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Anguilla or Nevis or Vieques? for trip extension - Any suggestion?

Anguilla or Nevis or Vieques? for trip extension - Any suggestion?

Mar 18th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Anguilla or Nevis or Vieques? for trip extension - Any suggestion?

Hello, Thanks in advance for your help and suggestion. We will be in San Juan for 4 nights at end of April 2006 and would like to extend our trip in Caribbean w/ some additional islands. It's me and my husband and we both like white sand beaches and calm water. We have been to St Barth before and would like to definitely return for a few nights. We would like to experience one additional place and we are wondering between going to Vieques (extension of PR) or go to Anguilla or to Nevis. This is the itinerary that we are thinking of:
-4 nights in San Juan (Apr 23 to 27)
-3 nights in Vieques or Anguilla or Nevis
-4 nights in St Barth
Or we can switch the order of St Barth and the additional island in question depending on available transportation and lodging.
I see that there is Am Eagle flight to Anguilla but not sure how to get to St Barth. This itinerary gives us both the quietness and exciting culture and fun nights. What would you say distinguish Anguilla from Nevis? Thanks again.
MomJC is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Nevis and Anguilla are both great islands to visit, but if you are looking for white sand beaches, then it is Anguilla hands down.
Nevis is a pretty little island but it's beaches are more volcanic in nature. Anguilla has truly glorious white sand beaches although it is not as pretty an island as Nevis.
Barbara1 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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From Anguilla (AXA) you can catch a Winair flight (go to www.fly-winair.com for schedules and rates) to St. Barth's (SBH) otherwise you have to take a ferry from AXA to SXM than catch another ferry to SBH. From PR you you have to first fly to SXM than either fly or ferry to SBH.

There's a big difference between Nevis and Anguilla. Nevis is mountainous, lush, rain forests, has darker sand beaches and below average snorkelling and a dozen or so good restaurants. Anguilla is flat, arid, little natural vegetation, 35 pure white sand beaches and over 80 great restaurants (some among the best in the Caribbean.
A_Traveller is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Three islands over 10 days seems very exhausting, especially when you're including one of the more difficult islands to reach in the Caribbean - St. Barth. If it was me, I'd skip St. Barth on this trip and give yourself a better chance to relax on your vacation.
Laby is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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Thanks so much for help. Sounds like Anguilla is the place for us. We have not snorkel for a while since we have kids and we can't do it with them. Since this is our trip alone, snorkeling is on our list. Laby, thanks for your input. While preparing the itinerary, I was a bit concerned about cramming 3 islands in our trip. However, we have been to St Barth before and like the experience of landing into it. We came from St Martin the last time and flights were pretty accessible. I wonder if 3 nights in Anguilla is too little or not? Besides beach and snorkeling, is there any thing else that may require more time?
Thanks for the tip for flights from Anguilla, I will look into it. Any recommendations for lodging in Anguilla or St Barth. We stayed at the Tropical hotel last time in St Barth, liked it but this time it is booked. thanks.l
MomJC is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Hmmm, if snorkeling is that important to you, you should consider spending those days on Vieques rather than Anguilla of the islands you're considering. Because of the former US Navy presence on Vieques until recently, the beaches and the underwater life are more pristine than most islands and by all accounts, Vieques is a wonderful island for snorkeling. You can check out the recent trip report by Owa, who has great details about her snorkeling, or of previous trip reports from other folks, such as Howard, or the person who posted about going there with a toddler (sorry, can't remember the poster's name).

I've been doing research on Vieques for an upcoming trip in May. And while I've not yet been to either Anguilla or Vieques, I can tell you from the reading I've done that Vieques gets more raves for snorkeling. Sorry if this just confuses you more.
ejcrowe is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Vieques! Snorkelling is good, restaurants are good, people are nice, no US customs/immigrations to worry about. It's a no-brainer! Puddle-jumper from SJU to VQS.
trekker is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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I would also choose Vieques. It is so close to PR, you will not waste precious caribbean time traveling as you may with St.Barts.
I have not been to Anguilla, but have read the beaches are beautiful, long, and white, but the snorkeling is not particularily great.

Discover Vieques before it becomes too popular! We snokeled by Mosquito Pier yesterday and saw all the starfish that OWA mentioned in her trip report! I walked into water to my shins and could see starfish! Some were as big as a dinner plate! Have fun...
soggydollar is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Your itinerary is my worst nightmare. Are you taking into account all the days you'll lose traveling? The time wasted waiting to check-in to hotels? When in the world will you relax? It's like seeing all of Europe in ten days. Best of luck if you do endeavor this hetic itinerary and I do hope you have time to breathe and relax.
jlillberto is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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St. Barts and Vieques are our two favorite places in the Caribbean. Given that you are going to be in San Juan I would say that Vieques makes the most sense as it is very easy to get there. Keep in mind, though, that they are totally different experiences. Vieques is what I envision St. Barts must have been like 30 years ago. There are no chains (certainly no Hermes or Bulgari shops), no nightlife to speak of and not a stoplight on the island. What it does have are unbelievable, undeveloped beaches (most of which you have to drive to), some very good restaurants (although not nearly as many as St. Barts), wild horses, and the unbelievable bioluminescent bay. Just don't go there if you are expecting a Four Seasons-like experience because it doesn't exist and you will come away disappointed.
ccc is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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MomJC, If you want snorkeling go to Vieques, but then we loved everything about the island. Even though we were just there in December, we would go back this year if I didn't already have three caribbean trips planned.

I can't take credit for reporting about the starfish--that would be HowardC. Have fun whatever you decide. Owa
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Thanks so much for everybody's help. OUr situation has now changed. OUr 2 toddlers (4 and 2 yr old) will be going with us, so snorkeling is no longer viable. Anguilla w/ white sand beaches may be the better choice for us. The question now is how many days is enough for Anguilla. Is 2days/3 nights enough? My hubby really likes St Barth so thinking of staying one extra day in St Barth (total of 5) and cut down Anguilla by 1 day. What would be a good itinerary/activities for Anguilla? Is it just sampling one beach after another? Thanks.
MomJC is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:31 AM
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This has nothing to do with the original question, but we are doing 3 islands this summer in a relatively short time and now I am nervous! 4 nights in St. Kitts, ferry over to Nevis for 3 nights then fly out to St. Martin for 4 nights. I did not think about the check in time, but I did consider the travel time after spending much time in the Nevis airport waiting to go to St. Kitts last summer, hence..the ferry. Argh!
iw is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:08 AM
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This is our itinerary so I hope that it won't be too bad. We are using AA for all flights and local winnair flights for St Martin-St barth.
- 5 nights St Barth
- 4 nights/5 days San Juan (leave SJU using AA late at 7:40 PM to arrive to Anguilla at 9 PM)
- 3 nights/2days - Anguilla
I hope that I am leaving enough time for Anguilla. I am hoping that since I use major airline except for St Barth, that it won't be too bad. Am I cutting Anguilla short?
MomJC is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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If you are already set on going to St. Barths, I'd suggest Anguilla. I'd also suggest that you look at Culebra as well as Vieques; the beaches on Culebra are actually nicer, and if you can go directly from San Juan, you'll avoid the weekend crowds. However, I'm concerned about the logistics of moving on from either Culebra or Vieques. You'd have to fly back to San Juan and then another flight, possibly from another airport, to move onto St. Barths. This leads me back to Anguilla, which seems to me a better alternative if you are set on doing 3 islands in one 11-night trip.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Thanks very much. We changed our mind again and this time-it is final. We are going to Puerto Rico and Vieques only (may be Culebra as suggested). With the kids being so young, my husband does not want us to move around so much. We have to be in San Juan for an event and thus Vieques will be close. We love St Barth and what I see of Anguilla, so that will be our next trip.
We will be staying at Wyndham Conquistador for 4 nights. We have to move to another hotel for 2 nights and we are thinking of Westin Rio Grande? Is it nice and worth it? any other suggestion?
What would you suggest for Vieques hotel? I started reading about the Starwood Martineau hotel and surprisingly, it is not getting very good review from trip advisor? Anyone here has experience with it?
As far as Culebra, can we do a day trip from Vieques ? We will be in Vieques for 3 nights. Thanks again.
MomJC is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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I am glad your chose Vieques. It probably is more kid-friendly. Martineau is the only "hotel". There are guest houses ranging from simple to fancy. You will want to book a car way in advance.
We are on Vieques right now and were discussing how to get to Culebra today! I have been told that a ferry goes from Vieques to Culebra once a month!! Other than that, you need to take the 6:30 am ferry to Fajardo so you can take the 9 am ferry to Culebra, and do the reverse in the afternoon! Not expensive, but time consuming. Or you can fly, about $190 per person RT! It is a 15 minute fight. I think Air Sunshine goes to Culebra without having to go to PR first.
soggydollar is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Soggydollar, thanks for the reply while on your vacation. hope you are having fun in Vieques. Have you done the bio bay tour yet? how is it?
Since we will be with the young toddlers, I am looking for the beach/place to see fishes without swimming out. There was mention of seeing fishes while standing in water up to knee or thigh high, but I can't find the post anywhere in Fodor's. Can someone help? Also, how can one go on snorkeling boat tour w/ toddlers. Do you know if the tour people will watch the kids for a short moment or they do not allow kids on the tour ? Thanks.
MomJC is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 05:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I cannot help with the snorkel tour question, there are not as many here as in the USVI, so we have not been on one.
But bio bay is a must, definately worth the $$. Make sure you go into the water, it is like magic! They make everyone wear a flotation belt. I have not seen toddlers on the boat, but I have only been twice. I am sure they can accomodate. The guide talks all the way out and back about the flora and fauna of the island. Very interesting.
We were at the little beach to the very left of Mosquito Pier when we waded in and were able to see the starfish in very shallow water. There is not surf here. Not sure about spotting fish in the water, though I hear they like cheeze doodles!
In November, we were able to go out onto the pier (Mosquito) and sit on the rocks on the edge and feed the fish who would come right up to take the bread and cheese. They are working on the pier and having little ones that close to the edge makes me nervous!
Have fun!
soggydollar is offline  

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