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Caribbean shore snorkeling options

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by Brendan Kelly, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Brendan Kelly

    Brendan Kelly Garibaldi

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    Hi folks. Planning a spring (April) trip with my teens. They like to snorkel and while we have been a couple times (Riviera Maya, Vieques PR, Grand Cayman, and St John) we are still pretty novice. And therefore don’t have super high expectations.

    That said, I am trying to find a destination that has some healthy coral (and obviously abundance of fish and such) but that has some shore snorkeling. We generally do a boat trip wherever we go but also like the option of having a “home beach” or cove nearby for other days.

    Don’t really have a lean on where we are going. Bahamas has been mentioned. Curacao. But not based on any research - just kids floating options. Wherever we stay we will have a vehicle so will be mobile. Generally prefer home/villa rental as opposed to resort if that matters

    Any suggestions for Caribbean destinations with good snorkeling from shore are much appreciated! Other interests include good local food, low key beach towns and bars with a view. Those we usually sniff out so the snorkel question is top of mind. Cheers
     
    KathyV likes this.
  2. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    You mentioned that you have already been to Grand Cayman but see Testudo's Guide for more info about options for snorkeling from shore on GC:
    https://snorkelblog.tumblr.com/

    Also take a look at St. Croix because snorkeling the town pier is a fabulous experience, you could spend a week there and not see it all!
     
    Snoweman likes this.
  3. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
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    Grand Cayman has some pretty good shore snorkeling - especally if you have a car: Macabuca/Turtle Reef, Smith Cove, CemetaryBeach, Eden Rock/Devil's Grotto/Cheeseburger Reef (when no cruise ships in port), and a few others. There are even a few decent spots on Seven Mile Beach (depending on what you consider decent - Governor's Reef off the Westin used to be decent but now is pretty barren - though still some fish on it :)). Seven Mile beach is fantastic and there are great restaurants and bars and plenty with fantastc views!

    EDIT: Missed that you had alreay been to Grand Cayman - Bonaire had good shore snorkeling as well!
     
    KathyV likes this.
  4. lexvil

    lexvil Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
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    Curacao, snorkel tug boat and directors bay and great food topside.


    Edit to add, will be there 4-9 to 16, can’t wait.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  5. Suppresst

    Suppresst Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    Just got back from snorkeling-intensive trip to Grand Cayman. I thought the good stuff to see was too far out from shore, for kids, including popular spots like Cemetery and Cheeseburger reefs. Unless your kids are excellent swimmer and can safely go out about 100-200 yards,, I think you're going to be challenged to find any place with live coral very close to shore
     
  6. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,106
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    Did you only try areas close to Seven Mile Beach and George Town like Cemetery and Cheeseburger Reef? Those are popular spots with the tourists that stay in the 7MB area, but they are not the best or the most accessible snorkeling spots around the island of Grand Cayman; see @Testudo's Guide at: Available Guides

    There's lots of accessible spots with healthy corals and fishlife for snorkeling off of GC.
     
  7. Suppresst

    Suppresst Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    I'll check it out. Thanks
     
  8. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,568
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    Macabuca and Eden Rock are pretty good to see a lot of life and some sea fans close in on the hard pan. Smith cove can be decent (if calm) and you snorkel around the edges to the left or right outside of where most are swimming (watch for currents though). None will have much in the way of live corals, though.

    I would agree that the decent spots in Grand Cayman to actually see a reef with live coral are not that close in to shore - so not so great for small kids.
     
  9. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,106
    3,123
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    How old are your kids? Perhaps @Testudo can offer suggestions for the best GC snorkeling spots for families?
     
  10. Testudo

    Testudo Manta Ray

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    While the best places to see an abundance of healthy coral and varied marine life snorkeling Grand Cayman are farther from shore than say, STJ, there still are plenty of close to shore (25-100 yds) sites for great snorkeling (i.e. Healthy Coral + Marine life). Places like Barefoot Beach, Babylon/Queen's Monument and North Side Cemetery are some recommendations.

    For those more adept at snorkeling, not much in the Caribbean can top the Rum Point Barrier Reef and Board Coral Garden areas, IMHO.
    hRHLpjkkEDvWRmHy0ligpjOTMiiT45IFHGTcWVEQaIUdtjOoIg_Pm7ZwnxFkx34C6XdgffDLAvZ1QQLo5vQ=w976-h732-no.jpg
    AoqcBfxh5E6mwYbduM8W6LmwLrZzb64NZDODBazTYgPoHJm4QV2SwEkWUXrWbm5lyR4BsZY_vjVcdc1K0SY=w549-h732-no.jpg
     
    KathyV likes this.

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