Are you contemplating whether St Lucia or Dominica is the better vacation destination?
Then this post is exactly what you need to read.
As Caribbean nationals, we can vouch that these two islands are only 173km from each other and can be accessed via ferry services.
L’ Express Des Isles is the high speed ferry that provides transportation between the islands of St Lucia and Dominica.
Furthermore, the service also has onward connections to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
As a general rule, St Lucia is ideal for persons seeking a wide range of excursions as well as hiking the iconic Pitons and enjoying a bustling nightlife atmosphere. Alternatively, Dominica is perfect for persons who enjoy swimming in waterfalls, whale watching and a more laid back experience.
In this article, we compare and contrast St Lucia and Dominica in categories such as size, landscape, excursions, beaches and nightlife
So let’s take a closer look at these categories.
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St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Destination Is Bigger
Dominica is slightly larger than St Lucia being 290 square miles. Alternatively, St Lucia is 238 square miles.
Fondly known as the Nature Island, Dominica is located between the French Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe to the North and Martinique to the South. The capital city is called Roseau.
St Lucia is situated South of Martinique and North of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The capital city is called Castries.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Island Is Easier To Access
St Lucia is the easier island to access as there are numerous direct and non-stop flights from major international cities.
International airlines that visit the island include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Jet Blue, British Airways and Sunwing.
On the contrary, getting to Dominica is much more challenging. American Airlines fly from Miami International Airport to Douglas Charles Airport which is situated on the Northeastern region of the island.
Visitors from Europe and other US cities can opt to connect through Antigua, Barbados, Martinique and take a regional airline such as InterCaribbean Airways to the island.
St Lucia Vs Dominica-Which is Better For Couples & Honeymoons
St Lucia is the better destination for both couples and honeymooners. There is a wider range of things to do as well as broader all-inclusive and luxury accommodation options.
Jade Mountain Resort offers stunning views of the Pitons. The property sits on 600 acres on Anse Chastanet beach.
The architecture features individual bridges for each room and to the infinity pools. This resort is truly a one of a kind and is great for a couple who wants to enjoy the highest level of luxury.
St Lucia has also home to three Sandals all inclusive properties being Sandals Grande St Lucian, Sandals Halcyon Beach and Sandals Regency La Toc.
Contrastingly, there are fewer resort options in Dominica as well as a limited range of activities for a couple to explore.
InterContinental Dominica, Cabrits Resort & Spa, Secret Bay and Jungle Bay Dominica are three of the high end hotels suitable for couples and honeymooners.
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St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Island Receives More Tourists
St Lucia welcomes significantly more visitors than Dominica to its shores annually.
According to tourism analytics, St Lucia received 729,063 total visitors for the year 2022.
Contrastingly, Dominica welcomed 234,262 visitors in the same period as per the same source.
St Lucia Vs Dominica – What Are The Official Currencies
Both St Lucia and Dominica shares the Eastern Caribbean Dollar as its official currency as its other regional counterparts.
It was officially pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.
The currency is managed and controlled through a regional central bank in St Kitts.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Is Easier To Get Around
St Lucia is the easier of these two islands to get around as it is less mountainous than Dominica.
Driving is on the left hand side of the road in both countries and care must be exercised as there are steep slopes and corners to navigate.
There is no Uber in both islands. However, there is public transportation around the island.
Taxis are easy of access and most hotels are able to arrange one for you at the reception.
Most notably, remember if you choose to rent a car on both of the islands to be cautious on the roads.
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St Lucia Vs Dominica- How Does The Landscape Differs
Generally, both St Lucia and Dominica are mountainous, green and lush in terms of appearance.
Dominica has the higher peak of the two islands being Morne Diablotins which stands at 4,747 feet. It is the second highest mountain in the Lesser Antilles.
Being true to its name of the being the nature island, Dominica boasts of having 365 rivers being one for every day of the year.
Layou River is the longest on the island and is excellent for bathing, kayaking and tuning.
Additionally, Dominica is home to the second largest waterfall in the Eastern Caribbean being Middleham Falls.
Furthermore, the second largest boiling lake in the world Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand is also situated in Dominica.
Both are stunning features located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which is UNESCO World Heritage site.
Middleham Falls which drop to an impressive 200 feet and is a wonder to behold.
Contrastingly, Mount Gimie stands at an elevation of 3,120 feet in St Lucia which is situated in the Canries District on the Western side of the island.
St Lucia is home to the stunning twin peaks called The Pitons which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Gros Piton is 2,619 feet while the Petit Piton is 2,461 feet. The Gros Piton is the designated hiking trail while the Petit Piton is rarely climbed.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Island Has Better Beaches
Due to the volcanic nature of both St Lucia and Dominica, there are no long stretches of white sand beaches.
Sugar Beach or Jalousie Beach provides magnificent views about the Pitons in St Lucia.
It is an excellent spot for diving and snorkeling and is one of the well-loved spots by locals and visitors alike.
There are also stunning black sand beaches such as Anse Cochon, Anse De Piton and Cas en Bas Beach.
Alternatively, Mero Beach is the most visited beach spot loved for its calm and turquoise waters.
For a unique experience, a visit to Champagne Beach is a must. Due to the volcanic nature of the sea floor, the water makes bubbles like champagne.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Island Has Better Nightlife
St Lucia has the better nightlife of the two destinations.
The Rodney Bay area in the South of the island is where there is a concentration of restaurants, bars, marinas and hotels.
One of the best events on the weekly calendar is Fish Friday in Gros Islet.
Every Friday, there is a street party in Gros Islet where there are various booths selling local food items with fish as the principal ingredient.
Local crafts and souvenir items are sold at this street party and there is usually a local live band.
Contrastingly, there are fewer restaurants, bars, cinemas and hotels in Dominica.
Nevertheless, there are options such as Hi Rise Beach Bar which is a great place to visit in the capital city of Roseau near the cruise port.
They are known for amazing smoothies and burgers. La Robe Creole is another location ideal for those seeking a premiere dining experience.
Emerald movies cinemas have both films of both adults and children.
Banana Leaf restaurants in Picard, Portsmouth is one of the best restaurants on the island. They serve items such as goat and lambi waters.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- What Are The Unique Things To Do
Top Things To Do In St Lucia
Go Birdwatching- St Lucia is home to many species of birds such as the St Lucia Amazon, the magnificent frigatebird, the oriole and the black finch.
Guides are available to take you to various locations on the island. This will change based on the time of the year.
Take A Cycle Tour- if you are a cycling enthusiasts, a great way to see the rainforest is on a bike. Get to experience the lush landscape and the waterfalls on the island.
See The Underwater World- explore fishes without diving and swimming which makes the tour ideal for both swimmers and non-swimmers. It is also an activity that is wheelchair accessible.
Explore the island on ATV– take an all-terrain vehicle to see the lush rainforests in St Lucia. There are stops to plantations, rural farms and historic landmarks.
Hike Gros Piton- enjoy the scenic views of the island climbing the UNESCO World Heritage site. The hike is strenuous and beginners may find it challenging.
Take in the views of neighboring Caribbean islands of Martinique and St Vincent at the summit.
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Top Things To Do In Dominica
Kayak on Freshwater Lake- explore the largest of the four lakes on the island which is 2,500 feet above sea level. Freshwater lake is the source for the Roseau River.
See view of mountain ranges including the UNESCO site Morne Trois National Park.
Swim In Waterfalls- explore the fauna and flora on the island and also enjoy a refreshing swim in waterfall pools.
These include Jacko Falls, Spanny Falls, Emerald Pool Nature Trail, Sari- Sari Waterfall and Victoria Falls.
Tour The Capital City– learn more about the history and culture of the island with a guided tour of Roseau. There are buildings and landmarks of significant historic value.
This tour includes a visit to the botanical gardens which is location on the outskirts of the city centre.
Hike To The Boiling Lake-Dominica is home to the second largest boiling lake in the world. Trek to this location in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
The trail involves climbing Morne Nicholls which stands at 3,168 feet for breathtaking views of the valley of desolation.
The hike is challenging and takes about eight hours to complete.
Go Whale watching– learn more about the marine biology of the island with a whale watching tour.
Pilot whales, sperm whales are humpback whales are the three most popular species commonly observed.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is St Lucia So Popular?
St Lucia is a popular destination for its natural beauty, range of activities and the friendliness of its people. It is also well loved for its stunning twin peaks called The Pitons which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The island has gained global publicity due to celebrity weddings.
St Lucia Vs Dominica- Which Vacation Is Better
On a whole, St Lucia is suitable for visitors who are interested in visiting the hiking the Piton and spending time at the beach. On the other hand, Dominica is ideal for persons seeking to swim in the iconic Champagne beach and visit the second largest boiling lake in the world.
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More Destination Travel Guides:
Is Dominica A Good Place To Retire
What Is The Best Currency For Dominica
Living In Dominica (Pros & Cons Fully Explained)
Caribbean Travel Planning Guide
What is the best way to book your Caribbean accommodations?
For Caribbean hotels, Booking.com is the best site to consider.
Nevertheless, if you prefer apartments or houses VRBO is the best option to explore, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.
What’s The Best Site To Buy Cheap Flights?
To find cheap flights, we recommend Skyscanner.
Should I buy travel insurance?
Absolutely, Many Caribbean islands are situated in the hurricane belt and are susceptible to severe weather from June to November annually. The island’s landscape is also mountainous and if you are planning on driving it is best to protect yourself.
World Nomads provides coverage against hurricanes, street crime, medical emergencies and more- starting at $5 per day.
Is It Safe To Rent A Car In The Caribbean?
Want To Save Money On Your Next Cruise To The Caribbean?
For learning powerful money saving cruise tips and insider tricks, we recommend the course How To Cruise For Less by Emma Cruises.
Do I need a VPN while vacationing in The Caribbean?
Yes You Do! VPNs ensure that your in internet connection is protected while you travel.
This makes it challenging for hackers to steal your data. Check out this amazing offer from NordVPN.
I don’t speak the language? Can I still vacation in the Caribbean?
Absolutely! Learn languages quickly with the iTalki app. Just a few minutes a day and you are well on your way!
What Is The Best Site To Find Tours?
To find a wide selection of tours, we recommend Viator.
Are You Planning On Visiting The Beach While In The Caribbean?
Protect our reefs and coral life with reef safe sunscreen. Also, do not forget to pack insect repellant as mosquitoes can be plentiful especially during the rainy season and a water bottle to stay hydrated.