Castries Transportation Options

Transportation options are plentiful in Castries

Photo credit: © chatons76
 

The capital city of St. Lucia is home to 65,000 residents and thousands more visit on a weekly basis. Castries, as it is called, is home to a cruise port, an airport, and a network of recently redone roads that allow for a variety of transportation options – great for tourists who enjoy having choices.

Getting There

As an island, there are really only two main ways to get to St. Lucia: flying and sailing. Castries is home to an airport, though most tourists will still land across the island in Vieux Fort. Those who sail can travel aboard a luxury cruise ship, sail their own private yacht, or take a ferry from nearby Martinique.

Getting Around

Many of the attractions worth seeing in Castries are located in such a way that walking it entirely possible, with taxis and buses as a backup. Rental cars are also a possibility for tourists who like to have control of their comings and goings, and a ferry service exists for quick transport from one side of the harbor to the other.

Air Travel

There are two airports on St. Lucia, one of which is located in Castries. This is the George F.L. Charles Airport (SLU), and although it would definitely be the most convenient airport for tourists staying here to fly to, it is hard to find flights from anywhere outside of the Caribbean. Instead, most people will end up flying to the Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in Vieux Fort then driving, taking a taxi, or hopping on a helicopter to get to town. Find out more about this sometimes confusing transportation option by clicking here.

Sailing

One of Castries most well known attributes is that it is one of the biggest and busiest ports on the island. Pleasure sailors do have to fight against huge cruise liners for space, but if you're willing, you can make the trip to this port internationally; there are just a few steps you need to be aware of to do so legally. Click here for details.

Cruising

Cruising to Castries is extremely popular. There are two docking areas in town, either at Port Seraphine or Port Castries. Those who dock at Pointe Seraphine are treated to an area geared more towards tourism with lots of duty free shopping, restaurants, and bars. Port Castries, meanwhile, does still have duty-free shopping and restaurants, but on a lesser scale because it is a commercial port. Fortunately, ferry services connect the two ports, so regardless of where you sail into, you'll be able to visit the port of your choice.

The popular downtown Castries is within walking distance of either location, and taxis are plentiful for those planning on traveling longer distances to explore other areas of St. Lucia.

Rental Cars

Renting a car in Castries can be done both at the airport or at strategically chosen locations throughout town. In order to rent you'll need to be over the age of 25 and have either an International Driver's License or purchase a temporary local permit for $20(USD). Then, you'll spend anywhere from $40 to $250(USD) a day to rent depending on the type of vehicle you request and which organization you rent form. For more details on rental requirements, cost, and even driving in town, take a look at our guide to Rental Cars in Castries.

Taxis

You'll find that the cost of a taxi in Castries is pre-determined so meters are unnecessary, as is negotiating your fare. Instead, you'll get in and let the driver know where you're headed. The driver will let you know the cost, and you can even ask to see a rate chart if you'd like to be sure. For a full list of typical prices, click here. Taxis are clean and drivers are amiable, so you'll never have to hesitate to flag a driver down when you're in need of a ride on this island.

Buses

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St. Lucia has several privately owned minibuses and minivans that travel along the island's main roads offering the most inexpensive and culturally enriching form of transportation on the island.  Castries benefits greatly from this bus service that travels to and from the most popular areas, and many locals even choose to use the bus rather than own a car.  You can take advantage of the service by learning more about it .

Ferries

One final way to get to St. Lucia is by taking a ferry from Martinique. L'Express des Iles, a French flag-flying catamaran offers transportation between the two countries three times a week for 67 Euros one way and 100 Euros round trip. The catamaran is fast, modern, and comfortable, making it a worth-while trip for tourists who want to make the three hour journey. Operating a similar route on a smaller scale is the Channel Shuttle. Click here to read more about these ferry sevices to Castries.

The opportunity to visit Castries is one you won't want to pass up, and in order to make sure each moment counts you want to make sure you take care of all of the minor details well in advance. This includes transportation, from the larger expense of how you'll get to the island, to the no-less important question of how you'll get around when you arrive. By having taken the time to research all of your options, you'll be much better prepared when the time comes to make all of your final decisions.

 

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