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anyplace in Bahamas like Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda?

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Mar 16th, 2008, 01:12 PM
  #1
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anyplace in Bahamas like Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda?

Of course I'm not looking to replicate Mahoe Bay, and I'm aware of some of the differences between Virgin Gorda and the Bahamas (handsomer topography in the former, perhaps nicer sand in the latter?) We do love Mahoe Bay, though, but would like to go somewhere closer this summer (have never gone to the Caribbean in summer).

Our two top priorities: #1: good snorkeling, right from beach. #2: fine, spacious, comfortable place to stay, preferably with pool.
Is there somewhere in the Bahamas that we'd find this kind of thing? Harbour Island? Out Island?

Thanks!
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Mar 17th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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Take a look at some of the websites for places on Great Exuma and even try looking at aerial/satellite photos on one of the sites like google earth to see if that is what you think you are looking for. You can't beat the water in the Exumas for gorgeous. If you are looking for more remote locations, take a look at Sampson Cay. You can also find some good snorkeling off of Guana in the Abacos. Be aware, though, that although the Bahamas may be closer to you than the BVI that they are not an economical destination- things are still pretty expensive even in the out islands. Worth it though!
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Mar 17th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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They are completely different from each other, yet I love them equally.

Virgin Gorda, is stunning, with it's hills, greenery, views from every curve of the road.

Out Islands are flatter, drier, scrubby looking. But the beaches are gorgeous (even more than VG) There are long stretches, with blinding white sand and neon turquoises.

I always think for first timers, Harbour Island (with day trips to Eleuthera) is a good way to start. Once you become a "seasoned" traveller, then you can venture to Exumas and Abacos, Long and Cat.

HI has the most gorgeous little town you'll ever see-and you get around in golf carts. You fly into North Eleuthera, then take a water taxi over.

Keep in mind, it's a completely different experience from Virgin Gorda, but one you'll love nevertheless.

Another consideration, you may want to look into Turks and Caicos. It is completely opposite from Virgin Gorda, (dry, scrubby, ugly enterior-flat as a pancake) but it makes up for it with one of the longest and prettiest beaches in the world, the water so sparkles there it glows! I suggest it because it has excellent snorkeling off the beach-it follows part of the third largest barrier reef in the world. Again, completely different experience, but has talcolm soft sand, gorgeous water, nice snorkeling.

I have pictures of 4 suggestions (Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Exumas, and T&C) if you want me to post, so you can compare with how different from VG it is.
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Mar 17th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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Thanks so very much for the two replies. Interestingly, though, neither spoke to the second of our "requirements." Our accommodations really do matter to us. Decades ago, this was not an especially high priority, but now that we're in our late 70's, it seems we're more and more looking for great lodging-- doesn't need to be elegant or luxurious, but does want to be very very comfortable and spacious-- a.c., great beds, large bathrooms, etc. Does any of the places you've mentioned have terrific accommodations?
blamona: We've been to T&C-- many years ago, when the Club Med first opened there (almost nothing else there). We didn't like it at all. I.e. thought the sand was wonderful, and the water really was turquoise-- gorgeous! We felt that the off-beach snorkeling, though (our main reason for traveling to those areas) was virtually non-existent. A great place for diving, no doubt, or for snorkeling from a boat (which we did), but not a good place for just strolling into the water and losing oneself for hours, then strolling (or driving) to another close-by beach and enjoying its underwater wonders for another couple of hours-- and on right around the island (as at St John or VG, e.g.) There were one or two areas that were ok, but rather small, and just "ok," not great.
In other words, it's the snorkeling that we're mainly interested in. Plus wonderful accommodations.
Thanks again for your initial responses, and I hope to hear more. Thank you!
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Mar 17th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Hi Poss!

I was thinking about the snorkeling requirement, and in my experience, Harbour Island (which does have some fine accommodations) does NOT have off the beach snorkeling.

Eleuthera does have it. Having said that, you still have to FIND it. The weather must be quite calm, and the last time we went (Sept 07) the snorkeling was a bit disappointing because many of the corals had sand on them from recent hurricanes/storms. So it is quirky, but boy have I had some great luck (chasing turtles underwater, etc) in previous years. I don't think the homes are quite as special as you may be looking for - for example not many have pools. They are comfortable, but just do not have the luxury level you will find on VG and St. John. However here is one we stayed in that might be nice - it is a literal working lighthouse:

http://www.pinksandbeach.net/housetour.htm

Here is another home I've had my eye on, called Med Point. Check out the view from inside thru the sliders. Wow.

http://www.bahamas-rental.com/index.html

There is a higher level of luxury in the Abacos (google Elbow Cay) but you must incorporate a daily boat trip (rent a Boston Whaler) to find the excellent snorkeling. Lots of fun, but the boat is an added responsibility you may not want. We shared the cost and piloting with another couple, made it easier. Is that something you'd consider?
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Mar 18th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Thanks, Joan. Will pursue your suggestions, but I'm getting the sense that Bahamas may not fill the bill for us. E.g. we're in our 70's now and while we used to love the Boston whaler kind of thing, we don't want to do that these days-- prefer just to stroll into the water from the beach. There's so much of that kind of easy access in the Virgin Islands, so we may simply stick to that area. Just thought it'd be fun to try something different (and a bit closer). I'm concerned about the weather, of course-- summer is a very iffy time to go to those waters. Would be hesitant to make advance reservations, but I thought if we could get a clear forecast (as in no hurricane activity) and could find the plane seats, it would be fun to fly off to the Bahamas for a week.
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Mar 19th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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Poss, cannot answer your snorkelling ques since we are not big snorkellers and having seen your posts in the past on VG etc I know thats very imp to you. However in response to your qns #2 here are a couple links on rentals in Gov Harbour area that you may find useful. The second house is very new and sits right on Club med beach (one of the best beaches on Eleu). I have not stayed there but eyed it as a possible future rental for our family. Having stayed on Mahoe myself, I would say this beach is much better (wide, I found Mahoe to be a bit narrow, and beautiful pink sand). We love VG and Eleu both. Many more beaches on Eleu to explore. The people are amazing and very friendly. It is definately more convinient to get to Eleu as compared to VG. Both quaint with obvious topography differences. Eleu beaches have more stuff seaweed? washed up ashore.

http://www.a1vacations.com/Bahamas/v...ur/p215687.htm

http://www.a1vacations.com/rental-home/p139792
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Mar 19th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Did you look at these: Dunmore Beach Club, Pink Sands Resort, and Runaway Hill - all on Harbour Island. Those are probably the nicer places HI has to offer. I think you would be happy with your surroundings on the island, the beach, the restaurants, etc. but I don't think the snorkeling is the best in the Bahamas by any stretch of the imagination. What about the Four Seasons on Great Exuma?
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Mar 19th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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One last thought- have you looked at VRBO for the Bahamas- just in the Abacos there are numerous listings- look for example at # 77853 on Great Guana, # 34496 on Elbow Cay or # 128843 on Treasure Cay- there are houses on almost all of the cays with beachfront locations, nice beaches, pools, and spacious, nice properties. Take a look!
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Mar 20th, 2008, 03:46 AM
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The beach that mnaq describes, Club Med beach (the club med is long abandoned) is absolutely beautiful. I saw the second house being built when we visited - truly perfect location. It would have that wander into the water feeling you're looking for.

As far as weather, we often go in September, the highest risk for hurricanes (budget time!). We always book ahead of time and then watch the caribbean forecast for about a week before departure. You can easily tell if there is something brewing in the area and then decide (so far we have been incredibly lucky!).

And Poss, each of the Bahamian Out Islands has its own flavor, so even if you don't care for the idea of the boating (Abaco) then you still have quite a few other choices...Long Island, Cat Island, Great Exuma etc.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Hi Poss,
We stayed at Caribbean Wind on Mahoe Bay, VG a couple years ago and loved it as well-I'd say my favorite place in the Caribbean we've been to so far, so I definitely see where you're coming from as we've also been searching for a place similar to Mahoe Bay, but in the Bahamas. Good news-we've found it! Keeping in mind that the topography of the Bahamas is completely different from VG, but in looking for a nice villa directly on a beautiful beach with sunset views and NOT crowded, we stumbled across Cape Santa Maria on Long Island, Bahamas. I can't speak to the snorkeling on either Mahoe or CSM, as I didn't snorkel at Mahoe while we were there, and we're going to CSM next year, so I haven't been yet, but if you go to their site (look at the villas, not the bungalows-they're much more luxurious-like the villas at Mahoe, although no pool-but I don't think you'll need a pool when you see the water out front), or on trip advisor, you'll see how gorgeous this place looks. Ishkribbl has been there and may be able to provide more info. She helped me a lot with planning
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Mar 27th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Thanks, everyone! I'm looking into all suggestions. If I don't find anywhere that has terrific "right there" snorkeling, we'll probably do our usual summer thing of of spending a week at one of the Atlantic coast beaches. I don't love body-surfing quite as much as I love snorkeling, but I sure do love it. Love those waves! (But also, obviously, love the calm of the Caribbean.)
I very much appreciate all the responses.
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