need st martin advice!

Old Oct 17th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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need st martin advice!

My husband and I want to book a long weekend (about 4 days) to St Martin from NYC in early Nov. Is this a good time to go there weather wise? Also, how is the snorkeling in St Martin? I know very little about the Caribbean. We are mostly looking for a short flight, moderate activity, great weather, food and beaches (would like to avoid nude beaches, topless is ok). Is St Martin the right place for this? Thanks!
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Old Oct 17th, 2004, 04:03 PM
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St. Martin may very well fill your bill. You should be able to get a direct non-stop flight from one of the NYC airports. Although no one can accurately predict the weather more than a few days in advance or guarantee you will have good weather for your trip, the odds are you will see daytime temperatures in the mid-to-high 80's F. with plenty of sunshine. It is the tropics so there will be occasional very brief and very localized showers (often raining in one area of the island while the rest is bone dry). You'll find average to above average snorkeling at various sites around the island and some decent snorkeling on Pinel Island which is a five minute boat ride off shore. You can also take a day sail to Prickley Pear island off the coast of Anguilla for very good snorkeling and a fun picnic on the beach. Grand Case (on the French side) is home to many fine restaurants. You'll find plenty of activities (shopping, watersports, sightseeing, beach bars, casinos, etc.) and you will have your choice of numerous beaches to work on your sun tan and while away your time. Topless is commonplace on most of the beaches on the French side of the island and less conspicuous on the Dutch side. The far end of Orient Beach is clothing optional and you may see full nudity in isolated areas of other beaches but it is easily avoided. Have a great trip.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for your help. From what I have been reading on this site, sounds like the French side is what I am looking for. Would you say Anguilla has the best snorkeling in general out of all the islands?
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Old Oct 17th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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I'm not sure how to interpet you question and it is hard to make generalizations. Anguilla has better snorkeling than you will find around St. Martin but neither is as good as the snorkeling you will find around other islands in the Caribbean. You'll find excellent snorkeling off of Bonair and very good to excellent snorkeling in the BVI's, the Tobago Cays, the USVI's, select locations in the Grenadines and throughout a number of the Bahamas Out-islands (not technically in the Caribbean). You'll find average snorkeling in places such as Antigua, St. Lucia, Aruba, Provo, St. Barth's, and below average snorkeling in Nevis, St. Kitts, Martinique, Dominica, St. Vincent and Grenada. In general you'll find almost every island has one or two good snorkel sites nearby that are frequented by the local tour operators but the quality of those sites will vary greatly from island to island.
 
Old Oct 23rd, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Agree with Sunnyboy's assessments for Caribbean snorkeling. A few items to expand on and add. For BVI, Virgin Gorda is best snorkeling, particularly "The Baths". USVI, the best is St. John. To add, Guadeloupe the Cousteau Reserve is excellent (boat needed). Tobago has great snorkeling. Belize, Roatan and Cozumel also great snorkeling. I disagree on Provo assessment, there's some great snorkeling there, Coral Gardens and at the Tiki huts (west side, 4wd necessary for access)
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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Traveller863 has an excellent point that snorkeling at Coral Gardens on Provo is quite good but the area is relatively small (it can be fully seen in about 45 minutes) and is essentially the only decent site on Grace Bay (which spans about 8+ miles) which is why I rated the overall snorkeling on Provo as just average especially when compared to the BVI's where there are literally hundreds of fantastic snorkeling sites that are either directly off the beaches or within a short boat ride away. I didn't do the Tiki huts so I will defer to Traveler863 on that site. Anyway, we are all trying to help answer the question about where to find the best snorkeling and that, of course, is a difficult thing to do without knowing if the person is seeking the best "single site" or the area with multiple sites that consistently rate among the best. Add to the mix that some destinations have great snorkeling that can be accessed directly from the beach and other destinations have fantastic snorkeling destinations that are accessible only by boat and you can see why there will always be many different answers to the same question.
 
Old Oct 25th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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There is pretty good snorkeling at Creole Rock, off Petite Plage at the Grand Case Beach Club. Just ask at the hotel for a boat to take you out. I also heard snorkeling is good at Dawn Beach, on the Dutch side. Be sure to go to Orient Beach, visit the Marigot market and eat in Grand Case. If you can take the snorkeling trip to Prickly Pear, that is great, too. Or you might want to consider going to Anguilla instead. You can fly to St. Martin, then take a 15-minute ferry ride to Anguilla (best beaches). Have fun!
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Old Oct 25th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Sunnyboy,
Yes I agree, if you are looking for a place where you're planning to go to primarily for the snorkeling one would get bored of the few places on Provo to snorkel. However, if one is looking to just snorkel as an extra thing to do then Provo has some great, but limited, sites to snorkel. Best places if snorkeling is the primary goal would probably be Bonaire or St. John.
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