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Culebra, Belize, or St. John? #26129
03/24/2014 02:42 PM
03/24/2014 02:42 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 76
Rosenberg, TX
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txjustin Offline OP
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We are thinking of a trip in June or July. We've been to St. John, Jost van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda. This time we wanted to mix it up. Maybe Belize or Culebra. Trip will likely be 6 total days so shorter than the last few. Really wanted to go to Anegada, but I don't think the length of the trip will be worth all the traveling.

So, Belize (Ambergris or Caye Caulker), Culebra, or back to St. John?

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Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: txjustin] #26130
03/24/2014 10:08 PM
03/24/2014 10:08 PM

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when we landed in belize there were machine gun implacements with camo nets on the runway. my wife turned to me and said what have you gotten us into? that was in the 70's. great diving, more land based activities. promised we'd go back. never did. culebra was ok but need to say there was a heavy anti 'gringo' vibe.
i'm a diver and a boat guy. st john has it all and a run to anegada is doable.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? #26131
03/25/2014 03:03 AM
03/25/2014 03:03 AM
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sail445 Offline
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In the early 70's the end of the runway in Haiti had a 50 caliber machine gun nest with a soldier at the ready.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: sail445] #26132
03/25/2014 08:55 AM
03/25/2014 08:55 AM
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Rosenberg, TX
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txjustin Offline OP
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I should have said we'd be land based. Next year we may do our 1st boat based vacay.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: txjustin] #26133
03/25/2014 12:14 PM
03/25/2014 12:14 PM
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GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
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never noticed a anti gringo vibe on Culebra. Seems like an old hippy enclave to me.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? #26134
03/25/2014 12:38 PM
03/25/2014 12:38 PM
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sail445 Offline
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Culebra was used as a bombing training site for for the Navy until president Nixon ended it in 1975.
There was a lot of animosity by the Independence party of PR and the local residents toward stateside Americans.
It hasn't been anti anything since the Navy left.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: sail445] #26135
03/25/2014 12:39 PM
03/25/2014 12:39 PM
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you sure that wasn't Viequez?

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: sail2wind] #26136
03/25/2014 12:47 PM
03/25/2014 12:47 PM
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Rosenberg, TX
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txjustin Offline OP
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So should I scratch off Culebra then??? We like to get on island time and do a lot of nothing besides become beach bums for a week.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: sail2wind] #26137
03/25/2014 01:08 PM
03/25/2014 01:08 PM
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sail445 Offline
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Quote
sail2wind said:
you sure that wasn't Viequez?

At the time it was on both islands.
After they stopped it on Culebra they continued the training on Vieques which ended in 2007.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: sail445] #26138
03/25/2014 02:39 PM
03/25/2014 02:39 PM
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In 1970, the U.S. Navy tried again to forcibly remove the entire population of Culebra. The year before, Culebra had been hit by directed missiles for 228 days out of the year and live-fire exercises took place for more than 100 days. Citizens of Culebra and Puerto Rico were angered by the constant training exercises and shelling which were both a direct and an indirect threat to human and environmental health. Occasional misfires resulted in major damage to the island and its people. Culebra was riddled with craters, unexploded bombs, and toxic waste from military activity.

Taken from: the Non Violent Action Database

http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content...sland-1970-1974


Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: LocalSailor] #26139
03/25/2014 06:13 PM
03/25/2014 06:13 PM
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I haven't been to Belize so can't comment on that. I love St. John! Most of the island is protected because it is a National Park. Culebra is nice and I agree with other posters that it is more hippie than anti gringo. The anti gringo vibe probably comes from the Puerto Rican influences. They're not really anti, it's just a cultural difference in the way you treat tourists. Culebra is definitely different and unspoiled for the most part. Beautiful beaches. My favorite part of Culebra is Culebrita but you have to get there by boat. What about Grenada? It's actually easier to get there than people think.


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Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: txjustin] #26140
03/25/2014 09:20 PM
03/25/2014 09:20 PM
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Pewaukee, WI/St. Thomas VI
goozee Offline
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St John - 6 days - hands down. The easiest to get to for 6 days.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: goozee] #26141
03/26/2014 10:30 AM
03/26/2014 10:30 AM
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Been to all three, St. John for sure. Easy to get to.
Belize can be difficult. We used to have to connect through Dallas-Fort Worth and that was a pain.
Have a great time.
irina

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: irina] #26142
03/27/2014 04:18 PM
03/27/2014 04:18 PM
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Vieques, PR
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Both Culebra and Vieques were used by the military and they have an ongoing clean up on both island on land and in the sea.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: amurphy08] #26143
03/29/2014 07:30 PM
03/29/2014 07:30 PM
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Not really sure what you are looking for. I have been to St John and Belize a number of time. Both are English speaking places. St John has much better beaches and snorkeling from the beach. You need to take a boat to get to the reef at Belize but the snorkeling (or diving) is much better. Both are good places to chill out. Caye Caulker is much more laid back than Ambergris Caye or St John, but it is a very small island.
Belize offers excursions to Mayan ruins, and snorkeling with rays and sharks.


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Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: txjustin] #26144
03/30/2014 11:35 AM
03/30/2014 11:35 AM
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St. Louis, Mo
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Quote
txjustin said:
So should I scratch off Culebra then??? We like to get on island time and do a lot of nothing besides become beach bums for a week.


Flamenco is consistently rated by travel media to be in the top five beaches in the world. By my reckoning, it is the third best beach on Culebra.

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: Dougie] #26145
03/31/2014 08:01 AM
03/31/2014 08:01 AM
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Rosenberg, TX
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txjustin Offline OP
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Thanks everyone. We have decided on St. John. I appreciate all the help in this great forum!

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: txjustin] #26146
03/31/2014 08:41 AM
03/31/2014 08:41 AM
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Now, on to picking your accommodations and activities. Enjoy.

Cheers, RickG


Land based on the Virgins 2/28/18-3/5/18, booked and hoping to Cat Fight 10/25-11/3. June?!
Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: Dougie] #26147
09/15/2017 09:50 AM
09/15/2017 09:50 AM
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so what is your #1 & #2 ?

Flamenco is consistently rated by travel media to be in the top five beaches in the world. By my reckoning, it is the third best beach on Culebra. [/quote]


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Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: Creggers] #26148
09/15/2017 07:33 PM
09/15/2017 07:33 PM
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Quote
Creggers said:
so what is your #1 & #2 ?

Flamenco is consistently rated by travel media to be in the top five beaches in the world. By my reckoning, it is the third best beach on Culebra.
[/quote]


Fortunately the SVI's were spared the brunt of Irma and will likely see more charter visitors while the VIs rebuild. I've managed to make four trips from CYOA to Culebra/Culebrita/Vieques in the past 10 months. For me the top beaches depend on the marine conditions. Some are untenable or at least unpleasant approaching from a boat depending on the sea state. Here are my favorites so far (with caveats):

#1 Bahia de la Chiva, Vieques (as long as winds are north of SSE). Anchored here for the solar eclipse. Absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful shallows near shore that heat up the water. Reminds me a bit of Oil Nut Bay and Pond Bay, VG.

#2 Bahia Tortugas, Culebrita (as long as no heavy N or NE swell. Even moderately strong Easterly winds can cause a strong swell in the bay). About as picturesque as it gets. We've observed 8 sea turtles simultaneously surfaced within a few hundred feet of the boat. 20 minute hike to the Spanish lighthouse built in the 1880's. Have their own "bubbly pools" at the north end of the beach.

#3 Flamenco Beach, Culebra (have only visited from the land side). Beautiful 1-1/4 mile crescent beach. Beautiful coloration on the reef. Several kiosks with inexpensive, but good local food. Drinks also reasonably priced.

#4 Unnamed beach on West Shore of Culebrita (below lighthouse). One mooring ball. Locals somehow managed to bring their boats through the coral heads right to the beach. Very good snorkeling.

#5 (Tie) Playa Tamarindo (if winds north of SE) & Playa Carlos Roasario (if no north swell) on Culebra.

#6 Sun Bay, Vieques (if winds north of SE). 1 mile crescent beach, but it's also the municipal beach for Vieques so not so deserted.

#7 West shore of Cayo Luis Pena (in settled conditions and no north swell). Two coves each with a mooring ball. Each beach is very narrow. Good snorkeling and excellent sundown views.

To Be Determined.
- We've yet to have calm enough conditions to explore some other north shore beaches on Culebra by boat, such as Zoni, Playa Brava, or Playa Resaca. They look interesting.

- We did a fly-by of Bahia Salina de la Sur, Vieques. A magnificent well-protected bay and beach, but still being cleared of ordinance. Did not risk anchoring or going ashore!

Re: Culebra, Belize, or St. John? [Re: BaardJ] #26149
09/17/2017 01:30 PM
09/17/2017 01:30 PM
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St. Louis, Mo
Dougie Offline
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Quote
BaardJ said:
Quote
Creggers said:
so what is your #1 & #2 ?

Flamenco is consistently rated by travel media to be in the top five beaches in the world. By my reckoning, it is the third best beach on Culebra.


#1 is Zoni, #2 is Carlos Rosario Both selected for the views.
Zoni has beautiful sand, and overlooks several uninhabited cayos including the aforementioned Culebrita, Also St. Thomas, St. John and Jost.
Carlos Rosario, a prototypical Virgin Island shell beach, also overlooks a number of cayos and the main island of Puerto Rico. Best snorkeling on Culebra. For good measure, there is a nice blowhole in a natural jetty to the south.


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