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For snorkeling and maybe diving..which is best Grand Cayman or Bonaire??

For snorkeling and maybe diving..which is best Grand Cayman or Bonaire??

Sep 24th, 2005, 07:28 PM
  #1  
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For snorkeling and maybe diving..which is best Grand Cayman or Bonaire??

I am researching for a possible trip during Spring.My husband and I both love to snorkel and we might even get certified to dive.

I am curious if anyone has been to both GC and Bonaire..if so..which is the best for diving and snorkeling??We really want to see some colorful reefs and a large variety of fish and other underwater critters..

Thanks in advance for any help.

Christie
christiegr is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 05:01 AM
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I've been to both-- Bonaire once and Cayman 3 or 4 times. We don't dive, but we're snorkeling nuts (even finally got ourselves to Great Barrier Reef a few years ago). B&C are both very arid islands, neither one handsome (compared to say, St John where the snorkeling is as good and where the island itself is quite lush and handsome). Main difference is that Cayman has good beaches and Bonaire has virtually no beaches. In each place, you'll be moving around a lot, i.e. there are lots of different wade-in places all around the island, so you'll be renting a car and exploring different sites each day. "Put-ins" will be easier on Cayman than on Bonaire. Cayman will be more crowded. Cayman has the very touristy, but still interesting "Sting Ray City" where you're in the water playing with and feeding the big guys. Bonaire has some interesting places on land to explore (flamingo sanctuaries, etc) I found nothing on Bonaire near as spectacular as Cayman's Eden Rocks for snorkeling. In short, of the 2 I'd say Cayman-- though it's a comletely unattractive island excpet for underwater. Let me know if you have other specific questions.
poss is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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Poss,
I love St. John but my husband wants to go somewhere different on our next trip.Though it will be a while..I want love to research.

I am aware that both Bonaire and GC are arid and flat.My husband said that he wanted to try a place that was easier to drive around and has great snorkeling..it's funny because I did ALL of the driving in St John on this last trip and it did not bother me.I started to get use to the North Shore roads and felt more comfortable going the speed limit. Thanks for you comments.

One more question..which place has the best restaurants?
Thanks,
Christie
christiegr is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Cayman probably has better restaurants, though cuisine isn't great in either place. (I think that St John does, in fact, have a couple of good restaurants.) And Cayman is easier to drive around than Bonaire (but Bonaire more interesting and varied).
I don't know where you like to stay when you go to the Caribbean, but Cayman has a number of nice condo complexes-- several of them very near good snorkeling. Seven Mile beach isn't very good for snorkeling-- EXCEPT on the north end, up near the cemetery, off of which is fine snorkeling. There are a number of nice condos there.
poss is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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I've been to both islands and prefered Bonaire over GC....The restaurants at GC were better, but I thought they were very expensive. GC was a little overdeveloped for my tastes. Even though Bonaire is flat and arid, the cactus fences, pink beaches and flamingos gave it a unique beauty and the people were friendly and welcoming. I saw a lot of fish in GC, but I thought the coral and offshore snorkeling were better in Bonaire.
ltilson is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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I agree abt the snorkeling at GC, i.e. that the fish (etc) are better than the coral. And GC is FOR SURE way over-crowded (and unhandsome, as a result). But I didn't see many (any?) real beaches on Bonaire-- and getting into the water for snorkeling was definitely more cumbersome at Bonaire. All comes down to what your priorities are. I hope our in-put helps.
poss is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 01:58 PM
  #7  
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poss,
yes..all input does help and is much appreciated.I tend to like the less developed places..so Bonaire might be the way to go.

Have you ever been to Curacao??I wonder how the snorkeling compares to Bonaire or GC??I have also heard that Curacao has cove beaches..which are my favorite.
christiegr is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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Spent 3 days on Curaco, but don't remember much (not very impressed). You'll probably enjoy Bonaire very much. Good luck!
poss is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Christie

I follow way too many travel sites both for places that we've traveled to and those on my 'next trip list'. The best Bonaire site is Bonaire Talk and one of the most organized sites that I've come across.

http://www.bonairetalk.com/cgi-local....cgi?pg=topics
RobertoB is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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I have a comment regarding the "though cuisine isn't great" post. Although I haven't been to Bonaire, I've been to GC twice, and the there are some outstanding restaurants there. Yes, it can be pricey, but we found a few restaurants in GC some of the best we have ever experienced.

There are in fact several snorkeling sites along the 7MB stretch. There is a mini wall on the northern most part of the beach near the turtle farm and Cracked Conch restaurant. Moving south there is Cemetary reef which is very good. Further south you'll find Governors reef. On the southern end of 7MB there is a great reef out in front of Treasure Island resort. South of 7MB, you'll run into Georgetown, where there are several snorkel sites including the wreck of the Cali, and our favorite just south of town Eden Rock.

The diving in GC is by far the best I have ever done anywhere. If you do get certified (which I highly recommend), make sure to dive one of the walls in GC. It is an experience you'll never forget....trust me. We really love the snorkeling in GC, but the diving is beyond words.

I've heard nothing but good reviews about the snorkeling & even better diving in Bonaire, and would love to experience it. The one thing that keeps us from Bonaire is the lack of any beaches.
ScottB is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 01:16 PM
  #11  
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Roberto,
Thanks for the link.

Scott,
Thanks for the snorkeling spots..we have also heard (like you said)that the restaurants in GC are wonderful.I think that my husband would like GC better..so it will probably be the place to go. Not until Springtime though.I love to research and I will keep all of this information for use in the future.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

Christie

christiegr is offline  

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