Tropical islands are preferred for their warm weather, beautiful beaches, and seafood-centric cuisine. They are bucket list items for some and a few months away for others. And the closer you are to a tropical vacation, the more decisions you have to make. Forget about what to pack; you have to first pick which island to go to. The Bahamas and St. Lucia are mirror opposites in some aspects.
St. Lucia is quieter, with a more relaxed atmosphere and fewer things to do, while the Bahamas is more tourist-ready and expensive, with more activities and heritage sites. You would spend $700 to $1200 less visiting St. Lucia but will have little else to do aside from beach-lazing and trekking.
|Cost of Stay: Weekly (USD)||$2,502 (Solo)|
|Transportation||$1.25 to $1.50 (bus)|
$6 to $60 (taxi)
|$2.5 to $8 (bus)|
$28 to $34 (taxi)
The Queen’s Staircase
Pirates of Nassau Museum
Grand Bahama Beach
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
Tet Paul Nature Trail
Marine National Park
|Weather||The weather is warm year-round, with winters reaching 70°F on the low end. Evenings are relatively cool because of Seabreeze. The best time to sunbathe is 11 am.||Template and warm climate with a welcoming atmosphere. Tree cover breaks harsh daylight, while early mornings and evenings are sunlit and cozy.|
|Food and Drink||Tropical classics like Johnny Cakes, baked crab, and Rock Lobsters are quite popular. You will find Pan-Caribbean seafood and tropical culinary delights in the Bahamas, with very few delicacies exclusive to the island chain.||British, American, and Indian culinary influences infuse the marine delicacies and Caribbean cuisine native to this island. Boiled grits, grilled fish, seafood fritters, and fresh lobster are some of the local favorites.|
Check-in at the Atlantis Hotel
Explore the Garden of the Groves
Take a stroll in the Lucayan National Park
Stay at the Jade Mountain Resort
Sign-up to snorkel at Anse Chastanet Marine National Park
Enjoy the Hotel Chocolat experience
|Activities for Kids|
Visit the Aquaventure Water Park
Swim with the dolphins courtesy of The Dolphin Experience
Explore the Pirates of Nassau Museum
Have a family adventure at the Treetop Adventure Park
An evening walk at the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Take your kids to the Splash Island Water Park
|Nature Attractions||The glass window bridge, beaches, groves, and blue holes make up a bulk of the Bahamas’ nature attractions. Each attraction is well-serviced, with very few left for solo explorers.||Most of St. Lucian Nature attractions are scenic trails or beautiful beaches. Its volcano is also a nature attraction but is human-serviced as you need a vehicle to get there.|
The Bahamas are a chain of islands best known for their tourist-friendly atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and attractive oceanic sights. They have become the face of the tropical vacation islands and are among some of the most expensive islands in the tropical belt. With their relatively higher vacation costs come amenities and services beyond most islands’ best offerings. Every attraction is fully-serviced, and there are detailed reviews and experience logs for almost every place worth exploring in the Bahamas.
St. Lucia sits in stark contrast with the Bahamas as it is not as mainstream a vacation spot. It also has less optimized attractions, which are open for self-exploration. The island of St. Lucia is cheaper in almost every aspect except public transport, which relies on economy of scale (number of users) and is hence cheaper at destinations with higher footfall.
Cost Of Stay
St. Lucia is better than the Bahamas in terms of stay rates, with significantly cheaper hotel stays and services alongside food and drinks. You would spend an average of $2,502 per week as a solo tourist in the Bahamas. Visiting St. Lucia, you would spend $1,871 per week.
This difference is further exaggerated when you take a couples trip. Spending north of $4,490 on average in the Bahamas doesn’t seem as lucrative as the $3,360 per couple per week average spend in St. Lucia.
Getting around the Bahamas is more convenient and cost-efficient than getting around in St. Lucia. That is because The Bahamas have a well-optimized transport system with bus routes touching all tourist spots. The fares are pretty low, costing $1.25 to $1.50 per trip (depending on the exchange rate), regardless of where you get on and off the buses. Such rates are possible with a large volume of passengers, which an island like St. Lucia cannot have.
St. Lucia’s buses run at slightly more expensive rates that are distance-contingent. You can expect to spend $2.5 per trip and $8 for the whole day of travel. This difference wouldn’t make St. Lucia a non-economic choice since a couple can save more than a thousand dollars by switching to St. Lucia instead of the Bahamas. The actual problem is the limited bus routes in St. Lucia.
Cabs are cheaper in St. Lucia, but tourist spots are so spaced out that you can end up spending $28 on average. Taxis in the Bahamas are more expensive, costing $60 per hour, 50% more than in St. Lucia. However, you get anywhere in Nassau, spending only $6 since tourist spots are so close to each other.
The Bahamas have more notable attractions that aren’t just beaches or hotels. Even when it comes to hotels, The Bahamas have superior establishments like the Atlantis Bahamas, a hotel with scenic marine views and five-star amenities. The queen’s staircase in the Bahamas is a feat of human resilience built by slaves in the 1700s.
Then there is a museum dedicated to the history of piracy in the region. The rich and eventful history of the Bahamas informs its tourist attractions, leaving tourists with insights alongside amusement.
St. Lucia’s notable attractions fall into two categories. Nature attractions and hotels. While there are parks like the Marine National Park and the Treetop Adventure Park, most of what you can do at St. Lucia is limited to your interest in nature.
If you don’t like trekking, then the Tet Paul Nature Trail and Soufrière aren’t going to impress you. But if you are visiting St. Lucia to enjoy a relaxing honeymoon, you might not want too many quirky things to do. In fact, you might enjoy a nice hotel stay with beach access and a list of tourist attractions you can easily check off in a week.
St. Lucia and the Bahamas have comparable weather, with neither destination having a significant enough advantage to make a decision over. St. Lucia has a slight advantage in that you can find tree cover no matter where you are on the island.
The Bahamas are more developed, and because of construction encroaching on nature, the tree cover isn’t as abundant. You can start missing trees if you visit the island chain in July. But the rest of the year, The Bahamas are just as pleasantly warm as St. Lucia.
Food And Drink
The Bahamas beat St. Lucia in terms of authentic food and drink as well as the breadth of cuisine options. One would assume that an island with lower tourist traffic would have more native cuisine. But it seems like St. Lucia tries very hard to be welcoming to tourists offering more tourist-friendly food than authentic cuisine native to the island.
You can find boiled grits, johnny cakes, and lobster in the Bahamas as well as in St. Lucia, but American influence is more prominent in St. Lucian cuisine. In the Bahamas, the Caribbean food is authentic, and the American food is separate.
St. Lucia is a better honeymoon destination than the Bahamas because of its social atmosphere, low congestion, and relatively serene and untouched beaches. The Bahamas however, have high-end hotels and luxurious experiences that some couples might prefer over a serene and peaceful stay.
In St. Lucia, you can stay at Hotel Chocolat or Rabot Hotel, one adjacent to a coca forest and the other in the middle of it. You can choose to check in at a mountain resort for views from the peak or in a hotel closer to the beach.
If you pick the Bahamas, you can explore the Garden of the Groves or take a walk in the Lucayan National Park, spending quality time with your spouse. But your Bahamas honeymoon would be incomplete without staying at the iconic Atlantis Hotel.
For Families (With Kids)
St. Lucia is less interesting for families compared to the Bahamas, which has far more kid-friendly activities. At the same time, St. Lucia can be lucrative from the price perspective as it costs 35% to 45% less than the Bahamas. There are parks and opportunities for water activities on both islands, but the ones in the Bahamas are clearly miles ahead.
The nature attractions in St. Lucia are far more organic than the Bahamas, but the Bahamas have a wider range of natural sights and experiences. St. Lucia’s iconic peaks, nature trails, and drive-through volcano are some of its highlights, alongside its beautiful beaches.
The Bahamas have sights like the glass window where a landbridge parts two different hues of water bodies, a majestic blue hole you can dive in, and a connection to dolphin-rich waters of the Atlantic ocean.
Final Thoughts: Bahamas vs St. Lucia in 2023
The Bahamas are an expensive choice that is well worth it for people who like to stay in well-serviced, luxurious hotels and want to make the most of their vacations by engaging in a broad range of activities.
But if you want to unwind and relax, then the pristine beaches of St. Lucia might be more suitable for you. That said, both islands have opportunities to explore, sunbathe, swim with dolphins, and trek. So if you have a finite budget, then opt for St. Lucia.