St Lucia Or Antigua: An Honest Comparison To Help You Decide!

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Last updated on March 22, 2023 by Wandering our World

When it comes to dream getaways, St Lucia and Antigua are two destinations at the top of most people’s lists. Both of these Caribbean paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand.

However these islands, despite their similar size, are actually very different…

For example, if you’re looking for white sand beaches and turquoise swimming waters then Antigua wins hands down. This island is perfect for a relaxed beach-focused vacation.

St Lucia can sometimes be a bit more rough and ready, however the scenery is breathtaking with the iconic Pitons the star of the show. If you want a holiday with a bit of everything – sunbathing, exploring, snorkeling, hiking and even mud baths on a volcano! – then St Lucia is the best choice.

However that’s just the beginning when it comes to how different these two islands are…

Luckily after visiting both, we compare them below and show you exactly what each has to offer.

We show you which one has the better beaches, what sortof activities you can do in each, the culture and food to expect and more. All so you can make the right vacation decision!


  1. A Quick Overview & Comparison
  2. Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?
  3. Which Has Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
  4. Where To Stay According To Your Budget
  5. Which Has The Better Food Scene?
  6. Which Is The Better Choice?
An infographic pitting Antigua vs St Lucia and showing some of the key differences that will be discovered later in the article.

A Quick Overview & Comparison

For tourists looking to sunbathe and swim, both St Lucia and Antigua are great options. St Lucia is bigger though, possessing 98 miles of coastline compared to smaller Antigua’s 54 miles!

When it comes to beaches however, Antigua is the better choice. Antigua has many iconic white sand beaches – which St Lucia lacks – making it the picture-perfect image of the Caribbean. It’s also less rainy than St Lucia, which is another positive for sun-seekers.

The scenery in both countries is very different as well. Antigua is mostly flat and is limited when it comes to mountains and rainforest.

St Lucia, on the other hand, is a volcanic island with a lush mountainous inland made up of 19,000 acres of rainforest. That opens up many opportunities for walking, jungle trekking and exploring.

That mountainous terrain does make St Lucia a more difficult island to get around though. And while hiring a car is easy to do, some of the winding roads are tricky. In comparison Antigua is a much easier island to negotiate.

In fact Antigua definitely feels more more geared towards tourists, so you’ll easily find bars, restaurants and a nightlife that caters mainly towards visitors. There’s also many tourist excursions available for tourists through hotels and resorts.

StLucia isless touristorientated than Antigua. You may find you need to explore the island moreon yourown than as partof a tour. However that also arguably makes the island a betteroption for someoneon the hunt for a morelocal experience.

Below we look at some of the natural sights and spots you will encounter in both. Before comparing what to expect culturally in each country.

Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?

St Lucia: The Beaches & Landscape

Although St Lucia has some excellent beaches, this Caribbean paradise is a place to enjoy all aspects of nature. It’s rugged, lush, and dramatic, and is perfect for the sun-seeker who wants some adventure too.

It’s an island that feels more cut off from the rest of the world than Antigua, with its winding roads, quaint villages, and less-tourist orientated vibe.

When it comes to accommodation options, St Lucia will probably be a much more affordable choice too, than the more tourist-orientated Antigua which has more of a focus on high-end hotels and therefore tends to be more expensive.

For beaches inSt Lucia, head to Rodney Bay where you can find Reduit Beach. This is one of the longest strips of sand on the whole of St Lucia.

The golden sand, set against lush green hilly vegetation and the Caribbean Sea, makes it a perfect spot to relax. If you’re looking for white sand, then Anse des Pitons is the place to go.

St Lucia is also home to incredible coral reefs which are teeming with life. For one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, head to Anse Chastanet.

Not only is the snorkeling world class here (and arguably better than Antigua), the backdrop of mountains against the beach is spectacular.

This dive map shows the best spots on the island. A great underwater camera – such as this one – is a must.

But the real beauty of St Lucia lies away from the coastline. The phenomenal Pitons – a volcanic mountain range – rise up against the backdrop of blue near the town of Soufrière.

This must-visit World Heritage Site is a great place for hiking, wildlife spotting and jungle treks – many of which lead to waterfalls. There’s also a cable car that provides a view of the jungle from the canopy top. It’s very special.

The Pitons have more to offer than hiking too – they’re home to the world’s only ‘drive-in volcano’.

There you can drive to Soufriere and experience the sights and smells of this dormant monster.Don’t forget to take a dip in the mud baths on the volcano’s slopes before you leave.

Bathing in volcanic mud baths – that’s St Lucia’s adventurous side for you! And exactly why adventurous tourists may prefer this destinationover Antigua.

Antigua: The Beaches & Landscape

Beaches are Antigua’s crowning glory, with all 365 beaches on the island – one for every day of the year – accessible to the public. So if beaches are a priority for your vacation, then you’re going tolove Antigua!

It is also home to many white sand beaches, the holy grail for sunbathers and beach swimmers the world over. That’s actuallyoneof the reasons Antigua madeourlistof the best Caribbean islands for couples!

For some of the best white sand and turquoise swimming waters in Antigua – and the Caribbean – head to Dickenson Bay. It’s one of the most popular spots on the island, but the white powder sand is breathtaking.

Another beach we would recommend is Half Moon Bay. The landscape is a bit more rugged and remote here – and there’s no facilities. But that also means there’s very few people. It’s secluded and has that deserted island feel to it.

Antigua is also home to some fantastic snorkeling spots. One is just off Galley Bay, were you can see teeming sea-life amid the coral thanks to fantastic clear blue waters. This dive map shows the best spots on the island.

Some of the best snorkeling spots in Antigua are far from shore though. One of those is snorkeling at the shipwreck off Deep Bay. One tip is to hire a small boat from Reef Riders in nearby Jolly Harbour, and join them on an accompanied trip to the shipwreck.

While St Lucia is a lot more lush and wild than Antigua, there’s still some forest in Antigua that can be explored.

Head to Fig Tree Drive, a road which takes you up into the forest and wild vegetation. This is probably Antigua’s most scenic road, and it shouldn’t be missed. But if you’relooking to do more hiking than sunbathing thenSt Lucia may be a better choice for you.

However in general, if you’re looking for a mostly beach-orientated vacation, but with a few possibilities for other outdoor adventures like road trips or hiking, then Antigua is a great option.

Which Has Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?

Along with the natural scenery on offer, both Antigua and St Lucia have a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences worth checking out.

However it’s worth noting that when it comes to exploring these islands, Antigua has infrastructure that’s a little better than St Lucia, so it is easier to get around and explore.

On the other hand, St Lucia’s roads can be steep, narrow, and sometimes tough going. Adding to the complications of moving around the island yourself.

Below we look at the cultural highlights in both islands so you can see which one may suit your holiday preferences the most! Pavone

St Lucia: The Culture

This island is a melting pot of cultures, most heavily influenced by African, French and English traditions. The colorful homes here are indicative of the vibrant Kreole culture that has emerged from that mix.

As a country that was fought over for years by colonial powers, St Lucia is home to countless relics.

In the north-west, Pigeon Island National Park has to be visited. It’s home to many colonial relics left over from when the French and British battled it out for St Lucia.

Staying in the colonial period, head to Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens in Soufrière. Tropical plants and gorgeous colors are everywhere in this garden that’s set on an estate from the 18th century.

For something more local, modern, and lively, then you must join in the Gros Islet Jump Up.

This street party is full of food, good conversation between locals (and tourists!), and dancing to Caribbean music that is blasted over speakers. It happens every Friday night.

Marina landscape of Castries, St Lucia

Antigua: The Culture

Around 95% of Antiguans are descendants of African slaves. So the culture has heavy African influences, as well as British influences due to colonialism.

The Antigua Carnival has its roots in the abolition of slavery, and is therefore a happy, fun and colorful festival that takes place during July. Expect street parties, fantastic street food, and parades when Carnival comes to town!

If you want to learn more about the colonial period, then you should visit Betty’s Hope Estate. This was a working sugar plantation that was run by the British during slavery. It’s now been converted into an open-air museum so tourists can learn about that dark period of history.

For those keen to learn more about Antigua’s past, then head to the 18th century Nelson’s Dockyard in Saint Paul Parish.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to centuries old colonial buildings, and a maritime museum that documents the turbulent times around Antigua. However it also remains the only continuously working Georgian dockyard on the planet!

Where You Should Stay According To Your Budget


Shoestring: Tropical Garden Cottage is a gorgeous one-bedroom property set in lush surroundings in Saint Johnʼs. It’s affordable, romantic, and quiet. Just relax on the hammock, listen to the sounds of Antigua and enjoy. See photos and rates here.

Budget: Siboney Beach Club is located directly on one of Antigua’s prettiest white sand beaches, so you’ll be waking up to the sound of waves alongside wonderful sea views.

Couple that with the on-site snorkeling, fantastic pool, massage services, and exquisite cuisine and you will be getting a luxury hotel experience but at a fraction of the price! See photos and rates here.

Luxury: Carlisle Bay, with its private beach and exceptional facilities, is one of those resorts we all want to stay in at some point in our lives. The service is world class and you will feel like a celebrity here.

There’s a childrens’ club to keep the kids entertained, tennis courts, swimming pools, a library, some of the best cuisine on the island, as well as many water activities and boat excursions available. See more photos and rates here. Gunderson

St Lucia

Shoestring: If you’re looking for a place to stay with a little bit of adventure, look no further than Zamaca Bed and Breakfast. The balconies and sizable shared veranda overlook an unspoiled private beach and a verdant valley.

Expect friendly service and exceptional Caribbean cuisine. A hearty breakfast with fresh tropical fruit and juice is included in the nightly rate, and a five-course elaborate dinner is optional.

Zamaca is also close to one of the island’s two international airports and is a short drive to many of St Lucia’s attractions, including its distinctive natural reserves and lively nightlife. See photos and rates here.

Budget: Tet Rouge Resort is an adults-only resort that offers a romantic getaway with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, an infinity pool, and a covered patio with bar. A spacious terrace with views of the Caribbean’s beautiful blue water highlights the hotel’s six sea view studios.

The world-famous Pitons, stunning beaches, waterfalls, botanical gardens, and cocoa plantations are all just a few of the tourist hotspots nearby. See photos and rates here.

Luxury: When you arrive at the Cap Maison Resort & Spa, you’ll know that you’ve arrived somewhere special.

This five-star luxury resort was meticulously built and combines exquisite attention to detail with highly personalized service. It is beautifully situated above a secluded sandy beach with gorgeous views, luxury private villa suites, many with rooftop pools.

There’s also beach service, complimentary non-motorized water sports, a hiking and running club, a private 46-foot resort boat and golf! See photos and rates here.

Which Has The Better Food Scene?

Both countries will provide a treat for your taste-buds, with cuisine focused around seafood.

St Lucia: The Food

Seafood is a big part of St Lucian cuisine, but in particular shellfish and lobster are favorites here.

When visiting St Lucia, eating freshly caught lobster and lambi (conch) is a must. It’s going to taste great whether from a restaurant or a street vendor.

For a traditional appetizer or side, then baked plantain is the way to go. This is St Lucia’s version of French Fries.

If you want a very local experience, the quaint fishing village of Anse La Raye is for you.

Every Friday night this tiny village hosts the ‘Fish Fry’ where street vendors sell grilled and fried fish, lobsters, and much more – all with drinks flowing and music playing!

Antigua: The Food

The national dish of Antigua is the first thing you should try. Called fungie (pronounced foon-jee), this is a typical breakfast dish made out of cornmeal. It’s similar to mashed potato.

For something a bit more filling, then Antigua is famous for its pork chops with banana and bacon. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s delicious.

The official fruit of Antigua is also well worth trying – the black pineapple! It’s regarded as one of the sweetest tasting pineapples in the world, and is often had for breakfast.

A popular desert here is Ducana, which is a dumpling made from sweet potato and coconut, then cooked in banana leaves.

St Lucia Or Antigua: Which Is The Better Choice?

Both islands have their own unique charm, however if you’re looking for white sand beaches and turquoise swimming waters than Antigua wins hands down.

Antigua has fantastic beaches and tends to be easier to get around than St Lucia too. It’s also got a well developed tourist sector.

St Lucia is more rough and ready, however the scenery is breathtaking with the iconic Pitons the star of the show. If you want a holiday with a bit of everything – sunbathing, exploring, snorkeling, and walking – then St Lucia is the best choice.

Recommended For Your Trip To Antigua Or St Lucia


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.