St Lucia and St Martin are very appealing destinations for persons seeking an unforgettable Caribbean vacation.
The islands have a lot to offer from beautiful mountains, hiking trails and uninhabited islands for those seeking tranquility and serenity.
In this article, we provide a comprehensive comparison of St Lucia with St Martin to help you determine which destination is ideal for a Caribbean adventure.
As a general rule, St Lucia is ideal for visitors seeking to relax on black sand beaches, island hop to the French Caribbean and visit the iconic Pitons. Alternatively, St Martin is perfect for visitors seeking exotic French cuisine, island hopping to Anguilla and relaxing on white sand beaches.
Read on for more attributes of St Lucia and St Martin. This article was written by a Caribbean national.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- Which Destination Is Bigger
Known globally for its stunning twin peaks called the Pitons, St Lucia is the larger of the two destinations being 238 square miles.
Alternatively, St Martin is only 37 square miles with the highest point of elevation being Paradise Peak.
In French, this mountain is called Pic Paradis which stands at 1,391 feet.
One distinctive feature of St Martin is the landmass of the island is shared with the Dutch Caribbean island, St Maarten.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- What Are The Official Currencies
Both islands use different currencies for day to day transactions.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) is the official currency of St Lucia and this currency is also used by seven other Caribbean islands.
The exchange rate of the USD to the XCD dollar is USD$1 to XCD $2.70. US dollars are accepted readily by businesses across the island. Change is usually issued in the local currency.
On the contrary, the best currency for St Martin is the Euro which is managed by the European Central Bank.
Bank notes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro dollars. Coins are available in 1 and 2 Euro dollars and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent pieces.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- What Are The Official Languages
The official languages spoken in both islands differ.
In St Lucia, the language patois is spoken among the natives for day to day interactions addition to English.
This is a broken form of French still used day to day by St Lucians due to the French heritage of the island and a unique part of the island’s culture.
The patois language has died in neighboring Caribbean islands such as Grenada where the language was not passed to the next generation.
The French occupied St Lucia from 1651, when the island was purchased from the Caribs. In 1814, St Lucia was transferred to the English.
Contrastingly, as an overseas territory of France, French is the official currency spoken in St Martin.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- Is It Easy To Visit Other Caribbean Islands
St Lucia and St Martin offers exciting opportunities to visit other Caribbean islands from their shores.
L’ Express Des Isles provides inter island ferry services from St Lucia to Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Also, depending on the time of the year and festivals in Antigua, the same ferry provider has ferry services to the Northern Caribbean island of Antigua.
Likewise, St Martin is an exceptional place for island hopping. There are ferry services to Anguilla and St Barths.
One major advantage of sharing its landmass with St Maarten is access to ferry services from the Dutch side to Saba, St Eustatius, St Kitts and also Anguilla.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- Which Destination Has Better Beaches
Peradventure, black sand beaches are ideal for your dream vacation then St Lucia is the destination to visit 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.
Alternatively, Orient Bay is a popular beach for both locals and visitors on St Martin for its amazing white sand and turquoise waters.
Orient Bay Beach is excellent for water sport activities such as snorkeling.
Orient Bay Beach is the most popular beach in St Martin, so expect there to be a crowd.
There are several beach bars such as Waikiki Beach, Kakao, Perch Bar & Grill, Bikini Beach and Kontiki Beach in this area.
St Lucia Vs St Martin- Which Destination Has Better Nightlife
St Lucia is the more vibrant destination of the two with the hotspot for nightlife situated in the Rodney Bay area.
It is also the location where many expats in St Lucia lives. There are restaurants, hotels, bars, supermarkets and marinas in this location.
If you are visiting St Lucia, try to stay on a Friday as there is a street food festival which is hosted every Friday in Gros Islet called Fish Friday.
At this festival, there are vendors selling a variety of food with fish being the main ingredient as well as live bands and individuals selling local crafts and souvenir items.
Generally, St Martin is a laid back island but it has the advantage of sharing the landmass with St Maarten which is the party capital of the Caribbean.
Nevertheless, there are beach bars and restaurants which you can enjoy in the evenings. Some of these include KKO Beach Bar & Restaurant and Driftwood Boat Bar.
On the Dutch side of the island, there are much more variety of clubs and bars. The Refuge is one of the more popular spots on the Dutch side.
Therefore, visitors have the option of driving across if they desire entertainment
St Lucia Vs St Martin- Unique Excursions In Each Destination
Toraille Waterfall, St Lucia-this fall is located a few minutes from the Soufriere volcano.
Toraille waterfall has a drop of 50 feet with a pool where you can relax and enjoy a refreshing bath. This makes Toraille waterfall one of the largest in St Lucia.
There are amenities such as picnic benches, shower and changing rooms available.
This is a perfect activity to pair with a visit with the sulphur springs mud baths as they are in close proximity.
Pinel Island, St Martin– this is a small island is part of the French Marine Reserve that you can access with kayaks, chartered boats or paddle board.
The main beach has calm and shallow waters with restaurants located on the shore. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
You can also hike on the island and enjoy panoramic views of St Barths, Tintamarre Island, Anguilla and St Martin.
On a whole, St Lucia is suitable for visitors who are interested in hiking the Piton, relaxing at Toraille Waterfall and black sand beaches. On the other hand, St Martin is ideal for visitors seeking to island hop to the Dutch Caribbean islands as well as enjoy the uninhabited Pinel Island.
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