barbados or antigua

Old Oct 23rd, 2000, 03:55 PM
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barbados or antigua

Please help me decide antigua or barbados? we like to snorkel, so the water is very important. We like to take excursions and enjoy friendly local flavor. I appreciate any advice thank you
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 04:32 AM
Papaya Pie
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If GOOD snorkeling's a major factor, Barbados is NOT the place for you. Otherwise, it's a great island. Has a little of everything, great restaurants, beautiful water & sand, scenery, lots of wonderful excursions that are easy to take on your own if you rent a car or you can easily find a tour operator. Just stay away from Bridgetown.

There are many good beaches all over the island. Devote at least a day to the east coast. I personally wouldn't stay there because it's so isolated & you can't swim because the water's too dangerous, but the views & the air & the quiet is magnificent.

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:34 AM
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Antigua has good snorkeling and excellent scuba diving. There are several shipwrecks around the island that are shallow enough to snorkel, and many more that require a dive. We loved snorkeling the reef that surronds the island.

The island has lots of historical sites since it was the Caribbean HQ of the British Navy back in the 1700s. (Hubby is a big history buff!) The Nelson's Dockyard and English Harbour areas are wonderfully restored.

The best party in the Caribbean is at Shirley Heights on Sunday evening! Reggae, steel drums, BBQ and rum punch- wow!

Here's the official Antigua website:
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 04:04 PM
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I loved Barbados - lots to do & see, but I could not recommend it for snorkeling. I ahve never been to Antigua, but I have heard it is very nice.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 08:17 PM
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Thanks everyone, I did not realize barbados did not have good snorkeling. I probably will go to antigua unless there is another island with good snorkeling & excursions. I have considered Jamaica, does anyone know how it compares to antigua (snorkeling) thanks
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 08:55 PM
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Best snorkling/diving ever. Grand Cayman. I really enjoyed Barbados. Lots to see and do. Lousy snorkeling/diving. I loved Grand Cayman. It has been 6 years since I have been. I've heard it has been quite built up. Jamaica, last there 15 years ago. Did not care for it. The people weren't nice at all. Always had their hand out for a tip. If it wasn't enough they told you so.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 03:14 AM
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If your principal criterion for decided where to go is good snorkeling, I suggest you consider either Belize or Providenciales (Turks and Caicos). The main tourist destinations in Belize, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, expect to be back on-line after the hurricane by November, and most reports say that the reef was not adversely affected by it. The snorkeling there was the best I've ever seen, and there is a spot in the Hol Chan marine reserve known as "Shark Ray Alley" where you can snorkel with rays and nurse/reef sharks, just yards away from the Western Hemishphere's largest barrier reef (and second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef). Provo also has amazing snorkeling, but not as good as Belize.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 04:09 AM
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Lots of nice things about Jamaica - however, snorkeling is not one of them. If its your main purpose, I'd skip Antigua, too. Try Belize, Cozumel, Caymans...
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 05:37 AM
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Antigua does have good snorkelling in many different areas - accessible both from different beaches and boat trips. There are also many different types of excursions that you can do which will show you different aspects of the island. As far as eating out goes there is a wide variety of restaurants at all price levels which not only offer great food but beautiful settings and fun people.
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 04:03 AM
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We don't care for Mexico because of the constant assault by timeshare people who pretend not to be (& all their cousins behind every counter, taxi, street corner, stall & restaurant. Cozumel is getting bad about this just like Cancun. We also don't like being accosted by shop hawkers on the streets while walking in San Miguel. Snorkeling on Coz is best on the shoulders or summer, lousy for us in the high season -- too windy.

Barbados, a big no for snorkeling. They sure do push it, but it's really disappointing. Liked Barbados even tho the people weren't overly friendly. Polite yes. Friendly, no.

Our fav is St. Croix. We've had good snorkeling experience at Buck.

Sorry, haven't been to Antiqua but have heard mixed reviews on snorkeling.

Grand Cayman is the winner in my book for snorkeling. The island is terribly expensive, overbuilt, not much to do in the way of excursions (except the tourist traps) unless you trip over to Brac or Little Cayman.

St. John has really fine snorkeling & is wonderful for a more natural vacation. Rent a villa for the best time.

Even with it's faults, Grand Cayman is still my favorite for snorkeling. And the island is uniformly clean, safe & modern.

Judy J
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 08:08 AM
Dive Barbados !
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Why the downer on diving/snorkeling in Barbados ? My Son & I went scuba diving ( for the second time in our lives ! )
at Bridgetown & loved exploring the wrecks etc ! Looking back we must have been CRAZY as the only other time we dived ( dove ? ) was at the "Seaquarium" in Curacao ( must have been all of 15 feet down ! ). That was very enjoyable also & the people running it took an excellent video which we bought. We did not go alone in Barbados incidentally but with an instructor. Dive Barbados !
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 12:27 PM
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They're looking for snorkeling, not diving. Out of curiosity,where else have you snorkeled that you are comparing?

Barbados snorkeling was wasted time & yes, we did take a cat sail & swam with the turtles as well.

Snorkeling issues on Barbados? First, very little variety in species when you do find more than just a fish or two. Second, water clarity was very poor compared to Cayman, Bahamas & Virgins. We tried Folkestone & Mullins Bay as well as the wreck.

Perhaps the diving is good out & away, but since the reefs ringing the island are dead, snorkeling is not, even if you free drive down 10-15 feet.

We'd definitely go to Barbados again, beautiful water, beaches & great food, but next time we'll leave our gear at home.

Old Nov 3rd, 2000, 03:52 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great advice regarding the best snorkeling. A recent post asked where have I snorkeled and what am I comparing my snorkeling too. That is a great question. We took our first vacation in 1990 to Hawaii, we loved it. However, because it was our first vacation, we did not take fully appreciate the beauty of Hawaii. The snorkeling was great but we did not snorkel that long and may not have visited the best locations (we were young and just so happy to be there!). We also have snorkeled in cozumel (two times) and absolutely loved it! I would love to visit an Island that has snorkeling comparable to cozumel. I still can't decide where to go, this is our last vacation before starting a family. I appreciate everyones advice.
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 08:40 AM
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Some of the best snorkeling I've ever done was in the Abacos, Bahamas. We spent the day at the Hopetown Harbor Lodge. The coral gardens off the beach there are incredible, I have to say though, that the breeze was blowing off the shore and making the water pretty flat -- no waves. But, even so, there were lots of other places to snorkel in the Abacos, and the water is crystal clear and not very deep. Perfect!

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