Tortola or St. John?

Old Jan 6th, 2002, 09:35 PM
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Tortola or St. John?

Not into partying/drinking/dancing, but love snorkeling/nature/hiking/shopping. Thanks!
Old Jan 6th, 2002, 11:45 PM
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Both should be fine.
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 06:45 AM
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Between the two, I would choose St. John. You have the Nat'l Park and the activities there with lots of hiking and related activity. Not only are the beaches better and there are so many more that are simply wonderful and the snorkling from those beaches is great! Around every curve, over every hill you spot a new beach that is even better than the last! Not much shopping either island but you will find the boutique-y shoppes of St. John in Moongoose and Wharfside as well as a quick ferry to St. Thomas for serious shopping. Tortola can be a good destination too but not my choice because there is fewer wonderful beaches but you often have to trek to them (Smugglers, Brewers are the best besches), snorkling is great in the BVI but not from the beaches of Tortola. There is hiking - Sage Mountain - and there is a great botanical garden. You can also ferry to St. Thomas fairly easily for a shopping excursion if you want but little shopping on island. More choices of resorts on Tortola but no "luxury" accomodations while higher end Caneel Bay on St. John is an option if that's what you are looking for. Many villas on both islands if that's your choice and more "moderate" accomodations/resorts choices on Tortola. Tortola is not a party island despite the ravings about Bomba's and all the partying but for beaches, which is my primary goal, I would definately head to St. John!
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 07:18 AM
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St. John has better beaches and snorkeling. It is also very expensive. Tortola can be pretty cheap if you stay at one of the more modest hotels (such as the ones at Cane Garden Bay). St. John is only cheap if you camp. Groceries and restaurants less expensive on Tortola.
Hiking is available on both islands, but my impression was that there are more trails on St. John.
Neither is a shopping mecca. Probably more stores on Tortola (Roadtown) than St. John; or take a ferry to St. Thomas for serious shopping.
While Tortola doesn't have a lot of great beaches, I loved Smuggler's Cove.

Old Jan 7th, 2002, 06:34 PM
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Hi! Well, I loved Tortola. We stayed at the Long Bay Beach Hotel. It was absolutely wonderful. Tortola is the least commercialized island of the two. We took a catamaran over to Jost Van Dyke. It is just a beautiful little island. You can visit many little islands, or just lay on the beach. There is no shopping here, but just a very quaint little island. The views are unbelievable. The pictures you take look like a postcard. I took one at Marina Cay and won a contest with it.

So anyhow I could go on and on, I would choose Tortola anytime.
Old Jan 7th, 2002, 07:02 PM
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Won't go into detail here but it seems that either you love Long Bay or hate it. I am in the second group! I spent 10 very loooooong days there (and only because my other choice had no room or I would have left in a heartbeat!) without once getting into the water above my ankles! Be sure that you are happy with a beach where you can't swim or float but enjoy big surf and rocky waterline especially in the winter months. The ride to Smuggles puts one on the list for a kidney transplant and LBBR was the only beachfront resort in the Carib that I have been to where one could not get into the water! That is true for some other Tortola beaches (Long Bay on Beef Island - Lambert's) as well with the North swells and currents. A sail to Jost is wonderful and it is a wonderful place to stay too. Sandy Spit right off Jost is some of the best snorkling in the BVI!
Old Jan 8th, 2002, 11:11 AM
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How come you couldn't go into the water in tortola? was it because of the waves? is it like this all year long?

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