snorkeling: Culebra/Viaques or Abaco?

Mar 30th, 2008, 01:16 PM
  #1  
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snorkeling: Culebra/Viaques or Abaco?


Is there anyone who can give me a comparison of shore snorkeling (snorkeling from the beach) in Culebra/viaques and Abaco?
Also, I can't figure out whether the guest houses in Culebra are close (walking) to the beach. Obviously, I want to snorkel from the shore, and to be able to walk to good snorkeling places.
Thanks Billyet
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Mar 30th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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Maybe you will get a better response, but since there are none yet, here goes. I have been to the Abacos several times. You do NOT say which area/island you are considering, though. I have NOT been to Vieques but have been to Culebra. I guess the reason it is hard to respond is that I have always had a boat in the Abacos and have never done a lot of wade in snorkeling because I was always on boat adventures. I do remember the snorkeling being ok off of the beach in Guana just wading in. Will you rent a boat if you go to the Abacos? I love the Hopetown area, Guana, MOW, and GTC- lots of fun. I also loved Culebra although we could not walk to any of the beaches from where we stayed in town (Villa Boheme- we liked it alot). We rented a jeep and drove to beaches every day although there are bus shuttles that run pretty regularly for a couple of bucks a trip to some areas- mainly Flamenco, I think. Snorkeling at Carlos Rosaria required about a 15 minute hike to get to the beach from the parking lot. Other places like Melones and Soldier Point one could walk right in. We took two charter boat snorkel trips that were wonderful and better than any Abaco snorkeling- well worth it and only one other couple on each trip- not like Mexico where it was a boat full then others there when you arrived- it was only our boat at a location. Also, everyone's idea of snorkeling is different. Good snorkeling to me is a LIVE reef with LOTS of variety in fish/sealife and a variety of colorful coral and plant life. I don't want to only see a sandy bottom with conch or starfish (although that is pretty neat sometimes).
I hope someone with more experience in these areas will answer you, but, if not, I will try to help with any suggestions or ideas!
ishkribbl is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 06:53 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Ishkribbi, I will try to be more clear: I was thinking of Guana Cay in the Abacos since a lot of people recommended it & the Bahamas seems relatively easy to get to. I have been snorkeling in Bonaire and love it, only it's so very far to travel. I do want to be able to just walk/fall into the water & see lots of fish, and I stay in for hours. That's one reason why I don't want to depend on boat trips, they always want to drag me out before I'm ready--of course a few trips are nice, but not enough time for me. Also I liked (in Bonaire) just to wake up & get into the water an hour or so before breakfast. So I may end up going back there anyhow, but was hoping to find a closer spot.
I had read that Vieques and Culebra were lovely for fish, but do not want to depend on boats. If you know of a better beach snorkel place do please let me know, and thanks so much for helping.
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Mar 30th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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I have not been to Bonaire so it is hard to respond. IF you will be happy with a very low key, laid back place where you will feel very safe, people are extremely friendly and helpful, food is good but not great (I love to cook and to eat out but it is not of paramount importance to me on a trip), the water is beautiful and you can walk, ride a bike or get in a golf cart and go, then I think Guana is terrific. I think it might be more to your liking than PR according to what you have said. Have you zeroed in on a place to stay? WHEN do you plan to go? I would go between May and August for warm water for snorkeling.
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Mar 30th, 2008, 07:31 PM
  #5  
 
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PS Have you been to St. John? It has wonderful snorkeling although it is probably a longer travel (I don't have a clue where you are flying from- you may live in a hub and be able to get to STT quicker than I can) and has gotten pretty expensive as far as I am concerned (the Bahamas are certainly not cheap though). I can get to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas and on to Guana by ferry in 1/2 a day- look at all your airline possibilities.
By the way, have you considered: Staniel Cay or Sampson Cay in the Exumas or Andros? All are supposed to be great snorkeling although I do not have first hand experience. I have been to Great Exuma and it is beautiful water - I have been researching Staniel Cay.
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