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Culebra or St. John?

Grand Rapids, MI
4 posts
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Culebra or St. John?

My girlfriend and I, both in our mid to late 20s, just purchased a couple of cheap tickets to San Juan, PR to get away for a week with plans to spend a night there and then puddle jump to either St. John or Culebra (tickets to either are about the same cost). We are planning on renting a car and camping while there, and I was hoping someone on this forum could help us out in our seemingly impossible decision between the two islands.

I have searched pretty adamently on the differences, and was hoping for some first hand knowledge that could help tip the scales. We both love the outdoors, love eating fresh local food for a good price, and love friendly people. We leave in two weeks. Thanks!

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San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico
St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Cleveland, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico, Carolina
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8,423 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: Culebra or St. John?

Different experiences. St. John is developed. Huge resort and condos. Great beachs and parks. EXPENSIVE! Everything is shipped in. Culebra is old Carib, Not developed, small privately owned hotels. Not as expensive. Great camping at Flamenco beach. Check into a permit now. But for a few bucks more you can get a small hotel room and not worry about lugging the camping equipment.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach
3,232 Reviews
Puerto Rico
NYC
Destination Expert
for Isla de Vieques
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2. Re: Culebra or St. John?

consider Vieques

Madison,WI
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529 posts
27 reviews
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3. Re: Culebra or St. John?

I agree with PRBOB. Although St John is a great vacation island, like Hawaii in the Caribbean, it is expensive. We just got back from Puerto Rico. Although we stayed in the very quiet Guanica area (south west), not the northeast, we though PR had much to offer. There is a lot to explore beyond Culebra and Vieques, too.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Isla de Vieques
Isla de Vieques
Puerto Rico
Waitsfield, Vermont
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753 posts
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4. Re: Culebra or St. John?

PR_Bob... have you been to STJ? What "huge resort" are you referring to? Yes, there's a Westin and Caneel Bay, but neither are "huge resorts". Most of the accommodations are either private villas (much like Culebra), National Park Campground, and two eco-campgrounds.

STJ is 2/3 National Park. There are fifty plus beaches. There are miles of hiking trails connecting various parts of the island.

I think Culebra is a beautiful island, but to characterize STJ as an overdeveloped island of condos and huge resorts is just absolutely incorrect.

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Caneel Bay Resort
Caneel Bay Resort
773 Reviews
St. John
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Grand Rapids, MI
4 posts
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5. Re: Culebra or St. John?

I really appreciate all of your helpful input, the more I learn about the two islands the more I wish I could visit them both (I probably will, eventually). Camping is part of the mystique for us, and from what the majority of the other boards say, it seems that Flamenco has the edge over Cinnamon Bay in that department. I assume that a jeep/4wd is pretty much a necessity in STJ if I want to access some of the more remote areas....what about Culebra? Could we just save the couple hundred bucks and get by with renting bikes?

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Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach
3,232 Reviews
Puerto Rico
Cinnamon Bay
Cinnamon Bay
289 Reviews
St. John
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
El Yunque National...
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6. Re: Culebra or St. John?

For Culebra, you don't need a Jeep, but a motorized vehicle of some kind (car, golf cart, Thing, Scooter etc) would be helpful to get to Zoni beach or some of the more remote beaches.

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Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Zoni Beach
Zoni Beach
411 Reviews
Puerto Rico
Cleveland, Ohio
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for Puerto Rico, Carolina
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7. Re: Culebra or St. John?

Gottadance, the Westin covers 47 acres. If you are aware of anything like that in Culebra I would like to know. I did say there was great beaches and parks. If you think they are similar islands, I have to disagree. At least you did not argue that STJ was cheaper than Culebra.

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Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Culebra
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8. Re: Culebra or St. John?

Good morning,

I live in Culebra & used to live in Tortola & have spent much time in St. John.

St. John is more "polished" in that the National Park set up is quite well maintained w/trails, etc. well sign posted, etc. St. John does have some fancier hotels.

Re: transport, it is possible to bike around Culebra (I do) & would be more challenging on St. John as they have higher elevations (The 8 Tuff Miles race goes from sea level to 999 feet-did it!) Here in Culebra the hills are still challenging in the heat-esp. for folks who may be used to biking in flat, cooler areas.

St. John is more expensive than Culebra.

They are quite different as St. John's is West Indian & Culebra is Puerto Rican in terms of culture.

Both are great islands!

Best,

Terrie

Palmetto GH, Culebra

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Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Tortola
Tortola
British Virgin Islands
St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Palmetto Guesthouse
Palmetto Guesthouse
104 Reviews
Puerto Rico
9. Re: Culebra or St. John?

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