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Comparing STJ to St Lucia

Boston
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Comparing STJ to St Lucia

HI all, this is a post for those of you who wonder how different STJ is to St Lucia when planning a trip to one or the other. We literally just got back from St Lucia (our first trip) and have been to STJ 7 times so far and counting.

Briefly; driving- we think driving on St Lucia (STL) is harder because most roads have a very deep trench built in on the side of the roads to carry rain water during their intense downpours of rain. So the fear of driving into one of these and wrecking the rental car, particularly when the roads are narrow and you have to squeeze your car around another one made us both nervous.

Food- much healthier on STL- the focus there is on true Caribbean food focusing on fruits and veggies so we def didn't gain a pound. STJ is very Americanized so you eat there very much like you do in the mainland USA and its harder to eat healthy there other than shopping on your own

Food shopping- much easier on STJ. the one market of any size on STL. near the airport was tiny compared to Starfish market on STJ. You can however buy from people on the streets if you want and pick up lots of fruit and tubular veggies

Towns in general- STJ only has Cruz and Coral Bays and you can actually pull over and walk around both. Most of the towns on STL are villages right along the main roads so you can't pull over. They also are quite poor and there is no reason to pull over anyway. We did NOT go up to Rodney Bay or Castries so our experience comes from Soufrierre (where you CAN park but the town, IMHO, is a dump and we got harassed by guys begging for money more than one) and the towns on the east coast

People- the people on STL are lovely beyond words (other than the harassing jerks in Soufrierre) and much more welcoming than the locals we have met on STJ. But to be fair, when on STJ, we end up dealing with mostly US mainland ex-pats and the attitude is different than the native born Caribbean folks.

Snorkling and beaches- our favorite activity- MUCH better by far on STJ. We did go to a couple of very nice beaches on STL but the snorkling was almost non-existant.

Number and kinds of "activities"- because STL is much bigger, you have more choices of daily activities by far. Just depends on what you want to and need to do when thinking vacation thoughts.

Money- overall, STJ is cheaper. We were aware that the prices for most everything on STL would be higher and by gosh, they sure as heck were! Yikes!

Our "vote" still goes to St John, mostly due to the easier driving, slightly lower costs overall, and the beach/snorkling activities.

Any questions, here I am!

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1. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

thanks for posting.....

Parker, CO
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2. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

Thanks very much for posting. i have found, over the years, that whenever I get convinced to try some place new, I always wish I had spent the time and money returning to STJ. (Costa Rica, for example.) I have been considering St. Lucia, but I think I'll stick with STJ for now. :)

St Thomas, VI
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3. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

St Lucia, though, has more opportunities to see whales and dolphins in the water, so if you want to do a dolphin or whale watching tour, go to St Lucia.

Also, St Lucia still has fishing villages, and a very popular Fri night fish fry. No such thing on St John.

More local food on St Lucia. More waterfalls, too.

Most St Lucia beaches hage dark sand, regardless of what the photos look like. Or they're man made.

The two islands have little in common, IMO.

kod
Sarasota, Florida
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4. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

Your writing that its very poor, you got hassled in town, prices are high, the snorkeling is not good, the driving is nerve racking, and food shopping is not great. So aside from some friendly locals and restaurants with more healthy choices, what did you find was fun in St Lucia?

Indiana
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5. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

Thanks for your honest report of St Lucia. We just got back from a cruise and St Lucia is always a favorite port for me.The beauty of the Pitons, Jalousie beach and the friendly St Lucian's is always so welcoming. I also love to eat the true Caribbean food.

I would be afraid to drive on St Lucia. It takes so much longer to get to places than on St John.

I know what you mean about more choices on St Lucia I still would like to zip line there.

Snorkeling does not compare to St John.

I enjoy going other places but can not wait to return to St John in Jan for three weeks.

Boston
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6. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

I hear 'ya Cindy. We also LOVED the ziplining and the views on STL were unbelievable. We went on the Anse Chastenet Jazzy Cruise one night and had a blast- dolphins all over the place to watch as we danced the night away literally. We didn't get to do much (to answer Kod's question) as Hubby had an unexpected knee injury a couple of days before the trip so that ended the hiking plans (except for the Tet Paul hike which was excellent and the stairs at the ziplining place Treetop Adventures) so that was too bad but we didn't want to risk any knee stresses assoc with downhill walking. Even the driving was tough as we could only get a manual shift car and we had to take it slow with that :( We did go to a couple of great but extremely pricey dinners at a couple of the resorts which were delish, just as I said super-pricey.

Our STJ trips are long in coming next time as we have a wedding next year and a couple of other big ticket events that will kill the budget for the next 3-5 years. Oh well, life is good anyway!

Rockville, Maryland
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7. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

I made the mistake of going to Saint Lucia...one time. Got harassed by locals, did not feel "safe" at all. Never had that problem, or any other problem on Saint John. Maybe that's why we have been going to Saint John for over 20 years! Love this island!!

Boston
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8. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

I hear you margy075 but I have to say that we did get warned about the jerks in Soufrierre so we weren't stunned. While I didn't like it and don't want to deal with them again, we did meet WAY more people there who had big smiles while cheerfully asking us if we needed help when we clearly did :). That kind of outweighed the beggers. We have never dealt with that on STJ and I hope we never do. But overall, the people on STL were lovely.

Indiana
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9. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

Karrieb,

Glad to hear you liked the zip lining. Did you do it on your own or through a tour? We almost did it this time but ended up doing a water tour.

Do you mind sharing where you ate at? I always like to keep information tucked away in case we stay here.

Where did you stay? Was it a resort or a villa. To me St John is expensive and we cook in some to help cut cost.

Sorry to hear about your husbands knee. Hope he is on the mend.

Boston, MA
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for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
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10. Re: Comparing STJ to St Lucia

We - family of 3- went to St. Lucia several years ago & stayed at a small hotel in Rodney Bay. We walked to dinner each night and were never bothered by anyone. We also walked to the beach & shops & went on several excursions, including snorkeling. We would definitely return. STJ beaches are prettier & we are looking forward to our vacation there next month.

Edited: 20 November 2012, 04:08