
What Type of License Do I Need?
If you’re from the US then you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP), along with your driving license from home, in order to drive in St Lucia.
If you don’t have one of these (or you’re from a different country) then you can still drive in St Lucia however you’ll need a temporary permit.
This is essentially just a special type of license that you need to drive in St Lucia. You can easily get one of these from the car rental company, the local police station or at the immigration desk at the airport.
The permit costs 54 Eastern Caribbean dollars which is around $20 USD and it is valid for 3 months.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post all about how long it takes to drive around St Lucia.
I’ve included tons of handy tips and advice to make driving around St Lucia as easy as possible.
Need more help planning your St Lucia vacation?