Best bet for snorkeling in the caribbean

Old Jul 7th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Best bet for snorkeling in the caribbean

I am planning a snorkeling trip with family for late august. We want to use our US Airways points so automatically bonaire and curacao are out.

I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on where to go? I don't get to go away that much so I really want to find the best place possible.

US Airways goes to Turks and Caicos, the bahamas (nassau I believe) St. Marteen, Aruba, St. Thomas,, Grand Cayman.

I have been to grand Cayman and didn't think it was too great for snorkeling. I was not super impressed with St. Thomas snorkeling either.

How is Provo in the turks? How is the nassau bahamas area for snorkeling?

Any suggestions on where to go would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Definitely not Aruba or St. Martin for snorkeling. We found the best to be in Grand Cayman..in the reefs off 7 mile Beach..cemetery and governor's. But it all depends on the day and were the fish are!

St. John has good snorkeling (take the ferry from St. Thomas) and it's a great little laid back island for a vacation.

Turks & Caicos (Provo) is pretty good as well. There is one reef just off Grace Bay beach. But a lot of the snorkeling you get to by boat.
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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grand cayman is generally thought to be one of the best for snorkeling. we liked it very much. we rented a house near rum point. it's all about researching where to go to find the fish/coral i think. in front of our house was quite good. we found several other good spots.

provo has good snorkeling too. a few places for off beach & lots of boat excursions. more quiet than caymans - less shopping, no busy area like georgetown, lots of really good restaurants.

nassau, aruba, st. marteen - snorkeling not so much. other islands in bahamas are super but would require an extra flight a/or ferry.

OR you could fly to st. thomas & ferry over to st. john (about 45 mins). st.john snorkeling is outstanding! most ppl stay in villas - drawback is that almost none are beachfront. trade off is most have pools & wonderful views of nearby islands. for resorts there is the fabulous caneel bay or the westin. if your family is adventurous & would consider upscale camping you might look at
http://www.cinnamonbay.com/
http://www.maho.org/maho.cfm http://www.maho.org/Concordia.cfm

once you select an island we can help you find good accomodations. and suggest snorkel sites & excursion operators, etc
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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If your willing to take a puddle jumper from Nassau for about $150 RT you can go to Andros Island only a 15 minute flight but as I recollect it was very early in the morning. Andros has the third largest barrier reef in the world after Australier and Belize. There is a modest resort called Small Hope Lodge. We stayed elsewhere but I believe Small Hope takes you out daily to the reef in a very reasonable one week room and board snorkel package.
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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stan, does andros have much off beach snorkeling?
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Thank you all for the responses. I really appreciate it. I will post again once I decide where to go to see if anyone has any hotel suggestions.

Thanks again
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 03:36 PM
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Virginia,
Will you share the name of the house you rented in the Caymans? I am always looking for the next trip!
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 05:22 PM
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I'm surprised that you didn't find good snorkeling in Grand Cayman. That would be my number one recommendation.

I didn't care for the snorkeling in T & C, St. John or Curacao. Thought Grand Cayman and Mexico was so much better.

I actually liked the snorkeling in Aruba. No resort/beach area snorkeling, but take a trip over to Baby Beach, De Palm Island, Arashi Beach, Mangel Halto's and the Antilla shipwreck and it was pretty good.
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 05:00 AM
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ishkribbl, we rented thatch hill. 2 br/2bath, pool, screened porch, full kitchen, washer/dryer. small, older house but we were quite comfortable. on the web site they say it sleeps 7 - really not so much. one br has 1 king, the other 2 singles. in the space between the 2 singles & that bdrms bathroom is the set of bunks. in order to use the bath one would walk right next to the bunks & there is no door to that bath area so lights/noise could wake kids up.
located on the road to rum pt, maybe 1/2 mile? east of it.
the carpets & paint look quite vibrant in the photos but do not seem as "wild" when you're there

http://www.grandcaymanvillas.net/THATCHILL.htm
or http://www.gobeach.com/cayman/thatch.htm
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 05:19 AM
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maho.org St John best easy acess snorkel for me

also Roatan(CA) anthonyskey.com Spooky Channel

utiladivecentre.com nearby also great whale sharks too...

konaweb.com Kona Hawaii great snorkel beachreally like

Hapuna Prince there great deals on priceline.com
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 05:22 AM
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Oops forgot in Bahamas

runawayhill.com valentinesdiving.com

perfect pink sand beach great snorkel...

smallhopebaylodge.com in Andros just a diving place

but diving is excellent little else to do there.
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 06:42 AM
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Virginia- thanks for the link. Just two of us (empty-nesters) so the bunk beds are not an issue! I like the looks of it- thanks again.
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Well it looks like we are going to St. Thomas due to the fact that it was the fewest frequent flyer miles and a reasonable hotel.

If anyone has any snorkeling spots in St. Thomas or St. John please let me know

Thanks !
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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I would highly recommend doing the day sail with New Horizons II around the British Virgin Islands.

http://www.newhorizonscharters.com/

Also do a full day Island tour of St. Thomas and St. John. What hotel are you staying? We stayed at the Wyndham Sugar Bay and was able to set up both of those tours from their conceirge desk.

We enjoyed Coki Beach, but since our trip I've read some questionable things about spending time there. We were very disappointed in the snorkeling at Trunk Bay on St. John.

You might want to check out the forum on www.vinow.com for all the current info about the USVI's.
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 04:34 PM
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We were in St. Thomas for a quick trip about 2 weeks ago. We found some fish to look at at Coki Beach but -I don't know the ages of your children- some of the locals were smoking pot very near us with no attempt to hide it. They did not bother us but in a way I almost thought it was advertising to see if we were interested! We are middle aged so it was funny to me but the teacher in me would not have wanted to have had kids with me.
Try Secret Harbour (if you haven't booked a place to stay you might consider it but I have never stayed there- just thought it seemed family oriented) and also Sapphire Beach for the snorkeling. We did not find much to look at snorkeling at Hull Bay but it was a pretty and peaceful little place. We did not see anything at Smith's Bay either but it was a nice calm beach that might be a good place for the kids.
Have you already booked a place to stay?
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for the info KVR and Ishkribbl. We will be staying at the Marriot Frenchmans reef. I have stayed there once before. It is pretty nice. I will have to look into the full day sail around the british virgin islands. That sounds great. Thanks for the info on Coki Beach.
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 02:51 PM
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KVR, I forgot to ask, would the british virgin islands day sail be too far from St. Thomas to reach? Any idea how long of a trip it would be or how to get there? I took a look at the website, looks like a lot of fun.
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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new horizons leaves from a marina (find sapphire beach on the map) on the east end of the island. they go early - 7:15am and as i recall you don't get back to st. thomas until almost 4pm. if you want to take this trip book online soon. they often book up months in advance. the marina is approx 45 min drive from marriott. this is a wonderful excursion.
map: http://www.frommers.com/images/desti..._st.thomas.jpg
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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You might also look into http://daydreamervi.com for day trips. We were supposed to go on one to snorkel then to Jost van Dyke but the wires got crossed on the reservation (long story) and we did not get to go. The owner Glen was super nice and very apologetic. I would go with them if we are there again. The trip left from the beach area at the Wyndam Resort- it was about a 20-25 minute drive from the Marriott Frenchman's Cove where we were staying(we allowed longer just in case but had already seen the hotel the day before when we went to Coki so we knew how to get there). I think they told us to be there at 7:30, boarding at 8 and a return at around 4. They have more than one trip option.
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Old Jul 9th, 2011, 06:20 PM
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my memory must be failing - sapphire is closer to marriott than wyndham so it must not be a 45 min drive... check at the front desk to be sure you arrive on time. you do have to go through red hook which is Very busy in the am as the ferries to st. john go from there.
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