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Steph_SEA Jul 5th, 2004 06:37 PM

Best Snorkeling Off Beach
My husband and I love to snorkel and we've traveled to many good snorkeling destinations in the pacific. This will be our first trip to the Caribbean and we're looking for a place with good snorkeling right off the beach.
There are so many islands to choose from and we're not sure where to start. I know everyone has a favorite island for one reason or another, but we'd like to hear about your favorite island for easily accessible snorkeling. Input on places to stay with great snorkeling off the beach would be a plus. Thank you!

tpatricco Jul 5th, 2004 07:09 PM

Hi Steph, welcome to the Caribbean board. We love snorkling from shore at most of St. John's 39 beautiful beaches! Someone else asked a very similar question to yours just recently. You might search "snorkling off beach" in the little box in the upper left of the screen, this thread will come to the top of the list... Trish

Steph_SEA Jul 5th, 2004 09:43 PM

Thanks for the reply Trish. I found the other post you mentioned with many good off shore snorkeling site suggestions.
It sounded like most of these were beaches that you would need to drive to. Are there any hotels that have good beach snorkeling or do most of the islands have sites you need to drive/boat to? Although we do love to explore, nothing beats an early morning snorkel within walking distance of your room!

tully Jul 6th, 2004 04:39 AM

Steph - I'd still suggest Bonaire. The island is only 20 or so miles long and about 5 miles across. Many hotels like Buddy Dive & Capt. Don's have snorkeling right in front of the hotel.

slk230 Jul 6th, 2004 04:49 AM

Every day of our stay in Bonaire, we would begin or end with a great snorkel right in front of our room at the Plaza Resort in Bonaire. Of course every resort there has fantastic snorkeling right off the beach.

owa Jul 6th, 2004 05:25 PM

Caneel St. John has 7 beautiful beaches at the resort. Wonderful snorkeling off the beach.

poss Jul 7th, 2004 01:29 PM

We've been both to Bonaire (Plaza hotel and to St John (Caneel and Gallows Point.) St John was much much better --perhaps not for divers, but DEFINITELY for off-the-beach snorkeling. You could snorkel a different spot every day for a week at St John and never be bored (it's also very beautiful). We've been to Cayman a number of times also, because the snorkeling is pretty good. But Cayman is not a handsome island. St. John really is superior to anywhere we've been. I'd suggest Caneel Bay if you want gorgeous grounds and handsome (though not large) rooms; Gallows Point if you'd prefer a condo. Views at both places are terrific. Plenty of good restaurants in St John. Food at Caneel, by the way, is mediocre at best. (We've been there 3 times and felt the same each time.)

tpatricco Jul 7th, 2004 03:12 PM

Steph, as a previous poster mentioned, Caneel Bay resort has 7 of the island's 39 beaches and you can snorkle right from there. To truly experience St. John though, you've gotta leave the resort, and Cruz Bay too for that matter. It's well worth renting a jeep for at least a couple days of your stay to experience the variety of beaches the island has to offer. Driving on Centerline road is an adventure in itself! Don't miss Salt Pond Bay area, Leinster Bay & Waterlemon - fantastic snorkling! If you don't stay at Caneel, I'd say you have to be able to drive around to get to the other beaches.

aks Jul 8th, 2004 10:04 AM

Keep in mind what kind of island you want - Bonaire has great diving and snorkeling, but is a desert island, flat with nothing but scrub and goats inland. If you also want to explore, hike etc. you might want to stick with the more tropical locales. Have a great time !

Steph_SEA Jul 8th, 2004 10:05 AM

Thank you all for the wonderful info. It definitely sounds like St. John will be perfect for us.

I've seen some posts stating that the water is too cold in winter on some islands. Is this true for St. John? What about Spring? I was hoping to go somewhere warm when it's still cold and rainy here at home.

Morgan Jul 8th, 2004 10:27 AM

We were in St. John the end of January and the ocean temps were beautiful! Go and enjoy!

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