The minibus system in St. Lucia is an easy and cost-efficient way of getting around the island. Plus, the views are unparalleled (as you would expect), and riding alongside your fellow passengers (and listening in on the island gossip imparted by your gracious driver) will give you an excellent chance to immerse yourself in the daily life of this island in the West Indies.
We've included the critical information you should know below, from fares to payment to bus schedules. Learn how to navigate the island's public transportation so you can get the most from your trip while visiting St. Lucia.
How to Ride the St. Lucia Minibus
The minibus system is particularly helpful when making a day trip from one part of the island to another—a considerable asset for travelers planning to explore beyond the region where they are staying. And, unlike the subway system in New York City or the tube in London, these buses in St. Lucia will offer views of the fantastically beautiful island while you head from one place to the next.
Though the minibus is the primary mode of transportation for year-round residents in St. Lucia, weekend visitors shouldn't be intimidated by it. If you need directions or guidance, you can rest assured that English is the primary language spoken on the island, and the people of St. Lucia are wonderfully hospitable.
- Fare rates: Rates for the minibus range from 2.50 to 8 Eastern Caribbean dollars.
- Travel routes: Consult the comprehensive list of routes featured in this Caribbean guide).
- Hours of operation: The minibuses operate at various times, depending on the route. Buses can run until mid-afternoon or as late as 10 p.m.
- Travel tip: To identify a bus, the license plate will have green numbers and an M prefix.
You can consult the transportation information provided on the St. Lucian tourism website to plan your method of transportation, whether it's the minibus, taxi, ferry, or even a helicopter.
Taxis in St. Lucia
Taxis are identifiable by a light blue number license plate with a TX prefix. Taxis are readily available at taxi stands in the airports, or you can call to arrange transportation to and from restaurants, hotels, or private homes. While there is an abundance of taxis, you should confirm your fare in advance, as it varies by destination and number of passengers.
Major St. Lucian taxi services include Saint Lucia Taxi Service, Saint Lucia Executive, and Real Saint Lucia Tours. For those planning an extended day trip (or reserving a helicopter or ferry ride), call ahead to plan your travel arrangements. If you like your driver, get their card to coordinate pickups and drop-offs for the duration of your stay.
Shuttles for Airport Pickup & Drop-offs
There are two airports on St. Lucia: the George F. L. Charles Airport (for inter-Caribbean flights) and Hewanorra International Airport. Travelers who prefer to arrive prepared can call in advance to book a shuttle via Saint Lucia Airport Transfers or Saint Lucia Airport Shuttle. Be sure to confirm your fare in advance as it is subject to change.
Renting a Car on the Island
Renting a car is a good idea if you don't want to be beholden to bus schedules or taxi fares. The roads have potholes in more rural areas, so you may want to consider booking a four-wheel drive. Adventurous travelers can opt to explore the island via scooter as well. You can rent a bike or 4WD when you arrive at the airport. Alternatively, you can consult your hotel for car reservations, or plan with a travel agent before you arrive in St. Lucia.
For car rentals, you must obtain a temporary driver's license after presenting your valid driver's license from your country of origin at the airport, car rental office, or Castries police station. You should carve out time for receiving your paperwork upon arrival, and before driving to your final destination.
Ferries to Dominica, Guadeloupe, & Martinique
Ferries are available for visitors looking to spend time on the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, or Martinique during their trip to St. Lucia. If you plan to include some island-hopping in your itinerary, book your reservation in advance. For more information, consult the schedules and fares available via L'Express Des Iles and Transport Express Caraibes.
Helicopter Transfers Between Airports in St. Lucia
Helicopter transfers are available between both the George F.L. Charles Airport and the Hewanorra International Airport. Prospective passengers should consult the St. Lucia tourism authority for further information.
Tips For Getting Around St. Lucia
- Walking is very rarely faster than taking the bus or hailing a taxi. It's not super time-efficient to make your way from your resort to the beach to the restaurant on foot.
- Note that people drive on the left side of the road in St. Lucia.
- If you're planning to drive, download a map of the island to your smartphone in advance. This will save you a huge headache in case you lose service or get lost en route.