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St. Croix or Vieques Island

San Diego...
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St. Croix or Vieques Island


My family of 4 (two kids 18 and 11) are considering St. Croix or Vieques Island. We will be cruising from San Juan and afterward have about four more days of vacation. Our main goal for the for the other four days would be to go fishing, snorkel and explore. I don't want the kids to get bored, but I also don't want a party atmosphere.

Both places look beautiful. Our other choice would be to stay in Puerto Rico for the last four days and take the ferry to Vieques Island. I am also considering that because there seems to be more to do in Puerto Rico. A day trip or even an overnight trip to Vieques Island is possible.

I'm so confused and it's hard to determine which destination would give us more to do. We will be staying in Puerto Rico for five days before our cruise, but we will be in Old San Juan. I don't know if we will be able to see everything that we want to see in Puerto Rico in those five days.


Thank you

18 replies to this topic
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11. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

I would leave some time for the rainforest as well.


St Thomas, VI
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12. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

You will recognize the areas to avoid. I haven't driven to the west coast so can only tell you about Old San Juan and East Coast Fajardo area.

There's a neighborhood in Old San Juan between the 2 forts. You have to walk down a bunch of steps to get there. Of course, I've forgotten the name of it, but you'll recognize it from my description. Do not go there.

Some people say avoid Loiza, but I've been to Pinones alone and didn't feel uncomfortable. Rented a bike and bicycled the boardwalk. Beautiful views and was well kept when I was there a few years ago. Beach water a little rough but nice tidepools that are popular with kids. Some guy offers a coconut tree climbing lesson for a fee. I think I found him on google. Your kids might enjoy that. He teaches other coconut survival skills as part of the excursion.

I have taken ferry to Vieques. The mid day departures are less crowded so less chance of selling out. For Culebra we took snorkel tour with kayakingpr.com. One of best tours I've taken. Good coral and great guides.

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13. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

We spent our first afternoon on Vieques with a Federal Marshall in 2013 after our unlocked Jeep was broken into (windows were up because the rental car company told us to...) The Marshall was great at helping us navigate the police report we needed for insurance, and we learned a lot from him. Lots of petty crime as the criminals ride the ferry over from PR for the day, steal and go home. He also said there was lots of drug trafficking (which is why his dept is there) but the leaders of the drug runners have strict instructions to their peeps not to hurt any tourists which would draw more attention to them. He also said the guys who broke into our car had likely been hiding in the woods in camo waiting for people to leave their cars. I'm glad I saw the BioBay and wild horses, but the beaches we wanted to go to were closed because unexploded ordinance had been found recently.

It was a bucket list trip, but I'm typing this from a deck in St Croix overlooking the ocean. We've seen a lot of islands from both land and sea, but St Croix is our pick for too many reasons to list.

Christiansted, St...
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14. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

I have lived on St Croix for 16 years. PR has lots more to see and do, but I prefer the quiet here. Best thing on St Croix is drive to a quiet beach and read a book.

Chesapeake, Virginia
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15. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

I totally agree with bmcormack1 -just need to add a cold drink or glass of wine to that scenario!

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16. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

We spent 2 wks on Vieques in December and really enjoyed the quiet and incredible beaches along with decent restaurants. We never felt unsafe and thought people were remarkably friendly. This year we decided to divide our vacation between Vieques and St. Croix. We haven't been to St. Croix for 20 yrs so we'll be interested to see if it's changed. Travel between the 2 islands is a hassle because there's limited options and only with Cape Air which is pricey.

Wake Forest, North...
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17. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

I think it was 20 years ago this year when we first visited STX. Apart from the slow recovery from Hugo and Marylin, particularly in downtown F'sted, I don't see major changes. New pier. I remember the airport terminal looking like something from a war zone on that first trip, most of the roof was still missing. Of course that's all been repaired long ago. There's a new bypass around downtown C'sted. And the refinery is closed, but transforming into a storage terminal.

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18. Re: St. Croix or Vieques Island

With HOVIC closing there's a lot less activity in C'sted (especially nightlife).

Food is better

People and diving are still great

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