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St Lucia vs Aruba – Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

Last updated on January 17th, 2023 at 04:57 pm

St Lucia vs Aruba – While you can’t go wrong with either, comparing St Lucia vs Aruba, St Lucia wins with its mountain peaks, underwater scenery, and nature over Aruba’s blue and sandy white beaches.

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Comparing St Lucia vs Aruba

If you’re content with sandy white beaches and staying in resorts with partying options at night, you’ll love Aruba. St Lucia wins over Aruba with its UNESCO Heritage mountains, incredible underwater scene, and more varied vacation. St Lucia offers an activity-based Caribbean holiday compared to Aruba’s more laidback, beach lounging style trip. Read here St Lucia vs Bahamas

Let’s look at the top things to do for both to help you choose.

Related Travel Guides – Aruba 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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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, but 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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?
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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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 Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

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

Things to do in Aruba

Aruba is a 21-mile-long country that sits in the Southern Caribbean, very close to South America. When visiting Aruba, you’ll most likely be flying into the country via its only international airport, Queen Beatrix International Airport, in Oranjestad.

You can easily expect some of the world’s best beaches in Aruba, just as in the rest of the Caribbean. Aruba is outside the typhoon belt, and with its arid climate, generally, any time of the year is a good time to visit the country.

Let’s look at Aruba’s best things to do in this Caribbean series.

1. Eagle Beach

St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

One of the most popular beaches in Aruba, the Eagle Beach. A lot of resorts are here, but it’s definitely the place to be and see in Aruba. It’s one of the best beaches in the world, and you can’t deny it, once you see it. Make sure to not miss it.

2. Divi Divi Trees

St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?
The Watapana Tree or Divi Divi Tree is a unique tree to see when visiting Aruba

The Divi Divi tree (or Watapana Tree) is the most unique thing in Aruba and is known as Aruba’s compass. Once you find the Divi Divi tree, you’ll know that it’s always pointing in the Southwestern direction. It’s one of the most unique things in Aruba, and definitely something to see!

3. Baby Beach

St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?
Image via Wikimedia / DanielleJWiki

Another beach in Aruba to see is Baby Beach or Klein Lagoon. It is a shallow, sheltered man-altered lagoon located in the Mangle Cora locality near the village of Seroe Colorado, on the southwest side of the southeast end of the island of Aruba. It is frequented by locals and tourists.

4. Hiking in the Arikok National Park

St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

The beautiful Arikok National Park in Aruba comprises almost 20% of the island. Enjoy gorgeous vistas of Aruba’s rugged terrain, desert-like hills filled with tall cacti, and a breathtaking coastline, and protect native flora and fauna.

The National Park takes you on a memorable journey of the island’s past offering unique geological, cultural and historical sites. These can all be enjoyed and explored either on your own or during guided tours. A wide variety of educational and informative programs and fun activities are available.

5. Conchi Natural Pools

Aruba vs Curacao - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?
Image via Wikimedia /
Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Experience true adventure at Aruba’s most remote, yet also most popular natural attraction, the famous Natural Pool.

In a unique rock formation, volcanic stone circles a small depression, creating a tranquil pool: Aruba’s Natural Pool.

On a deserted stretch of coastline, dramatic shows of water spraying over the rock occur on a regular basis as the tide rushes to shore. The unique natural pool is also known as ‘Conchi’ (bowl) or ‘Cura di Tortuga’ (Turtles Cove) and is located inside Aruba’s national park Arikok.

The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba’s most rugged terrain, so a visitor truly gets the feeling of having “discovered” something when they reach the site, by either foot, horseback or 4×4 vehicle. Because of the nature of the environment in this secluded area, the site is inaccessible by a regular car. Inexperienced drivers are encouraged to visit the pool on a Jeep Safari.

During the day small snacks and drinks are sold at the top of the stairs that lead to the Natural Pool.

5. Quadiriki Caves

Quadiriki Caves in Aruba ,St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

The Quadiriki Caves are located in Arikok National Park on the island of Aruba. There are three caves, which tourists commonly explore. The caves are located at the base of a limestone cliff. They contain Amerindian petroglyphs. The name of the caves is of Arawak origin

6. Scuba Diving in Punta Basora

Scuba Diving in Punta Basora - St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

One of the top areas for scuba diving in Aruba is Punta Basora. Punta Basora is the easternmost point of Aruba, from which a narrow reef stretches far out into the sea. On calm days, divers will see tuna, ballyhoo, eagle rays, stingrays, barracudas, dorados, hammerhead sharks, and hawksbill and loggerhead turtles pass by on their way around this point of the island.

7. Snorkeling in Tres Papi

Tres Trapi (meaning “three steps”) is a tiny sandy cove nestled in the rocky northwestern shore of Aruba. The 10-meter long beach is accessible by three rustic steps carved into the rock, after which the site has been named. Tres Trapi has white sand, a grey cliff, and pristine placid waters, where hundreds of red cushion starfish lay on the seafloor, making it one of the favorites and most photogenic snorkeling spots of the island

8. Palm Beach

Palm beach in Aruba , St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

Palm Beach is a resort area on the northern coast of Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island. It’s known for its calm waters and long sandy strip lined with bars and restaurants. To its south, the lush Bubali Bird Sanctuary has an observation tower and is home to herons and other migratory birds. Nearby is the Old Dutch Windmill, imported in the 1960s, and the Butterfly Farm, with free-flying butterflies in a jungle enclosure. 

9. Flamingos in Renaissance island / Renaissance Island / Flamingo Beach

Flamingo Island, Renaissance Island in Aruba ,St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?
Renaissance Island in Aruba

Leave the cares of the world behind as you venture over to a private island complimentary to Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino guests. Renaissance Island features Aruba’s only private beaches and is just an 8-minute water taxi ride away. Here lies a true oasis with family-friendly beaches or beaches just for adults.

Pamper yourself at the private Spa Cove, play a game of beach tennis, sit down to the delicious lunch specials at Papagayo Bar & Grill or have a drink at our newly added Mangrove Beach Bar, or just lie back and let the sun caress you. A day on Renaissance Island is a day well spent.

Boca Grandi in Aruba , St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

Kitesurfing is a popular activity at this windy beach with waves, turquoise water & a serene vibe. Boca Grandi is a very popular location for this.

10. Boca Catalina

Boca Catalina in Aruba , St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

This small, secluded bay with a sandy white beach offers swimming & snorkeling

11. California Lighthouse

California Lighthouse in Aruba , St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

The California Lighthouse is a lighthouse located at Hudishibana near Arashi Beach and the Sasariwichi dunes on the northwest tip of Aruba. This lighthouse was named for the steamship California, which was wrecked nearby on September 23, 1891.

12. Wariruri Bridge

Wariruri Beach is located at Wariruri Bay, a sandy cove surrounded by a rocky coastline consisting of limestone, worn out by the sea.

13. Tripod Bridge

Tripod Bridge in Aruba, St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

Other gorgeous natural bridges can be found in the southern part of the island near Black Stone Beach where you’ll find a unique tripod bridge.

14. Hiking in Aruba

Hiking in Aruba, St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

Now, one of the most unique things in Aruba is that not only does it have amazing blue waters, it also has good hiking trails. Below are 3 of Aruba’s most popular hiking trails.

  • Hooiberg Hiking Trail
  • Arikok Mountain
  • Alto Vista Trail

15. Dos Playa

Dos Playa (two beaches) is a pair of bordering coves carved out of the island’s limestone. One cove is a go-to for island surfers, with a broad white-sand beach for sunbathing or relaxing under the shade of the sea-grape trees.

16. Manchebo Beach

Manchebo Beach is a wide stretch of beach on the most western point of the island (just after Eagle Beach), located in the low-rise hotel area in front of the Manchebo Beach Resort. The beach area offers a combination of exciting waves, due to converging currents, and calm waters.

17. Andicuri Beach

No-frills bay beach enclosed by coral cliffs, with powerful currents for bodyboarders

18. Mangel Halto

Mangel Halto is a small beach located in Pos Chiquito, which you will find on your way to San Nicolas. The beach is surrounded by mangroves and is a favorite among locals for a relaxing day on the beach. Mangel Halto is also known as a perfect snorkeling and shore-diving spot due to the calm and shallow waters.

19. San Nicolas

San Nicolaas is 19 kilometers southeast of Oranjestad and is Aruba’s second-largest city. As of 2010, it has a population of 15,283, most of whom originate from the British Caribbean and the rest of the Caribbean

20. Fishing in Aruba

Fishing in Aruba - St Lucia vs Aruba - Which is the Better Caribbean Trip?

If we missed any more water activities, fishing is also possible in these local or tourist boats in Aruba! If it’s a big hobby of yours, don’t miss doing it in Aruba’s incredibly blue waters.

Tell us which Caribbean island you chose, and if you have more tips, let us know in the comments.

Currency, Money, and ATMs in Aruba

The currency of Aruba is the Aruba Florin $1 USD=$1.70 AWG. If you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Aruba 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 ArubaKnow real-time currency exchange here

Currency, Money, and ATMs in St Lucia – Aruba 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 – St Lucia vs Aruba

Best Time to Visit Aruba

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

Click here to know more about the weather in Aruba

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), the rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists, the 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!

Final Thoughts – Which is Better, St Lucia vs Aruba?

Although you can’t go wrong with either St Lucia or Aruba, St Lucia wins this Caribbean battle for us. Don’t get us wrong. If you want a family-focused holiday and will stay mostly near your hotel and just lounge around the beach area, Aruba is best for you. Aruba has amazing white sand and incredible blue beaches. St Lucia wins over more nature, more varied activities, hiking and underwater snorkeling, and beautiful beach coves.

Tell us what you ended up choosing and have an amazing Caribbean holiday!

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.