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Roatan or Grand Turk?

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Berkeley, California
posts: 5
reviews: 1
Roatan or Grand Turk?

I am going for a week-long dive trip by myself and would be so appreciative if anyone has been to both places and can give me a comparison. I'm interested in the best (1) diving, (2) beaches, (3) clarity of water, (4) some serious pampering (I'm a sucker for good massages and body treatments), (5) serious relaxation, not too touristy but not too quiet for a single woman who likes both private and social time. If there's a shopping mall there, I'm OUT!

If you have been diving in both places, how would you compare the underwater life? My first diving trip was in the Maldives, so I got very spoiled with so much biodiversity and crystal-clear water.

Thanks so much for any feedback you can offer!

Andrea

menlo park, ca
posts: 3,885
reviews: 69
1. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

Diving in the Maldives? I want to hang out with you, sister. That's easily three times the cost of a top-of-the-line vacation in Roatan. Maybe I'll be able to afford that when I'm retired. Wait a minute. I AM retired and still can't afford a trip half way around the world to dive. Maybe some day if I happen to be in that part of the world....

But about Grad Turk. It's a delightful slow paced place with wide coral sand beaches and deep blue water. Lovely. But the island, like all the T&C is flat and pretty unattractive. I was there years ago and it seems to me that it was hard to get to, maybe easier now. I was quite unimpressed with the diving in T&C, especially Provo. Boring snorkeling, almost no soft coral other than a few sea fans. But if you're looking to hang out on a lovely quiet beach, GT will work. So will a lot of other places in the caribbean. Sea life unremarkable. I don't recall an organized reef crest, so no place for the fish to hide and nothing to keep the waves off the beach. What makes the water seem so blue is the presence of a sandy ocean floor way out. Sand instead of coral.

Roatan is a beautiful mountainous island nearly surrounded with fringing reef. So the water on the beach is flat and the reef is full of life. Flat water means excellent visibility. I've never seen any reef so completely covered with sponge and coral. The coral brings the fish and the sponges bring the hawksbill turtles. The reef is full of small caves and tunnels and canyons that make for fascinating diving. West End has the small hotels priced near what you would find in GT. Also lots of restaurants and shops. For a single lady, West End is the place for you. It also has maybe a dozen dive shops.

Chicago
posts: 174
reviews: 3
2. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

I agree with dhauk. Grand Turk is pretty but boring. A lot more to do in Roatan and at half the price.

Saskatoon, Canada
posts: 653
reviews: 2
3. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

I was quite amused when I went to the T&C forum to read the reviews that Andrea is getting from the other side of the fence, good luck making your choice from the forums Andrea!! Obviously people have their favourites and their opinions, and they differ like night and day.

I haven't been to T&C, but we will make our fouth visit to Roatan next year and I will again be diving. There is so much variety and the prices just cannot be beat.

Tennessee
posts: 571
reviews: 21
4. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

Diving is fantastic in both places. Alot more sharks in TCI, they have a very healthy shark population. Lot of big animals. I have a friend who does the Aggressor TCI every year and he prefers TCI over any other Carib dive destination, including Bonaire. Scuba Diving magazine rated TCI as the overall #1 dive destination in the Carib last year, so obviously the diving will be amazing.

menlo park, ca
posts: 3,885
reviews: 69
5. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

which goes to show you what Scuba Diving mag knows. I've never agreed with ANYTHING they have ever said. So maybe T&C is in the top 1000 dive destinations or top 10 or #1. Who cares what THEY think. Yo.u should always ask #1 in which aspect of diving. Best in number of nurse sharks? Maybe. But for coral and fish density and reef health and color, as well as underwater formations and canyons, Roatan is and always will be #1.

Tennessee
posts: 571
reviews: 21
6. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

Well then its settled then. Roatan is the best dive spot in the world. Cause dhauk said so.

I was simply pointing out that alot of people, feel that TCI diving is very good.

I also said that Bay Island diving is very good.

So maybe the OP should let other factors (beaches, food, spas, etc) decide which islands to visit.

Minneapolis...
posts: 4,263
reviews: 103
7. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

I have a friend who spent a couple months on Roatan but who cut his diving teeth in the Red Sea - and he complimented Roatan but still prefers the Red Sea.

Another friend who has dived many locations in the Caribbean would not pick either of your locations - they always find themselves going back to Little Cayman...

and brennandpm... don't be hatin' on my man, dhauk! Part of the fun of the TA forums is getting really opinionated responses - at least when the OP asks for an opinion. You made the good point that andrea would probably have great diving and a fine time in either location... dhauk replied with a "yes, but..." Roatan has the diversity and health and density.

I appreciate reasoned opinions... I also appreciate passionate responses... pax vobiscum!

Chicago
posts: 174
reviews: 3
8. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

Idiots, I think we should get rid of John Kerry and make you secretary of state.

Minneapolis...
posts: 4,263
reviews: 103
9. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

I tried for years to live in the state of Mind... unfortunately, I live in the state of Confusion...

menlo park, ca
posts: 3,885
reviews: 69
10. Re: Roatan or Grand Turk?

peace on you too, idiots. I think it does the OP the most good for us to comment on our own experiences. If I had not been to both places, I would not have commented. I don't think it serves anyone's purposes to remark about what they heard from a friend or what they read in a commercial magazine that has to sell ads. There probably aren't a lot of people on this board who have been both places, and I've been to T&C twice, and Litle Cayman for that matter. (At least I did give the place a chance to impress me). And to repeat, I think it's important to know what someone considers to be good diving. If you think a dive is ruined if you don't see a dozen sharks, well skip Roatan. If a lot of bare reef and empty sand is your thing, skip R. Different strokes.

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