If you’re looking for a tropical vacation then you may be trying to choose between St Lucia and Hawaii.
After visiting both of these luxury islands myself, I thought I’d put together a guide on which one I preferred and why.
This ultimate guide will highlight the key differences between them including things like activities, cost, location and beaches based on first hand experience.
Table of Contents
St Lucia vs Hawaii – Summary
St Lucia is a Caribbean island known for its two epic mountain peaks, lush rainforests, volcanic beaches and impressive waterfalls.
Hawaii, on the other hand, is known for its long, sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and epic volcanoes. It also has a lively capital city, Honolulu, which is fun to explore.
Spread over several islands, including Maui, Oahu and Big Island, Hawaii has so much to offer including a rich and ancient culture that really sets the islands apart from others.
Although these two paradise islands share many similarities, there are some key differences that make them unique.
In a hurry? Here’s a quick overview of the key differences between St Lucia and Hawaii:
- Hawaii is much more Americanized whereas St Lucia has more of an authentic feel and you can really immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Hawaii is also much more commercialized compared with St Lucia which feels more untouched and less developed.
- St Lucia has a quieter and more laid back atmosphere whereas Hawaii feels a lot more busy, loud and crowded.
- St Lucia is better for couples and those on a honeymoon whereas Hawaii is better for families.
- Hawaii has a much wider range of things to do, resorts, restaurants and shopping opportunities compared with St Lucia which is more limited.
- Both islands have spectacular views (but you might have to battle with the crowds to see them in Hawaii).
- St Lucia feels more secluded and exotic.
- Hawaii has a much more vibrant nightlife scene compared with St Lucia.
- St Lucia is a bit cheaper than Hawaii.
- Road conditions aren’t great in St Lucia so you may not want to rent a car whereas driving in Hawaii is super easy.
- Hawaii and St Lucia have similar views and scenery as they are both volcanic islands.
As a whole, St Lucia is less commercial, more peaceful and better for couples whereas Hawaii is better for families as there is more to do.
It really comes down to what you prefer.
As I’ve visited both Hawaii and St Lucia, I’d say that I preferred St Lucia overall. This is mainly due to the fact that Hawaii was super busy and I really liked the peaceful, laid back atmosphere on St Lucia.
In St Lucia, I actually visited several empty beaches when I ventured out to some off-the-beaten-track locations. Hawaii’s beaches were always jam-packed.
It is worth mentioning that I stayed in Oahu when I visited Hawaii and some of the other islands like Kauai and Big Island are known to be a bit quieter.
If you’re heading off on your honeymoon and want a relaxing, secluded vacation away from the crowds with beautiful scenery then choose St Lucia.
If you’re traveling with kids or want tons of varied activities to keep you busy everyday then choose Hawaii.
The rest of this post will go into more detail on each aspect to help you decide which island is right for you.
St Lucia is a single island located in the Eastern Caribbean near Barbados and Martinique, whereas Hawaii is a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean, just over 2,000 miles from the western coast of the US mainland.
St Lucia isn’t near to Hawaii at all. The distance between them is 9,947 km (6,181 miles).
Check out the location of the two islands in the map below:
You also need to consider how long it will take you to fly to each location.
From the west coast of the US, Hawaii is much closer than St Lucia however from the east coast, St Lucia is closer.
If you’re flying from Europe then you’ll also find that St Lucia is much closer.
Here’s the minimum flight times from various different starting points:
Hawaii is much bigger than St Lucia in terms of size.
Hawaii covers over 28,000km2 whereas St Lucia covers just 617km2 making it over 45 times smaller.
Of course, Hawaii is also spread out over several different islands whereas St Lucia is just one single island.
This means that if you want to explore Hawaii to the fullest then you’ll need to take a few inter-island flights to get between the islands (which adds an additional cost).
Check out the size difference on the map below:
Additionally, the population of St Lucia is just 183,600 whereas Hawaii has 1.4 million local residents.
In terms of tourist numbers, St Lucia gets over 1 million tourists each year. Compare that with Hawaii’s 10 million yearly tourists.
This means that Hawaii tends to feel a lot busier and more crowded than St Lucia.
Best Time To Visit
If having the absolute best weather possible is important to you then it’s worth knowing the best months to travel to each location.
Hawaii and St Lucia do have completely different high seasons.
💡Note: High season is usually the best time to travel as the weather is dry. You can save some money by traveling during low season but you may experience some bad weather.
The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September however the best time to visit St Lucia is between December and April.
Best Time to Visit St Lucia
The best time to visit St Lucia is during the high season which runs from December to April.
This is also the dry season so you’ll get very little rain and gorgeous, blue skies most days.
During these months you can expect peak temperatures between 82ºF and 86ºF (28ºC and 30ºC).
The low season lasts from June through November. The weather is still hot throughout these months, although it does rain sometimes and there is a small risk of hurricanes (super rare).
Peak temperatures average around 86ºF to 88ºC (30ºC to 31ºC) during the low season.
Best Time to Visit Hawaii
The best time to visit Hawaii is during the high season which runs from March to September.
This is also the dry season so you’ll get very little rain, if any at all.
The weather is hot at this time of year with peak temperatures averaging between 82ºF and 87ºF (28ºC and 31ºC).
The low season lasts from November to March. Whilst the weather is still hot during the low season, it does rain occasionally.
💡Tip: Hawaii’s ‘rainy season’ isn’t that much rainier than the rest of the year.
Peak temperatures average around 80ºF to 84ºC (27ºC to 29ºC) during the low season.
Which is Cheaper: St Lucia or Hawaii
When planning a vacation, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the cost.
It’s no secret that neither Hawaii nor St Lucia are cheap but you will save a little money by visiting one over the other.
I spent slightly more on my Hawaii vacation compared to the St Lucia one but it wasn’t considerably more. I’d say that both of the locations were worth the money I spent.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much it will cost to visit Hawaii or St Lucia:
- Overall you’ll spend a similar amount in both Hawaii and St Lucia however St Lucia is a bit cheaper.
- Daily costs like food and transport are much cheaper in St Lucia.
- Hawaii has a wider range of accommodation options from really cheap to really expensive.
- As a whole, flights to Hawaii are slightly cheaper than flights to St Lucia (this does completely depend on where you’re flying from though).
Cost of a Vacation in St Lucia
In St Lucia, an average vacation will cost between $3,000 and $5,500 for 2 people for a week-long vacation.
This assumes you’re not staying in a fancy resort.
If you want to stay in a fancy resort then the average cost for a week-long vacation in St Lucia is between $5,500 and $7,300 for two people.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll spend in St Lucia:
- Standard hotels in St Lucia cost between $150 and $300 per night.
- 5-star resorts cost between $450 and $850 per night.
- You’ll spend between $40 and $75 per person each day on food, transport and activities.
- Flights from the US cost, on average, between $500 and $750 per person.
All prices are in USD.
In St Lucia, there is a wide range of hotels available at various price points and you can easily get a 4- or 5-star hotel for a reasonable price.
There is one hotel in St Lucia that has overwater bungalows which are ideal for a honeymoon but they charge a lot. Hawaii doesn’t have any overwater bungalows.
The Sandals Grande St Lucian charges between $3,500 and $9,000 per night for their overwater bungalows. This is an all-inclusive resort so you do get a ton of extras but it’s still a lot of money.
If an overwater bungalow is out of your price range then you can get a standard room at Sandals for $400 (all inclusive) which I think is a pretty good deal.
If money is an issue, you can easily visit St Lucia on the cheap.
By staying in a local guesthouse and dining in local restaurants, you’ll still have a great time but you’ll spend significantly less than you would have at one of the luxury resorts.
Related Post: Why Are Flights To St Lucia So Expensive?
Cost of a Vacation in Hawaii
The average cost for a week-long vacation in Hawaii is between $3,600 and $5,000 for two people.
This price assumes you stay in a regular hotel and not a luxury resort.
If you want to stay in a fancy resort then the average cost for a week-long vacation in Hawaii is between $5,500 and $10,000 for two people.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll spend in Hawaii:
- Standard hotels in Hawaii cost between $170 and $300 per night.
- 5-star resorts cost between $400 and $2,000 per night.
- You’ll spend between $75 and $150 per person each day on food, transport and activities.
- Flights from the US cost, on average, between $350 and $800 per person.
All prices are in USD.
The average price for a hotel in Hawaii is $350 per night. A great hotel around this price is the Hilton Waikiki Beach Resort which is ideally located close to all the action.
There are lots of budget-friendly places to stay too from hostels to cheap hotel rooms.
If you’re flying from the west coast then you can get some really cheap flight deals to Hawaii as low as $350. It costs a bit more if you’re flying from elsewhere in the world.
St Lucia vs Hawaii – Things to Do
There are lots of things to do in both locations however you may find that one suits you more than the other.
I definitely found that Hawaii had a much wider variety of things to do compared to St Lucia. I really enjoyed the Diamond Head hike in Hawaii, it was really the highlight of the trip.
I also found that there were way more varied activities in Hawaii but it did feel less authentic.
Here’s a quick comparison of the things to do in both St Lucia and Hawaii:
- There is a wider range of things to do in Hawaii compared with St Lucia.
- St Lucia is much better for couples and honeymooners as it’s more tailored towards couples.
- Whilst families have plenty to do in St Lucia, Hawaii is better for families with kids as there are more activities and things for kids to do.
- Hawaii is very Americanized and much of the Hawaiian culture has been lost in the tourist spots.
- St Lucia is much better if you want to explore the local culture and have a more authentic experience.
- You can rent a car in both locations but you’ll find driving in St Lucia difficult due to the poor condition of the roads. Driving in Hawaii is super easy.
- You can hike volcanoes and explore the beautiful scenery in both locations but you’ll have to battle the crowds more in Hawaii.
- Nightlife is much better and more vibrant in Hawaii compared with St Lucia.
- St Lucia has a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere compared to Hawaii.
Things to Do in St Lucia
St Lucia offers a broad range of activities for all types of visitors, from water-based beach fun to magnificent hiking paths and enchanting waterfalls.
There’s also tons of interesting history and culture to explore from battles from times gone by to secret pirate hideouts.
Top Activities in St Lucia:
St Lucia’s most iconic site is the twin volcanic peaks of the Piton mountains. These green mountains are absolutely stunning and, if you’re up for it, you can actually hike them.
If you make it to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the land and sea. In my opinion, it’s completely worth it.
St Lucia also has many small fishing villages that are super fun to explore and give you a chance to experience local culture and actually see how the locals live.
My favorite one is Gros Islet where you’ll find rum shops and fishing shacks lining the streets.
Another must-see attraction is Pigeon Island, which was used by pirates in the 16th century to raid passing ships. In the 1970s, the island was artificially linked to St Lucia.
This small island is filled with lush, green foliage and tons of interesting historical clues which give a glimpse into how life used to be there including several forts which were used to spy on passing ships.
Marigot Bay, which has several gorgeous beaches to explore, is one of the greatest places to unwind and relax.
It’s incredibly beautiful, so much so that it’s actually been used as the backdrop for several movies including Dr. Doolittle and Fire Power.
💡Helpful Tip: To see as much of the island as possible in a short period of time, book this land and sea tour. This highly-rated tour takes you across the island to see all of St Lucia’s top attractions including the Drive-In Volcano, the Pitons, Toraille Waterfall and more.
Things to Do in Hawaii
Hawaii offers a huge range of activities from snorkeling and scuba diving to shopping and waterparks.
Top Activities in Hawaii:
- Swim with dolphins in Oahu
- Explore the Volcanoes National Park
- Trek through a bamboo forest
- Go whale watching in Kauai
- Catch some waves and go surfing
- Hike up to Diamond Head
- See seals on the beach
- Visit Pearl Harbor
- Relax at Waikiki Beach
- Swim with turtles
There are various Hawaiian islands, including the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, and each has something unique to offer.
For example, Kauai is a nature lover’s paradise and has tons of epic hiking spots and walking trails (they even filmed the old Jurassic Park movies here).
Oahu is more suited to those looking for a fantastic beach vacation and you’ll get decent snorkeling and be able to swim with dolphins and turtles.
My favorite snorkeling location is Hanauma Bay on Oahu, where you can see turtles, rainbow-colored tropical fish, eels, and other aquatic life.
Hawaii is also home to several active volcanoes including the Kilauea Volcano which is currently the most active volcano in the whole world.
You’ll often be able to see lava oozing out from this colossal volcano! Cool right!?
If you’re feeling adventurous then you can trek up to Diamond Head for panoramic views of Honolulu and Oahu.
Hawaii is well-known for its laid-back surfer culture, as it is one of the world’s top surfing destinations. If you’re new to surfing, sign up for a beginner’s class.
If you love exploring cities, you can wander the streets of Honolulu.
Honolulu is filled with tons of attractions including the Iolani Palace where the King and Queen of Hawaii lived until the monarchy was overthrown in 1893.
If you love nightlife then Hawaii is a much better choice than St Lucia.
You’ll find nightclubs with world-class DJs, traditional Hawaiian dance shows, beach bars, cocktail lounges and so much more.
My favorite nightlife spot in Hawaii is Waikiki Beach. You’ll see trendy bars and over-the-top clubs everywhere after dark.
Hawaii or St Lucia – Accommodation
Another key thing to consider when planning a trip is where you’re going to stay as this can really make or break your vacation.
I absolutely loved both properties and it’s really hard to choose a favorite.
If I had to choose, I’d pick the Sandals St Lucia resort as my favorite just because the Hilton Hawaiian Village was super busy all the time and I felt like I didn’t get much peace and quiet.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from hotels in Hawaii and St Lucia:
- There is a much wider range of accommodation options available in Hawaii compared with St Lucia.
- Whilst both locations have hotels to suit all budgets, Hawaii has a wider range from super cheap to really expensive.
- St Lucia has 3 Sandals resorts whereas Hawaii doesn’t have any Sandals resorts.
Accommodation in St Lucia
There’s a wide variety of accommodation options in St Lucia to suit all budgets.
For example, you can stay in a local guest house for as little as $80 per night, a mid-range hotel for $200 to $350 per night, or a fancy resort for $450 to $850.
St Lucia boasts a number of magnificent 5-star hotels, however, they can be somewhat pricey.
Without a doubt, the best resort in St Lucia is the Sandals Grande St Lucian which is an all-inclusive resort located on its own peninsula.
The picturesque Rodney Bay is on one side, while the vast Atlantic Ocean can be found on the other.
Sandals Grande St Lucian is also the only resort in the whole of St Lucia that features overwater bungalows.
One night in an overwater bungalow in St Lucia will cost you between $3,500 and $9,000. This does also include tons of extras like food and drinks though as Sandals is an all-inclusive resort.
Sandals do have much cheaper options though if your budget doesn’t stretch that far. You can stay in one of their standard rooms for around $400 per night.
Also, don’t overlook some of the smaller guest houses as they usually showcase the local culture more than the fancy resorts.
Another advantage of staying in a guesthouse is that you are investing in the local community as they are generally operated by locals.
Accommodation in Hawaii
Overall you’ll find that Hawaii has a wide range of hotels that suit all budgets.
From basic guesthouses to mid-range hotels and 5-star hotels too. You’ll have plenty of choices even if you’re booking pretty last minute.
I personally stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach and really adored my stay. The staff were phenomenal and they’ve really put a lot of work into the property.
The only negative point I have is that it was really busy!
For something a bit quieter, I’d recommend the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort in Kauai as it is breathtaking and should definitely be on your bucket list.
This resort, which is surrounded by gardens and lagoons, sits right on the beach itself. It feels much more Hawaiian than other resorts with white marble tiles and traditional Hawaiian prints everywhere.
My favorite thing to do there is float down the lazy river pool where you’ll pass by lava rocks and waterfalls. It’s bliss!
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is another great one as it’s super luxurious and sits on a cliff top just above the secluded, serene Hulopoe Beach.
The grounds of this resort are filled with waterfalls, gardens and streams. It’s so refreshing to get lost in nature.
St Lucia vs Hawaii – Honeymoon
Both St Lucia and Hawaii are perfect for a honeymoon. With their picture-perfect landscapes and sandy beaches, you’ll find romance easily.
Here’s what you can expect on your honeymoon in St Lucia or Hawaii:
- You’ll get much more privacy in St Lucia as it’s not as busy as Hawaii.
- There are fewer kids in St Lucia so it’s easier to find peace and quiet. Hawaii is popular with families so it can be louder and busier.
- St Lucia is more tailored towards couples.
For me, I think St Lucia is slightly better for a honeymoon as it’s a bit quieter than Hawaii meaning you can easily find some peace and quiet with your new husband/wife.
I also personally think that St Lucia has better views, especially with the picturesque Piton mountains. The views are just heavenly and super romantic.
St Lucia has some pretty impressive resorts which are perfect for a honeymoon like the Sandals Grande St Lucian.
This once-in-a-lifetime resort will make your honeymoon unforgettable.
Hawaii would also make a fantastic honeymoon location, in particular, the island of Lanai.
Lanai is very similar to St Lucia as it has lush, green scenery and is much quieter and calmer than the other Hawaiian islands.
Lanai only has a few hotels and gets very few visitors compared to the other Hawaiian islands. It’s ideal if you just want to rest, relax and recharge.
There are actually only 3 hotels on Lanai including the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. This super luxurious hotel is ideal for honeymooners.
You’ll find lots of romantic things to do in both St Lucia and Hawaii including sunset cruises, couples massages, candlelit dinners and horseback riding so there really is no wrong choice here.
St Lucia vs Hawaii – Beaches
If you are choosing between these two locations then I’m guessing you love beaches. Who doesn’t, right!?
Well, you’re in luck because both Hawaii and St Lucia have some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world.
I’m talking soft white sand, crystal clear waters, swaying palm trees and unbelievably blue water.
I loved the beaches on both of these islands but the main difference was definitely how busy they were.
On Oahu, it was difficult to find a quiet spot as the beaches were heaving with people.
It was the opposite in St Lucia, most of the beaches were quiet and when I headed off the beaten track to some less known beaches, some were completely empty!
Here’s what you can expect from the beaches in St Lucia and Hawaii:
- The beaches are much quieter and less crowded in St Lucia compared with Hawaii.
- As Hawaii is so much bigger than St Lucia, there are more beaches overall.
- The water is warmer in St Lucia compared with Hawaii.
- Both locations have fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities.
- There are more untouched beaches in St Lucia.
- Hawaii is much better for surfing.
St Lucia Beaches
St Lucia has its fair share of gorgeous beaches that come in all shapes and sizes. In St Lucia, you’ll almost certainly never run out of new beaches to explore.
One of my favorite things about St Lucia’s beaches is that, due to the rugged, mountainous landscape, most beaches offer an epic background of stunning beauty.
Hands down, the best beach in St Lucia is Jalousie Beach, also commonly known as Sugar Beach.
This powdery white beach sits at the base of the colossal Piton mountains and comes complete with crystal clear turquoise waters.
This beach is my absolute favorite because as well as being unbelievably beautiful, it is also a fantastic snorkeling spot.
Both snorkelers and divers can jump into the water to meet an array of tropical fish including butterflyfish, parrotfish, eels and even barracudas.
Check out Grande Anse Beach if you’re searching for somewhere a little more private that few people know about.
This Atlantic beach is much more unspoiled and virtually untouched. It feels more wild and rugged compared with other beaches in St Lucia.
One thing is for sure, Hawaii doesn’t have a shortage of beautiful beaches. There’s so many to choose from and each offers something different to travelers.
All of the beaches come with soft, white sand and crystal clear waters. They look like something straight from a travel brochure.
Hawaii does have some wonderful beaches but one thing to note is that they do often get very crowded so it may be difficult to find a spot for yourself.
As Hawaii is a super popular destination, it can be hard to find a quiet beach at all.
Quiet beaches do exist though but they are usually on the more remote islands like Lanai which can be difficult and expensive to get to.
Hawaii is also super famous for being one of the world’s best surfing locations and is known to have huge, spectacular waves.
One of my favorite beaches in Hawaii is Lanikai Beach which is located in Oahu. This beach offers miles of white sand and calm waters.
It’s absolutely worth visiting Hawaii just for this beach.
You can take part in a range of fun activities on the beaches in Hawaii including windsurfing, jet skiing, bodysurfing, parasailing, snorkeling and more.
You can even swim with turtles in Hawaii!
Hawaii vs St Lucia – Food
Who doesn’t love food?
When it comes to food, it’s almost impossible for me to choose between these two!
Having said that, I think I’d pick Hawaii as my favorite for food as they had so many options and I really love some of the authentic Hawaiian dishes. Also shave ice is delightful!
Here’s what you can expect from restaurants in both Hawaii and St Lucia:
- Hawaii has a wider range of restaurants, bars and cafes compared to St Lucia.
- Vegans and vegetarians will have tons of choices in both locations however Hawaii will be slightly better.
Here’s a bit more information…
Food in St Lucia
St Lucian food is very unique but it does have some distinct British and French influences as well as influences from the Amerindians who were the original inhabitants of the island from centuries ago.
With 274 restaurants to keep you satisfied on the island, you’ll find no shortage of tasty things to eat.
Vegans and vegetarians will have no problems finding delicious meals. You should definitely try out one of the local Rastafarian cafes (as Rastafarians usually eat a vegetarian diet).
Jade Mountain Club is my favorite restaurant in St Lucia because of the breathtaking views of the Piton Mountains. This fusion restaurant serves a range of traditional Caribbean classics with new twists.
If there’s one thing you should try in St Lucia then it definitely has to be bouyon. Bouyon is traditionally served at large gatherings or celebrations and is a delicious soup made from local ingredients.
Bouyon is a sweet potato or pumpkin dish that is stewed together with ham or pork in a large pot.
Food is very reasonably priced with an average restaurant meal costing around $20 to $30 per person.
Check out my guide on the cost of food in St Lucia for more information on pricing.
Food in Hawaii
Top cuisines in Hawaii include Hawaiian, American and European. You can easily get things like pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken (and pretty much anything else you can think of).
As Hawaii is a super popular tourist destination, they cater well to all types of travelers so you shouldn’t have difficulty finding something you like.
Overall, you’ll find that the food is very international in Hawaii but you will be able to find some local dishes like poke which is cubed pieces of raw fish (usually tuna), soy sauce, onions and seaweed.
If you’re looking for some authentic, Hawaiian dishes then make sure you head out of the resorts and main tourist areas. That’s where you’ll find the really good stuff.
A popular dessert in Hawaii is ‘shave ice’. I mean…did you even go to Hawaii if you didn’t have shave ice?
Shave ice is basically an ice-based dessert made up of, you guessed it, ice, syrup and other flavorings.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post which compares St Lucia vs Hawaii to help you decide where to visit on your next vacation.
Both locations have so much to offer and you’re bound to have an amazing time no matter which you choose.
Still unsure of where to visit?