St. Lucia is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean region. Arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the world, many visit St. Lucia to witness that beauty themselves. From the towering Pitons to its numerous natural harbors, everything on St. Lucia is picture-perfect.
St. Kitts is a small island in the middle of the Lesser Antilles. Although minute in size, St. Kitts is rich in history and cultural heritage. It features well-preserved fortresses and colonial buildings. The island itself is quaint and quiet. Allowing tourists to sit back and relax while exploring the island’s historical and cultural attractions.
If you are having trouble choosing between St. Lucia and St. Kitts, this quick overview should help you.
St. Lucia belongs to the collection of small islands along the Caribbean’s eastern end known as the Lesser Antilles. Although not the most visited tourist destination in the region, St. Lucia is particularly lauded for its picturesque beauty. It features the perfect balance of striking blue waters, pristine coastline, and lush mountain ranges.
The island is ranked as one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean region. Characterized by a tropical and humid climate all year round, St. Lucia provides a perfect place for a summer vacation.
What Makes St. Lucia Unique?
Twin Mountains of St. Lucia
Even before arriving at the island of St. Lucia, visitors will never miss the two towering mountains dominating the island’s landscape. The Piton Mountains of St. Lucia are located along the island’s western coast and sit side by side.
These volcanic mountain spires are one of the island’s most photographed landscapes. Referred to as Gros Piton and Petit Piton, the grandiose peaks were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
The taller 798-meter high (2619 ft) Gros Piton is located in Soufriere. The slightly smaller 743-meter high (2437 ft) Petit Piton lies right outside Choiseul. Aside from being one of the island’s most iconic landmarks, the mountains draw tons of tourists trying to reach their peaks.
Although both mountains are open for expeditions, the steeper Petit Piton is mostly climbed by experienced mountaineers. The Petit Piton features a significantly steep and rugged terrain. Because of this, climbers need to acquire a special permit to be allowed entry. Aside from that, they are also required to have local guides with them on their journey up the mountain.
On the hand, the wider Gros Piton is more frequented by tourists. Although taller, climbing the Gros Piton is not as challenging as the steeper Petit Piton. There are several well-marked trails and guided tours available for tourists heading up the Gros Piton’s peaks.
The French Town of Soufriere
Sitting right at the base of the towering Pitons, the town of Soufriere is one of the most visited tourist destinations on the island. Stretching along St. Lucia’s western coast, the quaint village is home to some of the island’s most popular tourist attractions:
Sulphur Springs Park
The Sulphur Springs Park in Soufriere is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist attractions on the island. The geothermal park draws thousands of visitors yearly because of its unique features. Recognized as the first drive-in volcano, Sulphur Springs benefits from the activity of the Soufriere.
Tourists sought the park’s collection of mud baths. Visitors enjoy covering themselves with the so-called “miracle mud”. Many believe that it can help detoxify the body and help heal illnesses such as arthritis and eczema.
There is also a 50-foot tall (15 m) waterfall within Sulphur Springs Park. Typically, visitors head over to the Toraille Waterfalls to wash after indulging themselves in the warm mud bath.
Diamond Falls Botanical Garden
The Diamond Falls Botanical Garden is a world-renowned and multi-awarded tourism site. Covering a total area of 6 acres (2.4 ha), it is one of the perfect spots to relax and appreciate St. Lucia’s natural beauty. Located within the Soufriere Estate, Diamond Falls features a vast collection of exotic and tropical fauna.
Tourists heading to the Diamond Falls Botanical Garden can take leisurely walks on landscaped paths and trails. One of the site’s star attractions is the scenic Diamond Waterfalls. It is tucked within thick foliage and features a striking blue pool beneath it.
Anse Chastanet Beach
The Anse Chastanet is widely considered the best beach in St. Lucia. Aside from its scenic beauty, there are also fewer people on this part of the island. Compared to the more popular Reduit Beach, the Anse Chastanet provides a more intimate and private swimming experience away from crowds.
Stretching along Soufriere’s majestic harbor, the stretch of Anse Chastanet is well developed. It features several resorts and restaurants. However, this part of St. Lucia is particularly known for its amazing snorkeling and diving spots.
There are two main reef systems located on both ends of the Anse Chastanet beach. It features vibrant and vividly colored coral reefs teeming with marine life. The reefs are also near and shallow, allowing snorkelers to easily reach the site.
Adventures at Pigeon Island National Park
The Pigeon Island National Park is one of St. Lucia’s most visited tourist attractions. Located right off of the island’s northwestern coast, Pigeon Island is a scenic spot for tourists to enjoy a variety of activities.
Originally separated from the mainland, Pigeon Island features an artificial causeway. This conveniently connects the island to the rest of St.Lucia for easier access.
Pigeon Island played a huge role in St. Lucia’s history. Considered one of the most important and significant monuments on the island, the site serves as a living museum relating to St. Lucia’s cultural heritage as well as civil, military, and international history.
Covering a total of 44 acres (17 ha), Pigeon island features a popular walking trail. It passes through several military ruins that come with information about the island’s history. At the end of the trail is a scenic lookout on the historic Fort Rodney.
Built in the late 1770s, Fort Rodney was once at the center of conflict between English and French military forces. Because of its strategic location, the military base at Pigeon Island was continuously conquered.
Aside from its historical relevance to St. Lucia, Pigeon Island is also known for its amazing landscape. The island feature two peaks that provide panoramic views. On clear days, visitors can see the neighboring island of Martinique as well as the towering Piton mountains to the southeast.
There are also several white-sand beaches that tourists can stay at. Coming to the island early in the morning provides a more intimate and private experience. At dawn, there are only a handful of people on Pigeon Island.
World-Class Local Products
When it comes to local food products, there are two things St. Lucia is known for – chocolate and beer.
The Morne Coubaril and Fond Doux Plantation are two of the island’s most popular chocolate producers. Tourists can take tours of their cocoa farms and learn about the island’s history. Aside from that, visitors can also take part in the production process from start to finish. Some cocoa plantations on St. Lucia offer Make Your Own Chocolate Bar activities.
Brew making is also a rich industry in St. Lucia. The world-renowned brand known as Windward & Leeward Brewing named one of its products as Piton Beer.
Named after the iconic twin mountains of St. Lucia, no trip to the island is considered complete without tasting at least one of Piton Beer’s many flavors. Tourists can choose from its variety of brews including the Piton Shandy Ginger, Lemon, Passion Fruit, and Sorrel.
St.Kitts is a small island located in the Lesser Antilles. With a total area of only 269 sq. km (104 sq. miles), the notably small island paradise is home to less than 100,000 people. Dubbed the Gibraltar of the West Indies, St. Kitts was once at the center of conflict in the Caribbean region.
Despite its lack of size, tourism plays a huge role in the island nation’s economy. Drawing more than a million tourists in 2019, St. Kitts continues to grow and develop into a primary tourist hub. Its natural beauty and long history are on par with the neighboring islands of Anguilla and Montserrat.
What Makes St. Kitts Unique?
The Tourist Hub of Basseterre
Situated along the island’s southeastern coast, the city of Basseterre serves as St. Kitts’ primary tourist hub. Considered the commercial and industrial center of St. Kitts, Basseterre serves as the capital city of the island nation.
Aside from serving as the capital city of St. Kitts, Basseterre plays a huge role in the island’s tourism. It features the island’s international airport and port. Thus, Basseterre is the first to welcome visitors coming to St. Kitts. Because of this, the city is developed to cater to the growing demand of tourists and the island’s tourism industry.
The majority of the island’s commercial stores and markets are located in Basseterre. The nearby stretch of Frigate Bay features some of the island’s most popular resorts and accommodations. It also has the infamous Frigate Bay Strip which includes several local restaurants and food stores along the beach.
The city of Basseterre features the National Museum of St. Kitts. Housed in the historic 1984 treasury building, the museum houses an expansive collection of artifacts about the island. It also has several exhibits that trace the island’s local history and culture.
The renowned Independence Square holds historical and cultural significance to the locals of St. Kitts. The landscaped park serves as the primary spot for local events. There are also several colonial buildings around the park.
Once in a Lifetime Trip Aboard St. Kitts’ Scenic Railway
St. Kitts is a relatively small island. The total area of St. Kitts is 269 sq. km (104 sq. miles). Thus, exploring most of the island can only take a couple of days. To make this feat even easier, the island features a scenic railway that loops around the island in a matter of three hours.
The Scenic Railway of St. Kitts is one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. The railway system was originally built as a transport system for the island’s once-booming sugar cane industry.
The railway travels from the capital city of Basseterre and passes through several plantations and factories on the island. When the industry died down, the railway was transformed into a tourist attraction
Dubbed as the “Last Railway of the West Indies”, the scenic train ride takes tourists to a looping track around the island of St. Kitts. The total trip covers a 30-mile (48 km) circle and takes roughly three hours from start to finish.
Passengers can choose between two seating options. The two-decked tram features an open-air platform on top and air-conditioned rooms under. St. Kitts’ Scenic Railway also comes with a tour guide that provides details and the history of different parts of the island.
The Historic Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park features several historically significant attractions. The Brimstone Hills sits on top of a hill by the foot of Mount Liamuiga. It was built by African slaves and served as a military for the British forces. Because of its strategic location, the fortress played a crucial role in the island’s quest against conquerors.
Drawing thousands of tourists yearly, the site is one of the best-preserved fortifications in the Americas. Construction of the fortress took well over 100 years and feature different levels. Today, it houses the Fort George Museum, the Western Place of Arms, and the Eastern Place of Arms.
There are also different ruins of buildings around the fortress. These were dismantled by the British forces before abandoning the site. Because of its historical, cultural, as well as architectural significance, the fort was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
World-Class Golf Courses
Nothing screams laid-back than playing golf on one of the best courses in the Caribbean. Although tourism in St. Kitts is still developing, there are two famous courses that tourists can enjoy.
The 18-hole Robert Trent Jones course features natural foothills and a vast plain with panoramic views of the ocean. The Royal St. Kitt’s Golf Club features a 9-hole course stretching right along the oceanfront. Amateur and expert golfers can enjoy swinging while basking under the tropical heat of St. Kitts.
Which Is Better – St. Kitts or St. Lucia?
St. Lucia and St. Kitts are some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. Despite their smaller size, tourism in these destinations continues to thrive.
Tourism in St. Lucia banks heavily on its picturesque beauty. The monumental Piton Mountains serve as the best backdrop for every picture. Its natural beauty overwhelms any tourists traveling to some of the island’s most popular attractions.
Visitors can also take their adventures up the mountain peaks or under azure blue seas. From scenic views to wondrous coral reefs, there is no wonder St. Lucia ranks as one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean region.
On the other hand, St. Kitts’s charm is its quaint and laid-back environment. Visitors get the chance to enjoy a tropical paradise without crowd or competition. But, St. Kitts is more than just its beauty. Tourist attractions on the island celebrate St. Kitts’s long history and cultural heritage.
So if you are looking for a tropical paradise that looks like it’s straight out of a movie, St. Lucia is your best choice. But if you prefer a more serene and intimate experience in the Caribbean, St. Kitts is the better option.