If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, you can’t go wrong with Turks and Caicos or St. Lucia. And while they are both located in the Caribbean, these two destinations are actually very different from one another.
If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean, you may find some of our other guides helpful. Check out some of our other articles like What are the most expensive Caribbean islands?, What are the least humid Caribbean islands?, or What’s the average cost of a Caribbean vacation?
Which is Better – Turks and Caicos or St. Lucia?
Turks and Caicos is the best choice for those who want to spend more money for a luxurious, relaxing, island getaway. St. Lucia is also a good spot for a beach vacation, but its mountains and rainforests offer more activities and it happens to be cheaper, too.
While the decision ultimately depends on your interests, budget, and travel lifestyle, I wanted to share what you can expect when traveling to St. Lucia or Turks and Caicos.
That way, you can have a better idea of which place is better suited for your vacation (spoiler alert: they’re both great!).
Location and Weather
Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory and an archipelago of 40 islands.
Because of its location in the middle of the Caribbean (it’s north of the Dominican Republic and east of Cuba), Turks and Caicos is blessed with warm weather and over 350 days of sunshine a year.
St. Lucia is another Caribbean island that is also part of the British Commonwealth. It’s located further south in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles between Martinique and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.
For this reason, St. Lucia can be warmer, although temperatures aren’t drastically different than Turks and Caicos.
It’s also important to note that both places lie on the Caribbean hurricane belt. However, St. Lucia is the very southern point, so Hurricanes are extremely rare, even during the peak of hurricane season from June to November.
As with most destinations in the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos and St. Lucia have beautiful beaches where you can spend your days sunbathing or snorkeling.
But I would personally say that the ones in Turks and Caicos simply can’t be beaten. Just take a look at Grace Bay Beach on Provicindales. It has soft white sand, gentle lapping waves, and the bluest waters you’ll ever see!
And although St. Lucia can’t top Turks and Caicos, the beaches in St. Lucia are still idyllic. Reduit Beach, Sugar Beach, and Anse Chastanet Beach are just a few spots worth checking out during your trip.
The sand may not be as long or as white, but the views of the lush Piton mountains make it a dreamlike destination for beachgoers.
Attractions and Activities
One of the things I like most about being in Turks and Caicos is that you can be as lazy or as active as you wish!
While it’s a great place to chill out on the beach, there are also a wide variety of fun things to do here too, like:
- Boating through the Caicos Cays
- Diving and snorkeling in the Grace Bay and Leeward barrier reefs
- Parasailing over Grace Bay
- Bone fishing in Bottle Creek flats
- Paddleboarding in Chalk Sound National Park
- Horseback riding at Long Bay Beach
- Hiking through the Crossing Place Trail
While Turks and Caicos is great for water sports, St. Lucia is better suited for land activities.
Because of the mountainous landscape, your adventure isn’t limited to the ocean.
Here are a couple of exciting things you can do on the island:
- Hiking in the Pitons
- Ziplining at the Morne Coubaril Estate
- Waterfall chasing at the Diamond Falls Botanical Garden
- Scuba Diving in Anse Chastanet Marine National Park
- Driving to the volcanic crater of Mount Soufriere
- Bird watching at Mamiku Gardens
As you might expect, both St. Lucia and the Turks and Caicos have many noteworthy accommodation options. However, I would say that St. Lucis is a bit more diverse, with more budget hotels and affordable vacation rental properties.
The northern part of the island on Gros Islet is a very happening place, with many restaurants, shops, and nightlife options. This is also where you’ll find the majority of all-inclusive resorts.
Further south is rugged and great for adventure seekers (there are some cool eco-lodges and tree house hotels here, too!).
Accommodation in Turks and Caicos is very luxurious, and there are many nice boutique hotels and upscale resorts to choose from.
This is great for affluent travelers, although those looking to stick to a budget may have a difficult time finding somewhere affordable.
If you prefer to stay at an all-inclusive resort, there are also a few on Providenciales and Grand Turk.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll be delighted by the culinary options in Turks and Caicos and St. Lucia. Both cuisines are a mix of many cultural influences (Turks and Caicos is inspired by African, American, and indigenous cultures, while St. Lucia is mainly a mix of French and African).
And because both places are popular tourist destinations, you don’t have to look hard to find international or North-American restaurants for comforting favorites.
On the other hand, I would highly recommend trying the local cuisine, especially if you like seafood. Conch, lobster, and fish are just a few fresh ingredients that are used heavily in many dishes on both islands.
When it comes to nightlife, St. Lucia wins hands down.
Turks and Caicos is a relaxing place with nice restaurants and bars, but there isn’t much in terms of late-night action.
However, there is a weekly fish fry that takes place every Thursday in the Bight with live music and local food and drink.
If you want to go out dancing (or bar-hopping), St. Lucia is a better bet. Most people flock to Rodney Bay Village, a small town in Gros Islet with karaoke bars, dance clubs, and live music venues.
It’s also a good spot to eat, with many different bars and restaurants open throughout the night.
Cost is one of the biggest differences between St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos.
While neither place should be considered a budget destination, the cost of accommodation, activities, and food tends to be cheaper in St. Lucia.
|Item||Turks and Caicos||St. Lucia|
|Mid-range hotel||$200 – $300||$150 – $250|
|Luxury hotel or all-inclusive resort||$500+||$300 – $500|
|Meal at a local restaurant||$15 – $20||$5 – $8|
|High-end meal||$25 – $35||$25 – $35|
|Cocktail||$10 – $15||$7 – $9|
|Snorkel tour||$120 – $140||$130 – $150|
|Parasailing tour||$60 – $80||$50 – $60|
|ATV tour||$110 – $130||$100 – $120|
If you love soft sand beaches, outdoor activity, and natural beauty, you’ll have a good time in St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos is a dreamy tropical paradise, while St. Lucia is better suited for those who want to have the option to visit mountains or rainforests.
Enjoy your time there regardless of where you go because both islands are bucket list destinations you won’t soon forget!
- Turks and Caicos vs Grand Cayman
- Which is better Aruba or Turks and Caicos?
- Turks and Caicos Vs. Hawaii
- Turks and Caicos Vs. Punta Cana
- Turks and Caicos Vs. Bahamas
- Turks and Caicos or St. Lucia
- Turks and Caicos Vs. Jamaica
- Best time to visit Turks and Caicos
- Is Turks and Caicos Safe?
- Is Turks and Caicos Expensive?