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St Lucia vs Barbados – The Better Caribbean Destination?

Last updated on December 22nd, 2022 at 05:55 pm

St Lucia vs Barbados – Both known for their romantic seascapes and activity-packed destinations, St Lucia and Barbados are easily compared when it comes to which destinations in the Caribbean you should visit. Barbados is the more popular choice between the two islands, albeit not always the better choice. For us, we pick St Lucia in this battle and we’ll tell you more in the facts below.

Comparing St Lucia vs Barbados

St Lucia wins for us for its lush vegetation and the unique volcanic experience it offers, both for beautiful hikes and the underwater diving you can do. Barbados is a good contender with its varied blue beaches, some for relaxing and some for surfing. Either way, you will have a great Caribbean trip.

While Barbados is popular, it also has become much more touristy, and therefore more expensive. That is however balanced with great public transportation. But if you plan your trip well, St Lucia has a lot better to offer especially if you want a more active beach trip and a more unique one at that!

Related Travel Guides – Barbados vs St Lucia

Things to do in St Lucia

St. Lucia definitely has a lot of unique things and experiences to offer in the Caribbean with its twin peak volcanoes and geothermal attractions, green rainforests, coral reefs, mountain ranges, beautiful blue beaches and waterfalls, and more nature.

Let’s look at the top things to do in St. Lucia.

The Beaches of St Lucia

1. La Toc Beach

This beach is located in the southern part of Castries St. Lucia and is a long stretch of white sand beach, is not too touristy, so it’s still a bit of a hidden gem in St. Lucia. It’s picturesque, small, and beautiful and could be a fun area for you to spend your time in if you’re staying close.

2. Pigeon Island Causeway Beach / Pigeon Island National Park

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

In this park, you can have a great panoramic view of St. Lucia’s northwest coast from Pigeon Island National Park. This location is across from Rodney Bay.

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

3. Malabar Beach

Malabar Beach is the main public beach in St. Lucia’s capital, Castries. It’s a beautiful long white sand beach, with waters you’d love to swim in or a location to lounge at.

4. Jalousie Beach / Sugar Beach

Easily one of St. Lucia’s incredibly blue waters, it’s almost unrealistic. Jalousie beach is great for snorkeling and of course a little bit of swimming. It’s part of a marine reserve. Jalousie Beach is connected to a Marine reserve, which makes the place protected and preserved.

5. Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia’s most beautiful bay is an area you can stay in when you are visiting St. Lucia. Surrounded by hillsides, and palm trees. Easily one of the most beautiful bays and beaches in St. Lucia.

6. Sandy Beach

Sandy beach is a long white sand beach in St. Lucia, located at Vieux Fort. Here you’ll see the Maria islands so it’s a nice place to lounge around, and do some kitesurfing, although not the best beach for swimming.

7. Anse Chastanet Beach and Reef

Snorkeling and Diving in Anse Chastanet Marine National Park If you want to experience underwater beauty, the Anse Chastanet Marine National Park is the one to see. It’s the underwater experience for the twin peaks, and not only will you see beautiful coral reefs, you can also see fishes and underwater animals that will amaze you and a great experience to do in St. Lucia.

8. Anse de Sables

For a beach best for surfing activities in St. Lucia, go to Anse de Sables. White sands and water are incredible here.

Top Things to Do and See in St. Lucia

9. Pitons

Piton Peaks - St Lucia vs Barbados
Pitons in St Lucia, Caribbean, with the Twin Peaks

One of the most unique things to see and experience in St. Lucia is the Twin Peak Pitons, a UNESCO heritage site. These Twin peaks tower over St. Lucia island and can be seen with an oceanic background. The two peaks are Gros Piton at 798 meters and the Petit Piton, at 750 meters high.

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

If you’re curious, yes, these peaks can be climbed, albeit, really difficult. If you’re into diving, they can also be explored as underwater cliffs, and of course, you can admire them from afar, as it atop the beautiful beaches of St. Lucia. Definitely not to miss when you’re on the island!

10. Castries

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

11. Hiking the Tet Paul Nature Trail

Near Soufriere lies St. Lucia’s best hiking trail and a great way to explore the island outside of the usual beaches and water activities, something you may occasionally want to get away from. Tet Paul Nature Trail definitely is one of the most beautiful trails on the island, and if you want a more active Caribbean trip, definitely a thing to do in St. Lucia.

12. Soufrière

Soufrière is St. Lucia’s fishing village is a great look at a living village in St. Lucia and can add to new experiences for you in the Caribbean. If you are looking for more things to do, definitely worth a visit. Visit the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and see its architecture.

13. Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park

For more parks to see, the Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park is another popular stop. It’s an 18th-century estate, with a Creole restaurant on the property.

14. Sulphur Springs Park Scenic Drive, Mount Soufriere

An active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles is one of the most unique things to do in St. Lucia. You are really driving in a volcano here, and you’ll experience heat pools and sulfur in the air.

15. Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, Waterfall & Mineral Baths, Soufrière Estate

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

Waterfall experiences – now that’s something that we love! And the Diamond Falls is another thing you can visit in Soufriere

16. Rodney Bay

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

One of the most popular tourist hubs in St. Lucia, Rodney bay is a great beach stop and of course one of the top reasons why people go to the Caribbean. It’s great for swimming, and where a lot of St. Lucia’s popular resorts are. It has great nightlife and definitely the area to visit or stay in if it’s a fun time you are in for in St. Lucia. You’ll find Rodney Bay at the northern end of the island, on Gros Islet.

The biggest shopping mall in St. Lucia is also found here, and for water activities, you have the Rodney Bay Marina.

17. Hiking the Enbas Saut Waterfall Trail: Edmund Rain Forest Reserve

If you’re looking for more mountain activities, St. Lucia has another hiking trail, the Enbas Sau Waterfall trail is in the area of Mount Gimie (St. Lucia’s highest mountain peak). It’s definitely a steep hike, with about 2 a half-hour trail into it.

18. Morne Fortuné

Morne Fortuné is the mountain, also known as the Hill of Good Luck, overlooking the harbor is Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. It’s beautiful and definitely historical, in case you’re looking for extra activities to do on the island.

19. Shopping at Castries Market

Buy souvenirs and spices to take home with you from the Castries Market.

20. Derek Walcott Square

Here you’ll see the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, and a great area to admire the capital, walking around, looking at all the greenery and beauty.

Things to Do in Barbados

Barbados is a Caribbean island, and part of the British Commonwealth. The whole island is about 21 miles long, and it can take you about 3 hours to tour the whole island. It has amazing beaches, with the Wet of Barbados popular for the capital Bridgetown, and with the luxury resorts, and the east of Barbados popular for rugged beaches and stronger water, good for surfing.

Visiting West Barbados vs East Barbados

Let’s compare the Barbados West Coast and the Barbados East Coast. In the West is Barbado’s capital, and beaches popular for the beautiful and warm blue waters with the Caribbean coastline and upscale hotels and neighborhoods. While on the East coast of Barbados, you have strong and rugged waters, due to the Atlantic Ocean, but still gorgeous blue and offers beautiful sands as well, as well as swimmable water, albeit a little less calm than the west coast.

Let’s look at some of the top beaches in Barbados.

Beaches in Barbados

1. Crane Beach

Crane Beach - Barbados vs Aruba
Crane Beach in Barbados – Barbados vs St Lucia

Crane Beach – One of the best beaches in Barbados, and easily the world. Waves are a little strong which can be good for boogie boarding. Sand is so beautiful it sometimes looks pink with the sun, and with rugged cliffs surrounding it.

Crane beach is on the South East coast of Barbados. It is a public beach in Barbados that is good for swimming, and you it has a glass-front beach elevator and a staircase to go down to the beach for swimming. Crane beach is protected by a natural coral reef.

2. Rockley Beach

Barbados vs Aruba - Is Barbados the Better Caribbean Trip?

Another beach that is good for swimming and is of course blue and gorgeous is Rockley beach, in Bridgetown Barbados. This area has a coastline of resorts and places to eat.

3. Paynes Bay Beach

Barbados vs Aruba - Is Barbados the Better Caribbean Trip?

St Lucia vs Barbados

The Platinum Coast or Paynes Bay Beach is one of Barbados’s top beaches, this one on the west coast. If you’re looking for more of a calm beach for swimming in Barbados, this is a great option. The Platinum Coast (Paynes Bay Beach) is also known for its beautiful colorful neighborhood.

4. Bottom Bay – Barbados vs St Lucia

St Lucia vs Barbados - The Better Caribbean Destination?

A beautiful bay surrounded by palm trees and cliffs, Bottom Bay is located in the southeast part of Barbados, where you have Palmetto Bay, Cave Bay, Crane Beach, and Lord’s Castle.

5. Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay is located on Barbado’s west coast, with Carlisle Bay’s Marine park a perfect place for scuba diving. This is where Bridgetown, Barbado’s capital is located.

Other Top Sights to See in Barbados – Barbados vs Aruba

6. Bathsheba

Bathsheba has Barbados’ Rocky Beach known for its surfing activities. Main destination in the east coast of Barbados

7. Holetown

Holetown is where the first place the British settled in Barbados, and now known for its watersports and nightlife.

8. Saint Lawrence Gap

Where the top restaurants and luxurious hotels in Barbados are, on the South Coast of Barbados. Dover Beach is a beautiful beach to visit here.

Food Budget Travel in St Lucia

You can find local meals in St Lucia for around $5 USD per person. At lunch, you might want a chicken sandwich for $10 USD salad, burger, and pizza with a fresh fruit drink for $20 USD. You can have a budget of $20 USD a day enough decent meals in St Lucia if you go for street food and free breakfast/

Best Time to Visit St Lucia

In St Lucia their summer (December to April), there are fewer showers of rain than normal. In their winter (May to November), rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit St Lucia is from December to April because of easier transport.  Click here to know more about the weather in St Lucia!

Cash and ATMs in St Lucia – Barbados vs St Lucia

The official currency of St Lucia is the East Caribbean Dollar $1 USD=$2.70 ECD. If you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around St Lucia no need to exchange them in the islands. is the East Caribbean Dollar $1 USD=$2.70 ECD.

If you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around St Lucia no need to exchange them in the islands. Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in St Lucia.

 Know real-time currency exchange here! 

Best Time to Visit in Barbados

In Barbados their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), the rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Barbados is from December to April because of easier transport. 

Click here to know more about the weather in Barbados!

Cash and ATMs in Barbados – Barbados vs St Lucia

The currency of Barbados is the Barbadian or Bajan Dollar $1 USD=$2 BBD. If you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Barbados no need to exchange them in the islands.

Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in BarbadosKnow real-time currency exchange here!

Final Thoughts – St Lucia Vs Barbados St Lucia is our Winner, the Better Trip

Do you agree with our pick? Although you can’t go wrong with either St Lucia or Barbados, we pick St Lucia as the more unique, adventurous, and Caribbean destination to explore and see! We love beaches however we love to hike a lot too, and new terrain to explore with options of wonderful beaches and unique experiences like volcanic hikes and underwater diving. If you’re more looking for the typical blue and while sand Caribbean trip, you might like Barbados better!

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Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.