Choosing between St Lucia or Turks and Caicos for your next vacation? If so, this article’s for you! 

St Lucia is known for its magnificent mountains, lush green rainforests, volcanoes, and scenic hiking trails.

Turks and Caicos is known for its picturesque white sand beaches, exceptional seafood, and prime snorkeling and diving spots.

Both islands are filled with natural beauty, making them popular travel destinations. But they have major differences that set them apart. 

I have put together this guide on their key differences to help you plan your next trip.

My guide will cover the differences between the tourist activities, beaches, nightlife, cost, and much more. 

So, keep on reading to learn how St Lucia and Turks and Caicos compare!

St Lucia vs Turks and Caicos
Image by: Rabih Shasha | Romello Williams

What is St Lucia known for?

St Lucia is a Caribbean island that’s a popular destination for many reasons. For one, St Lucia has one of the most diverse landscapes out of the Caribbean islands.

It has volcanoes, mountains, tropical beaches, and lush green rainforests with scenic waterfalls.

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

As you arrive in St. Lucia, you’ll be greeted with a spectacular view of the Piton Mountains, one of the world’s largest volcanic plugs. 

The Soufrier Volcano (Sulphur Springs) is the world’s only drive-in volcano, and it’s a must see place for visitors. It’s a large active volcano with mud baths, hot springs, and waterfalls.

You can hike around the area, take a dip in a mud bath, and wash off under a waterfall! 

Piton Mountains
Petit Piton
(Photo by: Nick Fewings)

The Piton Mountains are arguably the most remarkable aspect of St Lucia. These are two striking mountains (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), that were formed as the result of magma cooling within volcanoes around 200 to 300,000 years ago.

If you’re an avid hiker, you can go on a 4 hour trek at Gros Piton to reach the top of the mountains for outstanding views. But the hike is relatively difficult. Thankfully, you’ll get scenic views of the mountains as you explore throughout the island. 

Piton Mountains
Piton Mountains
(Photo by: Corinne Kutz)

Other popular hiking spots with scenic overlooks are the Pigeon Mountain National Park and  Tet Paul Nature Trail. The Pigeon Mountain National Park is surrounded by exotic birds, and has ancient forts that you can explore.

On the other hand, the Tet Paul Nature Trail is a fairly easy 0.6 mile hike that’s just minutes away from Soufriere. 

Helicopter tours and the rainforest Aerial tram are other ways you can get a spectacular view of the Piton mountains and Soufriere volcano. 

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
(Photo by: Omar Eagle)

Although St Lucia’s not known for its beaches, it has serene beaches with abundant coral reefs. Anse Chastanet beach, in particular, is a prime location for snorkeling. 

Other common activities in St Lucia are cocoa plantation tours, botanical gardens, waterfalls, parrot sanctuaries, and sunset cruises. 

Once the sun sets, there’s plenty of beachside bars and nightclubs to enjoy the night out in St Lucia. Every Friday the Gros Islet Street Party is held, which features dancing, live music, and local fresh seafood. 

Where To Visit In St Lucia

Whether you’re looking to take a dip in a volcanic mud bath or hike to get breathtaking views of the island, St Lucia has something for you. 

Spend time at Sulphur Springs, the world’s only drive-in active volcano. At Sulphur Springs, you can take a guided tour of the volcano, mud baths, and waterfalls around the area.

The entrance fee is $11 USD, and $10 USD to enter the mud baths. 

Petit Piton, St Lucia
Piton Mountains, St Lucia
(Photo by: Scott Taylor)

From there, head to the Piton Mountains, the world’s largest volcanic plugs. These magnificent mountains can be seen nearly everywhere throughout St Lucia.

You can hike the mountains with a guide for $50 USD, and the trek takes around 4 hours. To get an incredible view of the mountains, take a boat tour in Piton Bay, or relax on Sugar Beach.

The Tet Paul Nature Trail is an easier 0.6 mile hike that only takes 45 minutes to complete. Guided tours are run by locals which will teach you about exotic plants, plant medicine, and history of the area.

The trail is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM, and admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for kids. You’ll get impressive views of Gros Piton and Sugar Beach from the top.

Soufriere Beach
Soufriere Beach
(Photo by: Germine Sealy)

Hotel Chocolat is a must visit for anyone who loves chocolate. This is a tour through a cacao plantation in the rainforest that teaches you how cocoa is cultivated, and how chocolate is made.

You’ll get to taste freshly made chocolate and bring ripe cacao beans home. 

Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
(Photo by: Eagle Clarke)

For a bird’s eye view of the Piton Mountains, Soufriere Volcano, and Pigeon Island, take a helicopter tour.

Or, hop aboard the Rainforest Aerial Tram through the rainforest for beautiful scenery of St Lucia. Tickets to ride the open-air gondola are $85 USD per person. 

Anse Chastanet Beach is the best beach in St Lucia for snorkeling, having calm crystal-clear waters and abundant coral reefs.

You’ll get to see plenty of sea turtles, tropical fish, and vibrant corals. Other beaches worth visiting are Sugar Beach, and Reduit Beach.

Soufriere, Saint Lucia
Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia
(Photo by: Germine Sealy)

Sugar Beach gives exceptional views of Gros Piton, and has good restaurants. Reduit Beach is minutes away from the Gros Islet Street Party, and you can rent out lounge chairs and watersports equipment. 

Pigeon Island National Park is another must-visit attraction. This is a fairly easy hike that has 18th century British military ruins that visitors can explore, and spectacular views from the top. The entrance fee is $10, and it takes around 2 hours to hike both peaks.

Other places worth visiting in St Lucia are the Botanical Gardens, Morne Tabac Parrot Sanctuary, Toraille waterfall, and the Zaka Art Cafe. 

Here are some of the top tourist activities in St Lucia

  • The Pitons
  • Marigot Bay
  • Anse Chastanet Marine National Park
  • Pigeon Island National Park
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Tet Paul Nature Trail
  • Helicopter Tours

What is Turks and Caicos known for?

Turks and Caicos is a group of islands southeast of the Bahamas that’s known for its pristine white sand beaches, snorkeling, and boat tours. 

Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos
Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos
(Photo by: Edgar Serrano)

Unlike St Lucia, Turks and Caicos is not in the Caribbean but rather a British Overseas Territory. 

As you arrive in Turks and Caicos, you’ll be greeted with picturesque white sand beaches with bright turquoise waters. 

The beaches in Turks and Caicos have luxurious resorts, shopping centers, restaurants, massage huts, beach bars, and cafes. Many tourists spend the majority of time at the beach when visiting Turks and Caicos. 

Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach
(Photo by: Romello Williams)

One of the most popular beaches amongst tourists is Grace Bay Beach, a 12 mile beach where most of the luxurious resorts are located.

It’s a long stretch of powdery white sand that has watersport rentals, golf cart rentals, boat tours, horseback riding, and more. 

The Catamaran Sail and Snorkel Tour is a popular boat tour for spotting dolphins, and finding the best snorkeling spots in Providenciales. 

Also, Grace Bay Beach has art galleries, upscale boutiques, souvenir shops, casinos, and a golf club.  

If you want to avoid crowds, Turks and Caicos has several other beaches that are less touristy. Beyond watersports, Turks and Caicos has many exceptional beaches for snorkeling.

Only 3.5 miles from Grace Bay is Smith’s reef, which is home to manta rays, sea turtles, and plenty of tropical fish. 

Bay Bistro, Grace Bay Beach
Bay Bistro, Grace Bay Beach
(Photo by: Cassie Gallegos)

Turks and Caicos has incredible restaurants, with Da Conch Shack, Bay Bistro and Coco Bistro serving some of the best fresh local seafood. 

Overall, Turks and Caicos is a great destination if snorkeling, shopping, and trying exceptional seafood is high on your list of things to do. 

Where To Visit In Turks and Caicos

Whether you’re looking to explore the islands on a boat tour, or simply relax on a beach, Turks and Caicos has something for you. 

Spend time at Grace Bay Beach to relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. This beach has 12 miles of powdery white sand and clean, crystal clear waters for swimming.

turks and caicos
Grace Bay Beach
(Photo by: Keaton Nye)

You can go snorkeling, parasailing, and even horseback riding on the beach. Private boat charters are available that’ll take you island-hopping to the best snorkeling spots.  

While in Grace Bay, you can go shopping, golfing, get a massage, and enjoy some of the best seafood in the islands. 

If you want to try local cuisine, head to Stubb’s Diamond Plaza in Grace Bay for their weekly fish fry. The fish fry is held every Thursday from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM and you’ll get to enjoy live music, try local food and drinks, and buy souvenirs. 

For snorkeling, head to Smith’s Reef, just 3.5 miles away from Grace Bay Beach. Smith’s Reef has abundant coral reefs, sea turtles, and manta rays.

Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach
(Photo by: Derek Oyen)

Bight Reef is another incredible spot for snorkeling, with vibrant coral reefs and plenty of colorful fish. For watersports, head to Sapodilla Bay, which has jet ski rentals, umbrella rentals, and food vendors.

For an adventure, visit the Chalk Sound National Park, or Conch Bar Caves in Middle Caicos. 

The Chalk Sound National Park is a beautiful saltwater lagoon that’s just minutes away from Sapodilla Bay. You can rent out clear kayaks to explore the lagoon, and stop by Las Brisas for a nice lunch.

The Conch Bar Caves are underground limestone caves thought to be 2000 years old! Tours are available Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 3 PM, and the fee is $20 per person. ‘

Take a boat tour to explore the islands and see iguanas at Little Water Cay (Iguana Island). Or, go on a clear kayaking tour through a mangrove habit where you can spot sea turtles, baby lemon sharks, and jellyfish! 

For a break from the beach, check out the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Grand Turk Lighthouse, or Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Course. 

Here are some of the top attractions in Turks and Caicos

  • Grace bay beach
  • Smith’s Reef
  • Chalk sound national park
  • Turks and Caicos national museum
  • Conch Bar caves
  • Little water cay

Which island is better for vacation?

St Lucia and Turks and Caicos are two stunning islands with plenty of activities for tourists. 

St Lucia is the ideal destination for you if you prefer hiking and exploring volcanoes and rainforests. 

Turks and Caicos is the best destination for you if you prefer doing watersports, relaxing on a beach, and going on a boat tour. 

In general, St Lucia is more known for its volcanoes, mountains, and beautiful waterfalls, whereas Turks and Caicos is prized for its beaches. 


St Lucia and Turks and Caicos both have great beaches for snorkeling, but Turks and Caicos has more noteworthy beaches overall. Turks and Caicos beaches have soft powdery white sand, whereas only a few of St Lucia’s beaches have white sand.

The best beaches in St Lucia are Sugar Beach and Anse Chastanet Beach. Sugar Beach is a popular beach with luxurious resorts, restaurants, and a spectacular view of the Piton Mountains.

Anse Chastanet Beach is the best beach for snorkeling in St Lucia, with abundant coral reefs, sea turtles, octopus, and over 150 species of fish. 

The most popular beach in Turks and Caicos is Grace Bay Beach. This 12 mile stretch of powdery white sand has luxurious resorts, restaurants, cafes, spas, and more. On the beach, you can rent out watersports equipment, or take a boat charter to go island-hopping.

The best beach for snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is Bight Reef. Bight Reef is a beginner-friendly snorkeling spot with abundant coral reefs close to the shore. For a more secluded beach, Leeward Beach and Long Bay Beach are much less crowded. 


St Lucia and Turks and Caicos both have tropical climates with warm weather. 

The average temperature in St Lucia ranges from 72 F to 87 F whereas the average temperature in Turks and Caicos ranges from 77 F to 89 F.

The wet season in St Lucia is from June to December, whereas the wet season in Turks and Caicos is from August to December. 


The official currency in St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos is the US dollar, and most credit cards are widely accepted throughout the islands. 


The official language in St Lucia and Turks and Caicos is English. The majority of people in St Lucia also speak Saint Lucian Creole, and many locals in Turks and Caicos speak Turks and Caicos Creole.


St Lucia’s cuisine is flavorful and a unique mix of Indian, American, European, and Caribbean food.

Some common dishes are green figs and saltfish (boiled green bananas with salted cod), callaloo soup (creamy coconut soup), and accra (salt fish fritters).

If you’re visiting St Lucia, make sure to stop by the Gros Islet Street Party food fair to try local cuisine. 

Turks and Caicos cuisine is influenced by Jamaican cooking and involves lots of fresh seafood dishes. Some common dishes are conch fritters, lobster, and johnnycakes (cornmeal flatbreads).

If visiting Turks and Caicos, make sure to stop by the Thursday Fish Fry at Stubb’s Diamond Plaza to try out fresh local food. 

Cost to Travel

The average daily cost in St Lucia is $211, whereas the average daily cost in Turks and Caicos is $328 per day.


St Lucia and Turks and Caicos have plenty of bars and clubs, but the nightlife in Turks and Caicos is more laid back. 

In St Lucia, Rodney Bay Village has lively nightclubs, popular bars, and the Gros Islet Street Party. The Gros Islet Street Party is a street party held every Friday night starting at sunset with live music, dancing, and local food vendors. 

In Turks and Caicos, there are beach BBQs, sunset cruises, bars, and smaller nightclubs. 


St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos are generally safe destinations to travel to. Like any other location, take precautions to stay safe.

This includes being aware of your surrounding, reading about the areas you visit, and avoid walking alone at night. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit St Lucia is from February to May, and the best time to visit Turks and Caicos is from April to May.

The cheapest time to visit St Lucia is from May to September, whereas the cheapest time to visit Turks and Caicos is from June to November. Keep in mind that this is during their wet seasons, so the weather may not be ideal. 

Also read:


How far is St Lucia from Turks and Caicos?

St Lucia is 1,434 km from Turks and Caicos.

How do you get from Turks and Caicos to St Lucia?

The best way to get from Turks and Caicos to St Lucia is to fly, which will require a connecting flight.

Airlines that fly from Turks and Caicos to St Lucia include American Airlines, Caicos Express Airways, Caribbean Airlines, and InterCaribbean airways. 

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