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Help with airport transfer to North part of St Lucia!!!

Help with airport transfer to North part of St Lucia!!!

Sep 19th, 2005, 11:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 73
Help with airport transfer to North part of St Lucia!!!

I am flying into the southern (southwest)airport. We are staying at Sandals Grande. I have read that the ride is a harrowing 90 minute ordeal. Since Delta only flys to this airport I was wondering if there was alternative transport via boat or helicoper?
Any ideas fellow Fodorites.
Thank you in advance.
amrdia is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 11:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 87
You are correct in that it is about a 90 minute ride from Hewanorra to Sandals Grande. However, I don't think that I would call it a harrowing ordeal. In fact, it is very scenic for a good portion of the ride. The roads aren't up to US standards, but they aren't terrible (at least not the main roads). Also, if you are renting a car and driving yourself, it may be disconcerting getting used to driving on the left hand side of the road. Finally, when you are driving through Castries, the traffic and narrow streets are a little tough to deal with, but not really worse than dealing with traffic in a major North American city.
dominick2 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 01:04 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 118
We took the drive from Hewonarra (sp?) airport. We actually enjoyed the ride and didn't think it was bad at all. You can take a helicopter. I'm not positive, but I think it was $110/pp per way. Hope this helps! Enjoys St. Lucia, it is absolutely beautiful!!
Squiggy is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 05:27 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Ditto the drive is not that bad. I think the east coast road (road from airport to Castries) is less winding and mountainous that the drive from Castries to Soufriere. Now thats winding, hairpin turns and little if ANY guardrail. Sandal's Grande will provide you with a shuttle.

That said, we have taken the helicopter in and the shuttle back to Hewanorrah both times we were in STL. The first time we did it is because we thought the road would be terrible. The second time we did it just because it is fun and very scenic. We looked at it as an excursion and it is nice to get off the plane after a long day and get on a helicopter.

Can't help you much with the water taxi issue, but I have not heard of one from Vieux Fort to Castries, think the water is too rough at Vieux Fort. They do have them readily from Soufriere to Castries but that won't help you.

I'll give you the info for the helicopter not because the drive is harrowing, but just in case you are interested.

It is stluciahelicopters.com and the phone # is (758) 453-6950. Their website is not always up to date and I recommend calling them vs trying to book via e-mail if you should opt to do this. A short phone call will do the trick. squiggy is pretty much right on with the price.
brenandg is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 10:40 AM
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 73
Thanks again all Fodorites. I will book helicopter to resort and shuttle back!
amrdia is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 06:36 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Just to clarify the helicopter transfer, you will have to land at the northern airport and then take a 10-15 minute taxi ride from there. The helicopter used to land at The Grande but don't believe they do any longer. You could check with the hotel.

If you decide to do the helicopter transfer, make sure you book well in advance. They seemed to be much busier the second time we booked (late '04) We had to wait a good 20 minutes. Not sure how much time it saved in the long run, but it was a great experience!
brenandg is offline  
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:49 AM
  #7  
icanrel8
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I am going to Sandals Grande too and taking the helicopter transfer upon arrival!! We heard the same comments regarding the 90-minute trip, albeit scenic. We will take the shuttle on the way back. We had our travel agent arrange. $105 per person. They have a counter at the airport, will take up to six passengers. BEWARE - they will only take your carry-on luggage so if you have anything important you want with you at the hotel upon your arrival, make sure to pack accordingly. I heard one comment on that (up to 5 hours before your luggage arrives - hopeful it was an exaggeration). [email protected] (I think) was the email address she used. When are you going? We're going November 6-12. So if you go before we do, I am very interested in your feedback on everything, including the excursions if you take any.
 
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:21 AM
  #8  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 73
we are going 10/31/05-11/05/06.
I will report back 11/06.
amrdia is offline  
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Definitely pack a few essentials for when you arrive on your carry on. Your luggage will arrive by ground transfer and they stop at many hotels on the way. The first year we did the helicopter transfer, our luggage didn't arrive til later that night, well after dinner. When I booked in '04, I mentioned this and it was put in their comments for my booking that I wanted an early delivery of our luggage. I told the staff on our arrival in STL and it was indeed in their information. Our luggage arrived within a couple of hours. That said, don't forget it is on "island time" and things could change.
I always make sure we have a bathing suit, change of clothes and toiletries in our carry on.
brenandg is offline  

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