St. John or Aruba???

Jul 13th, 2003, 11:33 AM
  #1  
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St. John or Aruba???

We are planning a trip for next year - a fifty-something couple whose priorities are an island with beautiful beaches and good snorkeling. Between the two, would you suggest St. John or Aruba?
bsnave is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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That will depend more on other specific needs and wants you have for your vacation. Aruba is one ofo the most highly touristed and developed islands in the Caribbean. St. John is one of the least. Both islands have gorgeous beaches, but St. John has better snorkeling. But the gulf between the two is mostly found in the accommotions and activities.

St. John is more given over to natural pursuits. 2/3 of the island is protected and undeveloped, and it shows in the accommodations, which are mostly private villas. Aruba has a major strip of high rises with lots of luxury hotels to choose from. Nightlife on St. John is lowkey. It's abundant on Aruba. Aruba has more of an international flair in its wide variety of restaurants. It also offers gambling and is a dutyfree shopping mecca. St. John offers more contempletive pleasures.

I would personally vote for St. John, because I prefer its quiet, laid-back, and non-intrusive style regarding nature. From there you can also take easy day trips to various of the British Virgins. You can rent a villa and a jeep and have a different beach every day to yourself. There are just as many other folks who prefer Aruba and everything it has to offer, so see what they have to say, too.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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If those are your priorities, I would recommend you go to St. John, which has some of the best snorkeling anywhere. As the previous poster noted, St. John is largely undeveloped. It is also much more lush than Aruba, which is very arid. St. John is ideal as a lowkey, getaway place. Aruba is more tuned for those who want a combo of nightlife, beaches and much more to do. If you want a hotel on St. John, your choices are rather limited but there is an endless choice of lovely villas to rent. If you want to focus on beautiful beaches and good snorkeling, go to St. John. Good luck in your planning.
SusanLynne is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 01:40 PM
  #4  
caribtraveler
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As nice as Aruba's beaches and water are, St. John's are 100 times better.
The 2 previous posters are absolutely correct.
 
Jul 13th, 2003, 04:56 PM
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My husband and I have been to St. John twice. This year we decided to try something completely different and went to Aruba. We just returned last week. We had a good time, but we probably won't go back to Aruba. Of all the islands we have visited (Aruba, St. John, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico), St. John is our favorite, hands down. St. John has the most beautiful, private beaches and the clearest water I've ever seen. Aruba's beaches are pretty but are extremely crowded and the water is nowhere near as clear. As far as which you should pick, it just depends on what you are looking for. If you want privacy, quiet, and beautiful beaches, pick St. John. If an active vacation appeals more to you with lots of shopping, nightlife, and watersports, Aruba might be more up your alley.
Becca is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 04:15 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for all of your help! For those of you who love beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and a less-developed island - go see Anguilla and definitely visit Little Bay - a true paradise.
bsnave is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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I agree about Anguilla - it is our personal favorite. But the question asked was Aruba or St. John? St. John between the two. Now, as far as Anguilla or St. John, I would say Anguilla! There is nothing that compares with Meads Bay and all the other beaches on the island. And dining ... what an experience to dine at Altamer!!
SusanLynne is offline  

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