We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

pittsburgh
Level Contributor
461 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

We are renting a car and driving from the airport to The Landings. While reading though some posts, I definitely got the feeling that driving around St. Lucia is a scary experience. I hate being part of a tour group and we like to go exploring on our own. Does anyone have any tips that may make the driving experience easier?

Mentioned in this post
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
Cornwall,UK
Destination Expert
for Cornwall, Isles of Scilly
Level Contributor
3,505 posts
343 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

Hi

I wouldn't have said it was scary in any way. Yes, the roads are twisty and progress can be quite slow, and the locals do not hang around at times, but the roads are generally in a reasonable condition and are wide enough. There is a general lack of signposts in some areas, but as long as you take your time and have a decent map, enjoy the scenery and exploring St Lucia.

Take a look at the driving tips topic on the questions section on the top right of the page for more info

Edited: 01 July 2010, 15:27
Mentioned in this post
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
UK
Level Contributor
1,773 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

It really depends on your driving experience and how confident you are. Have you driven on the left side of the road before? Have you driven on small windy country or mountain roads, or are you accustomed to 6-lane freeways?

If you're a confident driver then you shouldn't have a problem. I found the roads to be not dissimilar to UK country roads: a lot of up and down and sharp bends but drive sensibly and you'll be fine.

Keep your speed low enough to stop for an unseen hazard, just think that maybe there is a cow in the road on that sharp bend. Only swerve to avoid pot holes if the road is clear. The locals like to drive really close behind you and overtake quickly, just let them and don't stress. Use of horn is a little different than what you're used to, a horn at a traffic light can simply mean go as soon as the light changes please I am in a hurry.

Toronto
Level Contributor
5,164 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

If you are a confident driver you will have no trouble. I found the hardest part was remembering the turn signals and wiper switches are reversed - I kept putting the wipers on when I was trying to signal.

Phila, PA
Level Contributor
201 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

1. If you are next to the ditch, you are on the wrong side of the road.

2. Slow a bit when someone is passing you.

3. Lucian's, although seem to drive crazy, are very courteous drivers. They will let you out when trying to pull out in traffic. I've never seen anyone speed up while you are trying to pass, like you see in the states. So be courteous back.

4. When driving in the south and going through tight switch backs on a hill, give a little honk, to let others know you are coming.

5. Watch for small children walking home from school.

6. Remember to go clockwise around the circles.

7. Lastly, you look pretty stupid when you walk up to the car, and realize you are about to get in the passenger's seat.

8. Oh one more thing, it is ok to say "that is still not the turn signal" when the driver turns on the windshield wipers for the 100th time.

BC
Level Contributor
233 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

I signaled with my windshield (windscreen) wipers two weeks ago, three months after returning from St Lucia. Fortunately, the clutch, brake peddle and accelerator are in the same sequence; otherwise driving would be a real hazard. Oh! and if you turn the steering wheel clockwise you will curve to the right.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists drive in St Lucia each year. It is not a big deal.

Mentioned in this post
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
washington, dc
Level Contributor
112 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with those who say that driving in St. Lucia is not a problem if you are a confident driver. I won’t repeat my previous post to another thread but I am a very experienced, confident driver and based on my recent experience I think it is a mistake to drive in St. Lucia. At a minimum, the driver will have to concentrate on the road and will miss many of the stunning vistas. Rental cars are understandably expensive in St. Lucia. You can buy a lot of a driver’s time for what you’ll pay for a decent size car from a major rental agency. I would encourage you to find a good driver, let him take you where you want to go and enjoy the scenery.

Mentioned in this post
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
Toronto
Level Contributor
5,164 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

dc_divers, I have to say your experience is the exception and not the rule. But you have raised a good point - keep your focus on the road as it changes very rapidly. If you wish to sightsee, there are plenty of places where they've constructed scenic lookouts at the side of the road - don't be afraid to stop and get out to have a look, especially down the west coast between Castries and Soufriere.

Mentioned in this post
Castries
Castries
St. Lucia
Soufriere
Soufriere
St. Lucia
New York
Level Contributor
56 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

I can tell you fro nmy experience in St. Kitts if you are NOT experienced at driving on the left side with right sided steering, don't do it. You will constantly find yourself instead of signaling a turn, turning on your windshield wipers. It takes a couple of weeks to get used to that sort of change. I turned my rental car in St. Kitts back after 2 days. You can rent a cb for your own privte tour and get the benefit of a driver who knows the ins and outs of every worthwhile place to visit. Also as many have said the roads on the west side of St. Lucia, where most of the scenic wonders are are very bad. Why be hastled. You can also take water taxis to many locations which can be faster than the cars and better if you only wish to to go to a single location.

Mentioned in this post
St. Kitts
St. Kitts
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
New York
Level Contributor
56 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

UK , man, this chap is from Pittsburgh NOT UK. He probably has little or NO experience driving on the Left and using a car where all controls are the opposite of in a U.S.A. car. You are overllooking that fact plus in combination with very challenging roads will make this a torture experience and possibly a DANGEROUS experience for many a US driver. Your assessment is thus culturally biased and unnecessarily positive. Self-confidence is no substitute for experience in this situation.

pittsburgh
Level Contributor
461 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Any tips on driving in St. Lucia?

I really do think it is a question of personal preference. We've driven all over Hawaii (road to Hana) and Haleakala in the middle of the night to see the sunrise. Granted, it's the same as driving in the U.S., but with much more treacherous road conditions. We also drove all over the Yucatan last year, which was scary for lots of different reasons. We're going to give it a try. If we hate it, we'll return the car once we get up to The Landings and find a different way to explore.

Mentioned in this post
The Landings Resort & Spa St. Lucia
The Landings Resort...
1,014 Reviews
St. Lucia