Last updated on March 13, 2023 by Wandering our World
When it comes to dream getaways, Grenada and St Lucia are two destinations that won’t disappoint. Both of these Caribbean paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, sand and a bit of adventure.
However these islands, despite their similar size, are actually quite different.
For example, if your priority is beaches, then Grenada may be a better choice than St Lucia. This island is also easy to get around, is one of the Caribbean’s most peaceful, and has a real local feel as tourism is yet to take over.
But if you’re looking for a holiday which encompasses a bit of adventure, as well as sun, sea, and sand, then St Lucia with its lush scenery and wild landscape would be a great choice. The island has better nightlife than Grenada and is far more tourist-orientated.
Of course that’s just the beginning when it comes to how St Lucia and Grenada are different.
That’s where we can help! Having visited both, we compare them below, and show you what each has to offer.
We look at which has the better beaches, what excursions are available, compare the culture, food and lots more!
- A Brief Overview & Comparison
- How Do The Beaches & Landscape Compare?
- How Does The Culture & Vibe Compare?
- Where To Stay According To Your Budget
- A Taste Of The Caribbean: How Does The Cuisine Compare?
- Which Should You Choose
A Brief Overview & Comparison: Grenada vs St Lucia
When it comes to sun, sea and sand, Grenada probably has better beaches than St Lucia in our opinion. The island has several iconic white sand beaches – making it the picture-perfect image of the Caribbean.
So if beaches are your priority when deciding between Grenada or St Lucia, then Grenada is the better choice. Though St Lucia also has some stunning stretches of sand too, which we’ll show you a little later.
However both islands also have great scenery inland, with lush rainforest, mountains, wildlife spotting opportunities, and fantastic hiking trails.
St Lucia, with the majestic and dramatic Piton mountains, is probably the more beautiful of the two destinations, and feels like a sightly more wild version of Grenada.
However the downside of that is that St Lucia can be a difficult island to get around – that’s not such an issue in Grenada.
Grenada is the less commercialized of the two islands, and certainly feels more local than St Lucia, which has a bit more of a tourist vibe.
In fact Grenada is sort of what the Caribbean used to be like before resorts and the tourist sector took over.
However that does mean that St Lucia is more equipped for tourists in terms of excursion choices, as well as bars and restaurants catered to visitors.
Both Grenada and St Lucia are very safe destinations, but visitors to both often find Grenada feels a little safer. Mainly due to the being less disparity between rich and poor in the country.
Below we look at some of our favorite natural sights in both, before comparing what to expect culturally in each. All to help you choose!
How Do The Beaches & Landscape Compare?
Grenada: The Beaches & Landscape
You can’t go wrong when it comes to beaches in Grenada, and one of our favorites throughout the Caribbean actually exists on this island – Grand Anse.
This gorgeous long stretch of sand is the perfect place to unwind, and the swimming water there is calm, warm, and full of wonderful varied shades of blue. There are several resorts that dot the coastline at Grand Anse, so it’s a great place to be based if staying on the island.
Morne Rouge beach is another favorite of ours. The white sand here not only looks beautiful, but its gentle gradient down into the water makes it a safe spot to swim and shore snorkel.
This beach is regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots on the island too. In fact when it comes to snorkeling, Grenada is arguably better than St Lucia in that respect.
However what also makes Grenada special is that it doesn’t feel like life revolves around tourism. In fact this island is named ‘The Spice Isle’ because it’s one of the world’s biggest producers of cinnamon (which is a real ‘superfood’), nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, bay leaves and many others.
Nestled in Grenada’s lush hilly interior, is Belvedere Plantation – one of the island’s biggest spice plantations. A visit there will transport you back in time, and will also give you the chance to see, smell, and taste, this island’s famous exports.
Staying in the mountains, head to Grand Etang Forest Reserve where you can find a huge lake formed from a volcanic crater. Keep an eye out on the trees while walking, and see if you can spot the friendly Mona monkeys that live in the reserve!
In fact this island has some great hiking opportunities, with mountains, waterfalls and jungle treks to discover.
In short, the landscape and beaches of Grenada are beautiful, yet remain less developed for tourists than other Caribbean nations, making it an interesting, picturesque and authentic vacation destination.
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 cut off from the rest of the world with its winding roads and quaint villages.
For beaches, 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.
But 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, the backdrop of mountains against the beach is spectacular. This dive map shows the best spots on the island.
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 majestic must-visit world heritage site is a great place for hiking 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 pretty special.
The Pitons have more to offer than hiking too – they’re home to the world’s only ‘drive-in volcano’. Here you can drive to Soufriere Volcano and experience the sights and smells of this dormant monster – don’t forget to take a dip in the mud baths on the slopes before you leave!
How Does The Culture & Vibe Compare?
Both islands are friendly destinations that provide a more rustic Caribbean experience than the more popular islands in the region. Subsequently, they also feel less Americanized.
St Lucia is a bit more lively than Grenada though, and arguably has the better nightlife. Grenada, on the other hand, is one of the most peaceful islands in the Caribbean.
Grenada: The Culture & Vibe
The Spice island is famous for its vibrant Caribbean culture and the annual carnival celebration – called Spicemas – is a fun-filled colorful celebration of the end of slavery. Taking place at the start of August, expect funky costumes, lots of energy and a party atmosphere on the streets.
With your interest piqued in Grenadian history, take a trip to the Grenada National Museum in St George’s – the capital of the island.
This former French Barracks and British prison has been transformed into a collection of exhibits on Grenadian history, through the times of slavery and colonization till the present day.
Along with spice, Grenada is famous for its cocoa which is some of the best in the world. Take a trip to Jouvay Chocolate and tour (for free!) their small organic farm – feel free to ask the farmers questions as you wander among the cocoa!
For more things to do in Grenada, check out our nine unique things to do in this laid back country.
The great thing about Grenada is the vibe remains quite ‘local’, and there’s plenty of cultural activities that give you a window into life there. That’s unlike other Caribbean islands where everything is so tourist orientated.
St Lucia: The Culture & Vibe
St Lucia 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, and is 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 great Caribbean music. It happens every Friday night.
Where To Stay According To Your Budget
Budget: With uninterrupted sea views, and set amidst a backdrop of lush jungle, the Petite Anse Hotel feels romantic and luxurious, yet without a crazy price tag. The little beach in front of the hotel, alongside the outdoor pool, make this a real slice of paradise. See photos and rates!
Luxury: Sometimes all you want to do on holiday is relax knowing that everything is sorted. That’s exactly what you’ll get at the Royalton Grenada which has some of the best facilities across the island as well as world-class service.
This five-star all-inclusive resort is just steps from the beach, has a fantastic pool and sea views, and even has a kids club so parents can get a well-earned break. See photos and rates!
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 – but at a budget most can afford!
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 and even has luxury private villa suite with rooftop pools. See more photos and rates here.
A Taste Of The Caribbean: How Does The Cuisine Compare?
Both countries will provide a treat for your taste-buds, with cuisine focused around local ingredients and influenced by tradition.
Grenada: The Food
As you would expect from an island nicknamed ‘The Spice Isle’, Grenada is a foodie’s paradise with taste-packed local dishes, and argubaly a better food destination than St Lucia.
The first thing to try is Grenada’s national dish – Oil down. This pot stew is a favorite of Grenadian families, and is made up of coconut, salted meat, jackfruit and packed full of spices.
A popular street food on the island is Roti, which is a wrap filled with either curried chicken, fish, or vegetables. Locals like to have them with extra hot sauce, but they’re delicious without as well.
There’s also plenty of seafood, with grilled lobster being particularly popular.
A favorite desert of ours are Coconut drops. This sweet treat resembles a small cookie, and is made up of grated coconut, flour, egg, sugar, and butter all mixed together and then baked. Tasty!
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.
For 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!
Grenada Or St Lucia: Which Is The Better Choice?
Both are great choices, and if you have the time and money, each is worth visiting.
However if the priority is beaches, then Grenada is a better choice than St Lucia. This island is easy to get around, and is one of the Caribbean’s most peaceful and has a real local feel.
But if you’re looking for a holiday which encompasses a bit of adventure, as well as sun, sea, and sand, then St Lucia with its lush scenery and wild landscape would be a great choice.
The island has better nightlife than Grenada and has more tourist-orientated options, but can be difficult to move around.