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Antigua or St. John?

Old Jan 16th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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cdw
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Antigua or St. John?

We are trying to decide between St. John and Antigua for our summer trip. We have be to St. John 5 times and over 20 other islands, but not Antigua. We love STJ for its hiking, snorkeling, diving, beautiful water and beaches. We are considering a visit to Antigua, but I am worried that we might be disappointed? I have found some extremely reasonable villa rates for Antigua and that is one of the main reasons I was considering it. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. We are a family of 4, teenagers 19 and 16. We are all divers and like a very active vacation with pretty beaches.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Sorry, did not mean to post twice.....thought I was in the Antigua forum.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Antigua is quite different from St. John so you before you decide to go, consider the following based on your criteria:

Hiking: Some nice hikes in and around the English Harbour area.

Snorkeling: Not great for snorkelling and very limited snorkelling close to shore
diving,

Beautiful water: Depends on where you stay on the island. Some places the water is like turquoise milk and calm, other places, deep blue with a bit of a swell. I know that some people are fussy about the water.

Beaches: Many beaches, but widely differing in appearance, accessibility, and amenities. With the exception of Jolly Beach and Dickenson Bay, the beaches are more cove-like and don't stretch out for miles.

You will see alot more poverty in Antigua and the driving is definitely more challenging that on St. John. I would say that this is one island where the location you pick will make all the difference to whether you enjoy it. For me what makes Antigua special is its rich naval history, its traditional West Indian flavour and wide choice of resorts.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Antiqua is larger so that you can sightsee for 2 days but you will see poverty in some areas. As also mentioned the snorkeling is poor not just off the beach but even on a snorkel trip unless you can get a power boat tour toward the Grenadines where there is some good snorkeling but that will be quite expensive.
It does have some dense forest areas but not as well maintained as on St. John. I do not know the statistics but might you hit more tropical depressions around Antiqua in the summer than around St. John.
While Tobago is not my favorite place it may offer you what you are seeking as would St. Lucia but St. Lucia is expensive and snorkeling only a little better than Antiqua.
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Old Jan 17th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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cdw
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Thanks, Stan. We loved St. Lucia too. It is probably the most scenic of all the islands we have visited. I have considered Tobago as well as Dominica for the scenery and hiking. I am afraid that their beaches might disappoint.
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Old Jan 17th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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I think Naveron gave a pretty good summary of Antigua (and I am sure that cdw appreciated the response . Antigua is less user-friendly than St John.
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