Where to go for snorkeling and sun

Feb 9th, 2008, 11:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 162
Where to go for snorkeling and sun

My husband and I are in the planning stages for a winter get-away. We are looking for someplace we can fly non-stop from New York in 4 hours or less. For this trip we just want to relax in the sun, enjoy some good snorkeling, and have some nice dinners out. We don't want to break the bank on this trip since we are planning a trip to Europe next fall. We'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, everyone!
bluesky9ny is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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your choices are pretty much grand cayman or provo, turks and caicos. i haven't been on gc yet but would suggest a resort on the south end of 7 mile beach.
provo has loads of wonderful resorts on grace bay beach (12 miles long) and is known for fabulous restaurants. (many of provo resorts have condo style rooms offering you the opportunity to save a bit of cash by having breakfasts and lunchs and sometimes cocktails in the condo).
neither are cheap islands, though and without knowning your budget hard to recommend specifics.
virginia is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure you can fly non-stop to St. Thomas in less than 4 hours from one or more of the NYC airports. The island offers nice beaches, access to some very good snorkeling, plenty of restaurants in all price ranges and numerous hotels/resorts that won't "break the bank". In short, St. Thomas offers everything you are seeking.

Another island you might want to check is St. Martin. Only 15 minutes further by air than St. Thomas the island is easily reached non-stop from NYC. There are lots of mid-priced rental condos, hotels and resorts and over 100 restaurants ranging from inexpensive "lolos" to world class dining. There are very nice beaches, a few places where you can snorkel (not as good as on St. Thomas) and plenty of beach bars.

FYI - Grand Cayman and Provo (mentioned by Virginia) can be pricey so check those island out carefully before making any commitment as they might exceed your budget.
A_Traveller is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I think you can also do Riviera Maya Mexico in about 4 1/2 hours (fly into Cancun). Playa del Carmen could fill your needs or Peurto Morelos is even lower key and has a great reef for snorkel trips at $25 pp. Mexico gives you great value. There are also some great little places on Isla Mujeres (a small island off Cancun) You can get a great hotel room for less than $150 and food is reasonable.
beachbum2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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i've heard that isla is a great place for snorkeling. the avalon reef club has an all-in program i think. we hope to try isla soon. have snorkeled st. thomas - some good spots, but mostly by tour boats, which add to expenses. i have not heard about much snorkeling on st. martin but have not been so i may be wrong.
my first thoughts were to provo and gc because of the easy access off beach snorkeling, and because they are pretty laid back/relaxing islands compared to st. martin or st. thomas.
virginia is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Posts: 162
We're thinking of Grand Cayman based on ideas you all gave us. The snorkeling is supposed to be great and I found a good deal on airfare. Next thing I need is a suggestions of a condo/hotel. We prefer smaller places, not mega resorts. We like the idea of being able to make our own breakfast, and relax while eating and looking out at the water before starting a busy day. There is a really good deal from Cayman Airways with a 50% discount on Comfort Suites on 7 mile beach if we fly with them. Any input on that hotel? Thanks, everyone.
bluesky9ny is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 459
Grand Cayman is a great choice, but I do not recommend southern 7mb. The beach isn't as nice there, Middle or northern 7mb is nicer. Check out www.caymanvacations.com for a good listing to include hotels and condos. If you choose to go the condo route, you may find something on www.vrbo.com.
meta is offline  
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