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Curacao and St Lucia are both fantastic Caribbean destinations and a visitor will have an unforgettable experience at any one of them. 

Nevertheless, Curacao and St Lucia could not be more dissimilar.

In this article, we will examine the differences between these two magnificent Caribbean islands to help you choose which one is best for you.

As a general rule, Curacao is ideal for a visitor who is looking for a destination with interest in beaches, diving, snorkeling and hiking. Alternatively, St Lucia is an ideal choice for a traveler who wants to explore a drive in volcano and hike the famous twin peaks The Piton.

Read on for further details and explanations on how these two stunning Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national who visited both countries in excess of ten times.

Curacao Vs St Lucia- How Does The Size & Landscape Differ

St Lucia is the bigger of the two islands being 238 square miles.

The highest point is Mount Gimie at 3,120 feet.  On the other hand, Curacao is 171 square miles. The Mount Christoffel is the highest point and stands at an elevation of 1,220 feet.

The landscape of Curacao and St Lucia is very unalike.

St Lucia is lush, hilly and mountainous in appearance while Curacao is flat, arid and dry. There are many aloes and cactus trees in Curacao.

Visitors may find it easier to adapt to driving in Curacao as the roads are flat. In St Lucia the roads are windy and curvy.

Driving in certain areas is not for the faint of heart.

Curacao Vs St Lucia ( Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)

Curacao Vs St Lucia- How Does The Currency Differ

The currencies in used in both islands also differs. The official currency of Curacao is the Netherland Antillean Guilders or Florins.

The Netherland Antillean Guilder is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of USD $1 to $1.79 ANG.

This currency is also used by St Maarten and there is a Central bank for Curacao and St Maarten responsible for managing the stability of the currency.

The local currency is available in bank notes and coins.

Bank notes are available in $10, $25, $50, $100 Guilders. Coins are available $1 Guilder, $5 Guilders, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents pieces.

Alternatively, the official currency of St Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar.

The  Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) was pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.

This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.

The US dollar is widely used in both countries.

Curacao Vs St Lucia- Which Island Has Greater Threat of Hurricanes

The Caribbean usually has a hurricane season every year from June 1st to November 30th.

However, one key advantage that Curacao has over St Lucia is that it is located outside of the hurricane belt.

Therefore, the likelihood of a hurricane making direct landfall in Curacao is rare.

On the other hand, St Lucia lies in the hurricane belt and visitors to the island should definitely consider travel insurance in the event of travel delays and interruptions during hurricane season.

One of the most destructive hurricanes to hit the island was hurricane Tomas in 2010 which killed 14 people and caused massive damaged to roads, bridges and property.

Curacao Vs St Lucia- Which Island Has Better Beaches

If beaches are your preference, then Curacao is the better option.

The beaches in Curacao have white sand and clear waters unlike St Lucia where the sand is a bit darker due to the volcanic nature of the island.

Be sure to visit playa piskado which translates to fisherman’s beach where you get to swim with sea turtles in Curacao.

In addition, you can swim with dolphins at Jan Thiel beach.

Contrastingly, Sugar beach is one of the best beaches in St Lucia where you can get a view of the famous twin peaks called The Pitons.

This beach is loved by divers and individuals who enjoy snorkeling.

Curacao Vs St Lucia- Can You Island Hop To Other Islands

St Lucia is the island that has better opportunities for island hopping easily and affordably.

Due to its proximity to the Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica there is a ferry service among the islands.

On the other hand, there are no ferry services among the Dutch Caribbean islands and the only way to travel is by plane. Insel Air is the regional carrier that provides air transport among the islands.

Curacao Vs St Lucia ( Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)

Curacao Vs St Lucia- How Does The Cuisine Compare

Curacao has a more unique cuisine experience than St Lucia which generally has the typical West Indian cuisine such as seafood and provision.

The national dish of Curacao is Keshi Yeni Cheese is added to leftovers to create a casserole which is baked. Awa di lamunchi is a well-loved local beverage made with lime in Curacao.

One cannot also mention Curacao without sharing how wonderful and unique their Dutch snacks are.

Frikandels and Bitterballen are some of the ones that you should try if you visit Curacao.

Curacao Vs St Lucia- Which Island Has Better Nightlife

The nightlife environment is comparable on both islands. Curacao has a fantastic choice of night life and as a result many expats enjoy living on the island.

There are many restaurants and casinos that visitors and locals on the island enjoy such as Mambo Beach Boulevard for restaurants and beach clubs.

Another favorite of visitors and locals alike is St Tropez.

St Lucia also has an expat environment with entertainment centered primarily in the Rodney bay area. 

There are several restaurants with a variety of cuisine that you can choose from such as Mexican, Indian and Chinese foods.

A weekly event unique to St Lucia that should try is the Friday evening lime at Gros Islet.

Vendors sell barbecues and other local dishes and there is a live band featuring music from the island.

Vendors also sell souvenirs and other arts and craft items. It is a great environment to meet and interact with the locals as well.

Curacao Vs St Lucia: What Are The Unique Things To Do

Unique Things To Do In Curacao

Visit Christoffel National Park– if you love nature, then this park is a must visit on the island. There are several species of flora and fauna at the park as well as birds.

There are eight hiking trails which you can explore as well as the Savonet Museum is located at park where you can learn more about the history of Curacao.

Explore Klein Curacao- this is a small island 15 miles from the mainland where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in some of the clearest waters on the island.

While over in Klein Curacao, do not forget to visit the pink lighthouse and dive into the history of the island.

Unique Things To Do In St Lucia

Climb The Piton Mountains- the piton is an incredible twin peaks that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004 located at the south of the island.

The Gros Piton is 2462 feet while the Petit Piton is 2619 feet. The Gros Piton is the designated hiking trail while the Petit Piton is rarely climbed.

Visit The Drive In Volcano- The sulphur springs is one of the most visited attractions on the island located in Soufriere which is the world’s only drive in volcano.

Visitors are able to enter at certain points and give themselves a mud bath. It is widely believed that these mud baths have medical benefits.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Curacao is an exceptional choice for a traveler whose priority is enjoying the beach, snorkeling and Dutch Snacks. Alternatively, St Lucia is better for travelers who are interested in exploring a drive in volcano and outdoor activities such as zip lining.

Need More Information?

Feel free to browse our website for more content on the Curacao, St Lucia and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page.

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Best Currency For St Lucia (The Ultimate Guide)

What Are The Pros & Cons of Living In Curacao

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