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Snorkeling with tween? Best places?

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by alicia smith, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. alicia smith

    alicia smith Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: usa
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    I'm a diver but I'm looking for a snorkeling spot suitable for a (strong swimmer) tween and hopefully interesting enough (or not too terrible!) for an adult. Shore snorkeling would obviously be great but willing to take boat trips too. I live in North America so Carribean/Central America would be great. I looked at Belize (seems good but varying quality of sites? Where should we go?) and Bonaire (seems much better for diving and too expensive for just snorkeling). If we choose Belize, what's the best location (maybe with trips to nearby archeological sites?). Traveling with a tween means convenience is good, so tour recommendations also welcome. Can pretty much go anywhere, looking for a place that's good for about a weeklong trip. Thank you!
     
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  2. diversteve

    diversteve mod ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: home
    24,115
    4,486
    113
    Maui.

    Every beach has snorkel options and most are shallow. You can also go on combo snorkel/dive trips out to Molokini Crater on the Pride of Maui, or some dive boats like Maui Diamond II (there's others) Some of the Lanai dives are also good snorkels - we dove Sharkfin around the outside, others snorkeled in the bay - with Lahaina Divers.
    Trilogy sails big catamarans out there and offers snorkeling, snuba and scuba on the same trip - plus a bbq.
    On Maui, Black Rock is famous for either and Kapalua Beach is very shallow. South Maui also has a dozen beaches that are also good snorkels - La Perouse is probably a better snorkel than dive.

    Maybe Kauai also - many of the beaches are snorkels. Some like Lydgate - I walked out till I could barely see people on the beach and was still standing. Koloa Landing is good for both. And although it sounds odd, the kiddy pool at Poipu Beach is entertaining - it's a man-made breakwater so only little fish get in - 4-5' deep.

    Or in the Caribbean:

    Bonaire is an option. Dee does her Touch the Sea snorkel trips there from a boat or shore. Bari Reef - one of the best dives on Bonaire is also a very good snorkel to the south - I spent 30 mins snorkeling in my BC there. Bonaire could be pretty boring for a teen though - not much to do/see topside.

    Another option is Curacao. Same reef just better access to it off sandy beaches. Much of Bonaire is entered over iron shore - it's slick and sharp. Curacao is a cheaper flight and cheaper everything than Bonaire since it's the deepwater port. Most things on Bonaire go through there first - that doesn't cost less...lol

    The Dive Bus does escorted shore dives - they also bring snorkelers with (for a reduced fee) The Tugnoat - one of the famous dives - is 17' deep. I've been there when a cruise excursion dropped 50 snorkelers on it. The north side of Playa Jeremi - a protected cove - is on Frommer's Best Caribbean Snorkels. Almost all the beaches have facilities, food, often a dive shop. You won't find that at any of them on Bonaire. There's about 5x more activities on Curacao also. www.curacao.com

    Grand Cayman is another option. But pricier. Turtle Reef is both a snorkel and a dive site. Lighthouse Point is another - it starts 6' off their dcok and stays shallow for a while.Eden Rock downtown is another - in some places the reef is almost exposed at low tide but it's 50 yards from the cruise port. The Westin has a snorkel trail off their beach but most resorts on Seven Mile Beach are just sand offshore. Sunset House would be good for both also - the Saltwater Pool is steps down into a shallow pool that lets out into a shallow reef - maybe 15' deep.

    He can also snorkel the Kittiwake while you dive it amd Stingray City is 14' deep. A family on our dive boat brought their kids to snorkel down while we fed the rays. Testudo's Snokel Guide lists more options.

    if you read the site descriptions on shorediving.com a lot of them are about snorkeling.
     
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  3. diversteve

    diversteve mod ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: home
    24,115
    4,486
    113
    I have not been to Belize but a good friend lives there. Southern Belize for the most part (where all the interesting jungle tours are) is a nice flat sandy beach so not much to snorkel. Boats from there go out 30-60 mins. to the reef.

    You don't want to stay in Belize City if you can avoid it and Ambergris or Caye Caulker are offshore which would make the jungle tours harder - not impossible as there is a ferry. A lot of moving around in Belize is local flights which gets expensive fast. Some friends stayed in Placencia - they were bored when not diving. Some of the atolls have good snorkeling/diving but you're there all week - they exchange guests once/twice as week with the mainland.
     
  4. LimitedSlip7

    LimitedSlip7 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ohio
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    St John in the USVIs had really good snorkeling and some awesome beaches/hikes/scenery/food. It was a lot of fun exploring the island in a Jeep and going to different beaches every day. It's an amazing island but I'm not sure what the condition of the place is after the big hurricane that went through a year or two ago.

    West Bay in Roatan had some good snorkeling too right off a large, nice, (and busy) beach. The downside was all of the vendors, crusiers, and sand fleas.
     
  5. gr8jab

    gr8jab Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oregon, USA
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    CocoView on Roatan, Honduras is an excellent site for snorkeling! Sometimes I would dive shallow, and my son would follow me from the surface.

    They are not a fancy resort, so investigate before you book. Clean and comfortable, good food and AC, but slightly more 'camp' like than 'resort' like. There are some shore excursions you can book (Iguana farm, zip line, etc), but they mainly focus on diving.
     
  6. diversteve

    diversteve mod ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: home
    24,115
    4,486
    113
    Also on Roatan Anthony Key Resort has a snorkel with the Dolphins. Don't have to be a guest, One inexpensive option there would be to stay nearby in the West End - there's good snorkeling right off the beach in front of Half Moon Resort - we saw snorkelers out there daily and the other point of Half Moon Bay which has some larger, newer condos behind it.

    Plus Luna Beach Resort has an elaborate snorkel garden described on their website - about a mile west. Another mile west is West Bay - described above. Sandy Bay near AKR also has some snorkeling but it's a farther swim out

    Lots of bugs on Roatan...Sand Flies are bad w/o a good repellent. Also you want to start a Malaria program b4 you go - it's a tropical jungle island.

    Almost enough to keep a tweener busy, thtere's stand up paddleboarding, fishing, Gumbalimba Park, a small tired zoon, the Iguana farm etc.

    Flights are higher but rooms/food are inexpensive parttly to compensate.
     
  7. diversteve

    diversteve mod ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: home
    24,115
    4,486
    113
    one option if St John is still rebuilding is to stay on St Thpmas as you can drive over (car ferry - 30 mins) daily There's at least two snorkel parks there.Your flight is into St. Thomas anyway and you ferry over to St John from downtown or the East End. (Red Hook)

    On St Thomas's East End there's good snprkeling at Sapphire Beach, Sugar Bay, Hull Bay and Coki Beach is where the cruise ecursions snorkel. Thay also have snuba there and sort of a tacky helmet dive at Coral World next door.

    Where to Snorkel in the USVI
     
  8. alicia smith

    alicia smith Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: usa
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    Thanks everyone! Both CuraƧao and USVI sound great, especially in terms of ease of getting there, but they may be too booked for this upcoming break but I'll see if it is possible in the near future. Bonaire is awesome, but probably too diving oriented (for good reasons!). Great wealth of information here. (Feel free to send me recommendations of local places with easy access to snorkeling that may be looking for customers but not necessarily are on major booking sites!).
     

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