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Advice someone who loves Bahama Out Islands and has also been to Mexico?

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Dec 21st, 2011, 02:46 PM
  #1
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Advice someone who loves Bahama Out Islands and has also been to Mexico?

We visited our first Bahama Out Island (Eleuthera) last year and loved it. I am considering a trip to Akumal or Cozumel this February. We love to snorkel and that will be an important part of the trip. There are rave reviews for Cozumel and Akumal snorkeling but I keep looking at photos of beaches lined with resorts and lots of people and boats in the water. Is the snorkeling in Mexico worth it or will I regret the crowds etc?
I am considering Mexico in Februray instead of returning to Bahamas due to weather and interest in historical sites. We have also been to St John, Vieques and Grand Cayman. Actually we loved all of the islands for different reasons but Eleuthera is overall favorite. Want to go somewhere new to snorkel and love history and arcitecture. Thanks for any advice!
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Dec 21st, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Been to both lots of cute nice hotels and less crowds
and good snorkeling and history down toward tulum.
www.xel-ha.com isanamazing place though pretty touristy
things are pretty spread out where cenotes meet the reef
very unsual.Based on budget www.hotelalcielo.com ecotulum.com
many other nice places down that way. Belize is also amazing
www.robertsgrove.com www.cavesbranch.com good ruins around also. www.spirit.com good cheap flights to Cancun/Tulum.
cancun.bookit.comgood AI values there.

Happy Planning!
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Dec 21st, 2011, 03:23 PM
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KVR
 
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Have been to Mexico for the last 10 years. Nassau once and a Bahama stop on a cruise.

Have been disappointed in the snorkeling in Mexico the last few years just due to the numerous hurricanes and storms that it has substained. December, 2010, we snorkel with the turtles at Akumel and found the snorkeling to be better the further away we got from the Playa del Carmen area. The storms didn't seem to hit that far out. The best snorkeling we did was a full day trip to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. It is a very long bumpy ride to get there, but the snorkeling was really good. We found the water too rough to snorkel around Tulum.

We did Xel-Ha in 2007 and was not impressed. However, Hurricane Dean hit 2 weeks before our arrival so that could have been a factor. Our last trip to Cozumel in December, 2009, I was not impressed with the snorkeling, but again a tropical storm hit the area about a month before our arrival. We found the snorkeling better in the areas before 2005.

I did much care for the snorkeling in T & C, St. John or Curacao. Have found the best snorkeling in Grand Cayman on both of our visits there.

I did like the snorkeling in Aruba. The water isn't as clear, but there was lots to see. You do have to go on a tour and get away from the hotel area.

Check out our picture site. I have numerous snorkeling pictures of various trips.

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 04:26 AM
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If you loved Eleuthera, you might consider Belize. The snorkeling/diving are amazing, and the vibe is laid back. The only caveat: the beaches are no comparision to what you've seen in the Out Islands. You'd have to satisfy yourself with the other attractions (Mayan ruins, manatees).

If beaches are important, think about Anguilla. Better yet, Barbuda (though it's hard to reach).
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 06:47 AM
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Callaloo- I have been doing a lot of reading the past few days about Anguilla myself and think we would love it but I have read that the snorkeling is not much- I am not trying to hijack tdelano's question but since she said that snorkeling is an important part of their trip, can you tell us what you think about snorkeling in Anguilla?

tdelano- been to Eleuthera and several other out islands and love them. I do not think you would love Cozumel if you loved Eleuthera. We liked Isla Mujeres for the vibe but there is not much snorkeling there. I have been to but not snorkeled in the Tulum area but I think that would be a far better idea than Cozumel. I think Akumal looks interesting but have not been.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:33 AM
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ishkribbl, I really can't say much about the snorkeling in Anguilla, since I didn't -- I was too much of a beach/boat bum on my Anguilla trips. My husband did a dive, and said it was decent. I think there are small islands for snorkel excursions that are pretty good. I would defer to Anguilla experts on the snorkeling questions.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:10 AM
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hi t, i've just come home from san salvador - even more remote & deserted than eleuthra i've also been to maya riviera.
you should look at rental houses on soliman bay beach or tankah bay beach. both are very quiet areas. vrbo, homeaway, locogringo & bill-in-tulsa all list the available villas. we stayed in casa cavu. dandy house on tankah with full kitchen, 3br, 2b, small pool directly on a good snorkeling beach and an easy walk to a cenote where you can dive or snorkel. house comes with caretaker couple - he does the pool, grounds & beach & she does the housekeeping daily. if it's the same couple he (ysidro) will also prepare dinner if you request. tankah & soliman are approx 1/2 way between akumal & tulum. playa del carman is about 35 mins north.
the locogringo site will also give you info on all the to do/sees.
there is a small ai in akumal named akumal beach resort that ppl seem to like - not fancy, fairly lowkey.
we had lunch twice in tulum at a tiny resort called mezzanine - looked like a delightful place & is on a huge, deserted swimming beach. http://www.mezzaninetulum.com/
if you go, be at yal-ku lagoon in akumal when they open in the am for some amazing snorkeling.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:43 AM
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Ishkribbl- you state " I do not think you would love Cozumel if you loved Eleuthera." Why so? Due to the amount of people? There is not snorkeling in Tulum area. No reef there. Akumal and Cozumel would be my choices.

Callaoo- from what I understand all of the snorkeling in Belize is from a boat? Did you find this to be correct? We would want some snorkeling from the beach. Belize would be an option with comparable ticket prices.

Virgina- I have been on Logogringo. Lots of great info there but all from the perspecitive of people who LOVE that area, so I was trying to find someone that would "get" how much I loved Eleuthera since they are so different. If we do go to Mexico we will be driving to different locations every couple of days so a rental will not work this trip.

Unfortunatly Anguilla and Barbuda are out of reach this trip. I am flying out of midwest which is never cheap. I can get to Mexico for about $500.

Thanks for the replies. I still can't decide what to do..lol
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:22 AM
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Not all of the snorkeling in Belize is from a boat, but it's true that the best is on the Barrier Reef -- which requires a boat ride. Nevertheless, there is beach snorkeling around most of the piers, since they attract aquatic life.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 10:55 AM
  #10
KVR
 
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"I do not think you would love Cozumel if you loved Eleuthera."

Just to throw my 2 cents in; Cozumel has a lot of iron shore beaches. The town can be touristy when cruise ships are in port. Wait until they leave to go in for shopping or dinner. Cozumel is more for divers than snorkeling. Our favorite place to snorkel is at Chankanaab Park. Good food and beach chair service.

We love Mexico. Didn't care for the Bahamas. I felt the beaches and water clarity is better in the Bahamas, but the overall atmosphere and things to see and do in Mexico is what keeps attracting us. Not to mention it's one of the least expensive beach destinations out there.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 10:55 AM
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tdelano- what I meant about Cozumel are the number of people, the number of cruise passengers that flood the place, the way the shops and restaurants in town need that visitor business but some were relentless in the hawking/trying to sell you things instead of just letting you walk and sightsee- I have only been once so more frequent visitors may totally disagree with me. We rented a car and drove around the entire island (stayed over near Playa rather than there) and there were some pretty areas on the east (?) side of the island but I think the snorkeling seems to be mainly on the side towards Playa- we did some snorkeling at the park there (Chankahaab- sp?) but there were too many people there for me. I found other areas to be nicer but not much snorkeling like I said.
At one point a couple of years ago we planned a trip to Roatan that we ended up having to cancel but I still want to go there some day. Have you looked into that? I do think that there might be some walk in snorkeling as well as boat trips- several dive operators on the island. The airfare for us was high but I think if you are coming through a Texas hub on the way that the prices might be better. We were going to do a snorkel package through Anthony's Key for half of the trip and stay at a small inn the other half. You might want to look into it but it appealed to me in the way that the out islands do as being a bit more off the beaten path and people I "know" on TA who love the Exumas also love Roatan so that was another thing I kept in mind.
I know you said you have been to Vieques so it may seem too similar but we loved Culebra and found good snorkeling there, laid back atmosphere, very safe feeling, very friendly people, much less expensive than many other island destinations we have visited and small enough to get around easily and explore. The time we went it was February and we had perfect weather.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:41 PM
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tdelano, I am with you regards my love for Eleuthera (and some of the other out islands). I have only been to Cozumel for a day so maybe I should not compare the two but there is no way it even comes close to the feel of Eleuthera. I thought it was so built up (to me that itself would be a huge negative). Have been to St John as well and am with you in regards to having a clear preferance between Eleu and St John. I think Virgin Gorda may come close (the beaches are decent ... cannot compare them to Eleu) and the island itself is very quaint, pretty etc so that may be one to add to your list for further consideration. I beleive there is decent snorkelling on VG. Good luck in your search ... I think once one experiences the out islands, nothing else comes close.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 05:32 PM
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We actually found good snorkeling in VG- the walk-in that was best was in Mahoe Bay right in front of where we were staying but we had a great day trip to the Indians, Caves and the wreck of the Rhone- unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for us to get to the Dogs which we heard was good also. February, however,is a very expensive time of year in the BVI's so I am not sure that is what you are shopping for with this trip- keep it in mind for later though because I do think you would really like it there- we loved it and would go back (but too many islands and too little time so we don't repeat very often!).
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