St Lucia and Grand Cayman are two highly visited locations by tourists in the Caribbean especially by cruise passengers.
These two islands share English as its official language.
The aim of this article is to provide you with deeper insights into the differences of these islands.
It is our goal that it helps you decide which of these two islands is best for your next Caribbean adventure.
As a general rule, St Lucia is ideal for travelers who enjoy nature and a bustling nightlife atmosphere as well as island hopping to Dominica and the French Caribbean. Alternatively, Grand Cayman is suitable for visitors who enjoy snorkeling with stingrays and beautiful white sand beaches.
Read on for greater insight into how these beautiful Caribbean islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Is Bigger
St Lucia is the larger of the two destinations being 238 square miles while Grand Cayman is 75.68 square miles.
At the time of publication, the population of Grand Cayman was 67,237 while the population of St Lucia was more than double being 185,248.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- How Does The Landscape Differ?
The topography of both islands is unlike. St Lucia is lush, green and mountainous in appearance.
Grand Cayman on the other hand is extremely flat with the highest point of elevation being 70 feet above sea level. Thus, the island is low lying.
Visitors to the island of St Lucia may find it challenging to drive due to the island’s steep terrain.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Does The Currency Differ?
The official currency of both islands differs.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar ( XCD) is the official currency of Antigua which was pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.
This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.
Contrastingly, the official currency of Grand Cayman is the Cayman dollar (CI$) which replaced the Jamaican dollar in 1972.
One Cayman dollar is USD$1.20 and Canadian $1.60. The Cayman dollar is managed by its central bank called Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.
The US dollar is widely accepted in both islands.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has Greater Threat of Hurricanes
Generally, all the islands in the Caribbean are prone of natural disasters due to hurricane but the risk on some islands are greater than others.
Of the two islands listed above, Grand Cayman is more susceptible to hurricanes than St Lucia.
The last tropical storm to impact Grand Cayman was Ida in August 2021. The brunt of the damage was sustained in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
St Lucia due to its southern location is less at risk for hurricane. The last hurricane that impacted the island minimally was Maria in 2017.
Nonetheless, visitors to the Caribbean during the months of June to November should consider travel insurance in the event of delays and interruptions due to natural disasters.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Are Other Languages Spoken?
As indicated above, English is the formal language of both islands.
However, patios which is a broken form of French creole that is spoken in St Lucia.
In fact, this is the first language that many individuals on the island learn as children.
Chances are if you are in taxis or at attractions sites, you will hear St Lucians speaking Patois among themselves.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Is It Easy To Island Hop?
St Lucia provides the only opportunity to visit other Caribbean islands via ferry services.
L’Express Des IIes offers dependable and reliable ferry services between the islands of St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica.
Martinique and Guadeloupe are overseas territories of France while Dominica is an independent Eastern Caribbean state.
On the other hand, there are no ferry services available from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has Better Beaches
Grand Cayman has the better beaches of the two islands. Seven Mile Beach is the most popular for its long stretch of white sand and natural beauty.
Major hotel chains such as The Marriott and Westin shares its shores with Seven Mile Beach.
Recently however, there has been erosion experienced along the shoreline of Seven Mile Beach. There are areas where the shoreline has reduced.
Contrastingly, a large number of beaches in St Lucia are predominantly black sand beaches due to the volcanic nature of the island.
Reduit beach is one of the favorite of both locals and visitors to the island. This beach is popular due to the amenities available.
The Splash Water Park is located on this beach which provides awesome entertainment with swings, monkey bars and slides perfect for children.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has Better Nightlife
St Lucia due to its size has more options when it comes to entertainment.
One event that stands out and is a must visit on the island is the weekly Fish Friday at Gros Islet.
Every Friday evening in this community with the exception of Good Friday the streets are filled with vendors serving various fish dishes and delicacies.
Additionally, one can purchase souvenirs and trinkets unique to St Lucia.
This event is an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with locals on the island.
Nightlife in Grand Cayman consists mainly of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Some of the places to visit include Karoo and Tukka.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Number of Tourism Arrivals In Each Island
Grand Cayman receives more tourists than St Lucia with the lion share of visitors to the island via cruise ships.
According to Tourism Analytics, the total amount of stopover visitors were 502,739 and cruise visitors totaled 1,831,011 for the year 2019.
Kindly note that these figures represent the Cayman Islands and not Grand Cayman alone.
Nevertheless, the majority of arrivals to Cayman Islands enter via Grand Cayman as it is the centre of the three islands for all commercial activities.
On the other hand, St Lucia received 786,743 cruise passengers and 423,736 stop over visitors in 2019 a total of 1,210,479.
Therefore, visitors to Grand Cayman especially during the cruise season should anticipate more crowds at tours and attractions.
St Lucia Vs Grand Cayman- Fun Activities To Try
Aerial Tram Ride, St Lucia– enjoy the tropical rainforest in the Castries Waterwork Reserve, which was first declared a national forest in 1916.
The aerial tram is suitable for all ages and pick up is available from hotels and resorts. Individuals with sensitive skin should carry insect repellant.
Stingray City, Grand Cayman- this is the most popular experience on the island and is ideal for individuals of all ages.
Visitors can enjoy snorkeling in waist deep high water with stingrays. Tours often provide transport from the cruise terminal in Georgetown and Seven Mile Resorts to Sting Ray City.
On a whole, St Lucia is perfect for travelers looking to explore a tropical rain forest reserve and island hopping to the French Caribbean. On the other hand, Grand Cayman is suitable for travelers who want to swim with stingrays and bask on white sand beaches.
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