St. Lucia is one of the most mouth-watering island states in the Caribbean Sea. Saint Lucia is known for its Piton Mountains, drive-in volcano, and beautiful beaches. It is a popular vacation site and location for ex-pats to retire. But is St. Lucia expensive (or affordable)?
The cost of living in St Lucia is relatively low compared to the United States and the United Kingdom. The cost of vacationing there is average when compared to other Caribbean destinations. However, whether it is expensive or economical to travel in St Lucia is up to how you choose to travel.
There are several reasons why St Lucia is a more affordable living location and vacation destination than major countries. These include the cost of restaurants, groceries, rentals, and healthcare.
Why is the Cost of Living in St Lucia Lower than Other Countries?
St Lucia has a lower cost of living than significant countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. Restaurants, groceries, healthcare, and even real estate are typically cheaper.
The island residents benefit from a lenient tax program and public programs. There is no capital gains tax, and they are also not subject to an inheritance tax. Without these taxes, they have more financial freedom. Healthcare for citizens and residents is mainly free.
How Much is Healthcare in St. Lucia?
Healthcare is much cheaper in St Lucia than in other major countries.
Here are a few interesting facts about the costs associated with St. Lucia healthcare:
- Every village and town has a wellness center.
- The island boasts 36 health and wellness centers.
- There are also one private hospital, three public hospitals, and one psychiatric hospital.
- Health care is privately funded. However, medical treatment at health centers is free for all citizens and residents.
- Many health insurance companies offer affordable coverage in St Lucia.
Cost of Groceries in St Lucia
The cost of your groceries will depend on whether you are buying locally grown food or imported goods. Locally grown foods like fresh fruits and vegetables cost significantly less than those imported due to the costs associated with importation.
Things like rice, fresh white bread, oranges, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes are produced locally in St Lucia. They cost less than the same groceries purchased in the United States. When you buy locally in St. Lucia, you live more affordably than in the US.
Milk and meats that are imported can be expensive. Both cost more than what you would spend in the US.
You can end up paying double for international brands. Imported fruits like grapes, apples, cherries, and strawberries are costly.
The cost to import these items is high, and store owners need to profit from the goods, so the prices are elevated even more. There are also additional government taxes on imported items.
How Much Are Rentals in St Lucia? (with examples)
Rentals in St Lucia vary in price based on whether they are in the center of the island or outside the city center. Either way, rentals in St. Lucia are more affordable than most rentals in the United States.
Living outside the city center costs around half as much as living in the city center. For example:
- You can rent a one-bedroom outside the city center for as low as $250 per month.
- In the city center, a one-bedroom can be anywhere from $480 and up.
How Much Does it Cost to Purchase Property in St Lucia? (with examples)
There are different types of properties that you can buy in St Lucia, and all come at a different price point:
- Family homes
- Luxury villas
- Colonial villas
There are two ways to go about buying property in St Lucia. The first is to apply for an Alien Landholding License, and the second is to purchase property through the Citizen Investment Program.
To buy through the Citizen Investment Program, you will need to get a St Lucia citizenship and invest in pre-approved property. You will have two options for investment:
- The first is to invest in pre-approved hotels and resorts considered high-end.
- The second option is to invest in a boutique property.
Regardless of your choice, you will need to invest $300,000.
If you choose to go through the Citizen Investment Program, purchasing property could be very costly. Properties can start at $200,000, so you would be looking at a minimum of a $500,000 investment.
The cost of the Alien Landholding License in St. Lucia varies based on the size of the plot you wish to buy, and the cost can be anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.
So while the overall cost of living in St Lucia is not that expensive, the actual purchase of property is relatively high. Depending on which method you choose to purchase your land, you may be handing out a substantial sum of money.
Is it Expensive to Vacation in St Lucia? (with Prices)
Whether your trip to St Lucia is expensive or economical is genuinely up to you and how you decide to travel. There are many decisions on accommodations, dining, and travel that you can make that will affect the total cost of your trip.
On average, it is not a very expensive location to travel to, assuming you do not choose every expensive choice available to you.
There are many different kinds of accommodations you can choose from. Whether you want to stay in a cheaper hotel or a Sandals Resorts on St. Lucia (3 to choose from) will affect how much your trip costs.
There are AirBnBs available in many locations across the island. There are also luxury hotels and cheaper hotels. It all just depends on what you want to spend on your vacation.
The average cost of accommodations per person per day in St. Lucia is $106.
Dining out also depends on what you want to spend. There are economical choices, and there are luxury choices for restaurants as well. Lunch can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 and dinner at a nice restaurant can average $35. The average St. Lucian tourist can spend around $42 per day on food.
Travel by taxi, on the other hand, is costly. There are cheaper options for travel across the island, including walking and public transit (that only costs a few dollars).
Taxi travel in St Lucia is exceptionally more expensive than that in the United States, even though the distances on the island are relatively short. You may want to consider public transit to get to your destinations or walk if it is feasible. Alternatively, you can rent a car, which is relatively affordable at an average of $55 per day.
Overall the average daily cost of a vacation in St Lucia per person is only $169 if you choose the most economical options. So you can make it an affordable vacation.
Is it Expensive to Fly to St Lucia? (with Prices)
It is relatively cheap to fly to St Lucia. It is an average cost compared to flying to other Caribbean locations (slightly more than flying to the Bahamas and much less than flying to Aruba).
The cost changes depending on the time of year you visit and where you are flying from. Off-season prices are much lower than peak season prices. If you are flying from the East Coast, it is much cheaper than flying from the West Coast.
Whether or not you fly first class or coach, your flight can be rather expensive or an average cost for an international flight. Economic flights range between $1,115 and $2,087 worldwide, while first-class flights are between $3,499 to $6,549. So again, it is up to you to decide if this part of your trip will be expensive or affordable.
How Much Money do You Need in St Lucia? (Average Trip Price)
How much money you need in St Lucia depends on when you travel. The cheapest time to travel is in January.
The average cost of a trip per person to St Lucia is $1,871, including rentals, transportation, and restaurants. If you live on the more expensive side of life, definitely plan on having more money available.
St. Lucia Affordability FAQs
After “is St. Lucia expensive?”, these are the questions we get asked most often:
How Much Does a Trip to St Lucia Cost?
On average, the cost of a trip for one person to St Lucia is $1,871. For two people it is $3,360. For a family of four, the cost rises to around $6,300. The price can go up if you get a more expensive accommodation or flight.
How Expensive is Food in St Lucia?
Food prices depend on what you get and where you eat. A domestic beer averages $2. A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people averages $44. So all in all, eating out is very affordable.
Purchasing groceries is a different matter. If you do not purchase locally produced goods, you will pay almost double for your groceries. This is due to the importation fees, the need for the stores to make a profit, and the taxes related to the importation.
Locally produced goods are very affordable and are more affordable than they are in major countries while imported goods are very expensive.
Do Expats Need Insurance?
Ex-pats will want to get an insurance plan that will cover them globally as in the US if they have to evacuate or repatriate. This will ensure they are covered no matter what circumstances arise.