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Which Island to Combine with Puerto Rico: St John, Anguilla or Grenada

Which Island to Combine with Puerto Rico: St John, Anguilla or Grenada

Old Apr 30th, 2010, 10:56 PM
  #1  
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Which Island to Combine with Puerto Rico: St John, Anguilla or Grenada

I will be in San Juan, PR to attend a work related event in June. My wife will join me. Afterwards we plan to visit one more island for 5 to 7 days. Currently we are considering St. John and Anguilla. Please help us to decide.

A little background about us:
1) We live in California, and have been to Hawaii, Tahiti / Bora Bora, Phuket and Bali. It will be our first trip to the Caribbean.
2) We like beautiful scenery, history, culture, good food, hiking, and snorkling (although neither of us is strong swimmer). Above all, we treasure the memory of local people who are dignified and friendly.
3) We prefer quiet, less developed destination, and do not care for casino and nightlife. A little shopping is nice, but not important. I believe it can be easily accomlished with day trip to St. Thomas from St. John, or St. Marteen from Anguilla.
4) Culturally, we love the thrill of being in a foreign country. Hawaii is nice, but it is pretty Americanized, with fast food all over the place and everyone (other thantourists) speaks CNN-ish English.
5) We are pescetarians. I expect we will be OK as fish should be plentiful everywhere in the Caribbean. Variety of fresh vegetable is also important to us.
6) I would like to limit accomodation budget to $200 a night. This is probably low-end for St. John and Anguilla, but it's not a hard limit. June should be low season.
7) Finally we would like to compliment our stay in Puerto Rico, with some contrast.

Aside from St. John and Anguilla, I am also curious about Grenada.
foggy27 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2010, 04:31 AM
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anguilla will offer the most contrast to puerto rico physically. pr is lush & hilly while anguilla is fairly arid and flat. the daytrip to st. marteen will give you the foreign culture but french rather than caribbean.

st. john does have great snorkeling but it is an american territory so really doesn't have that "foreign" feel.

culturally grenada will be least americanized of the islands you're considering and has the history/culture you are seeking. many on here say the ppl of grenada are the most friendly in the islands. food will be a bit french, a bit african, a bit caribbean.

hope this helps.
virginia is offline  
Old May 1st, 2010, 04:43 AM
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A wonderful island as part of an introduction to the Caribbean is Barbados. It is well-developed, but once you get away from Bridgetown and the coastal strip nearby, you get absolutely everything you described. See www.barbados.org
xkenx is offline  
Old May 1st, 2010, 06:41 AM
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Of the islands mentioned in your tag Anguilla and Grenada offer the most contrast from Puerto Rico (assuming you'll be staying in San Juan) but your $200/night budget might hamper you a bit on Anguilla. That would make Grenada the best option given your list of requirements.

But, before making your decision let me point out that if you are, in fact, staying in San Juan then conside staying i Puerto rico but visiting soe of the smaller outlying areas as they are very much different from the hustle and bustle of San Juan. Or, take a short trip (by ferry or island hopper flight which are fairly economical when comoared to reaching other islands - see below) over to Culebra or Vieques (this is still one of the "undiscovered islands" of the Caribbean. You'll save airfare money since the costs to fly to one of the other islands on your list may prove to be somewhat more than you want to spend (think in terms of between $200 and $300 PP R/T - sorry but interisland air travel is not inexpensive).

Skip the USVI's as they will be to Americanized for you.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Grenada meets the things you are looking for in an island. It has a very strong West Indian culture, beautiful, lush, scenery, and you won't see any high-rises nor a proliferation of American fast food chains except for KFC which seems quite popular in most islands, and Subway.

You can easily find accommodation within your budget of $200/night.

Grenadians are very friendly, proud of their country, and are eager to share it to visitors. It is still very much an island yet to be discovered by the tourist masses, although there are cruise ships that do dock during the high season. Take a look at this article that was published in the USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/desti...-beaches_N.htm

From our first trip 3 years ago, we have been embraced as family by both ex-pats and local Grenadians. So much so that we were invited to a wedding last year and we spent Christmas day the year before with their families. To us, it is what makes Grenada stand out from the other islands we've visited.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 05:51 AM
  #6  
ALR
 
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You can stay in Anguilla in the offseason and be close to your budget. A suggestion on the beach is Blue Waters: http://bluewatersanguilla.com/rates.html. From San Juan, you can fly directly to AXA on Sat/Sun/Mon and, beginning in June also Thursdays. Anguilla offers most of what you want. The beaches are beautiful, but much of the island is dry and scrubby. For hikes, you can contact the Anguilla National Trust for a recommendations for hikes. Occasionally they offer groups hikes.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 06:35 AM
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I agree with roamsaround that you ought to check out Vieques or Culebra- I have not been to Vieques but I loved Culebra and it is a lot of what you say you are looking for. After the bustle of SJ it will be a beautiful and peaceful change. You will enjoy the histoy and culture of the island in SJ while you are there though. Culebra is about a 20 minute flight away if I remember correctly (Flamenco Air out of Isla Grande airport in SJ).
ishkribbl is offline  
Old May 4th, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I should clarify it that Vieques is already part of the plan. We will arrive in PR a few days ahead, and do an (or two) overnight in Vieques. I initially thought ferry was the only option, and I will look into short flight.

From the West Coast, the flight to the Caribbean has at least one stop. The total hours (including waiting in airport) are about the same as that of a trip to Japan! We are trying to get the best out of it by extending my PR trip for another 5 to 7 days. My friends suggested a cruise starting/ending in San Juan, but we are not into cruising. At this point we are leaning towards flying to SXM and ferry over to Anguilla. It’s low season and we could get Ku or Carimar within our budget. Do we really need a rental car everyday in Anguilla?

Grenada sounds exotic, and with a reputation of friendliness. But it’s far, and the flight is pretty expensive.
foggy27 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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I know it isn't a foreign country, but St. John is so easy to get to from PR. It is a small island with great beaches, excellent snorkeling, hiking, ruins and a variety of restaurants. We have been twice and love it more each time. We prefer the Coral Bay area, with its proximity to beaches, restaurants etc and you can drive into Cruz Bay easily enough and even take ferries to BVI for a day.

I would like to suggest Palm Cottage in Coral Bay. It would fit your budget. It is a beautiful, new cottage with a spectacular view of the harbor. It is self-contained, stand alone and has everything you would want from outdoor shower, to a bbq grill, beach chairs, coolers, and on and on.

http://www.vrbo.com/162906

I read through the guest book and all of the comments have been so positive on all aspects of their stay.

For the record - While I have no financial interest in the property, the owner's are personal friends. Barry & Diane are gracious hosts and great people.

If I can answer any questions, post here or email me.

Here are some pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/DebitNM/PalmCottage

Be sure to tell them Deb from Colorado sent you!
DebitNM is offline  
Old May 5th, 2010, 11:12 AM
  #10  
mba
 
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maybe you should think about turks and caicos. they beaches are beyond beautiful. guiet and the snorkling is some of the best anywhere in the caribbean. you can rent a house on the beach or stay at some of the most beautiful resorts, on being parrot cay which is very exclusive. but there is everything in between.
mba is offline  
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