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St. Lucia vs. Aruba

Old Feb 18th, 2020, 12:28 PM
  #1  
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St. Lucia vs. Aruba

We are having to cancel our family reunion trip to Japan secondary to the coronavirus and our voucher must be used early this summer. We decided to go the complete opposite of Japan --> CARIBBEAN. We are stuck between two islands - Aruba and St. Lucia

Our group consists of 12 to 13 people --> half of our group is in 20's and 30's and the other half is in 50's. We also will have my 3 year old toddler with us. We love stunning scenery, beautiful beaches to swim and relax in, sightseeing, and worthwhile activities. BOTH St. Lucia and Aruba from all of my research look completely different yet both stunning in their own ways. Both have always been on my bucket list!

I would like to share some of our background travel history because we would like to avoid visiting a place that is similar to the other places we have already been (especially because my father is convinced that St. Lucia looks like a miniature Hawaii) --- we have been to Hawaii, Alaska, Iceland, most of Europe, Key West, and India. Most of us in our group resides in Florida while my in laws will be joining us from UK and my cousin from California. Half of us in the group have also been to Turks and Caicos and Costa Rica and I almost feel like St. Lucia looks similar to Costa Rica.

Basically, what would be a great place to go to (and unique place to go to compared to our travel history) for a short 5 to 8 day getaway?
Thank you in advance
viranpooja is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2020, 01:53 PM
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Are there any other islands you might like to go to? Not sure either of the islands you've picked are exactly right. Are you planning to stay in a hotel or apartment? Early summer might be rainy in St Lucia.
St Lucia could have some aspects similar to Hawaii but Hawaii is very American, very developed, it is the USA in the tropics. St Lucia is not like that, it does has stunning scenery in the south, volcanic sand beaches, dark sand in the south and lighter beige colour in the north. The younger group would probably want to stay in the north, around Rodney Bay where things are happening.

Aruba is dry, flat, arid, has lots of cacti, not your typical Caribbean island. Beaches and sea is beautiful, would not say the scenery is stunning, very developed, lots of choices of restaurants, fun island.

Odin is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2020, 02:12 PM
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Not really. Can't think of any other islands. We have a voucher to use so we must travel with Delta- we also don't want to spend more than the voucher amount. What other destinations are you thinking? I would be more than happy to look it up if I have not already.
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by josewise View Post
I would choose Aruba
Any particular reason why?
viranpooja is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2020, 09:08 AM
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St Lucia is only like Hawaii in that they are both mountainous. By that standard, Aruba is like the Sahara. Driving on St Lucia is a trip! It's the only place I've ever been motion sick. However, there are beautiful vistas, mountains to climb, hot springs to enjoy. In the south, there are cocoa, fruit, and flower plantations while the north has typical tourist resorts. Aruba has high rise (and some lower rise) hotels on sandy, windy beaches. Visited Aruba one day on a cruise ship and that was enough for me. I could spend weeks on St Lucia. I always tout: https://www.fonddouxresort.com/
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 09:32 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by eastenderusvi View Post
St Lucia is only like Hawaii in that they are both mountainous. By that standard, Aruba is like the Sahara. Driving on St Lucia is a trip! It's the only place I've ever been motion sick. However, there are beautiful vistas, mountains to climb, hot springs to enjoy. In the south, there are cocoa, fruit, and flower plantations while the north has typical tourist resorts. Aruba has high rise (and some lower rise) hotels on sandy, windy beaches. Visited Aruba one day on a cruise ship and that was enough for me. I could spend weeks on St Lucia. I always tout: https://www.fonddouxresort.com/
As awesome as this sounds I am a little concerned now because my toddler gets a lot of motion sickness, as do I, my mother in law and my sister! Can you pass all this by taking a boat around the island instead of traveling on the roads?
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 02:09 PM
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If you fly into the international airport in the south, which is the most likely arrival airport for you (I guess), there isn't a choice of getting to the hotel by boat AFAIK. It is the road from the main airport to the hotels in the north that people say is windy and gives them motion sickness. It is not the whole island, parts of it are relatively flat. Travelling by boat is not always smooth, wouldn't they get motion sickness on a boat?. I don't find St Lucia that mountainous and I don't consider the roads are not at all scary or windy, it is not like driving around the Alps but some people seem to be susceptible to motion sickness and yet others feel the roads are scary. With half of the group in their 20s/30s, I imagine they might want to stay close to some action which would be around Rodney Bay. You could always stay in that area and do trips to the Pitons etc. How are you going to decide which part of the island is going to be suitable for all age groups?

Aruba is not always windy, was last there in November for scuba diving. It has it's own attraction, the beaches are beautiful, it is flat and probably not a bad choice with so many people travelling together.

Have you considered St Maarten or Antigua? SXM is easy to get to from the UK, from London via AMS or CDG, have done that journey several times and doing it again next month (but final destination is Anguilla.). ANU is also easy from London on VS, partnered with DL. Both islands have stunning beaches. Are you flying from Atlanta on DL?
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 02:59 AM
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J62
 
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I recently spent a week in Aruba and it was the best Caribbean vacation we've ever had. The descriptions of the island others have given is correct, but that didn't matter to us. We stayed at a condo hotel property on Eagle beach, easy 5min walk from a large, modern supermarket. The condo had a small kitchen - 2 burner stove, microwave, coffee maker, blender, pots, pans and dishes. The property (Eagle Aruba) also has 2br units. We originally booked our 1br unit via booking.com, with a up to the last 48hr free cancellation policy. With 1 week to go I noticed the same room type on was offered for 25% off, last minute rate, so we did the switch. All-in the room was around $200/night. It was not a fancy resort, but the 2 pools, bar, DD coffee/BR icecream shop, quiet room, and close to (5min walk, but not on) the beach location worked fine for us.

We walked from Eagle Beach (the low rise area) north to Palm Beach (high rises) each morning along a beachside walking path. Two miles each way. In the afternoons we walked 1mile the other way, along the soft, white, sandy beach. The water was warm and clear, The beach areas are roped off to prevent boats/jetskis from just going anywhere. Surf was calm - suitable for any ages. A few miles further north there are several walk off snorkeling beaches. Excursion boats will take you there for $75 per person, or a taxi will take you there for $10 if you bring your own mask & snorkel. We bought some in the supermarket for ~$20 each and used them several times.

We didn't bother to explore the island. With the beautul beach and water at our foot no need. There are tours that rent 4x4s that will guide you all over the island including some off roading. Something for the more adventuresome to do. Overall we felt safe anywhere we went, never flinched at leaving our belongings on the beach and going off for a walk. Everybody we met was friendly, and nobody pestered us. Food at the supermarket was similarly priced to at home in the US. Restarurants were not expenseive. Around the high rise there are a bunch of American chain restaurants - TGIF, McD, various pizza joints, etc. Transactions everywhere are in USD - cash or cc. Aruba florin exchange rate is pegged to the usd at 1.75 to 1, so no guessing at the USD price.

The steady tradewinds and dry climate mean no bugs. Period. I've been other places in the caribbean where I felt I needed to dunk in deet each day, but not there. If you're looking for lush, mountains, tropical, small coves, waterfalls, etc, Aruba is not the place. It worked for us, and we'll likely go back next winter
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 03:53 PM
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"We didn't bother to explore the island."
Okay. IMHO, why bother to travel? St Lucia has a very Interesting history, environment, and wonderful people. If you want to sit on a beach, there are many other better beaches. If you never leave the resort, you won't see the best parts of the island.

viranpooja: As Odin says, it is mainly a problem from the airport at Vieux Fort in the south going far north. The southern part of the island is the best part, again, IMHO, so you won't have to go too far....
eastenderusvi is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2020, 10:54 AM
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I would check out Westin St. John and Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Odin is absolutely correct. St. Lucia has a unique French/English culture where the local inhabitants define the atmosphere there, as an independent country.
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