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St. Lucia

By John Sage

St. Lucia is becoming an increasingly popular Caribbean cruise destination, and rightly so! While the beauty of the land and friendliness of the people is as good as it gets, wheelchair access unfortunately isn’t that great. St. Lucia disabled access presents several accessibility challenges for visitors including steep ramps, steps at restaurants, and lack of fully accessible restrooms throughout.

Nevertheless, St. Lucia wheelchair access is sufficiently good enough that disabled cruise passengers can visit the island and have an enjoyable, memorable time!

I gave St. Lucia a 4 Star Sage Accessibility Rating because it has accessible van transportation to get around the island, and several initiatives have been made to ensure greater accessibility at several venues, including ramps.

It did not get a higher rating because many of the ramps are steeper than ADA standards, most bathrooms are not accessible (and hardly any, even the accessible ones, have grab bars). Additionally, the island is very hilly and only suitable for accessible driving tours with stops at the most accessible venues.


View St. Lucia accessible shore excursions – coming soon


Best Aspects of St. Lucia Disabled Access

Wheelchair Accessible St. Lucia terminal and port exit: The cruise terminal in St. Lucia has great wheelchair accessibility. The dock area is flat and smooth, and inside the welcome center you will find easy to navigate surfaces and wide doors, as well as ramps to exit the arrivals hall to enter the street level.

Ramps have been installed throughout the arrivals area for easy access (see photo on the left below), and inside the arrivals hall you will experience wide flat and smooth areas (see photo on the right below).


Friendly, helpful people: To me, the friendliness of the locals in St. Lucia stood out – even compared to other “friendly” Caribbean islands. If you need any help finding your way, passing any obstacles or getting some tips on where to eat, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll have no problem finding that help. For disabled visitors, the St. Lucians’ friendliness is definitely an advantage.  

Accessible nature sites: Unlike many other Caribbean islands with limited access to nature sites due to the hilly terrain, St. Lucia does have several options that have been made wheelchair accessible. The fishing Village of Anse La Rayes is a unique picturesque setting, with accessible routes around the central square and pier. Another must see when in St. Lucia is the accessible Diamond Botanical Garden with the breathtaking Diamond waterfall.

The pathway has mild gravel but no steps (see photo on left below). There is also an accessible ramped restroom available (see photo on the right below).


Many accessible shopping and souvenir options: In St. Lucia, tourism is a high priority. Everywhere you go and stop, you will see several vendor stands selling snacks, refreshments, souvenirs, and local art and crafts. Additionally, the big local market right by the cruise port has a wheelchair friendly route as well, allowing wheelchair users a chance to experience the fascinating vegetable, fruit, and souvenir and gifts market firsthand.

There are several ramps throughout the market place with some more steep than others (see example on photo on the left below). Inside the market, you will see mostly flat surfaces with some mild uneven areas (see photo on the right below). Some areas have stairs so you will need to ask for the ramped routes or use a tour guide experienced in navigating with wheelchair users.



Worst Aspects of St. Lucia Disabled Access

Lack of grab bars in the accessible restrooms: While many restaurants and tourist venues in St. Lucia have made an effort to install wheelchair accessible restrooms, hardly any of them have any grab bars inside. For some disabled visitors this may not be an issue but it is definitely something to be aware of before you visit the island.

La Soufriere Volcano site is not accessible: One of the most popular tourist attractions in St. Lucia is the Soufriere Volcano and Sulphur baths. This is a very unique site in St. Lucia, one of the only volcanic islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Unfortunately, while you are able to drive to see some of the parts Sulphur craters, to enter the main viewing platform and the Sulphur baths, you will have to navigate very hilly terrain and several flights of stairs.

On the left below you will see one of the inaccessible Sulphur bath pools, and on the right the long flight of stairs leading down to the Volcano Crater viewing platform.


Tour meetup locations requires you to walk/stroll out of the port area:  The main arrivals hall exit is right out to a busy through street. There is no parking available. The tour suppliers have to park at smaller parking lots nearby, and will usually meet guests by the arrivals hall and escort them to the vehicles (approx. 500 meters).

Main attractions are not within walking distance of port – You’ll need transportation to reach most of the highlights of St. Lucia including Anse La Reyes, the Diamond Waterfall, and Soufriere.

Extremely few accessible vans on the island – There are only a couple of accessible vans available in St. Lucia and they fill up fast! You should book your St. Lucia accessible transportation months in advance to make sure you aren’t missing out!


View St. Lucia accessible shore excursions