If you’re wondering if it’s safe to visit Soufriere in St Lucia then this post is for you.
When planning my first trip to St Lucia I really wanted to visit Soufriere so I could get an insight into how the people of St Lucia really live.
There are many cities in the Caribbean that unfortunately are just not safe for tourists so it’s really important to do your research beforehand to make sure you remain safe.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide which is super honest and covers if Soufriere is safe and what you need to be aware of if you’re planning a visit.
Table of Contents
Is Soufriere Safe?
After visiting Soufriere for myself and also spending hours researching the topic beforehand, I can say that Soufriere is safe to visit for tourists.
It’s actually one of the safest cities in the whole of St Lucia and tourists visit every single day with few issues.
The city of Soufriere, which sits on the southwestern coast close to the Piton mountains, is generally safe to visit however that doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t exist.
In a hurry? Here’s an overview of safety in Soufriere:
- Overall Soufriere is perfectly safe to visit.
- The most common form of crime against tourists is pickpocketing.
- Begging and pushy sellers are common but don’t pose much of a risk.
- Taking basic safety precautions will protect you from most crimes.
- Theft/robberies are rare but have happened.
If you’re worried about safety at all then I’d recommend booking onto a Soufriere day tour.
You’ll get a local guide who will show you around the city’s best attractions and keep you safe.
Pickpocketing is the most common crime against tourists (as it is in most cities around the world). You can prevent most instances by keeping your valuables out of sight.
Be especially on guard in busy areas or at festivals like the Carnival as this is the most common time that thieves target tourists.
When I visited Soufriere, I wore my bag on my front and crossed it over my body so that it wasn’t easy to steal and I had no issues.
They are ideal for storing important things like credit cards, IDs and a bit of cash.
Violent crime against tourists is incredibly rare and isn’t really something you should worry about in Soufriere.
To be honest, when wandering around Soufriere, I didn’t see anyone that looked violent and I didn’t once feel like I was in danger. If anything the locals were super friendly and welcoming.
Having said that, after doing some research, violent crime has occurred in the past with one instance where tourists were robbed at gunpoint and another instance where tourists were the victim of an armed robbery.
As this guide is designed to be super honest, I’ve included these examples so that you have a fully rounded view of how safe you’ll be in Soufriere.
It’s still worth remembering though that these instances are very rare and don’t happen often.
To put this into context, over 1 million tourists visit St Lucia every year and these two instances were the only attacks against tourists that I could find in Soufriere in the last 15 years.
Worryingly, the murder rate in St Lucia has hit an all time high recently.
It’s worth noting though that this statistic refers to St Lucia as a whole (not just Soufriere) and tourists aren’t really being targeted.
Gang violence is the main cause for the increase in murders meaning most deaths occur to locals involved in the gangs and not tourists.
Additionally, Soufriere is rarely involved so it shouldn’t really be a concern for you.
Begging & Pushy Vendors
A fairly common occurrence in Soufriere is begging. Certain locals do often approach tourists to ask for money. This happened to me twice when I was exploring Soufriere.
Most of them are friendly enough and will leave you alone if you ask them to. I personally didn’t feel unsafe at all during these interactions.
Sometimes you might have to ask them a few times to leave you alone. Occasionally you’ll come across someone who is a little more persistent or even aggressive but this is rare.
Generally these people won’t harm you but it can be a bit annoying.
Aside from begging, persistent sellers are also common. They will usually try to sell you souvenirs or other local items.
This type of selling is very common in Soufriere. If you walk around town for an hour or two, it’s highly likely that you’ll be approached at least once.
I was approached several times in this way with one man being very persistent. Eventually he left me alone but I didn’t feel unsafe, if anything I just found it a bit annoying.
Here’s what another recent traveler had to say about it:
As you can see, these sellers don’t pose much of a safety concern.
To see for yourself, check out the below video of a man walking around Soufriere and being approached by a man selling leaves.
As you can hear in the video, the seller is pretty friendly and not overly pushy. Most sellers will leave you alone if you ask them to.
Be wary of sellers offering you things as a ‘gift’ and then asking for a donation. Never accept anything from a street seller if you don’t want to pay for it even if it’s offered as free.
Although it can be a bit annoying being approached all the time, it isn’t much of a safety concern.
Try to remember that St Lucia isn’t a prosperous country and these people are just trying to make a living.
Robbery & Theft
Many of the hotels in St Lucia, particularly the fancier ones, have 24-hour security guards to keep you safe at all times so theft and robbery isn’t something you need to worry about.
Muggings, street harassment and theft from hotels do however occur from time to time.
For example, I found on one forum that a woman reported her rental property being robbed.
Unfortunately these kinds of issues do happen in most countries around the world. Personally, I live in the UK and our home has been robbed twice.
I’m sure you have similar stories from your own country so it definitely shouldn’t put you off from visiting.
Villa rentals are usually safe but there have been reports of them being robbed from time to time so look into the security of your rental before booking.
From my research, most robberies seemed to occur in villa rentals, particularly ground floor ones. I didn’t see any stories of robberies from hotels.
If safety is your utmost concern then opt for a resort or hotel instead as they are much safer that villa rentals.
What Are People Saying?
I spent a lot of time reading through forums to see what people were saying about safety in Soufriere St Lucia.
Some travelers, like the one below, said they felt safer in Soufriere than in cities like Miami or New Orleans.
Other visitors noted that they’ve visited Soufriere several times over the years and have never felt unsafe.
There were several reports of typical tourist scams including locals pretending to be car parking agents so be very wary if you’re approached in Soufriere.
You may also be approached by locals offering to be your local guide.
These people are usually harmless and will leave you alone if you ask them to (you might have to say no a few times).
I wouldn’t recommend driving in Soufriere as the roads are not great. If you do want to drive then research where to park beforehand in case anyone tries to scam you.
Don’t believe everything you hear and if it sounds strange, it likely is. By just using common sense and being cautious, you can easily avoid most scams.
Soufriere is one of the safer towns on the island however Rodney Bay in the north is generally considered to be the safest place for tourists.
I’d recommend booking onto a Soufriere full-day tour if you’re worried about safety in Soufriere at all.
You’ll explore the town and all of its best attractions with a local guide who knows the area well so you can just sit back and enjoy your day without worrying at all.
Is it Safe to Walk Around Soufriere?
It’s definitely safe to walk around Soufriere but I’d personally only recommend wandering around in the daytime (not at night) and follow basic safety precautions to keep yourself safe.
Take all basic precautions that you would in any other city and you should be fine.
Here’s some basic precautions you can take to keep you safe:
- Be careful with expensive items (like jewelry, phones and cameras). Leave them in the hotel room or keep them concealed when walking around.
- Avoid walking around in poorly lit areas late at night.
- Don’t have too much to drink.
- Women should be particularly careful. Avoid quiet, dimly lit areas and try to travel in a group when possible.
It’s worth remembering that St Lucia is considered a third world country and around 20% of people there live in poverty.
As I’m sure you’re aware, poverty often leads to crime but as a whole the people of St Lucia are friendly – they appreciate tourists and the value they bring to their economy.
St Lucia’s economy relies heavily on tourism and most locals know that so they don’t want to do anything that might put tourists off from visiting.
Is St Lucia Safe for Tourists?
St Lucia, as a whole, is perfectly safe to visit as a tourist.
According to Statistica, around 1 million tourists visit St Lucia every single year and most visits are trouble free.
Having said this, there are a few things you should be aware of.
Firstly, St Lucia is in the hurricane belt meaning tropical storms and hurricanes can hit the island at certain times of year.
Hurricanes in St Lucia are rare but they have occurred. In the past 37 years, only one hurricane has directly affected St Lucia.
Hurricane season runs from June until November each year. To eliminate the risk, plan your visit to St Lucia outside of this time.
St Lucia has an active volcano but this shouldn’t be of concern to tourists as its last eruption was in 1766.
Luckily, volcanic eruptions don’t just happen suddenly.
They can be easily predicted so if the volcano showed any signs of erupting, the area around it would be evacuated immediately with plenty of time to spare.
Whilst it is safe to swim in the ocean, you do need to watch out for a few things.
Firstly, you should wear water shoes in St Lucia as there are often sharp rocks, coral and sea urchins on the seafloor.
Although shark sightings are rare, you may come across the occasional jellyfish.
Fortunately, the jellyfish in St Lucia are not able to fatally wound humans but they could give you a painful sting if you’re not careful.
On land, you also need to be wary of snakes. There is a poisonous snake in St Lucia called the fer-de-lance snake.
These types of snakes are rare and only live in certain areas of the island not frequented by tourists so it’s unlikely you’ll come across one.
For this reason though, you shouldn’t go off walking in remote areas on your own. Always stick to the main tourist areas.
Luckily, these safety concerns are minor and are unlikely to ever cause any issues on your trip to St Lucia.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post on Soufriere St Lucia safety. I hope it puts your mind at ease if you’re thinking of visiting Soufriere.
Another popular location that tourists love to explore is St Lucia’s capital Castries.
Castries is safe to visit too but again there’s certain things you need to watch out for.