Turks/Caicos or Dominican Republic

Nov 28th, 2014, 06:30 AM
  #1  
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Turks/Caicos or Dominican Republic

We may try and do a vacation in February and am interested in Turks or Dominican Rep. Please educate me about the two and which is your favorite and why. thanks,
tidy is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 06:45 AM
  #2  
 
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Te beaches and food of TCI blow away DR! Not even the same league

Been to TCI 40 plus times, DR once

PS feb is busiest in TCI, not much left, all pretty much booked up, which might make your decision for you
blamona is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Two very different islands:

Dominican Republic - large (almost 19,000 Sq. Miles with a population of 9.5 million), very mountainous with dense rainforests and vegetations, waterfalls, some large cities, Spanish heritage, lots of All Inclusives. More budget friendly than many other islands.

Turks & Caicos - small island chain (less than 240 Sq. Miles in entire chain with under 32,000 people of which 23,000 live on Providenciales). Providenciales, where 95% of the resorts are located is only 47 Sq. Miles in area. Islands are flat and very arid but have fantastic white sand beaches. One of the more expensive destinations in the Caribbean.

Both islands have their respective supporters and detractors. Everyone has their own opinion. You need to tell us what's important to you in a vacation destination in order for us to steer you in the right direction.

I've visited a great many Caribbean islands and neither of those two are high on my list of favorites but that's ME not you. As blaming says, she's been to the T&C's 40+ times - I've gone once and that was enough for me and I won't be going back to the DR either.
RoamsAround is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 11:00 AM
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Ugh! - auto-correct sometimes screws up words - that last sentence should read" As blamona says ..."
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Nov 28th, 2014, 06:13 PM
  #5  
WWK
 
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Another fan of T&C here. I'm going back for my fifth time in January. What I like: Jetblue flies nonstop from JFK. Door to door it takes us less than four hours. Eleven miles of white sand beach ( Grace Bay). Relatively few people on the beach in front of our hotel ( The Venetian). Peace and quiet. Top notch restaurants. Very little to do, so I sleep like a baby and swim the rest of the time.

What I don't like: Lack of a real town with something other than souvenir or dive shops. PRICES! Grocery store is insane. So are some of the more high end restaurants.

If you are serious about a visit, you'd better get on it ASAP. There will be slim pickings for February, since that's the peak of the season plus school vacation.

Good luck!
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Dec 1st, 2014, 05:33 PM
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Roamsaround, why was once enough for T&C? We've only been to the Caribbean once (Grand Cayman) and my husband would like to go to T&C next. He'd probably dive a couple of times. I think I might get a little bored, although I wouldn't turn down a trip. I'd be interested in your thoughts.
wtm003 is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:02 AM
  #7  
 
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We found the island a bit too quiet for us- other than sitting on the beaches (which admittedly are some of the finest in the Caribbean) there's really not much to see around the island - yes there are the usual day sails and snorkel trips but you can find those on just about every island.

The island (Provo) was much too flat, scrubby and arid - it lacks mountains and lush vegetation that are more to our liking. We also found the locals to be not as friendly or helpful as on the island where we live and others we have visited - every time we made an inquiry, asked for directions or even when dining in the on-resort restaurants the staff at our resort (Ocean Club West) acted as if we were intruding on "their time" (and we are NOT high maintenance travelers). Try as we might we couldn't get engage the locals in any type of interesting conversation all they seemed to want is for us to spend our money and leave so they could move on to the "next customer". At many restaurants restaurants it was "eat up and get the He!! out".

We've been to over 25 different Caribbean islands (many multiple times) searching for a place to build our retirement home. On paper the T&C's looked and sounded good (we even identified several properties of interest during our pre-visit research but our visit was so disappointing the island dropped off our "short list" very quickly.

As I pointed out in my earlier response - this is my opinion, other may feel differently. I have no desire to go back to the T&C's. It's like anywhere else - some places you like others you don't. I love Paris, think NYC is just OK, can't stand Athens, love all of New Zealand and go back in a heartbeat, enjoyed Singapore, didn't like Tokyo and you can't pay me enough to go back to Quito.
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Dec 2nd, 2014, 06:15 AM
  #8  
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RoamsAround, so which islands do you like? We like a beautiful beach but certainly would not mind another diversion...snorkeling, etc.
tidy is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Of all the islands I've visited by far my favorite is Virgin Gorda - Hilly, somewhat lush, wonderful golden sand beaches and some terrific walk-in snorkeling. Another big plus is it's proximity to several other island in both the US and British island chain which are fairly easy to reach via ferries. St. John is a close second as it has similar topography and the same golden sand beaches with plenty of snorkeling.

I'm also very fond of my "home" island of Nevis but it lacks snorkeling. It does, however, boast plenty of dense rainforests and lots of "history" plus we have a sense of community with both locals and other Ex-pats.

Anguilla has some fantastic beaches (for my money they are better than the ones in the T&C's) but it's a flat, arid & scrubby island so not very attractive. On the plus side there are 80 or so restaurants and it's fairly easy to travel to nearby St. Martin and St. Barth's for a diversion, when needed.

St. Barth's is another gem, if you want a more European "feel" - some say it's the Paris of the Caribbean. We visit there once every year or so as we enjoy the many fine restaurants and sophisticated shopping.

Dominica is an eco-tourist's delight - go here if you want to spend your time hiking through rain forests, discovering waterfalls, hot springs and just enjoying nature. The beaches are nothing to write home about and snorkeling is just "so-so" but visiting this island is a unique experience.

The biggest thing I've learned in 30+ years of Caribbean (and World) travel is that there's no one "perfect" place but rather there are lots of very different and interesting places, each with their own special appeal. When most people (especially "newbie's") consider the Caribbean for a destination the first thing they think of are "beaches" and there's nothing wrong with that. It's why islands like the T&C's, Anguilla and Aruba are so widely touted - they have great beaches. After a while though, for some people, access to beaches become less of a necessity and things like "culture" take on more importance.

So, tidy, choose an island destination based on what YOU want, not what others like and remember one island isn't necessarily better than another - it's just different and as the say in France - vive la difference!!!!
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Dec 2nd, 2014, 08:36 AM
  #10  
 
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Thank you RoamsAround for your input on T&C.

T&C was recommended to my husband by a local dive shop owner, so it is high on his list, but not really mine for all the reasons you listed. Virgin Gorda and St. John are probably closer to what I'm looking for, but I don't dive, just snorkel.
wtm003 is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Tell your husband there's very good to excellent diving available from both St. John and Virgin Gorda plus it will probably be a little warmer in the USVI's/BVI's during February - it can be a little cool in the T&C's during February.
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Dec 2nd, 2014, 03:27 PM
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DR----somewhat dangerous to leave the resort as in guys with guns guarding the shopping AND be sure you're next to a bathroom at all times (if you know what I mean.)

TCI----more expensive, but perfect in every way.

5 times TCI
DR--once and never again
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Dec 4th, 2014, 06:47 PM
  #13  
 
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That description does not apply to all of the Dominican Republic. It sounds like someone who's gone to an All-Inclusive in Punta Cana only.
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Dec 6th, 2014, 05:03 AM
  #14  
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Roams Around, thanks for your very well thought out information. We have been to Virgin Gorda when sailing once and also loved it. You nailed my sentiments: some beach time, a bit of a community, scenery, a little shopping, good restaurants, a safe location etc. We often go to Mexico because it is cheap for us but I also love to try new places. I am just exploring ideas now and may not even get this trip done this year but will tuck away your tips. We may just stick with a May trip to France. All is good, we are blessed to have options and fortunate to have this site with helpful members to plan a trip. Thank you for taking the time.
tidy is offline  
Dec 6th, 2014, 07:38 PM
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RoamsAround,

Always nice to read your opinions. We are heading to St Kitts for a fourth time soon and still haven't made it to Nevis. I think we must do that this time.

We are planning an anniversary trip and St Barts is now on the list of possibilities.

You are so knowledgeable. It is nice of you to respond to so many questions about the Caribbean.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 03:31 AM
  #16  
 
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Thanks for the favorable comments - my pleasure to help whenever I can.
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Dec 9th, 2014, 06:14 PM
  #17  
 
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The TCI have friendly people all around,...Sorry for such a bad experience that you have encountered when you visited and I do hope that does not put a bad taste for you not to visit anymore.

Always remember though that if you are visiting for a week you can take a Ferry to the other islands for a day, you can leave at 8:30am and return at 4:30pm the same day. The boat ride from Provo to North Caicos is about 20-25 minutes and costs $40 roundtrip. On your way you will enjoy the sighting of the crystal clear waters..

Once again RoamsAround do not be a stranger my friend.
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