We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

boulder
Level Contributor
177 posts
Save Topic
What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I guess this question is for people who have been to both but ONLY in terms of vacation, what are some similarities and differences between St Lucia and Barbados?

I'm talkin' food, adventure (River Rafting etc), snorkeling or surfing, photography, atv riding, fishing, the local people, the sun sets, the beach bars and restaurants. Are there some things one place offers that the other doesn't?

Thanks!

Todd

Essex
Level Contributor
1,511 posts
217 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

We have been to both and loved both. St Lucia is very lush because of the amount of rainfall it gets, the snorkelling was some of the best we have experienced. Getting around the island is not as easy as Barbados and whilst we found the St Lucian people to be friendly Bajans have the edge for us with friendly nature. Both islands have plenty of things to do and lots of adventures. For us Barbados would get our vote because of ease of travelling around, public transport and places to eat. Really depends on what is important to you and definitely the time of year you plan to travel ( if travelling in wet season I would recommend Barbados). Whichever island you choose you will love it!

Donna

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
1,217 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

St Lucia wins over Barbados for its sheer beauty, however Barbados is a much smaller island easier to navigate. There is not the same freedom in St Lucua as there is in Barbados, the Bajan people are warm and welcoming in general, we thought the St Lucians were a little cool towards visitors, having said that it might just depend on who you happen to meet, The dining out options in Barbados far outweigh those in St Lucia, we might be biased but one trip to S Lucia against 15+ to Barbados says it all!

Sheffield, England
Level Contributor
5,347 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I think the previous posters have nailed the real difference. We loved St Lucia but it is Barbados to which we return over and over. St L scenically superior, Barbados wins for ease of travel around the island and resort and restaurant choice etc and for beaches. If you want to wander out at night to eat you need to be in the Rodney Bay Area of St L. It is more set up for All Inclusive than Barbados. We did like St L a lot though and we had no qualms about a hire car there and found the people friendly.

Derbyshire, United...
Level Contributor
2,970 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I find the beaches in Barbados much nicer than SLU as the sand is dark there due to it being volcanic, you have to be at the Rodney Bay end of the island to get lighter sand but still you don't get the bright turquoise water which you do in Barbados due to the sand being much darker. Having said that I have enjoyed quite a few trips there but do prefer Barbados overall for many of the reasons above.

Palm Beach Condos...
Level Contributor
10,625 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

Yes - agree with previous poster - we didn't like St Lucia that much, as those dark volcanic sand beaches were not very attractive - and even the "lighter ones" had a grey look and the soles of my feet were always filthy looking and so were the inside of my sandals! - somewhat of a put off - (but as St L has 2 volcanoes it is not surprising) - sound reason for our choosing to buy a home here 26 yrs ago and only visiting St L once.

yorkshire
Level Contributor
76 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

Barbados feels safer, to leave your accommodation and venture out. It is definitely more affluent than St. Lucia. Most beaches are picturesque in Barbados, but St. Lucia is a stunningly beautiful island. It is easier to travel around in Barbados because the island is basically flat, whereas St. lucia is peaked and covered in tropical rain forest. When I left St. Lucia, I wished I could have bottled the "belly" laughs of the friendly people.

I'm sorry and probably not helping with your decision

Guess what I should say is, go to one island, then save hard and do the other. Have a fantastic time

Montreal QC
Level Contributor
700 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I've never been to St. Lucia but I do a lot of research on destinations.

As far as I understand it here are the key points for both.

St, Lucia wins in terms of beautiful landscape - Take a tour of Barbados though, you won't be disappointed either.

Barbados wins in terms of convenience, getting around, vast amounts of restaurants, bars, good public transport, shopping, maybe a bit more commercialized but the culture is still alive and thriving. (It isn't Americanized like Aruba for example)

People - I haven't been to St. Lucia but hadn't ever heard anything bad, but I can safely say Barbados has awesome people. Like anywhere, you'll have the good and the bad, but the good definitely more than outweigh the bad who are a small minority.

Food - All I can say is for the most part the food in Barbados is amazing. I love Bajan style cooking and don't feel the need to go to fancy restaurants when a food van has food that is orgasmic. That isn't to say there aren't plenty of fancy restaurants to keep your interest either though.

I think Barbados has the benefit of being a Jack of all Trades. Each coast is vastly different, west coast is posh upscale, south coast is more of a nightlife/affordable destination, east coast for its beauty, the northern point is absolutely stunning too. Barbados also has a good mix of accommodations to support anyone's needs. Whether it's a rental condo, a cheap resort, a high end luxury or an all inclusive, Barbados has a lot to offer and can pretty much tick every box, unless you're looking for a more Americanized island like Aruba, or other islands that have a lot of gambling. Casino's definitely aren't plentiful (or exist, even?) in Barbados.

Bagshot, United...
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
4,167 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I have been to St Lucia once and Barbados over 20 times, so I am a little bit biased! I thought Barbados won on every score for me - easier to get around, nicer beaches, felt safer, more to do. I found with St Lucia because of the terrain it took a long time to get anywhere, and once you had done the botanical gardens/volcano (sulphur spring), maybe an island tour or boat trip, that was it really unless you were into golf (which was also v expensive). The only thing that St Lucia had going for it was the volcanic landscape.

Grangemouth...
Level Contributor
477 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

I have been to both and for what its worth IMHO I think Barbados is over-rated

Yes it has friendly people, nice beaches, cheap transport but as I said not as brilliant as the the lovers of the island make it out to be - again my opinion

Oistins the much vaunted weekend event - its ok but is it honestly any better than Jump Up at Gros Islet in St Lucia? No I don't believe it is

St Lucia is a stunning island which no one will surely deny - yes it has darker sand but is that really a deal breaker??? It has the friendly people, try the market in Castries, the shoppings good in Castries (take the water taxi from La Place Carenage to Pointe Seraphine)

So for me if it came down to a straight fight between the two - St Lucia would win it for me not that I won't return to Barbados but I enjoyed St Lucia more

Kirimist - "The only thing that St Lucia had going for it was the volcanic landscape" - really? Nothing about the beautiful lush vegetation, the rugged east coast, Pigeon Island??

London
Level Contributor
41 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What's the difference between St. Lucia and Barbados?

As airline staff we get annual free tickets on a major airline. We thought about St. Lucia - but that elderly yachting couple were murdered, apparently deliberately delayed by corrupt customs officials in league with the local crims. Then we thought of Antigua - but decided against this after the newly married Brit. couple were murdered in their apartment a few years back. Trinidad has also been reported to have increased violence against whites. Indeed it seems that the Caribbean Islands are no longer the safe havens for white Europeans / Americans - except for the British Virgins and Barbados. So it was Barbados again for us this year. Whilst the locals' favourite past-time is ripping off the tourists as least they don't seem to kill anyone doing it. But why has the Caribbean become so dangerous? Aftermath of Katrina maybe?