What About Turks & Caicos?

Old Mar 15th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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What About Turks & Caicos?

Has anyone been to both Turks & Caicos and St. Barths? How do they differ? Which would you choose if you wanted a serious vacation of relaxing, good food, drinks, scenery, etc.?
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Big difference between the T&C and St. Barth's, sort of like comparing apples (which I like) and zucchini (which I hate). I've been following your other posts about the FWI's and from what you say you are looking for you won't find it in the T&C's.

In the T&C's most people go to Provo's Grace Bay where you'll find a 10+ long white sand beach lined with mostly condo units and time-shares. You'll also find resorts like Beaches and Club Med. There's not much in the way of natural vegetation to provide share along this beach. Because of the abundance of condo units a lot of families visit the island. The island itself is rather flat, aird, scrubby and unattractive. There's not much night life, very little shopping (other than trinkets and t-shirts), only a few good restaurants. The beach there is the main draw. I personally found the locals on the island to not be as friendly, helpful or as outgoing as those on other islands I've visited (depite what you may have heard about the French I found everyone I've met on St. Barth's, except one taxi driver, to be very friendly). The most upscale resorts are the Meridian Club on Pine Cay and Parrot Cay Resort - both are secluded on private islands with nothing else around. Middle Caicos and North Caicos are pretty sparsely populated (under 500 people live on each) as are the other Caicos islands and they don't have great tourist facilities. Grand Turk caters to the diving crowd and gets very few non-diving tourists compared to Provo.

You've already gotten fairly good descriptions of St. Barth's from your other posts. As I and others have said St. Barth's is exactly what you are looking for.

For what it is worth, I've been to many different islands and one visit to Provo was enough for me. On the other hand, I've been to St. Barth's multiple times and will go back again.

Without trying to sound condesending, from all your previous posts you seem to very undecided as to where to go and I get the impression that you've not made too many trips to the Caribbean. Perhaps it's because you are just trying to insure that you have the best vacation possible and that is vey understandable. Since every island is different and each has it's own special appeal (not everyone will like every island), it might be helpful if you pick up a couple of Caribbean Guide Books (Lonely Planet, Frommer's and, of course, Fodor's are the best) and read up on all the different islands. They are a wealth of information and if you read them carefully you'll be able to identify those destinations that appeal to you most.
 
Old Mar 15th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Thanks Sunnyboy. We have never been to the Carribean, good guess! We live on the West coast, and usually vacation in California or Hawaii. Wanting something different, we are looking to the Carribean. But I decided today that St. Barth's is the place for us...so we are booking this week. Thanks for all your help!
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Great, I hope you enjoy St. Barth's as much as I do.
 
Old Mar 15th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Here's the breakdown on the Caribbean:the mountain Islands, such as St. Barts, Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, are very scenic, but don't have the best beaches. The "postcard " beaches are flat and scrubby, like Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, Out islands in Bahamas. I've been to St. Barts a couple of times, found the people to be arrogant, and rude to me, and the beaches are average. It does have a "chicness" to it, and you will see lots of celebrities. turks and Caicos and Anguilla have some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, good food, no shopping, not much nightlife. for your first Caribbean, I would try St. John's, which has beautiful beaches, but is scenic, plus you can hop around to other islands for the day, Or Anguilla, where you get the postcard beaches, but you can go to St. Martin and St. Barts for the days to shop and see different Islands. I do Love Turks and Caicos, been there about 20 times, gorgeous beach! But I haven't read your other boards, so i wasn't sure exactly what you were looking for.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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I agree more with blamona than Sunnyboy
Been to both:
St Barts - very pretty island, a couple of nice beaches but none comparable to Grace Bay. I foud the people to be pleasant. Restaurant prices are statospheric. (Cheeseburger and Fries (admittedly very good) - $25 U.S.)
Provo - Grace Bay is my favorite beach in the Caribbean (and I have been to most Caribbean islands). - Why - long, beautiful sand, windex blue clear and clean water, uncrowded, very good snorkeling right off the beach (in front of Coral Gardens)
Other beaches:
Beach at the end of Malcolm's Road - exotic snorkeling (I saw creatures there thatI have never seen anywhere else). Very pretty isolated coves, including one with a natural bridge. it isn't easy to get to but it is a lovely spot.
Long Bay Beach - a wild beach - great for a long walk or some serious beach combing.
The island itself - scrubby and arid - nowhere near as scenic as St. Bart's but some great photo ops at the Salt Pond and Malcolm's Rd Beach.
Restaurants: most pretty good and not insanely priced (you will pay more than in the U.S. but not to the point where the bill makes you gasp).
Shopping and nightlife - very little of either.
The people - polite and shyly friendly. They are quiet and reserved (defintely not obsequious or back slappers)but once you talk to them they are very nice and helpful. I have never had a bad experience in Provo and a lot of good ones (once our taxi broke down on our way to the airport - a local woman stopped and drove us to the airport AND refused any money.
Personally I recommend Provo to anyone who wants a laid back, superb beach and snorkeling vacation. If you want sophistication and shopping, this is not the island for you.
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