Best Beach Snorkeling in Caribbean?

Old Oct 4th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Best Beach Snorkeling in Caribbean?

My family (kids ages 5 and 7) are planning a winter trip to the Caribbean. We are looking for an island with great snorkeling right off the beaches, since it will be hard to do snorkeling trips with the kids. Any suggestions for the best island, beaches and/or hotels?
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Old Oct 4th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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St. John has very good to excellent snorkeling off of many of its beaches. If your budget can afford it consider staying at Caneel Bay. That resort has 7 beaches each with it's own special appeal and very good snorkeling. You can also visit just about any one of the other beaches on the island for a change of underwater scenery. The island has other less expensive accomodations as well as plenty of rental villas all within a few minutes drive of some geat off-beach snorkeling.

You'll also find excellent snorkeling off of numerous beaches on Virgin Gorda. Here again you'd have a choice of accomodations ranging from upscale resorts like Little Dix Bay to mid- priced places like Mango Bay and Nail Bay as well as condos and rental villas. Almost every beach on the islands has some degree of off-beach snorkeling.

The added plus for these 2 islands is the waters by those same beaches are usually quite calm which would make swimming easier for your children.

There's some very good off-beach snorkeling directly in front of Coral Gardens on Provo's Grace Bay in the T&C's. The only drawback is that although the beach is 12 miles in length there are only 2 other places on the entire island with off-beach snorkeling and one of them requires a long 4WD trek across an unpaved trail to reach.

Bonaire is noted from some of the best off-beach snorkeling in the Caribbean but the beaches thenselves are not all that attractive and there's not much else to do on the island.

Wherever you decide to go don't rule out snorkel trips though. I've been on plenty with children the same ages as yours and the kids did just fine. Of course you know your children best so that decision is purley up to you.
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Old Oct 4th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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This is a good site for Cayman, as it rates the snorkeling in front of each property.
This is also a fun snorkel trip for kids in Cayman, click 'pirate cruise'.

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Old Oct 4th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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Snorkeling in T&C is great! Yeah it's definitely better at Coral Garden Resort but we stayed at the Sands and saw some great things! Saw a Barraccuda, Sand Dollar, lots of fish, stingray, etc. We had a great time - can't wait to go back next year!
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Old Oct 4th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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Based on 2 trips to GC in the past 6 years and Bonaire once in 2004 I do not believe they are anywhere nearly comparable to St. John or Virgin Gorda.
T&C is a distance third to my selections.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 04:46 AM
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My family loved Grand Cayman.We did a Stingray city snorkeling tour and it was wonderful.I felt that the off beach snorkeling was as good, if not better than St John..especially at Smith's Cove and Eden Rock.

For accomodations check out , we stayed there in May and loved the property and it is walkable to Cemetary Reef,another great snorkeling spot.

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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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The beach at Anse Chastenet Hotel in St Lucia is phenomonal for snorkeling! Barracuda, squid, huge coral reefs. Very friendly fish. It has been many years since I've been there but my butt still bears sunburn scars from being up in the air on top of the water all day long
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