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St Thomas vs Aruba

cincinnati
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St Thomas vs Aruba

40 year old couple traveling to either destination for business meeting/ social fun. How do these two compare? Beaches, nightlife etc.

San Diego...
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398 posts
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1. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

Well they are both totally different in landscape as well as the people. St. Thomas is a U.S. territory and you will see the US post offices, US fish and game, US Park service etc. I found the people of St Thomas are not as friendly. There is more nightlife in St. Thomas. And it seemed harder to get around, maybe because the Island is so big. You drive on the left also, this is an adventure in itself. St. Thomas is also mountanous and there is much more vegitation. Aruba on the otherhand is arrid, not much vegitation and has a couple of mountains, but you don't have the dense vegitaion you find in St. Thomas. Aruba has many great places to eat. You can't beat the beaches in Aruba. While in St. Thomas I did not see the types of beaches you have in Aruba. Aruba is not much for nightlife, but there are shows and many happy hours going on. I have been to both and I own a timeshare (2weeks) in Aruba. I like the people and the Island better than St. Thomas. St. Thomas is too much like the US. Just my humble opinion

NC
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511 posts
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2. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

I have been to St Thomas and Aruba.St Thomas was only a short time because we took the ferry over to St John and stayed there.

It depends on what you like St Thomas is mountainous and has some beautiful beaches and lots of shopping and nightlife.It also is close to the British Virgin Islands so you could do a daytrip to one of them or even St John..which in my opinion has some of the most picture perfect beaches in the Caribbean.The waters are also very calm compared to Aruba..where we found the beach waters to be a little rough.St Thomas has good beach accesible snorkeling as does St John..if that interests you.

Aruba is a flat,arid island.It also has nightlife...mainly casinos.The restaurants are wonderful.If you like snorkeling...there really was not much good beach accessible..but you could take an excursion..(De Palm Tours)

I feel that if you are the type who likes to explore..St Thomas would be the way to go..it has alot more places to explore than Aruba.Aruba is good if you like to lounge on the beach and are not into exploring a whole lot.

Good luck!!and if you do go to St Thomas...make sure to go to St John..its only a 20 to 40 minute ferry ride..depending on which ferry you take..and has some of the most beautiful beaches and scenic views in the Caribbean.

Christie :)

Long Island
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1,094 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

I've been to both this year and I would pick Aruba hands down. Tropicaldreamer2 made some pretty good comparisons between the two. Aruba is a very laid back island. It's perfectly suited to a relaxing beach vacation but it also has a decent nightlife so you don't get bored. Just don't expect club after club packed with people like in Cancun. We found it to have beautiful beaches and calm waters.

There were a lot of things I didn't like about St. Thomas but I don't want to trash talk the place so I'll just finish by saying that I wouldn't return to St. Thomas.

New York
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1,910 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

I agree with Island Hopper.

My husband and I honeymooned in St. Thomas 27 years ago, and thought it was beautiful. For our 25th anniversary, we decided to return with our family. We stayed at the Morningstar (Frenchman's Reef), which was very nice. I guess the part that we really didn't like on our return trip was the feeling of not being safe if we ventured into town at night. We were advised to stay in a particular area, and not to wander beyond that. Maybe I'm just getting old, but at times while we were in town I felt very uncomfortable, and felt that there were quite a few unsavory individuals floating around. On many occasions, we felt as if the natives were 'doing us a favor' whenever we asked questions or asked for help...there was just not that warm, receptive feeling IMHO.

I know that this will cause a whole big stir in light of the N.H. case, but I have to tell you that I always felt 'safe' and very welcomed in Aruba. If you choose to stay on Eagle Beach, you will not be sorry. It is laid back, uncrowded, and beautiful. The island itself is small, so getting around is very easy and fast.

St. Thomas is prettier (more lush, tropical), while Aruba is much more arid and desertlike. But, there is something very appealing to us in that as well. Being on a desert island is really quite amazing. You have it all...cacti, deserts, and beautiful beaches with lovely waters.

Unquestionably, we will be returning to Aruba...we loved it so much that we purchased a timeshare. On the other hand, I personally have no intention of returning to St. Thomas.

BTW, just as a comparison, we are within 10 years of your age (older unfortunately!). Have a great trip wherever you wind up going!

Jersey
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71 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

My honeymoon was on St. John and we recently celebrated our anniversary on Aruba. I enjoyed Aruba much more. The U.S. Virgin Islands are too much an extension of the U.S. - mainly in attitude. Plus, the restaurants in Aruba are much better.

Dallas, Texas
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178 posts
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6. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

go to st. thomas. not only is it nicer than aruba, it's american! what's more, you can hop over to st. john's or take a short boat ride to the british virgin islands --- jost van dyke for example. nightlife is better on aruba but as for everything else --- the virgin islands win the show.

Long Island
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7. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

I totally disagree with Tony about St. Thomas being nicer than Aruba. I think the beaches, the people, the nightlife, and many more things are all better in Aruba. Plus, Arubans actually like Americans, unlike the natives of the Virgin Islands. There is a lot of racial tension there...and lots of crime to go along with it.

Almost all of the benefits of the Virgin Islands being American apply to Aruba, as well. English is widely spoken there and dollars are widely accepted. U.S. bound flights even have their own terminal with a U.S. customs station so you don't have to pass through another customs station when you land on home soil, which is very nice after a day of travel.

The Virgin Islands have a lot to offer as a chain, but St. Thomas itself isn't an island I would choose to return to. If you're looking for a true Caribbean vacation, one that is relaxing with long days spent on beautiful beaches but also fun with plenty of activities when you want them, Aruba is the place to go!

NC
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511 posts
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8. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

JimmyNuetron,

You will hear everyone argue over which island is better.The thing is...you really cannot compare the two..they are very,very different.You will have people who think that the locals in Aruba are more friendly and vica versa.It's all personal experiences.

Go with what you are looking for.If you like a mountainous island with nice cove like beaches..go to St Thomas.

If you like a flat,desert like island with long stretches of beaches go to Aruba.

They both have good shopping and nightlife.Just go with what you are looking for in a vacation.

Good luck and have fun wherever you end up and be sure to make a trip report for us to read! :)

Christie

Long Island
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9. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

Very true, tropicaldreamer2, though I do think it's generally accepted that native virgin islanders are a stand-offish people. It's a cultural difference between that island and Aruba.

NC
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511 posts
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10. Re: St Thomas vs Aruba

Ihop,

Yes..I have heard that it takes a while for the people to warm up to you in the Virgin Islands..I found some people to be like that but most of them in St John were friendly.In Aruba the people were friendly..especially at the Renaissance.

I would bet that all of the growth and people moving to the Virgin Islands has made the Natives the way that they are now.I spoke with some on St John in Sept (during their slow time of the year)and they all said that it was hard to find a job because people move in and take over.That is very understandable.