St. John vs Tortola

Aug 6th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7
St. John vs Tortola

We have been looking into traveling to St. John(USVI) or Tortola this winter, we are looking for a really relaxed environment, great beaches, good restaurants and a little shopping. We found what appears to be a great villa on Tortola but have since been reading the American consular alerts about recent armed robberies in early 2007 on Tortola. Can anyone shed light on security on Tortola? We are traveling with a 2year old and 4year old. Have been to Turks & Caicos last few winters and loved it and afraid we might be disappointed with anything else.
beach08 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 186
ST John has had problems also however both are very safe... St John has better beaches and shopping. Tortola has a more central location i.e. easier to take ferries to other BVI's however with your young children maybe you prefer to stay put. Tortola also has cheaper villas. I love both! Tortola has more casual beach-front dining which I love. Driving at night is an adventure on both islands; if dining out is important try to pick a location near restaurants.
ladystack is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We went to tortola a couple of years ago and never locked our car door anyplace we went (never kept anything but a raft in it). We never had any problems.

Very peaceful. You'll love it.

Peace, Greenie
greenie is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I prefer Tortola to St. John, just because it feels easier to get around - and it feels safer to me. There's crime everywhere in the world, and the incidents on Tortola have been few and more often impacting local folks as opposed to tourists. I still go to the BVI solo twice a year, and the crimes that have occurred, sad as it is that they HAVE occurred, would not deter me from going or from taking my daughter. I've never been to T&C, but I do know that there's much less shopping/resort areas/development (at least for now) on Tortola than either T&C or St. John.
seasweetie is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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There maybe more resort choices on Tortola but if it is great beaches, it's St. John The ease of getting around Provo and the resorts that line the beach is very different than either place since beachfront is pretty limited and St. John really has only Caneel or the Westin, which is a man-made beach and a few villas. Don't know if you want to be commuting to beaches with toddlers in tow carrying all their stuff which is what you wind up doing on St. John and mostly likely Tortola. Since you're already headed in that direction, check out Virgin Gorda as there are some great places 0 both villas and some resorts - right on wonderful beaches.
beachplum is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I second the Virgin Gorda recommendation. More difficult to get to and involves taking a ferry from Tortola but to me is completely worth it. We did it with 2 other couples and 4 young kids and the kids had a blast. The beaches are much better than tortola and the island is more laid back and quaint. There are plenty of villas to choose from and the island is VERY safe. The driving is also relatively easier than driving around in Tortola as the roads are less steep. I personally hated driving around especially for dinners on Tortola. We found tortola very safe when we visited back in early 2000.
mnag is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 23,442
actually, if your schedule works, there are ferrys that go directly to VG from St. Thomas - one on a Sat afternnon - if you fly into STT but the times might not work or sometimes there is an overnite necessary. Or your option to fly directly to Virgin Gorda from SanJuan is a very good one.
beachplum is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
Although I have not been to Tortola (other than to change ferries, and that seemed a bit sketchy, but I know that is not representative) I have been to both St. John and Virgin Gorda, and would highly recommend both. We just did Virgin Gorda for a couple days, but went to the Baths, and an interesting restaurant or two, and it was great. We rented part of a large villa, and the rest was not occupied so we pretty much had the run of the place. Getting a car was interesting, as was finding the gas station to re-fill it. St. John had so much to offer. We stayed in 2 different amazing villas and it was unbelievably affordable too, if you can share with another couple or two. So many wonderful beaches, some right by the road, some you had to hike to (inlcuding the one unofficial nudie beach) great snorkeling all over. We hit the Fish Trap Restaurant every evening for the $2 fishtrap lemonade. One word of warning, if you get a car, get the extra insurance and/or mark the form to show every little pre-existing dent. Driving is rough, and I had to argue my way out of paying $500 for some nicks that may or may not have already been there. I could go on forever, loved St. John.
kchill is offline  
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