Known for its sheltered harbor and beautiful architecture, for many Marigot Bay serves as a great home base as they make plans to explore the entire island of St. Lucia. Natural attractions and watersports are the major draws here, but before you can enjoy all that this seaside town has to offer, you'll have a bit of planning to do – including how you'll get there and how you'll get around when you arrive.
While air travel will probably always remain the most popular and convenient way to get to Marigot Bay, there are a few forms of transport that allows water to get you to town: sailing, cruising, and even a ferry from .
Ground transportation is featured prominently as the main ways to get around Marigot Bay, from rental cars and taxis to the less expensive local bus service. For a nice reprieve from these options, try taking the ferry from one end of the harbor to the other.
The fact that there are two different airports on St. Lucia can be confusing for some travelers. The airport nearest Marigot Bay is (SLU), which is just 30 minutes away by car; yet, it is the (UVF) in Vieux Fort that most travelers fly into. This is because most international flights land here, while George F.L. Charles Airport welcomes only regional flights. If you insist on cutting down on ground transportation time, you can book a flight that connects to St. Lucia from either or Sint Maarten or plan to take a scenic helicopter ride. Learn more here.
has space for 40 yachts that measure between 30 and 250 feet with a minimum drafts of 16 feet and a minimum beam of 44 feet. As you approach, be on the lookout for the house with the bright red roof atop the cliff near the southern entrance which is buoyed to guide you in.
The marina is busy all year long, making it apparent how popular yachting has become on St. Lucia. A wide range of shops and services are available to sailors here, so docking and staying on your boat during your stay is just as feasible as getting a hotel room.
Customs and immigrations are available from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. on weekdays, making these hours the optimal times to arrive in order to gain clearance.
Cruise ships headed to St. Lucia will dock at one of two ports in Castries: Port Seraphine or Port Castries. Both are within a half an hours drive of Marigot Bay, so those hoping to visit the area during a day ashore as part of a cruise of the Caribbean can easily do so by bus, taxi, or by renting a car. Some cruise ships even offer excursions to the town hosted by staff members. If cruising to the area sounds like a dream come true, look for ships heading out on tours of the Southern Caribbean. Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises are three of the known liners that frequent St. Lucia.
If you've got big plans to see all the sites in Marigot Bay and throughout the rest of St. Lucia, a big money saver will be the rental of a car. You'll pay anywhere from $80 to $110(USD) a day, though the price fluctuates based on a number of factors. Reading our guide to Marigot Bay Rental Cars will give you an idea of prices as well as what the requirements are for renting in this part of the island.
...get from one destination to the next...
Taxis in Marigot Bay are not metered. Instead, you'll find a rate card available at the tourism office and in each vehicle, telling you exactly how much it will cost to get from one destination to the next. This removes the need for negotiation and saves from high charges if you're stuck in traffic or your driver decides to take the "long way" around. Rates tend to stay under $35(USD) anywhere in town, but to travel around the island you could easily spend around $100(USD) one way. Taxi drivers are also available to give tours, which will generally cost $200(USD) for a trip around the whole island for up to four passengers. Click here for further information.
The bus system in Marigot Bay is a little different than you might expect from public transportation. Instead of full sized buses that adhere to a strict schedule, they are actually minibuses and vans that can hold about 14-passengers, and although there are marked spots the schedule is not exactly one you'd be smart to rely on. You'll spend less than $1(USD) for a ride, even if you want to head out of town to Castries. Just let your driver know where you're going and he or she will tell you the exact fare. To find a bus, look for a yellow sticker on the front which tells you the route and the green license plate with the letter "M." on it.
Rather than hail a taxi or take the bus, you can call for a water taxi that will take you from one side of Marigot Bay to the next. These boats are independently operated, so each will operate for a different fare, but the view is worth the price.
If your traveling to St. Lucia from L'Express des Iles is a luxury catamaran that offers three trips a week between the islands for 67 Euros one way and 100 Euros round trip. Another option is the Channel Shuttle, which travels between Castries and Martinique up to twice a day for $77(USD) per person., you can take a three hour ferry from the nearby French-speaking island.
No matter how you're thinking of getting around Marigot Bay, nearly every form of transportation imaginable is available here. Being aware of all of your options allows you to make quick decisions when the time comes and know that you've chosen correctly for the unique nature of your trip every time.
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