Since driving St. Lucia's unmarked, bad roads is rather difficult, a taxi is recommended for all but the most adventurous. Taxis are ubiquitous and most drivers are eager to please. The drivers have special training that allows them to serve as guides. Their cabs are unmetered, but the government fixes tariffs for all standard trips. Typical fares -- say, from Castries to Hewanorra Airport -- are $90, or else from Castries to Rodney Bay, $20 to $25. Always ask if the driver is quoting a rate in U.S. dollars or Eastern Caribbean dollars (EC$). For more information, call the Taxi Association at tel. 758/454-6136.
By Rental Car
Avis (tel. 800/331-1084 in the U.S. and Canada, or 758/452-2700 or 452-2202; www.avisstlucia.com), Traders Auto Rentals (tel. 758/452-0233), and Hertz (tel. 800/654-3001 in the U.S. and Canada, or 758/452-0679; www.hertz.com) have offices at (or will deliver cars to) both of the island's airports. Each also has an office in Castries and, in some cases, at some of the island's major hotels.
Avis's rates begin at $85 per day, and Hertz's begin at $92 per day. You can sometimes save money by booking through one of the local car rental agencies, where rates begin at $60 per day, depending on size. Try C.T.L. Rent-a-Car, Gros Islet Highway, Rodney Bay Marina (tel. 758/452-0732). Cool Breeze Car Rental, New Development, Soufrière (tel. 758/459-7729), is also a good bet if you're staying in the south. Prices are $45 and up.
Remember: Drive on the left, and try to avoid some of the island's more obvious potholes. Drive carefully, and honk your horn while going around the blind hairpin turns. You'll need a St. Lucia driver's license ($20), which you can purchase at either airport when you pick up your rental car.
Minibuses (with names like Lucian Love) and jitneys connect Castries with such main towns as Soufrière, for $2.60, and Vieux Fort ($1.90). They're cheap, but they're generally overcrowded and often filled with produce on its way to market. Buses for Cap Estate, in the northern part of the island, leave from Jeremy Street in Castries, near the market. Buses going to Vieux Fort and Soufrière depart from Bridge Street in front of the department store.
In addition to providing the fastest mode of transport on this island (preferred by such visitors as Harrison Ford), St. Lucia Helicopters (tel. 758/453-6950; www.stluciahelicopters.com) offers the island's most dramatic sightseeing. The 10-minute North Island Tour, costing $85 per person, flies you over Castries, the major resort hotels, the elegant Cap Estate homes, Pigeon Point, Rodney Bay, Rat Island, and the more turbulent Atlantic coast. The longer 20-minute South Island Tour, costing $140 per passenger, flies over Castries, the banana plantations, beautiful Marigot Bay, fishing villages, the lush rainforest, the Pitons, the Soufrière volcano, and even remote waterfalls, rivers, and lush valleys. Another tour, combining both the north and south, costs $175 per person.