St Lucia and Antigua are two popular vacation islands in the Caribbean, and for good reason. This guide will compare the two islands to help you decide which place is more worthy for your next trip! 

In a nutshell, St Lucia’s the place for you if hiking, exploring rainforests, and going on chocolate tours sounds enjoyable to you.

Antigua is the best place for you if visiting historical landmarks, trying exceptional seafood restaurants, and lounging on the beach sounds better to you.

However, that’s just scratching the surface. This article will cover the key differences in activities, beaches, nightlife, cost, and more.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know to choose which destination suits you best. 

St Lucia vs Antigua
Photo by: Corinne Kutz | Simone Mascellari
Antigua vs St Lucia

St Lucia Overview

Located north of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean, St Lucia is a small island that’s popular for adventure seekers.

St Lucia’s breathtaking landscape consists of volcanoes, dense rainforests, mountains, and tropical beaches.

Piton Mountains
Piton Mountains (Photo by: Corinne Kutz)

Whether you’re looking to see geysers and hot springs at a volcano or snorkel on the beach, St Lucia has something for you. 

One of the most impressive attractions in St Lucia are the Piton Mountains.

The Piton Mountains are volcanic plugs formed 200,000 to 300,000 years ago as the result of magma cooling within a now-dormant volcano.

These striking mountains can be seen nearly everywhere throughout the island, and they’re a great place to hike. 

The next natural attraction St Lucia’s known for is Sulphur Springs (Soufriere Volcano), the world’s only drive-in volcano.

This volcano national park has hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, and mineral mud baths.

Sulphur Springs
Sulphur Springs (Photo by: Aleksei Anatskii)

You’ll get the chance to hike the volcano, take a dip in a mineral mud bath, and wash off under a waterfall. 

Similar to Antigua, St Lucia has several great beaches for swimming and snorkeling. As you swim in St Lucia’s beaches, you’ll get exceptional views of the Piton Mountains. 

Beyond natural attractions, popular activities in St Lucia include visiting waterfalls, snorkeling, boat tours, rainforest tram rides, and touring chocolate farms. 

Pitons Mountains, St Lucia
Pitons Mountains, St Lucia (Photo by: Corinne Kutz)

Due to its diverse landscape, you won’t struggle finding things to St Lucia. 

When it comes to nightlife, St Lucia has an abundance of beach bars and nightclubs to enjoy a night out.

A hotspot for nightlife in St Lucia is Rodney Bay Village, which has bars, clubs, and a street party held every Friday night. 

Things To Do In St Lucia

From exploring the Soufriere volcano to snorkeling on the beach, St Lucia caters to a wide variety of interests.

Soufriere Beach
Soufriere Beach, St Lucia (Photo by: Germine Sealy)

If you’re an adventure seeker, head to the Soufriere volcano (Sulphur Springs). Sulphur Springs National Park is an active volcano with mud baths, geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls.

You can explore the national park for an entry fee of $11 USD for adults, and $5 USD for kids. Once you’re done hiking, you can take a dip in mineral mud baths, and wash off under a waterfall. 

Just a few miles away from Sulphur Springs is Hotel Chocolat, a resort that offers guided chocolate tours.

You’ll get to tour a cacao plantation, learn how chocolate is made from cacao pod to bean, and taste freshly made chocolate! This is a must visit place for anyone visiting St Lucia. 

As soon as you arrive in St Lucia, you’ll have spectacular views of the Piton Mountains. However, you can get incredible views of the mountains from Sugar Beach or on a boat tour in Piton Bay.

If you’re an avid hiker, you can hike Gros Piton or Le Petit Piton. Gros Piton is the largest of the two volcanic plugs, and it’s a 3.2 mile difficult hike that requires a guide.

Piton Mountains
Piton Mountains (Photo by: Nick Fewings)

Le Petit Piton is a 1.1 mile hike that’s still challenging but the views at the end make it worth it.

Another popular activity in St Lucia is hiking the Stairway to Heaven (Tet Paul Nature Trail). This hike is easier than hiking the Piton Mountains, and it gives incredible views of the mountains and volcanoes. 

Stop by Pigeon Island National Park to hike Signal Hill, birdwatch, and explore fascinating 18th century forts.

Pigeon Island National Park
Pigeon Island National Park (Photo by: Simon Hurry)

From the top of Pigeon Island, you’ll get spectacular views of Rodney Bay. This is one of the easiest hikes in St Lucia, and the entry fee to the park is $10 USD. 

Head to St Lucia’s rainforest to spot wildlife and enjoy beautiful scenery. At the rainforest, you can hop aboard the Rainforest Aerial Tram to get priceless views of the island on an open-air gondola. 

For those looking to snorkel, spend the day at Anse Chastanet beach.

With abundant coral reefs, parrot fish, and sea turtles, Anse Chastanet beach is the best spot to snorkel in St Lucia. At the beach, you can rent out snorkeling equipment, and they have lockers to place your belongings. 

And if you want to relax on the beach, drop by Sugar Beach or Reduit Beach. These are two picturesque beaches with gentle waters, lounge chair rentals, and restaurants.

St Lucia
Reduit Beach, St Lucia (Photo by: Simon Hurry)

Sugar Beach is near Sulphur Springs, and it has upscale resorts and restaurants. Reduit Beach is near Rodney Bay Village, so it has plenty of restaurants and beach bars to stop by.

Here are some of top tourist activities in St Lucia.

  • The Piton Mountains
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Hotel Chocolat
  • Tet Paul Nature Trail
  • Anse Chastanet Beach
  • Pigeon Island National Park
  • Helicopter Tours
Antigua vs St Lucia

Antigua Overview

Located in the eastern Caribbean, Antigua is a small island that’s known for its rich history, picturesque beaches, and exceptional seafood.

Similar to St Lucia, Antigua’s landscape consists of rainforests, mountains, and tropical beaches.

However, Antigua has nearly 15 times the amount of beaches as St Lucia, with 365 in total.

Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda (Photo by: Patrizia Berta)

Whether you’re looking to do watersports, or relax at a beach bar, there’s a beach in Antigua for you. 

The most popular beaches in Antigua are Jolly Beach, Ffryes Beach, and Dickenson Bay Beach. These pristine white sand beaches have bright turquoise blue waters, and calm waves for swimming. 

Besides the beaches, Antigua has historical sites, farmer’s markets, cathedrals, shopping centers, art galleries, and more. 

If you’re traveling to Antigua for the first time, the capital city of Antigua is St. John’s is one of the best places to stay.

St John's, Antigua
St John’s, Antigua (Photo by: Simone Mascellari)

It’s surrounded by colorful buildings, has various landmarks, and some of the best food on the island. 

Another popular place to stay is English Harbour, which is located on the extreme south of the island. English Harbour is a marina lined with cafes, bakeries, restaurants, shopping centers.

Across from English Harbour on the other side of the marina is Nelson’s Dockyard National Park.

This interesting national park has a historical naval dockyard, museum, old historic buildings, and 12 miles of hiking trails to explore. 

Another notable place in Antigua is the Shirley Heights Lookout, which is a short 5 minute drive from English Harbour.

Shirley Heights Lookout, Antigua
Shirley Heights Lookout, Antigua (Photo by: Rick Jamison)

This scenic lookout gives breathtaking views of the harbor, and it has a popular seafood restaurant on site. 

Throughout Antigua, there are many beautiful natural attractions, including Fig Tree Drive and Devil’s Bridge.

Fig Tree Drive is a scenic drive through Antigua’s rainforest that has old sugar mills, pineapple farms, and tropical fruit trees.

Devil’s Bridge is a limestone arch that’s nestled over the ocean, where you can watch waves crash over. 

Devil's Bridge, Antigua
Devil’s Bridge, Antigua (Photo by: Martin Hayes)

Antigua is known for its incredible seafood restaurants, and tropical fruit. Throughout the island, there are roadside stalls and farmer’s markets where you can try out local produce.

If you visit Antigua, make sure to try their signature black pineapple, one of the sweetest varieties of pineapple grown in the world! 

Similar to St Lucia, Antigua has a lively nightlife, with plenty of beach bars and clubs in St John’s and English Harbour. 

Things To Do In Antigua

From visiting historical landmarks to swimming with stingrays, Antigua has lots of unique tourist activities to offer. 

Head to Nelson’s Dockyard National Park to explore a resorted naval yard with a museum, historical buildings, cafes, restaurants, and 12 miles of hiking trails.

As you stroll along Nelson’s Dockyard, you’ll get scenic views of the marina. 

English Harbour, Antigua
English Harbour, Antigua (Photo by: Natalia Zuritta)

For lunch or dinner, stop by the Shirley Heights Lookout restaurant and bar. This restaurant is on top of a mountain and it has priceless views of the marina, and nearby islands in Antigua. 

Compared to St Lucia, Antigua has a wider variety of beaches. With 365 beaches, there’s plenty of beaches for swimming, snorkeling, and partying.

Some of the most picturesque beaches in Antigua are Half Moon Bay, Ffryes Beach, and Darkwood Beach. These beaches have lounge chair and umbrella rentals, bars, and plenty of places to eat nearby. 

If you’re looking to snorkel, Dickenson Bay Beach, Cades Bay National Park, and Galles Bay Beach are just a few of the many great beaches for snorkeling. 

Dickenson's Bay Beach
Dickenson’s Bay Beach, Antigua (Photo by: Sarah Kilian)

For a truly unique experience, you can go on a snorkeling trip to Stingray City to feed and swim with large Southern stingrays as well. 

Another natural attraction worth stopping by for photos is Devil’s Bridge. It’s a natural rock arch made of limestone nestled in the ocean with blowholes, and crashing waves.  

Other places you won’t want to miss visiting in Antigua are Fort James, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, and Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation. 

Here are places you won’t want to miss visiting in Antigua. 

  • Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
  • Shirley Heights Overlook
  • Stingray City
  • The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Fort James
  • Devil’s Bridge
  • Betty Hope’s Sugar Plantation
Antigua vs St Lucia

Which island is better for vacation?

St Lucia and Antigua are two beautiful islands that make for a great vacation. 

St Lucia is the best place for you if visiting volcanoes, exploring rainforests, and going on a chocolate tour seems interesting to you.

Antigua is the destination for you if you prefer beach-hopping, visiting historical landmarks, and strolling along the marina. 

Generally speaking St Lucia has more natural attractions, including the Piton Mountains, Soufriere Volcano, and Pigeon Island.

Antigua has more historical landmarks, such as Nelson’s Dockyard, Fort James, and Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation. 

Ultimately, the best island will depend on your preferences, where you stay, and the types of activities you choose. 


There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches in St Lucia and Antigua. Antigua has 365 beaches, whereas St Lucia only has 23.

In St Lucia, Sugar Beach, Reduit Beach, and Anse Chastanet Beach are the most notable beaches.

Sugar Beach and Reduit Beach have watersports, lounge chair and umbrella rentals, restaurants, and bars.

Anse Chastanet Beach is the best beach for snorkeling, with abundant coral reefs and tons of impressive marine life.

It has snorkeling equipment rentals and lockers to protect your belongings while you snorkel for the day as well. 

In Antigua, Honeymoon Bay Beach, Ffryes Beach, and Darkwood Beach are a few of the many stunning beaches on the island.

Most of the beaches have lounge chair rentals, bars, bathrooms, and other convenient amenities.

And if you want to snorkel, Dickenson Bay Beach, Cades Bay National Park, and Galles Bay are all incredible options in Antigua. 


St Lucia and Antigua have tropical climates with comfortable warm weather year-round.

The average temperature in St Lucia is 73 F to 87 F. Similarly, the average temperature in Antigua ranges from 72 F to 88 F throughout the year. 


The official currency of St. Lucia and Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$).

Although US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the island, it’s good to keep enough of their currency for small purchases and tips.

Keep in mind that if you use US dollars, you’ll receive change back in EC$. Once you arrive in either island, you can exchange your currency at an ATM or accommodation. 


The official language in St Lucia and Antigua is English. St Lucian Creole and Antiguan Creole are also commonly spoken amongst locals. 


St Lucia cuisine is similar to Antigua’s cuisine, with saltfish and fungi, black pudding, and johnnycakes being local delicacies. 

Some dishes unique to St Lucia you won’t want to miss trying are green figs and saltfish, creole bread, and curried lambi. 

In Antigua, make sure to try jerk chicken, tamarind balls, and their signature black pineapple. 

Both islands have everything from fine-dining restaurants to small beach shacks and food vendors. 

Cost to Travel

St Lucia is generally cheaper to travel to than Antigua in terms of accommodation, food, and transportation.

The average price for a hotel in St Lucia is $274, and $344 in Antigua. Additionally, the cost of living in Antigua is 43% more expensive than St Lucia. 


St Lucia and Antigua both have lively nightlife. In St Lucia, Rodney Bay Village is a hotspot for nightlife, and has clubs, bars, and casinos.

Every Friday night in Rodney Bay Village, you can enjoy live music, local food, and purchase art at the Gros Islet Street Party as well. 

In Antigua, St John’s and English Harbour are popular spots for nightlife, with several night clubs, and bars. 


St. Lucia and Antigua are some of the safest Caribbean islands to visit.

As with any destination, always be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and read about the areas before visiting. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit St Lucia is from February through May, and the best time to visit Antigua is from December through April.

This is during their respective dry seasons. However, the cheapest time to visit St Lucia is from May to September, and the cheapest for Antigua is from May to November. 

Antigua vs St Lucia


How far is Antigua from St Lucia?

Antigua is 363 km from St Lucia. 

How do you get from Antigua to St Lucia?

The only way to get from Antigua to St Lucia is to take a connecting flight since there are no direct flights.

Most flights will include at least 2 layovers, and the total flight time will be around 24 hours. 

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