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St. John vs Turks & Caicos

Brooklyn, New York
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96 posts
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St. John vs Turks & Caicos

Hi! We want to experience new islands and these are two not yet visited. Can you tell me your preferences and why?

Thanks!

washington
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42 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

I have been to both. Personally, I prefer St John. St John is better if you are more adventurous. It is best if you rent a villa and rent a car so you can visit a different beach everyday. However, none of the beaches have great facilities- food and drink service. Turks and Caicos is better if you want to stay on the beach and be able to go to the beach everyday without getting in your car and also have restaurants and drink service right there. I like to snorkle and St John is much better for snorkeling right of the beach. I do hear the scuba diving is excellent at TC.

Wilmington, DE
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500 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

St. John for me...T&C has a great, long lovely beach (Grace Bay), and a few others, but St. John has sooooo many beaches and so much more to see, IMHO. I love the topography of St. John, so green and mountain-ness...T&C is flat and dry, but very easy to navigate. T&C has some amazing restaurants, a lot of them in fact, but I love the small town vibe of St. John and it certainly has plenty of very good food. T&C is somewhat shi shi (is that a word?), more expensive and there are dress codes!!! I like to check out new places as well, and will continue to do so........so many islands, so little time! Don't get me wrong, I am very glad that I went to T&C but if I had to choose, I'd choose St. John.

Happy planning:) PM me with questions, if you like.

Long Island
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215 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

You have picked my two FAVORITE places to vacation! We just returned two weeks ago from our first stay (10 days) on STJ. We had been there for day trips in the past. It is a wonderful place to vacation. We stayed in Cruz Bay at Battery Hill condos and were able to walk to the dive company we used, shops, bars and restaurants. We had a rental jeep for our daily trips to the beautiful beaches for snorkeling and swimming. I can't say enough good things about STJ.

We have had two vacations on T&C. The water is the MOST spectacular color of any of the islands we have been to! Diving and snorkeling were great.

I think the kind of accommodations that you prefer will be your determining factor. As previously posted, STJ is limited for resorts. (That's one of the things that makes it so special.) Do your research, but definitely put both places on your LIST!

Atlanta
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246 posts
36 reviews
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4. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

Dandelion,

Since you are divers... how would you compare the diving in both of these places? We have always loved the snorkeling on StJohn, but now that our kids are old enough to be certified, I am curious about the diving. So many places, so little time (off from school, that is) :-)

Thanks!

Southeastern PA
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438 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

We've been to Turks and Caicos, absolutely loved it. Our second trip is for this coming May. We like a mix of activity, relaxation and great dining. TCI is great for that.

Our first trip to STJ is in two weeks, and we cannot wait. Definitely the landscapes are different, and I'm sure the feel/vibe of both will be different.

I agree with Dandelion that TCI it is a must-do. It is home to the third largest reef in the world, so snorkeling and diving is incredible. There is snorkeling right off the beach- in at least two places on Provo: the Bight Reef and Smith's Reef.

I'll be a little more useful at comparing the two in a few weeks. : ) I don't think Caribbean islands have to be an either/or... you can love more than one. I know a lot of people on the TCI forum (many of whom are much more traveled than myself- many to French Polynesia, Maldives, Seychelles, etc.) rank both TCI AND STJ as favorites.

Michigan
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646 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

How is the weather at T&C during the Winter months???? We take all of our vacations in the Winter, end of November through the middle of March. I stay away from the Bahama's for the January and February trips because of the chance of cool weather.

Southeastern PA
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438 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

Today the high is 84, the low for the night is 71. It is farther North, so it will be a couple degrees cooler on average.

Long Island
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215 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

To Snorklemom: It's my husband and daughter that dive, but we discussed the differences last night at dinner ( a seafood place) and this is the short version....

From their experiences,in STJ the boat trips weren't as long to get to the dive sites and you could do 2 dives at different spots....leave right from Cruz Bay at 9 am and be back by noon. My daughter and her friend (both 20) took the "paperwork" part of their certification course on-line before the trip and then did all their open water dives to be certified with Low Key,in STJ. The diving my husband did was not as deep as at T&C. T&C has the walls that go forever..this was a different experience and the boat trips were much longer. As far as what he saw...both places had awesome ocean life. If you are just learning...they recommend STJ. Hope this helps.

Colorado Springs...
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148 posts
44 reviews
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9. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

We have been to both and I we much prefer St. John. Turks was certainly beautiful and the hotel we stayed at was immacculate. But what I hated about Turks was that everything was so over the top expensive. I am not a cheapskate by any means but by the 5th day I just felt I was getting ripped off everywhere I went. $7 for beer was standard, $9 at the pool at our hotel. Ridiculous. We travel a lot for work and for fun and I would not go back. The people are far more friendly in St John. Last time we were in Turks, the servers at the bar we were at (in the marina) told us we needed to leave by 8:30 because tourists tend to get robbed after 9:00. Later found out they just wanted to close early.

St John just has that funky Jimmy Buffet song vibe that to me is so appealing. Turks was too "RItz Carleton" to me.

New Jersey
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123 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: St. John vs Turks & Caicos

I have been to both islands and agree with all the other post. If you want to get out and explore the island, St. John is the place. Grace Bay in T&C is an awesome beach but the island is very $$$ for everything and St. John isn't cheap by any means, so thats saying alot. If you are going for only a couple days and just wanted to relax on an great beach, I would go to T&C, Grace Bay and all the hotels are very close to the airport so it's an easy, fast trip unlike the plane, to taxi, to ferry, to rental car in St. John. As far as diving St. John is better for beginners. Most place offer 2 morning (reef/wreck) dives or 1 afternoon dives usually a farther site but deeper. T&C dives are usually longer boat trips to the sites and are deeper dive but both have very good sealife. The people of St. John do seem to be more out going and friendly to me as long as you greet them with a hello or good morning/afternoon first , it's their custom. Good Luck, you have picked awesome islands.

Edited: 30 January 2011, 18:16