Bahamas and St Lucia are two desired places to visit for a Caribbean vacation.
Nonetheless, there are significant differences between these destinations which we explore in this article, to help you decide which country is right for you.
One major contrast between these two destinations is the flying time from the Miami International Airport to Bahamas being ninety minutes while it takes almost four hours from the same port to St Lucia.
As a general rule, the Bahamas is ideal for persons seeking an active nightlife environment and also those who want to enjoy the largest waterpark in the Caribbean. Alternatively, St Lucia is suitable for individuals who love black sand beaches and hiking the famous twin peaks called The Pitons.
Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national familiar with both destinations.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Which Destination Is Bigger
Bahamas is the larger of the two islands having a landmass of 5,359 square miles with about 700 islands, cays and islets.
At the time of writing, according to worldometer.com, the population was 401,319 inhabitants.
Known worldwide for its stunning twin peaks called the Pitons, St Lucia is the smaller of the two islands being 238 square miles.
As stated by worldometer, the population of St Lucia was 185,437 at the time of publication.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- What Is The Landscape Like In Both Destinations
The terrain in both islands is unalike. St Lucia is known for its green, lush vegetation and mountainous topography.
Mount Gimie is the highest peak of the island which stands at 3,120 feet.
On the contrary, Bahamas is flat and low lying. The highest point of elevation is Mount Alvernia at 206 feet. This mountain is also locally known as Como Hill.
Visitors may find driving easier in the Bahamas as opposed to St Lucia due to the island’s terrain.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- What Are The Official Currencies
The currency used for day to day transactions in both countries differs. The official currency of St Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean dollar.
The Eastern Caribbean currency has bank notes as well as coins. Bank notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
Coins are available in 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, $1 and $2 denominations. Coins in 1 cents and 2 cents pieces were recently discontinued.
This currency is shared with seven other English Speaking Caribbean islands with a central bank office in St Kitts.
Nevertheless, US dollars are accepted everywhere on the island. Change is usually given in the local currency.
Contrastingly, the official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar since the year 1966.
The currency is issued and managed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and is divided into 100 cents.
Bank notes are available in 50, 20,10,5 and $1 denominations. Coins are available in 25, 10 and 5 cent pieces. The symbol is B$.
Nonetheless, US dollars and coins are widely accepted by businesses both small and large on the island.
Casinos on the island only accept US dollars and the ATM machines at these locations dispense US dollars.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- What Are The Official Languages
The native speech used in both destinations is English mainly due to the British history of the territories.
However, it is common for locals in St Lucia to use a popular French creole called patois.
In fact, this is the language that most children learn as a first language prior to entering the education system.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- What Are The Island Hopping Opportunities
Both destinations offer opportunities to visit other places via ferry services.
Individuals can travel to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida via the fast ferry service Balearia Caribbean to the Bahamas.
The ferry docks in Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.
Likewise, there are opportunities to visit other destinations from St Lucia via the ferry services L’express des iles.
This service provides transportation to the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica and also the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the official currency of Dominica while the Euro is the currency used for transactions in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Which Destination Receives More Visitors
The Bahamas is the more popular tourism destination when compared to St Lucia based on visitor arrival statistics.
As stated by tourism analytics, in 2019 the Bahamas welcomed 5,429,474 cruise ship visitors and 1,804,184 stop over visitors.
On the contrary, St Lucia received a total of 1,210,479 visitors of which 786,743 were cruise passengers and 423,736 stop over visitors.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Which Destination Is More Vulnerable to Natural Disasters
Bahamas is more susceptible to hurricanes of the two destinations due to its location in the hurricane belt.
The last hurricane to impact the Bahamas was hurricane Dorain in September 2019 which caused massive destruction predominantly in Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands.
On the other hand, St Lucia is located on the Southern tip of the hurricane belt and as such is less likely to experience the effects of tropical storms.
One of the most destructive hurricanes to hit St Lucia was hurricane Tomas in 2010 which killed 14 people and caused massive damage to roads, bridges and property.
In addition, the island has a volcano called Soufriere which as other volcanoes in the Caribbean is under surveillance for any signs of eruptions.
Nonetheless, it is prudent to consider travel insurance in the event of delays or interruptions when traveling to both islands.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Which Destination Has the Better Nightlife
The Bahamas is famous for its lively nightlife atmosphere with entertainment mainly focused around nightclubs, beach bars, restaurants and casinos in the Nassau and Freeport areas.
Bones Bar, Aura and the Atlantis are three spots to explore for nightlife while in the Bahamas.
For entertainment both day and night, Arawak Cay in Nassau is a must visit stop if you want to delve deeper into local traditional food and drink.
Nightlife in St Lucia is primarily concentrated in the Rodney Bay area where there are several marinas, nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
A great way to meet and interact with locals is at the weekly fish Friday event which features vendors selling various local cuisine with numerous species of fish serving as the star ingredient.
There is usually a local live band as well as vendors selling craft and souvenir items.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Which Destination Has the Better Beaches
If your main motivation is a Caribbean beach vacation, then this truly depends on your preferences.
Peradventure, black sand beaches are ideal for your dream vacation then St Lucia is the more desirable destination due to the volcanic nature of the island.
Cas en Bas Beach and Anse Chastanet Beach are two of the black sand beaches to consider visiting if St Lucia is your vacation choice.
Moreover, if you are fond of white sand beaches with turquoise waters, the Bahamas is the better destination to visit.
Due to its expansive landmass, the island has approximately 2000 beaches.
Gold Rock Beach, Cable Beach and Tropic of Cancer Beach are three of the amazing spots to visit for beautiful white and powdery sand.
The Bahamas is also known for having pink sand beaches with one of the most famous one being Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island.
This island is only 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles and is popular stop for affluent visitors.
The sand on pink sand beach has its distinct pink color due to the presence of foraminifera.
For a once in a lifetime experience, Pig Beach on the island of Exuma is the perfect for those who want to swim with pigs.
Bahamas Vs St Lucia- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations
Aquaventure, Bahamas– this is the largest waterpark in the Caribbean and a must visit destination while on vacation.
Located on Paradise Island, the park covers 141 acres which features water slides and swimming pools.
Project Chocolat, St Lucia- is located at the Rabot Estate, Soufriere which is a six acre property.
The tours provide a walk through the rainforest where cocoa trees are grown as well as an opportunity to taste the cocoa beans and other products.
There is a shop on site where you can purchase a range of chocolates and chocolate scented beauty products.
On a whole, the Bahamas is suitable for individuals seeking white sand beaches with turquoise waters as well as bustling nightlife atmosphere. On the other hand, St Lucia is perfect for individuals looking for a quieter nightlife environment with stunning black sand beaches.
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