Castries is the capital of Saint Lucia. All cruise ships dock at Castries. The city has the famous Castries Market, which you should visit. Gros Piton is a mountain with great hiking trails and an amazing view on top, which is worth the struggle.
Pigeon Island has a cool park and is great for snorkeling, and Anse Chastanet Beach is lovely for scuba diving. You will have a good time in Saint Lucia.
What may ruin your trip is dealing with an expensive roaming bill you will get from roaming with your provider in Saint Lucia. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers going to the Caribbean prefer to buy a local SIM card in Saint Lucia.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Saint Lucia. Let's get started, shall we?
Telecom Providers in Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia has 2 telecom providers: Digicel St. Lucia and Flow St. Lucia. Both providers have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Saint Lucia? If you want to buy a SIM card in Saint Lucia, I would recommend going with either Digicel or Flow. Both operators have great coverage throughout the country. However, Flow is faster with the introduction of LTE-A, reaching speeds up to 200 Mbps, while Digicel offers speeds up to 100 Mbps.
Like most countries in the Caribbean, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Saint Lucia.
The East Caribbean Dollar, XCD, is pegged 2.70:1 to the US Dollar, meaning that 2:70 XCD is 1 USD (or 1 XCD is $0.37).
With that being said, let’s see what Saint Lucia has to offer to us.
Video Guide for Buying a SIM Card in St Lucia
Digicel St. Lucia
Digicel St. Lucia, just Digicel, is the more popular operator in Saint Lucia. They entered Saint Lucia in 2003 when Flow used to have a monopoly in Saint Lucia. Since then, Digicel has managed to get a market share of more than 70%, while Flow lost popularity.
Digicel SIM cards can be bought for 25 XCD in Digicel stores. You can buy top-up vouchers in various places around the island, but you can also top-up online with a credit card. To check your Digicel credit balance, you have to dial *120#, or you can use the My Digicel App.
Digicel has several Freedom Plus Bundles, which are their combo plans:
- 6 XCD: 1 GB and 50 on-net minutes for 1 day
- 13 XCD: 1 GB and 250 on-net minutes for 3 days
- 20 XCD: 1.5 GB and 300 on-net minutes for 5 days
- 26.50 XCD: 3 GB and 250 local minutes for 7 days
- 95 XCD: 10 GB and 1000 local minutes for 30 days
You can activate a Digicel Freedom Plus Bundle online, by dialing *140# and selecting option 2, or on the My Digicel App. All Prepaid Freedom Plus Bundles auto-renew if there is enough credit. Unused data and minutes roll-over if the auto-renewal is successful. To check your data and call balance, dial *140# and select option 6 or on the My Digicel App.
Flow St. Lucia
Flow St. Lucia, just Flow, is the incumbent provider in Saint Lucia. Since Digicel entered Saint Lucia, Flow has lost its monopoly and popularity. However, that does not make Flow bad. As of 2019, they offer LTE-A, which can reach speeds up to 200 Mbps.
Flow offers its SIM cards for free in Flow stores as long as you top-up or activate a plan in the store. After that, you can buy top-up vouchers across the island in supermarkets and gas stations from 5 XCD to 200 XCD or online with a credit card. To check your balance, dial *120# or use the Flow app.
The following Flow prepaid bundles are available, which all come with unlimited social messaging (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat):
- 5.50 XCD: 1 GB, 25 minutes, and 25 SMS for 1 day. Activation: dial *244*0#
- 12 XCD: 1 GB, 200 minutes, and 200 SMS for 3 days. Activation: dial *244*1#
- 25 XCD: 3 GB, 350 minutes, and 350 SMS for 7 days. Activation: dial *244*2#
- 95 XCD: 10 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS for 30 days. Activation: dial *244*3#
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Saint Lucia
So far, you have been informed about the SIM card options in Saint Lucia. However, that is not the only way to be online in Saint Lucia. I have already briefly mentioned that you can roam with your provider, although it can be expensive in most cases. Besides that, you can use free WIFI connections, mobile hotspots, or international SIM cards.
Roaming in Saint Lucia with Your Provider
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is Digicel St. Vincent from Saint Vincent in the Grenadines, then you would be roaming with Digicel St. Vincent in Saint Lucia.
You may have read horror stories of people coming back from a lovely holiday, only to be confronted with a roaming bill in the thousands. This can still be the case if you do not review your roaming options before going on a holiday. Luckily for you, I have written about the roaming options you have with various providers around the world, which you can read here.
Some operators offer roaming plans. Others allow you to roam for free in Saint Lucia, while several operators let you use your plan’s allowance for a daily fee. As you can see, roaming does not have to be a horrific experience. If your provider is generous and lets you roam for free in Saint Lucia, then you do not even need a local SIM card (although I would still recommend doing so, as your connection speed will be much slower as a roamer than someone who is a customer of the network).
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Pay As You Go roaming should be avoided, as that is how travelers get high roaming bills. One provider charges you about 1000 USD per GB in certain destinations, which is insane. If you really want to roam, check whether your provider has attractive roaming plans. Else, you will be better off with buying a local SIM card.
Using Free WIFI connections in Saint Lucia
This does not require a lot of explanation, but using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to connect to the internet because you do not have to pay anything. Nothing beats free stuff, right? Well, not so fast.
First, you need to find hotspots in Saint Lucia. In some countries of cities, you will find so many hotspots that you can try them out one by one and find the one with the fastest speeds. In other places, however, WIFI connections do not seem to exist.
In the case of Saint Lucia, you can mainly find hotspots in resorts and some tourist attractions, but they can be slow.
Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes. That is I use, and would recommend you to start using, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to a public hotspot. What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your subscription now or learn more about NordVPN.
Using a Pocket WIFI (Mobile Hotspot) in Saint Lucia
Pocket WIFI is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Travelwifi offers Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI, starting from $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
Getting an International SIM card for Traveling in Saint Lucia
International SIM cards are, as the name implies, SIM cards for international use. Well, that does not explain anything. Although most providers allow you to use your card abroad, some actually restrict this possibility. An international SIM card lets you go abroad without having to change SIM cards when visiting multiple destinations. They have been made with the traveler in mind.
All of this sounds lovely, but international SIM cards are much more expensive than local SIM cards in Saint Lucia. Not only that, some offer poor service as well for high rates. Some reputable companies I know are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
International SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. Many countries in the Caribbean require you to register before you can use a SIM card, which can be a hassle for some. Additionally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some travelers, which is why an international SIM card can be handy. You order it before you depart and can use it in various destinations.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple ones, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Saint Lucia
Getting a SIM card from either Digicel or Flow would do you well when considering a Saint Lucian SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots like Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide covering the other Caribbean destinations, such as Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French) & Sint Maarten (Dutch), Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Saint Lucia
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Saint Lucia. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Saint Lucia drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Saint Lucia
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Saint Lucia. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Saint Lucian hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Saint Lucia
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Saint Lucia, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the local currency for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!