St Lucia or Belize?

Jan 26th, 2007, 05:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
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St Lucia or Belize?

My husband and I are planning a trip and we have not been to either one of these places. We're looking for relaxation, snorkeling, good food, beautiful beaches and some sightseeing. To anyone who has been to both places....which one would you suggest? Or would we be safe to pick either one? Thanks in advance.
margeaa is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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I have been to both, and frankly I'm not sure either of them is the answer to your wishes. Both are beautiful, in their way, but neither of them scores on all counts.

St. Lucia has dramatic tropical, mountainous scenery, but it's not my first choice when it comes to beaches or snorkeling. The beaches tend to be more volcanic in character (the white ones often being composed of shipped-in sand), and the run-off from those majestic mountains and lush foliage tends to cloud the waters, limiting visibility for snorkeling.

Belize, on the other hand, offers spectacular snorkeling, but the geographical feature that makes the snorkeling so noteworthy -- the barrier reef -- has generally choked off beach/sand accretion on the cayes. Belize is not a beach destination, but a remarkable geotourism and cultural destination. The food is good, but not great. But it's super-relaxed and laid-back.

If you're looking for most of your criteria to be satisfied, and are willing to sacrifice a few notches of snorkeling quality (or are willing to daytrip to Carriacou or the Tobago Cays), I would suggest Grenada instead of either Belize or St. Lucia. Tremendous geological diversity (lush and tropical) with a surprising number of excellent beaches. Great local cuisine, and lots to see and do. But, like St. Lucia, the runoff from those high hills tends to put a slight damper on the snorkeling.
Callaloo is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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I've also been to both. And I totally agree with Callaloo's post.

Neither has great beaches. If I had to pick one for beaches, I guess I'd go with St Lucia, but they are not what I'd consider a "Postcard" beach.

While in Belize, a large percentage of folks stay on Ambergris Caye, which is a quick 15 minute flight from Belize City in a small puddle jumper. Snorkeling on Ambergris can be great, but you definitely need a boat to take you to the barrier reef. Snorkeling from shore is poor. The beaches are again, average at best. because of the barrier reef a 1/2 mile offshore, the beaches have lots of sea grass, and just aren't what I call pristine.

The locals in Belize are some of the friendliest we've encountered anywhere in the caribbean. By far some of the most genuine & warm people you'll meet. The locals in St Lucia were NOT what I'd consider friendly....almost rude in some instances.

Ambergris is VERY laid back, and very affordable. One thing we loved was that you can not rent a car there. Everyone gets around via golf carts. Keep in mind a golf cart rental will cost as much as a rental car.

Food in St Lucia was okay, nothing great. Food in Belize was pretty good, and overall pretty cheap. Service slow in both places, but they at least smile in Belize!!

I also agree that for what you are looking for, I'm not sure either destination is exactly what you are seeking.

From what you described that you want, I'd look into USVI, Cayman, BVI, Turks.
ScottB is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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I agree with everything calaloo says, including her recommendation for Grenada.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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I agree with above posters about Grenada. It's a beautiful island. I'll never go back to St. Lucia after an immigration agent was very, very rude and condescending to my friends and me. Also, I've found locals not to be very friendly and sometimes downright scary. Belize is nothing like the Caribbean, IMHO. I didn't go to Ambergris but the "beaches" I saw barely qualified as beaches. I had never seen so much seagrass.
jlillberto is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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I am not a huge St Lucia fan at all, so I would not recommend it. Have you looked into Grenada at all? I think its fantastic. Belize would be nice, but its not really caribbean...
MIM04 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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I think I have had a much difference experience than the other posters on here about Belize. We charted a small boat out to a tiny island, 15 miles off shore and the beach was SPECTACULAR. It was the epitomy of the perfect beach- white sand, blue water- and incredible snorkeling and SCUBA diving.
sunkissed518 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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St Lucia has some beautiful beaches, at Anse Cochon (Hotel Tikaye) and Anse Chastenet (hotel of same name). There is good snorkeling with clear water, Anse Chastenet has a reserve with all kinds of fish including small barracudas.

We were in St Lucia this past November, did not encounter unfriendly locals. Immigration services the world over are usually unfriendly, US no exception.
Odin is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Can you offer more detail, sunkissed?

Thanks in advance...

(from the Europe forum)
rex is offline  

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