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St Lucia is an island in the Eastern Caribbean that is well known for its annual Jazz festival, a destination for celebrity weddings and the UNESCO world heritage site the Pitons.
It is one of the more popular destinations in the Southern Caribbean for both cruise visitors and land based travelers.
If you are excited about your adventure to this beautiful Caribbean island, you may be contemplating what currency is best for St Lucia.
The best currency to use in St Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. The US Dollar is readily accepted by most businesses on the island. For ease of doing business in US dollars, it is best to carry smaller denominations. Coins are rejected. Change is usually given in the local EC Dollar.
What Is The Official Currency of St Lucia
The official currency of St Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which has been pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.
This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.
The Eastern Caribbean currency has bank notes as well as coins. Bank notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
Coins are available in 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, $1 and $2 denominations. Coins in 1 cents and 2 cents pieces were recently discontinued.
Do I need cash in St Lucia?
Cash is essential for ease of doing business with small businesses and street vendors as they do not usually have facilities to accept credit card payments. However, credit card payments are widely accepted at restaurants, clubs, supermarkets and hotels on the island.
Can you use US dollars in St Lucia?
US dollars are widely accepted throughout the island of St Lucia. US bank notes that are worn and torn are usually rejected. Smaller denominations are easier to transact business as at times persons are often skeptical accepting the larger notes. US coins are also rejected. Change is usually given in EC dollars.
Can you use Canadian dollars in St Lucia?
There may be businesses on the island that accept Canadian dollars. However, conversion is not widespread as the US dollars on the island. Also, the rates that you receive at retail businesses may be less favorable than commercial banks.
Can you use Euros in St Lucia?
Generally Euro dollars are not accepted in St Lucia and persons will be referred to a commercial bank to have their bank notes converted.
The main commercial banks in St Lucia are Bank of St Lucia Ltd and First National Bank of St Lucia Ltd.
Can you use British Pound Sterling dollars in St Lucia?
Along the same lines as the Canadian dollars, there may be businesses on the island that accept Pound Sterling. However, conversion is not widespread as the US dollars on the island. Also, the rates that you receive at retail businesses may be less favorable than commercial banks.
Can you use a debit card in St Lucia?
Foreign debit cards can be used in St Lucia as long as cirrus is enabled. Most Visa and MasterCard tend to work on the island.
Kindly note that there is usually a fee charged by your bank for each transaction.
General Tips To Remember In St Lucia
- While the official language of St Lucia is English, most of the nationals in interactions among themselves speak patois which is a broken form of creole.
- The hurricane season in St Lucia runs from June 1 to November 30 annually. If you are visiting during this period, it may be prudent to consider travel insurance in the evident of delays or unforeseen interruptions.
- It is easy to island hop to Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe via ferry from St Lucia. The official currency of Dominica is also the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. Alternatively, the official currency of Martinique and Guadeloupe is the Euro. Kindly note that US dollars are not accepted in the French Caribbean. Additionally, be sure to verify visa requirements especially for entry into the French Caribbean.
- If you are staying in Castries or Rodney Bay area and you are arriving at Hewanorra International Airport, be prepared for about a 90 minutes travel time from Vieux Fort.
- Pack insect repellent and itching cream if you are vacationing during the rainy season as there are usually mosquitoes.
- Some hotels may provide foreign currency conversion services. However, these rates tend to be less favorable.
- It is best to have two pieces of identification if you plan on doing business with a commercial bank. One may be sufficient. However, in certain instances two may be required.
- There are ATMs machines located at the two airports on the island. Bank of St Lucia is at Hewanorra International Airport and First National Bank is at George F L Charles.
- If you are relocating to the island, consider getting a bank letter which details your history with your financial institution. This will be helpful if you want to open a bank account on island.
- Depending on the amount of foreign currency you are converting to EC dollars, a source of funds declaration may be required.
As a general rule, the best currency to use in St Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. US Dollar bills are readily accepted by businesses. Coins are rejected. For ease of use, travel with US Dollars of smaller denominations. Credit Cards and Debit Cards are easy to use at large businesses.
If you are contemplating traveling to St Lucia or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.
This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.
Need More Information?
Feel free to browse our website for more content on the St Lucia and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.
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