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St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Greensboro, North...
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288 posts
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St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Looking to take a Caribbean vacation end of April. Looking for a place with awesome beaches to relax and chill out. Have been to St. John before and loved to explore the different beaches. Scenery was spectacular and great for photography which is a hobby. The negative is that the resorts/condos are not directly on the beach.

Turks and Caicos (never been there) on the other hand has highly rated beaches with resorts directly on the beach. I understand that it can be very expensive. Not sure it is more so than SJ though.

Looking for feedback from anyone who has been to both locations.

chicago,IL
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1. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Hello

You may wish to look on Turks & Caicos forum. Airport has had a lot of issues

there lately.It closed down last week and caused havoc for travelers. We went last year.The beaches are spectacular and there are some great restaurants, but St John is our favorite. We had airport issues last year at this time in Turks

and Caicos and it made for a long day of travel!!

Greensboro, North...
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2. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Thanks Chicago,

We have been to St. John multiple times. We first stayed on the island in '85 and have stopped there twice on cruises and once while staying in St. Thomas. It has always been one of my favorites, along with Bermuda. It was much nicer in '85 before the cruise ships and tourism.

We have been to approx. 20 different Caribbean Island and I was looking for something new and heard that TCI was regularly voted the best beach. I like the idea of staying on the beach as opposed to having to drive to it like in STJ.

I was prepared to book TCI last Sunday when I read about the airport issues on the TCI forum. I am torn -- do it book TCI and try something new and risk the potential problems -- or do I play it safe and go to St. John.

Tom

Cleveland, Ohio
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3. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

I would hope that the airport issues will be solved shortly. I was also considering TCI. Any info would be appreciateed without the airport drivel. :)

Pennsylvania
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4. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

We have visited Provo twice. The option to stay on or very close to the beach is definately a plus.

My quick thoughts -

Provo and dry and flat. The water color is incredible. Grace Bay stretches for miles and miles. Development along this area is a mix of single story houses to multi-story, huge condo complexes. The interior of Provo reminds me of FL, 4 lane highways, strip-centers, big box retail, support services, etc.

Taxis used to be very expensive and unless you intend to stay at a resort and eat every meal there, you will need to devote time to getting to restaurants. Plan on driving every night.

There isn't a town like Cruz Bay to walk around, shop, drink and dine. We miss this when on Provo.

Restaurants are considerably more expensive then on STJ as is all food and drink. The bulk of the governments revenue is import duties and everything is imported.

There aren't as many direct from the beach snorkelling spots.

I haven't heard about the airport issues.

We enjoyed Provo for different reasons than STJ. The direct beach access and ease of travel from the east coast are the two biggest draws for us and we will return again but STJ is still our favorite.

Edited: 19 March 2012, 13:12
Catonsville...
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5. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Dude, check out the Sibonne hotel on Provo. I've stayed there 6 times and the location and room prices are terrific. The Sibonne is a not a fancy place and it's a little thread-bare, but Grace Bay beach -- absolutely magnificent in both directions as far as the eye can see -- makes you forget about the hotel anyway!

That being said, STJ is a more exciting and dramatic place with much more to do after dark. Decisions.....decisions.....such problems in life...

washington dc
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6. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

I agree with Cloebeach1- I've been to TCI twice and loved it but I think you really go there for the beach. The island is really dry/flat but the water is amazing. We stayed at the Sands both times. Its a great hotel with a good restaurant and I think best stretch of Grace Bay beach. There are a few good beaches beyond Grace bay to explore, especially if you want to take the ferry over to North/Middle Caicos. If you click on my name you can find my TCI trip reports and photos.

Restaurants are generally pretty expensive for both lunch and dinner. I highly recommend renting a car if you're there, Grace Bay Car rental is great and much cheaper than STJ.

We're anxiously awaiting our first trip to STJ in a couple of months. The tropical more lush scenery and hikes/many beaches to explore really appealed to us.

Norristown...
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7. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

St. John, hands down. Been to Provo twice - last time was in 2003. Had stuff stolen from us on the beach, so not a real good time. In 2003, the "Coral Gardens" on Grace bay had been cordoned off because so many people had stepped all over the coral; not the kind of folks i want to spend a lot of time around. Smith's Reef still had good access, but, again, there were problems at the time with theft. That might not be a problem now. I must admit, my best memory of Provo stems from it being the only place I ever had Coconut Cracked Conch. Hotcha! St. John...well, I'll admit my bias: we've been there 8 times, having been to at least 14 other islands in the Caribbean. Nothing beats St. John for easy snorkeling access, sight-seeing, driving (always a kick!). And if you look hard enough, you can certainly find something within easy walking distance of a beach. Good luck, and have fun wherever you decide to go!

Greensboro, North...
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8. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Thanks everyone I appreciate the great feedback

Boston...
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9. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Turks Caicos is hands down the BEST snorkeling I've ever seen! Been there last year, no issues with theft, drove all around the island. Saw stingray within 5 minutes of getting in the water, and later saw sharks/barracuda as well. Beaches are pristine, and the best I've ever seen...so beautiful and crystal clear. But like previously mentioned...there's not much to the island other than the beaches. Very flat and deserty. Not much more to do other than water sports and beaches...so if you are looking for more than that, it's something to consider.

I am going to St Johns in about a week and a half...it has huge shoes to fill if it wants to beat TCI :)

Edited: 21 March 2012, 16:37
Southlake, Texas
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10. Re: St. John or Provo Turks & Caicos?

Another vote for St. John. As previously stated, Provo has the most beautiful clear blue water and soft sandy beaches you'll ever see. If your main idea is to relax on the beach, go with Provo.

BUT, if you want to explore and snorkel at several different beaches, maybe hike a little, or take a sail excursion over to the BVI's, I highly recommend St. John. We also enjoyed the food more in St. John and found the people friendlier. Cruz Bay is a cute town to visit, too.

To me, St John has a lot more "character"! Enjoy whichever you choose.