Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Caribbean Islands
Reload this Page > St. Martin or Puerto Rico or Turks and Caicos????
Notices

St. Martin or Puerto Rico or Turks and Caicos????

Reply

Aug 24th, 2012, 11:26 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 15
St. Martin or Puerto Rico or Turks and Caicos????

First, I would like to quickly say that I love Fodors.com. I have made travel plans for just about every major trip by following advice of other travels. So, thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions.

My wife and I are going to the Caribbean in a week (September 1-8th). Yeah, I know, I am a bit of a last minute traveler.

Anyway, I have narrowed it down to:
--Puerto Rico and Isla Vieques
--Turks and Caicos
--St. Martin and Anguilla

We are a couple in our early 30s and love:
--Snorkeling & nice beaches
--Dining
--Nice accommodations
--Interesting things to do in nature (like the bioluminescent bay in Vieques)

Has anyone been to any of these places? What type of experience did you have?
roadwarrior2007 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 25th, 2012, 05:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
We have been to all three over the past 12 years. St Martin/Anguilla does not have any snorkeling except for a few fish here and there. San Juan is not far better though some spots off Vieques has adequte snorkeling but not good.
T&C has just aboce average to good based upon your criteria and it's beaches are almost as nice as Anquilla but not as nice but are nicer than PR. Food id finer in St. Martin/Anguilla but tou will pay 30+% more for it compared to comparable in the T&C and harder to even find in PR at any cost.PR has a lush element while the other two are elevated sand bars to be a little harsh. Curacau has some decent snorkeling off the West Eend, decent clean beaches and 6-7 very good resturants but not inexpensive but less than Anguilla. Under the Arches the is a social life of sorts so you do not have to rely just on what is going on at your hotekl. You do needa car ($400-$500 with insurance for standard size car) Some locals do it and run so insurance is very worthwhile though expensive. It another option to consider and has the most assurance of avoiding hurrucanes or tropical depressions but there is no guarantee.
StanKase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 25th, 2012, 06:17 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,807
We have been to all 3--Turks & Caicos hands down...best beaches ,way less crime than the other 2 , excellent dining, 12 mile beach, good snorkeling...check out The Somerset resort. www.thesomerset.com
Caribzack is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2012, 11:29 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
The snorkeling in T&C is good but not as good as as the WEST END of Curacao.
StanKase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2012, 08:21 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 15
Thanks everyone for your advice! We have narrowed it down to San Juan and Vieques or St Martin and Anguilla. Tough choice!
--Puerto Rico has a rain forest, old San Juan, bioluminescent bay and wild horses, slightly cheaper flights (but not enough to discount st Martin)
-- st Martin has more beautiful beaches (right??), French culture

Any help narrowing down??

Thanks!
roadwarrior2007 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2012, 06:05 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,312
I was going to say that of all your original choices, Turks and Caicos hands down, but now that you've narrowed it to these others, I would rule out St. Martin for sure. Too much traffic and commercialization. And the French food? Didn't do a thing for me, and I like French food.

Anguilla is great, but there's not much to do after you get off the beach. That never worried us, since we're beach slugs, but sounds like you're looking for more of an adventure. You should also realize that although the boat over from St. Martin is quick, it can be a rough crossing. Then again, maybe you're taking a plane from San Juan?

I've never been to Vieques, so can't comment on it. I've heard the beach there is gorgeous, and friends who've gone on the bioluminescent bay tour enjoyed it. We've been to Puerto Rico three or four times ( Dorado, Fajardo, San Juan and??) but prefer the beaches and food on Turks.

Anyway, have fun!
Weadles is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2012, 06:19 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,312
A last suggestion: For that time period, definitely look into travel insurance. I've had good luck with this website: insuremytrip.com, which lets you compare policies and pricing.
Weadles is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2012, 06:40 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
have you looked into arming at all?
Anderson22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2012, 06:41 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
have you looked into ST John usvi at all?
Anderson22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 04:04 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,646
Since you need to be active, you might want to consider Mexico, you'll find everything meeting your criteria.
blamona is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 10:37 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 43
I would suggest staying on Grace Bay in The Turks and Caicos. The areas is absolutely gorgeous with snorkeling. The Alexandra Resort which is where i stayed would be perfect for you. There is also the Mango Reef restaurant that you can dine at which is right in front of the beach.
SaraFmiami is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 12:05 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
You realize you have eliminated any quality snorkeling with your final 3 choices butthe beaches are very nice and a roasting pit if you take too much time on them.At 40-50 feet for divers there is some good views off Vieques but that's about it.
StanKase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 09:41 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 44
Another vote for Turks & Caicos (I'm a bit biased though, live here)

--Snorkeling & nice beaches (check)
--Dining (check)
--Nice accommodations (check)
--Interesting things to do in nature (have to research a bit, and maybe venture, but check)

C'mon down - the water's warm!

Val
valturks is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2012, 11:45 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 15
Thanks everyone for your recommendations! Wow, I definitely need to plan a trip to Turks and Caicos. Everyone really has great things to say. Unfortunately, for this trip (this weekend!) I think the airfare may be too expensive ;-( Flying to San Juan is only 200 dollars RT. Flying to PLS is 600 RT. Don't know if I can justify three times the airfare. But, if I dont make it this go around it will be on the top of my list for a trip that I plan a little more ahead of time.
roadwarrior2007 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2012, 03:35 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,646
1 T&C is worth the airfare, best beaches in the world
2 dont know where you're flying from, but I wad coming up with $460 airfares these next days/weeks
3 just got back from there, water was like a postcard, crystal clear bright turquoise
3 the resort savings plus the luxury you get for your money can't be beat by the other choices.

Since you're looking to save money, checkout

Matrix.itasoftware.com continue to matrix for best air
Turksandcaicosreservations.tc, local booking agent can find you the best deal and throw in some perks

The only other thing to consider is that slow season many restaurants shut down for the season.
Puerto Rico will have many restaurants, but not the snorkeling and beaches don't even come close.

Oh, and get hurricane insurance regardless of where you pick. Off the coast of Africa is looking really active....
blamona is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:26 PM.