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St. Lucia vs St. Maarten vs Curacao or Guadeloupe...help!

St. Lucia vs St. Maarten vs Curacao or Guadeloupe...help!

Feb 14th, 2014, 06:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
St. Lucia vs St. Maarten vs Curacao or Guadeloupe...help!

I am planning a trip for me boyfriend and I for the last week in March into April...roughly 6-8 days. I'm torn between these three islands although if someone has a suggestions I haven't mentioned please let me know, open to anything!

We've both done a fair share of traveling and aren't looking to plop down on a flat, small island for the entirety. We're both active and would like to do some snorkeling, hike, see a rain forest if possible, etc...We definitely don't want an over run Americanized island...although, we are definitely looking to have some nice meals and relax as well!

I'm very drawn to the lush topography of St. Lucia...the Pitons look stunning, and it seems it has a lot to offer aside from the beach. That being said when we are beaching it which we plan to do roughly half the time I'd like something really beautiful... perhaps a little tiki bar around or kayaks to rent....the water in St. Lucia seems a bit darker as opposed to the bright turquoise of some of the other islands. Can any one suggest a beautiful beach? I've also read about some complaints regarding the driving around the island. It seems things are quite difficult to get too....? Was also considering a day to the Grenadines...if anyone has advice on that. Also any budget accommodation anyone can suggest...the hotels are pretty pricey..

St. Maarten looks stunning as well and a day trip to Anguilla would be perfect. The beaches of SXM are exactly what I am looking for, my only draw back is the commercialization of the island...it seems a bit more touristy and rowdy? I don't want to feel bored after a few days....

Curacao has also intrigued me as the culture would be great and it seems a bit more affordable. I haven't done too much research into it yet. Same with Guadeloupe...

Thanks all!

katie124 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 793
Just a note about the color of the water. It is determined by what is under the water. The sand of the volcanic islands (St. Lucia, Dominica, etc.) is dark, leading to darker water. Islands with lighter, coral sand have the lighter blue water.

If you have never been to the Caribbean, the St Maarten/Martin and Anguilla trip may be a bit easier. You could also do St Maarten with a day trip to Saba to get your fill of hiking and rain forest.

Guadeloupe is great. You need to speak French, though.
eastenderusvi is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,122
In my opinion from what you are saying and the beach not being the top priority for you, I would stick with St. Lucia. There are many wonderful tours to be taken. There is a hot bubbling spa to go to and jeep tours that are amazing. I think you would really like it there for you sound like outdoor type. St. martin--we were there for a week last July. It just didn't quite do it for me. I would do homework on St. Martin before considering it as top contender. It is very crowded, rowdy, driving is horrendous. We enjoyed our stay but more than likely would not return. You can go to Anguilla but there is not much there but beaches--?

Curacao--never been there.
diann24 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,480
Guadeloupe has some of everything: lovely white sand beaches and clear water on the Grande Terre side of the island and tropical rainforest(National Park of Guadeloupe), hiking trails, a volcano on the Basse Terre side. There are numerous islands nearby for day trips eg Les Saintes, Marie Galante etc. There are dive sites on Basse Terre and the famous Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park.

I used this site when planning our vacationbr />

There is alot of budget accommodation and the island has excellent roads and supermarkets, however it is in EURO so might not be so economical for you. Guadeloupe is more for people not looking for luxury accommodation but want nature and beauty. For example, this modest hotel is in Deshaies which is lovely fishing village on Basse Terre.


Getting to Guadeloupe might be an issue though.
Odin is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
I agree that St. Lucia would probably be the best choice of the 3. Lots of outdoor activities to see and do. You can also do daytrip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Martinique. This link has more info on getting to those islands and other tours in St. Lucia.


We have been to Curacao also. It was OK, but not a place we would return to. The beaches are made of crushed coral. There are no long stretches of beach. They are inlets/coves and located on the West Side of the Island, You will need a rental car to get around. We did the scuba dive at the Aquarium, which was the highlight of the entire trip. It was very difficult for us to get there in one day. We actually had to fly to Aruba and than take a puddle jumper over to Curacao. We preferred our vacation in Aruba and St. Lucia more. St. Martin has never made our to-go list. I agree to research it very well before making a decision.
KVR is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 5
I would recommend St.Lucia definitely. It's a tropical paradise! There are many activities to enjoy - the drive through volcano, mud baths,ziplining, botanical gardens, diamond waterfalls. Jerusalem Falls,The Pitons, Hiking and some of the most fantastic snorkeling you will ever experience! The people of St. Lucia are wonderful!

Technically, you can drive around the island within a day (early morning to early evening) however, it is impossible to cover all the “Must See” attractions during that time period. As a visitor, you have a few options to choose from, each offering a unique experience:

Rent a car or a small SUV and take the challenge of touring on your own (using a guide map and talking to the locals; asking for directions, etc.) If you choose that option, try

Use a reputable tour operator or an authorized taxi driver to select and arrange a guided tour (an option which gives you the benefit of exploring with someone knowledgeable) St.Lucia Best Experience Tours & Airport Transfers. Very affordable and quality service

When you are planning for that one-day excursion, depending on the type you choose, be sure to have some of the following items with you.

A camera - digital, film, or video cam
Sunscreen, insect repellant, large hat, sun glasses
Some loose change and cash (small bills are advisable)
A swimsuit, large beach towel
Snorkelling gear
A belt or waist pouch to carry your cash, ID card, etc.

Good luck!
keke29 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,122
When we went to st.Lucia we used this place for a tour. They were fun, awesome and one of the highlights of our trip.

diann24 is offline  

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