snorkeling

Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
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snorkeling

Where are the best snorkeling spots?
Does this vary with the time of year, or time of day? How does this snorkeling compare with Hawaii?

Dennis
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Best snorkeling is in Belize and then Cozumel, Tulum, Playa del Carmen in Mexico.

Belize is better than Hawaii for snorkeling and Cozumel about the same.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Dennis, which country are you asking about? Do you have a specific one in mind?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:45 PM
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We had great snorkeling at Isla Secas in Panama, at Isla Grande in Panama it was quite decent, and it was awesome at OLd Providence Island Colombia....
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Dennis, I saw in another post that you were asking about Costa Rica. If you're looking for good snorkeling in CR, we haven't found it yet. Does not compare in any way to the snorkeling we had in Hawaii or anywhere in the Caribbean or Mexico. There was loads of sediment in the water and very poor visibility, still love CR though!
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 04:51 AM
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There are still some reefs on the Caribbean side, and I think you'd find decent snorkeling there, but probably not comparable to aforementioned locations.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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We actually prefer snorkeling on the western carribean coast over Hawaii. The reef that runs from north of Cancun down past Belize is the second largest in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia). Not only does the reef attract an amazing variety of sea life, it creates a natural barrier which helps calm the surface waters, something we never found in Hawaiian islands.

The most popular snorkeling spots along the coast include Puerto Morales where snorkel tours take you out to a spectacular section of the reef; Yal-ku Lagoon, a national snorkeling park accesable from the shore (comparable to the "Baths" in BVI); Akumal Bay, a turtle habitat; Paamul where the reef comes closet to shore ( you can snorkel off the beach and get to the reef in about 10 minutes); and in the northern cayes of Belize where the reef passes next to the the various coral islands like Ambergris and Caye Caulker.

In Caribbean Mexico you can also snorkel in underground caverns (cenotes). No sea life to speak off but beautiful rock formations.

As far as time, it is always a matter of weather. Rainy season can bring storms which make the seas rough and stir up the bottom. However as a general rule, snorkeling is good in the western caribbean all year round.

Tony and Cheri
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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If you're talking about Costa Rica, the best is supposed to be in Cano Island. It's easiest to get to from Drake's Bay.

Sandy
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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Sorry, I am talking about Costa Rica.

Dennis
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Best snorkeling we have found is Bonaire (the best), Belize, and Roatan (Bay Island in Honduras). Belize and Roatan both rank as our #2.

Way better than Hawaii plus the water is a lot warmer. I freeze in the Pacific.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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I have snorkeled multip;e times in C.A. and and theCaribbea.Bahama's and would say Belize is #1, Honduras #2,St. John #3, Hawaii #4,Bonaire #5, Curacao #6, Grand Cayman tied #6.
The Malayasian peninsula, Thailand and Australian etc. of course are in a far higher league but they take 17-24 hours of flying alone, not including airport waits, to get there but you would never regret a trip to 1-2 places like that if you are a real avid snorleler or diver.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Hi, guys - the poster is interested in snorkeling spots in Costa Rica.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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There really are none based on 3 trips along the coast for anyone but the beginner (interested in very clear water and some fish). The coral growth is very low in that area, unfortunately.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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I snorkeled a bit at Manuel Antonio park from the beach. Nothing special but could see some decent fish, water not very clear. Worth an hour of time but don't go on the trip thinking to go snorkeling.

They also have charters, friends went on the pink panther boat and had a good time.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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We did the snorkeling tour out of Manuel Antonio, and it was pretty bad. I wish we had spent our time doing the Damas Mangrove Tour instead; the visibility was just really poor. I could tell there were fish there, but I couldn't quite see them!
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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Costa Rica is not known for snorkeling. The Pacific coast is particularly bad.
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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OK yes it is true that the Pacific simply does not have the awesome snorkeling that you find in the Carib. However, if you are in CR and want to snorkel then I am sure it is worth it. For some of us just being in the water, enjoying fellow travelers, seeing a bit of sealife is enough. As long as you go understanding that you will not find crystal clear, perfectly calm waters - then you will most likely have fun.

We snorkeled only once in CR. We did the Tortuga trip from Montezuma (can be done from the mainland also). Our trip was in a small covered boat, with about 10 other people. Our little boat represented 3 countries, Germany, Australia and the US. It was a lot of fun. No, the water was not crystal clear, but visiblity was clear enough to see lots of colorful fish. We had lunch on the island - fresh fish, vegetables and fruit - as well as soft drinks and Imperial. Lazed around on the beach, had a delicious lunch, hiked around a bit, played in the shallow waters and enjoyed interesting conversations amongst our varied group. Very pleasant and memorable day.

Now we did see the big catamaran coming ashore and there were tons of people on that boat. Probably would not have enjoyed that as much, but I am sure it is fun also.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Again, thanks for the input.

On a slightly broader snorkeling topic that has been brought up here, the best snorkeling that I have experienced was at Captain Cook's Monument on the big island of Hawaii. I have been there twice. I have not been to Bonaire, Belize or Turks & Caicos, or some of the other places mentioned.

Again, I appreciate all the great input.

Dennis
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Denise of the last 3 you mentioned, on your next snorkel trip the place to consider first is Belize with Bonaire a distant second but I must admit T&C offers the best selection of better hotels but only adequate snorkeling and higher prices for the most part except air fare.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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The snorkeling at Cano Island off the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica really isn't that spectactular. When I'm in the area and get a chance to snorkel I'll do it, but I wouldn't choose this desination for snorkeling alone.

I just returned from Ambergris Caye Belize, and the snorkeling is very good.
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