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!