Both St Lucia and St John are fantastic choices for a Caribbean vacation.

English is the official language of these two destinations and there are restaurants, beaches and excellent activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

A unique feature of St John is that two thirds of the island is protected as Virgin Island National Park.

In this article, we will discuss how these two Caribbean islands compare to help you decide which island is right for your next vacation.

As a general rule, St Lucia is better for travelers who are interested in exploring a drive in volcano and outdoor activities such as zip lining. Alternatively, St John is ideal for a visitor who loves beaches and interesting in water based activities such as snorkeling.

Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean islands compare. Contribution to this article was made by individuals who visited both islands on vacation.

St Lucia Vs St John- Which Island Is Bigger

St Lucia is the bigger of the two islands. St John is only 19.6 square miles and is the smallest of the three major US Virgin islands.

According to Virgin Islands Now, the population as per census completed in 2000 was 4,197 individuals with the majority of persons concentrated in Cruz Bay.

The highest point is Bordeaux Mountain which is 1,277 feet.

Alternatively, St Lucia is 238 square miles and the highest point is Mount Gimie which is 3,120 feet. According to Worldometer, the population of St Lucia at the time of writing was 184,711.

St Lucia is a single island state meaning that it has no dependencies. The Head of State of St Lucia is His Majesty King Charles III.

St Lucia Vs St John- Is St Lucia A Virgin Island

St Lucia is not a Virgin Island but it is a Caribbean island with Martinique to its North and St Vincent & The Grenadines to the South West. The island is English speaking with its own Prime Minister. His Majesty King Charles III is the Head of State. St Lucia is famously known for The Pitons.

St Lucia Vs St John- Entry Requirements

St John is an overseas department of mainland United States of America and as such US citizens require no passport or visa for entry on the island.

On the other hand, if you travel to St Lucia, a valid passport is required for usually up to 6 months with proof a return ticket for entry.

St Lucia Vs St John- Is Antigua The Same As St John

St John and Antigua are two different countries but often confused as the capital city of Antigua is St John’s. St John is the smallest of the three main US Virgin island while Antigua is an English Speaking Caribbean island. Antigua is a Commonwealth nation having its own Prime Minister.

St Lucia Vs St John- How Does The Currency Differ

As an overseas US territory, the US dollar is the official currency of St John.

Contrastingly, the official currency for 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.

Nevertheless, US dollars are widely accepted throughout the island of St Lucia. US coins are rejected. Change is usually given in the local Eastern Caribbean dollar.

St Lucia Vs St John: Can You Island Hop To Other Islands

From the island of St Lucia, several opportunities are available to island hop via ferry to nearby islands such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica.

If you decide to island hop from St Lucia, ensure and verify requirements for entry into the French Caribbean islands.

The best currency to use in Dominica is also the Eastern Caribbean dollar.

The best currency for Martinique and Guadeloupe is the Euro. US dollars are not generally accepted in the Martinique and Guadeloupe.

It is easy to island hop from St John to other US Virgin islands. In some instances, ferry services may not be directly available.

However, one can charter a boat to other islands or connect via St Thomas.

US citizens who are considering exploring nearby British Virgin Islands (BVI) require a passport for entry.

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

St Lucia Vs St John- Which Island Has Better Amenities

St Lucia is the larger of the two islands and hence has the better amenities from wider range of restaurants, beach bars and accommodation options. 

Also, St Lucia has an international airport which makes getting to the island much easier than St John where there is no airport.

Visitors to St John will first have to fly to Cyril E King Airport in St Thomas. Access to St John is only by ferry service.

International brands such as Kmart, Walgreens and Home Depot all have outlets available in St Thomas but not in St John.

St Lucia Vs St John- Which Island Is Has Better Beaches

Hands down St John is the clear winner in this category.

If you main priority for visiting the Caribbean is for going to the beach and snorkeling then St John is the destination that you should choose.

The best and famous beaches in St John are along its northern coastline.

Trunk Bay Beach is the most iconic beach on the island and is usually what you will see in photographs for the US Virgin islands.  

For snorkeling enthusiasts, there is an underwater trail.

Cruise passengers usually take the ferry across from St Thomas where the boat is docked just to enjoy this beach. 

There is an entrance fee along with facilities such as bathrooms. A lifeguard is also stationed at this beach. Beach chairs, umbrellas and snorkel gear are available for rent.

Cinnamon Bay Beach is also a well-loved spot by locals and visitors to the island for swimming and snorkeling.

This beach is the longest white sand spot on the island. This is the only beach where camping facilities are available.

Alternatively, 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. There are several black sand beaches on the island due to its volcanic past.

St Lucia Vs St John: Which Island Is Better For A Honeymoon

If you are considering a Caribbean honeymoon, St Lucia is a better destination when it comes to luxury and all inclusive hotels.

Jade Mountain is an award winning resort and is a one of a kind unique property on the island of St Lucia. 

This resort features uninterrupted views of the Pitons.

The bold architecture of the resort with long bridges and infinity pools makes Jade Mountain an unforgettable location for a honeymoon.

St Lucia is also home to three luxurious Sandals resort. These are the Sandals Grande St Lucia, Sandals Halcyon Beach and the Sandals Regency La Toc.

With Sandals, you can pay to stay at any one of these resorts but enjoy the amenities at the other two properties.

These properties feature several restaurants, swim up rooms, swim up bars and golfing facilities.

Contrastingly, there are no all-inclusive resorts in St John. However, there are villas, cottages, inns and resort like options available.

The Westin St John is the closest property to the typical Caribbean resorts.

There are restaurants, bars, spas and pools available. Grande Bay Resort and Lavender Hill are also other options that you should explore if visiting for a honeymoon.

On a whole, St John is more expensive than St Lucia mainly due to the fact that it is a smaller island and everything consumed is imported.

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

St Lucia Vs St John- Which Island Is Has Better Nightlife

If your preference is entertainment, then St Lucia is the ideal choice for you.

Rodney Bay is an area in St Lucia where one can find several beach bars, clubs and restaurants.

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

Additionally, every Friday evening except for Good Fridays, the village of Gros Islet comes alive.

Vendors sell barbecues and other local dishes and there is a live band featuring music from the island. Souvenirs and other forms of arts and craft are also available.

Alternatively, being a small island night life on St John is quiet with the main spots for entertainment located in Cruz Bay.

Reggae bands are the main form of entertainment with other live performances.

Quiet Mon Pub, The Tap Room and Dog House Pub are some of the well-loved places for entertainment on the island.

St Lucia Vs St John- What Are The Unique Things To Do

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.

Unique Things To Do In St John

Visit Mongoose Junction- is a shopping mall located in Cruz Bay built incorporating the vegetation and Danish history of St John.

At Mongoose Junction you will find a variety of shops which includes art gallery, delis, jewelery shops and more.

Explore Annaberg Plantation Ruins- St John was a producer of sugar in the 1780’s and Annaberg plantation was one of the 25 factories on the island.

The ruins are protected by the Virgin Island National Park and a key feature that stands today is a windmill. A historic must see if you visit St John.

Hike-With two third of the island being a National Park, there are numerous hiking trails of varying difficulties.

Ram Head Trail is one of trails with a moderate difficulty level but features glorious and scenic views.

On the other hand, if you are interested in seeing historic markings and carvings, the Petroglyph trail which is relatively easy and short which is along the Reef Bay Trail is one that you should explore.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, St Lucia is an ideal choice for a traveler who loves beautiful natural scenery such as The Pitons as well as bustling nightlife. Alternatively, St John is a great choice for a traveler whose priority is enjoying the beach, hiking and snorkeling in a peaceful and tranquil environment.

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