Jamaica vs. St. Lucia

Jamaica and St. Lucia are two beautiful countries located in the Caribbean region. Jamaica is primarily known for its scenic coasts and lively communities. Whereas, St. Lucia is typically associated with luxury hotels and romantic getaways. Both islands possess wondrous natural beauty. However, the atmosphere in Jamaica is undoubtedly different compared to St. Lucia. So how do you choose where to travel between the two?
Jamaica vs. St. Lucia

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Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean region. Thousands of people travel to Jamaica to experience its rich cultural heritage and explore its unique landscapes. There are tourist attractions and activities by the beach, up the mountains, and in city centers. You won’t have any problem finding something fun to do wherever you are on the island.

St. Lucia is located on the far end of the Lesser Antilles. It is a common stopover for people cruising through different islands in the Caribbean including St. Maarten and Barbados. Widely praised for its undisturbed beauty, St. Lucia is considered a place for romantic getaways and activities.

Jamaica

Jamaica is a beautiful island in the heart of the Caribbean region. It is one of the largest territories in the Caribbean and it is home to a wide array of tourist attractions. It features spectacular coastlines, grandiose mountains, and numerous historic and cultural sites.

Several cities in Jamaica are considered tourist hubs. Montego Bay is a popular resort town by the northern coast of Jamaica. It features all-inclusive resorts and hotels, electric nightlife, and a beautiful coast. The westernmost Negril is another popular spot for family-friendly activities by the beach. The Ocho Rios provides tourists with wild adventures deep in the Jamaican mountains.

What Makes Jamaica Unique?

Non-Stop Fun Activities

Jamaica’s 10,992 sq km (4,244 sq mi) island features a wide array of tourist attractions. Considering the sheer size of Jamaica, it is near impossible to visit every tourist site in the country in a matter of days. Creating an itinerary with your choice of tourist destinations can make your trip more organized. Otherwise, several resorts and hotels in Jamaica offer package tours around the region.

Martha Brae River Rafting

The Martha Brae River is the most popular rafting location in Jamaica. It is located in Falmouth, Jamaica, and is only 32 km (20 miles) away from the bustling city of Montego Bay.

Rafting trips on Martha Brae start at the Rafter’s Village and travel through more than 5 km (3 miles). It tours through the calm waters of the Martha Brae using a 9-m long (30 ft) bamboo raft manned by licensed raft captains. The trip usually takes about an hour or so to reach the landing spot referred to as Martha’s Rest.

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Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures

The Mystic Mountain’s peak in Ocho Rios stands at 213 m (700 ft) and is one of the highest vantage points in the region. The nature adventure park lies at the center of Ocho Rios and features several activities, not for the faint of heart. The Rainforest SkyExplorer is a chairlift that takes visitors up 213 m (700 ft) and above the treetops. It is a scenic trip that provides panoramic views of the forest below and the rest of the island as it reaches its peak.

Once up, visitors can take the sought-after Bobsled Jamaica or the Zip-line attraction. The Bobsled Jamaica is a 1-km (0.6-mi) track that uses gravity-driven sleds to get back down. Another option would be the monstrous zipline attraction. The zipline flies tourists atop the rainforest from one platform to another.

Rich Culture

When people talk about Jamaica, reggae music is one of the first things that comes to mind. Jamaica is considered the birthplace of several entertainment trends and genres. Highly influenced by the African culture and vibe, the island is all about fun and electric energy passed through dance and music. Visiting tourist sites such as the Bob Marley Museum and the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum can provide visitors with a deeper appreciation of Jamaican culture and heritage.

Numerous Historical Sites

Behind Jamaica’s growth as a major tourist hub lies a long history of struggle and strife. Historical sites throughout the country provide tourists with a glimpse of the country’s rich history.

Seville Heritage Park

The Seville Heritage Park sits on a hilltop that provides a scenic view of the Caribbean sea. Although the park is now a place for family picnics and horseback riding, it is still a historic estate that holds great significance to Jamaica.

The grandiose estate had an important role when Taino Indians, Europeans, Americans, and Africans stayed in the region. It features collections of artifacts from the different occupants of the estate.

Port Royal

The Port Royal in Kingston was once the haven for notorious pirates in the Caribbean. Although much of the historic port sank under the sea because of a massive earthquake in the 1690s, several historic buildings still stand today.

Recognized as a National Heritage Site, Port Royal includes the grandiose Fort Charles, the slanted Giddy House, and more.

Accompong Village

Although not as popular as other historic sites in Jamaica, the Accompong Village tells the story of the rebel slaves that once lived in Santa Cruz. War ensued between the Maroon people and the British army until the signing of the 1739 peace treaty. The quaint town celebrates this victory yearly through the Accompong Maroon Festival.

Local Food and People

Nothing makes a Jamaican trip more authentic than tasting exotic food and meeting the locals. Jamaicans are dubbed as one of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world.

Now that a vast majority of Jamaican people speak English, there is less problem in starting a conversation. Stop by roadside shops or pop-up stores and chat with the locals while waiting for some authentic meat jerky.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia became an increasingly popular destination in the Caribbean. Drawing over a million visitors in recent years, St. Lucia is famous for its unmatched beauty and sceneries you only used to see in postcards.

St. Lucia is often considered a romantic getaway spot. It also has a reputation for being a luxury destination because of its abundance of all-inclusive resorts that usually costs a fortune. Despite this, traveling to St. Lucia doesn’t need to be expensive. There is so much more about the island that visitors could explore and discover.

What Makes St. Lucia Unique?

Picturesque Landscapes

St. Lucia is known for its lush rainforest, grandiose twin peaks, and unspoiled beauty. Even before reaching the island, visitors are greeted by the grandiose Pitons that stick way above the rest of the island. St. Lucia is also known for its crescent-shaped beaches lined with palm trees and soft sand.

However, lounging by the coast is not enough to fully appreciate the island’s wondrous beauty. Hiking to some of the island’s tallest points can provide tourists with panoramic views of the island and the Caribbean sea.

Pigeon Island National Park

Aside from its beauty, the Pigeon Island National Park is also considered one of the most important historical sites in St. Lucia. Once used as a strategic lookout over Rodney Bay, Pigeon Island is the perfect mix of beauty and history. Visitors can hike up the island to reach the vantage point providing panoramic views of the Caribbean.

Several building ruins were scattered throughout the island as remnants of the French-English battles. Pigeon Island also features an interpretation center. This provides information for a better understanding of the island’s role in St. Lucia’s history.

Pitons

The Pitons are undoubtedly the island’s most iconic feature. Situated along the southwestern coast of the island, the taller Piton soars up half a mile and towers over the rest of the island. The Gros Piton and Petit Piton were formed from volcanic activity hundreds of thousands of years ago and currently lie dormant.

The peaks are difficult to climb because of harsh terrain and nearly vertical ascent. However, experienced divers can take their adventures to a series of underwater cliffs within the mountains. Both peaks are considered UNESCO World Heritage sites to further protect their beauty.

Hidden Adventures Tucked in Nature

St. Lucia’s beauty is more than its soft sand beaches and clear, blue waters. Instead, so many more adventures lie deep in the island’s lush rainforest and mountain peaks.

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is a well-curated estate designed to be a top tourist attraction. The garden features a vast collection of ornamental plants and tropical flowers. A trail passes through the lush vegetation in the estate and leads to the Diamond waterfall and several hot mineral springs in the area.

Sulfur Springs Park

The Sulfur Springs Park is a dedicated mud bath and hot spring resort in Soufriere, St. Lucia. The 114-acre (46-hectare) nature resort lies within the Piton World Heritage Site and features mud pools, natural hot springs, and a waterfall.

Tourists flock to the Sulfur Spring Park because of its reputation to detoxify the body. Many believe that taking dips in the mud can help with skin irritations and arthritis.

Beauty Under the Sea

St Lucia’s charming beauty is not limited to its landscapes but is seen under the sea as well. The Anse Chastanet Marine National Park is a renowned tourist diving spot because of its undisturbed coral reefs. Sitting on top of a plateau are vividly colored sponges and different types of corals. Along with this is an abundance of sea life. Tourists can spot parrotfishes, barracudas, and even sea turtles.

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Privacy and Serenity

Despite St. Lucia’s increasing popularity, visitors that come to the island are relatively less compared to top tourist hubs in the Caribbean. This allows the few tourists on the island to avoid crowds and experience a rather secluded vacation. Although all the beaches in St. Lucia are open to the public, some are more secluded and remote than others.

Is St. Lucia or Jamaica Better?

St. Lucia and Jamaica are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. However, their charm that draws tourists is for rather different reasons.

Jamaica is often considered the heart of the Caribbean. It features the perfect mix of fun and beauty with its wide selection of tourist attractions. Jamaica offers pristine beaches, local entertainment, undisturbed mountain ranges, and numerous historic sites. Jamaican people and communities thrive in the tourism industry and are considered some of the most hospitable in the world.

St. Lucia, on the other hand, is an upscale destination that provides tourists with a secluded and luxury vacation. Considered as one of the most romantic places in the world, St. Lucia has a wide selection of resorts and hotels for couples to enjoy. You can bask under the blazing sun or cool off with a nice swim. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities in St. Lucia because of the colorful reefs surrounding the island.

If you’re traveling to the Caribbean, you can never go wrong with going to Jamaica or St. Lucia. Both islands have their unique charm and beauty that will make your vacation feel amazing no matter what. Remember, Jamaica is primarily for fun and adventures while St. Lucia emphasizes the peace and quiet its scenery gives. There is no wrong choice between the two, instead, it is just a matter of preference.

FAQs

Is St. Lucia Safer Than Jamaica?

The notable difference in size and population between St. Lucia and Jamaica is a huge factor when it comes to safety and security. Jamaica is a much larger island with an even larger population and an influx of tourists. On the other hand, St. Lucia is a smaller resort island that provides a quaint and quiet destination for tourists.

St. Lucia is marketed as an upscale tourist destination with luxury hotels and resorts lining its coasts. This makes St. Lucia safer for tourists since fewer people visit and inhabit the island. However, it is important to note that popular tourist hubs in both St. Lucia and Jamaica are considered safe. Caribbean tourist destinations are always well patrolled by authorities.

Is St. Lucia Richer Than Jamaica?

According to the World Bank, St. Lucia consistently has a higher GDP per capita than Jamaica for the past decade. Records also show that quality of life is much better in St. Lucia. People are expected to live longer and healthier.

However, this privilege comes with a price as the cost of living is also notably higher in St. Lucia than in Jamaica. People in St. Lucia spend more on food, transportation, housing, clothing, and childcare.

St. Lucia or Jamaica for Honeymoon

St. Lucia and Jamaica are popular destinations for romantic getaways. Both islands offer beautiful backgrounds and a calm atmosphere for couples to enjoy. However, there are some notable differences between the two spots when it comes to activities and destinations.

Jamaica is mostly famous for its lively beach towns and rich culture. Couples can enjoy fun water activities and experience local entertainment at night. Moreover, resorts in Jamaica often offer honeymoon packages that explore top tourist destinations. This includes laid-back activities and thrilling adventures perfect for couples to experience together.

Dubbed as one of the sexiest islands in the world, St. Lucia’s is a popular romantic destination. The island’s allure is its serenity and remoteness perfect for newlyweds.

St. Lucia’s tourism does not focus on family beach resorts but luxury accommodations ideal for couples. This allows couples to enjoy a variety of activities without dealing with crowds. The privacy that St. Lucia offers makes it the perfect honeymoon getaway spot for couples.

Is St. Lucia in Jamaica?

St. Lucia is a separate island from Jamaica. It is located in the eastern part of the Caribbean region and a part of the Lesser Antilles. The closest islands to St. Lucia are St. Vincent, Grenadines, and Barbados.

Where Is St. Lucia Compared to Jamaica?

St. Lucia lies along the far eastern end of the Caribbean region while Jamaica is located near the center. The islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and most parts of the Lesser Antilles sit in between the two islands. The total distance between the two islands is 1,804 km (1,120.9 miles).

How Far Is St. Lucia From Jamaica?

Jamaica and St. Lucia lie on opposite ends of the Caribbean region. The total distance from St. Lucia to Jamaica is 1,804 km or 1,120.9 miles. Traveling to and from either island by plane can take as fast as 9 hours or as long as 21 hours depending on the route.

Is St. Lucia Smaller or Bigger Than Jamaica?

Jamaica is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean region. It ranks third behind Cuba and Hispaniola consisting of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On the other hand, St. Lucia belongs to the Lesser Antilles, which is a collection of small island countries in the far east end of the Caribbean.

Jamaica’s total land area is 10,992 sq km (4,244 sq mi) while St. Lucia only has 617 sq km (238.225 sq mi). This makes the island of Jamaica almost 18 times larger than the quaint island of St. Lucia.

How Do I Get From Jamaica to St. Lucia?

St. Lucia is a common stop for luxury cruise ships traveling through the Caribbean. However, there are still other travel options for those who want to specifically visit St. Lucia.

There are no direct flights from Jamaica heading to Vieux Fort in St. Lucia. However, tourists can catch connecting flights to travel to the Lesser Antilles.

If you’re coming from Montego Bay, there is a wide selection of flight routes heading back to the US connecting to St. Lucia. The closest airport would be Miami but there are more flights available in New York.

Tourists coming from the capital city of Kingston can only catch a connecting flight heading to St. Lucia at Miami.

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Are There Direct Flights From Jamaica to St. Lucia?

There are no direct flights from Jamaica heading to St. Lucia. Tourists coming from Jamaica going to St. Lucia need to take connecting flights to reach Vieux Fort. There are more flights to St. Lucia available in Montego Bay than in Kingston, Jamaica.

How Long Is a Flight From Jamaica to St. Lucia?

Considering that there are no direct flights from Jamaica to St. Lucia, the total travel time between the two islands differs for each route.

Flights from Montego Bay heading back to the US take roughly 3 to 5 hours. From there, flights to St. Lucia take another 4 to 6 hours. However, the total travel time includes the long stopovers between flights. Depending on the location, the delay usually adds another 12 to 17 hours. Thus, making the total travel time from Jamaica to St. Lucia somewhere between 20 to 22 hours.

On the other hand, flights coming from Kingston are a lot faster. Since the only flight available travels directly to Miami, the total travel time to get to St. Lucia is cut to roughly 6 to 7 hours only.

How Much Is Jamaica to St. Lucia?

Traveling from Jamaica to St. Lucia requires more than just one flight. Plane tickets from Montego Bay back to the US and connecting to St. Lucia costs somewhere between $230 to $560. Those coming from Kingston and connecting to Miami to get to St. Lucia costs around $310 to $430.

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