Expats moving to St Lucia will discover an island paradise characterised by gorgeous Caribbean beaches, rugged mountain landscapes, volcanoes and sulphur hot springs.
A sovereign island state in the east of the Caribbean, St Lucia is part of the Lesser Antilles, and located northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique.
Living in St Lucia as an expat
St Lucia is a vibrant, colourful and charming location with a growing expat community. English is the official language of St Lucia, but most locals also speak French Creole. Expats won’t have too much trouble settling in, as Saint Lucians are known for their friendly, warm and welcoming nature.
While the main drivers of the St Lucian economy are tourism and offshore banking, most foreigners don't come here to work. Generally, expats living in St Lucia are retirees or investors, and property is relatively cheap, especially when compared to prices in Europe or North America. The low cost of living also serves to make this a popular expat destination.
Housing in St Lucia is considerably cheaper than in many other places, outside the city centres. Freestanding houses further from the city centre are often highly affordable, while modern condominiums and beachfront houses can be more expensive. Expats usually prefer living in or close to the larger cities such as Castries, Rodney Bay and Soufriere.
Getting around in St Lucia is reasonably straightforward, with a network of minibuses to accommodate the needs of commuters. Private taxis are often comparatively expensive, but it is generally not necessary to travel long distances on the island. The roads here are mostly in good condition and expats who choose to drive will have few problems. To access some remote beaches, a 4x4 vehicle may be required.
Medical facilities in St Lucia are adequate, but expats are strongly advised to invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers treatment abroad. In serious situations, expats are transported to neighbouring Barbados for treatment. Private hospitals are generally more popular among expats than their public counterparts.
Cost of living in St Lucia
Living in St Lucia is generally highly affordable. Expats will find that housing, domestic food products and alcohol are generally much cheaper than in the US or UK. Eating out also won’t cost an arm and a leg, and utilities are very reasonably priced.
Expat families and children
Schools in St Lucia are reasonably decent. There is a selection of public schools and private schools. Catholic schools are also available and expats can even choose between a few international schools.
There is plenty to keep expats occupied in St Lucia. Popular activities include sailing, water sports, hiking and mountain biking. There are also lots of annual festivals and street carnivals that give expats the opportunity to experience the colourful St Lucian culture and mingle with the locals.
Climate in St Lucia
The island has a tropical climate, with hot temperatures and rain showers throughout the year. The driest season is between January and March, and the hurricane season is from June to November.
St Lucia offers expats a taste of paradise with its brilliant beaches and tons of entertainment, with the added bonus of affordable property and welcoming local hospitality. The island is sure to provide a great expat experience for those that enjoy the great outdoors and a laid-back lifestyle.
Population: Around 180,000
Major religions: Catholicism, Christianity, Rastafari
Capital city: Castries
Legal system: Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Main languages: English, French patois
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
International dialling code: +1758
Emergency numbers: 911
Internet domain: .lc
Driving and transportation: Driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
Are you an expat living in St Lucia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to St Lucia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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