St. Lucia or St. Martin? S’aint easy.

Every day, life presents us with opportunities to make choices, and decisions. Small choices: latte, or cappuccino? Peanut butter or cream cheese? Big decisions: buy or lease? Take this job, or wait for a promotion? With the big decisions, it helps to write down some of the pros and cons involved, to get a clearer picture of how one’s personal road might look after the decision is made. Due diligence, and all that. A Caribbean vacation is a pretty big decision, and so, if you’re wondering “do I plan my Caribbean vacation to St. Lucia, or St. Martin?” well, you’re in luck. We’ve done a little bit of the heavy lifting for you right here.

St Lucian sunset

St Lucian sunset

St. Lucia is what they have in mind (whoever they are) when they say “unspoiled tropical paradise”. It’s an island, yes – located in the Caribbean Sea just north of Barbados. The St. Lucia tourism tag line is “Simply Beautiful”, which states its case wonderfully in two words, yet also manages to be a ten-mile understatement. It’s waterfalls and lush tropical forests cascading from the peaks of the Pitons down to pristine white sand beaches and hypnotizingly clear blue waters. It’s friendly people and a culture defined by hospitality. It’s a place of possibilities: adventure, relaxation, romance, rejuvenation, fun. Visitors to St. Lucia enjoy sailing, diving, hiking, biking and more amongst a backdrop of spectacular natural beauty. It’s also a place to kick back and relax on the beach, or enjoy superb food, whether it’s a casual beachside venue or one of the island’s unique fine dining experiences. And then there are the intangibles: anyone who’s been there will tell you St. Lucia is a place where the very air that surrounds you reminds you that it’s good to be alive.

Aerial shot of bay at Soufriere and Pitons, St Lucia

Aerial photo of bay at Soufriere and Pitons, St Lucia

Well, now; it certainly looks like St. Martin has a lot to live up to, doesn’t it? Not to worry, St. Martin brings a lot to the table. It’s a unique destination in the Caribbean Sea where French and Dutch influences co-exist side-by-side. That is, it’s St. Martin and St. Maarten – quite literally two islands in one. And it’s an island where unlimited experiences await, where European sophistication thrives in an atmosphere of tropical splendor. On both the French and Dutch sides of the island, there’s a captivating mix of refined tastes and down-to-earth natural wonder. The combination of fresh island ingredients with French and Dutch tastes means they take food seriously here and it’s said you could spend a year in St. Maarten, and never eat at the same place twice. Beaches beckon, and recreational opportunities abound. Speaking of beaches, St. Maarten boasts one of the world’s most distinctive beach experiences at Maho Beach, where planes landing at Princess Juliana Airport pass literally just several metres overhead.

WestJet 737 landing over Maho Beach, SXM

WestJet 737 landing over Maho Beach, SXM. Photo: @airscaper on Instagram

A couple of “wild card” facts to consider: each August St. Lucia invites you to join them for Chocolate Heritage Month, when they celebrate the many forms of the island’s sweetest natural resource. Chocolate and tropical paradise – sign us up! Back to Maho Beach on St. Maarten, and if you’re so inclined, you really should visit Sunset Bar & Grill. Yes, it’s beachside and ocean front dining and dancing, but it might just be the only bar in the world that can add “end of the runway” to their list of attractions.

So, St. Lucia or St. Martin? We hope we’ve provided a little food for thought. We can’t make the decision for you, but we will admit to feeling fortunate that we go to both islands. If you’d like to come along, you can book your vacation at westjetvacations.com.