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Vieques vs St John?

steviegene
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12 posts
2 reviews
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Vieques vs St John?

Hi all,

Planning to travel in March with husband for a week. Leaving 3 kids with gradparents in Orlando. Due to flights out of Orlando, Puerto Rico came up as a potential spot to visit. I discovered Vieques, and would like to hear more from anyone who has been there.

My husband and I really loved St John.... the beautiful beaches, no real fear of crime, wonderful snorkeling, potential for daytrips to other islands, variety of upscale restaurants and especially the ability to spend the day driving our jeep from place to place and town to town. Our days on St John were spent visiting a beach or going for a drive in the morning, going into town for lunch and then hitting another beach or sightseeing spot in the afternoon. Then we would into town for drinks at a beachside bar or go to our hotel and have cocktails on our balcony, clean up to go out to a nice dinner. We took a boat trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda one day and did a lot of snorkeling.

Wondering how Vieques might stack up in comparison. What is the overall vibe of the island? The beaches in Vieques look beautiful, but I'm worried that there might not be enough to do, enough places to see, nice restaurants, or potential day trips for a week long vacation. We would also be interested in taking a boating trip or renting a boat, and want to have that option.

Any insight would be very appreciated.

NYC
Destination Expert
for Isla de Vieques
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4,072 posts
59 reviews
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1. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Hi

i have never been to St John. hopefully someone reading this can make a comparison.

I believe Vieques is not as built up as St JOhn. There are no high rises or fast food places. There are no hotels, just one resort, the w retreat and spa. there are no traffic lights. some roads are just dirt roads and there are no street signs out of the pueblos.

There are some great restaurants and great local food kiosks. there is paddle boarding, kayaking, bike tours, hiking tours and horseback riding. there are museums and art galleries. and there is the bio bay.

Vieques is considered a day trip destination but there are no real day trips from here. Though you can fly to St Croix and back from here or charter a plane to take you places. also you can go to the mainland for things. thoiugh you should probably go back a day early and do a tour of the rain forest and stay in old san juan the day and night before your departure home.

the overall vibe of the island is very low key and very sedate. relax. dont be pushy and in most places do not expect to be treated special. but expect to be treated(and treat others) as equals. respect.

Vieques
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3,633 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Vieques vs St John?

I lived in the US and British Virgins for 6 years in the seventies. Vieques toaday is much less developed now than any of the Virgin Islands were 3o plus years ago, even St John.

It is not a good comparison. We have beautiful beaches ( the snorkling is not as good os the VI however it is different) and there are some decent restaurants. As Frankie mentioned only one real resort, we jave lots of small guest houses and many many villas in many price categories ( but only a few in the multiple million dollar category while St John has dozens) We have no golf vourses and shopping is limited.

Vieques is unique.

pa
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831 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: Vieques vs St John?

We just gpt back from Vieques a week or so ago. We enjoyed our 2 days and 2 nights there but for us that was enough we are very active 46 year olds and don't loke laying out at the beach doing nothing for days.We rented a jeep explored the island and different beaches also did the bioluminescent bay. If you want fancy resorts and restaurants I would say this doesn't fit the bill. We stayed at a nice guest house and the restaurants are more laid back bar type places. Not really any shopping ,except a few little places so you have to decide what you enjoy

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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3,197 posts
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4. Re: Vieques vs St John?

We LOVE stopping in Puerto Rico for a couple of nights enroute to the Virgins to enjoy the restaurants, shopping, and sites in Old San Juan. The biobay in Fajardo or a hop over to Vieques to the biobay is a great day trip.

But...for the beaches, snorkeling, diving we prefer the Virgins. St. John has been a favorite for many years. And the convenience of going from STJ to St. Thomas to shop or to the British Virgins offers lots of variety.

Bethesda MD
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1,727 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Plenty of good restaurants, excursions, and sights to fill a week. You can drive every road on the island in part of a day, but as I recall that's true on St. John too. Vieques is scruffier than St. John, but wilder. Like Eastern Shore vs. Long Island.

steviegene
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12 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Thank you for all the responses.

Still very torn about what to do. But thank you for all the advice!

Canada
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123 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Been to both places. Haven't been back to St. John but returned to Vieques and bought property. It has a different vibe (better in my opinion) and there are plenty of nice places and excursions, especially if you enjoy the beaches...Vieques has the best in the Caribbean.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1,850 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Welp, me and family members did not returned to St John because is like an American vibe, we get that in Destin, Fl. or in Florida in general. We enjoyed St John, but not enough to return. Vieques is not for everyone, is laid back, and is not up to imitate other island. KEEP VIEQUES the way it is, undeveloped, NATURAL, no resorts like Sandals, bio bay (Can't find that in other islands), no imitations, and Puerto Rican touch.

If you are into resorts and casinos, Vieques is not for you.

steviegene
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12 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Not into resorts or casinos, but St John doesn't have either.

We like beaches, snorkeling and driving around. We also like a somewhat upscale atmosphere, especially at night for dinners.

Still deciding., but just found a great looking beachfront house in Bravos Boston. Any input on the area?

thank you for all your great advice!

Seattle,WA
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22 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Vieques vs St John?

Over the years, hubby and I have done many bareboat charters in the Virgin Isl., ONCE only from St. Thomas(stopped at St. John) and all the rest from Tortola BVI. We VASTLY prefer the BVIs to AVIs! A trip in the 1990s to Vieques with a group of friends was a fab experience. That was when the US military had checkpoints at the beaches and our group of 14 from Seattle was the talk of the island. We rented 4 jeeps and had one of the most wonderful, laid back vacations EVER! Horses roamed the roads freely, very little retail therapy (hooray!), great museum, fort, lighthouse, small open air bars where each makes their own hotsauce, and did I mention the BEACHES!!!! Long stretches of white sand and NO ONE else there. JUST RELAX! Now I know there have been changes since the US military has left, but from what I have read it's still very low-key....we are chartering a catamaran in SJ in Dec. and will explore Culebra and Vieques and check out the old fav spots. VIEQUES over St. John hands down!!!!!