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Where to go in Lesser Antilles?

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by JohnN, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. JohnN

    JohnN Solo Diver

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    My lovely wife is finally taking her overdue sabbatical and our initial plans for February are in flux. She is not a diver but enjoys snorkeling and watching and being near the ocean. Wifi is required (I work remotely). I would prefer locations where I can shore dive (cost is a consideration)

    We want to self-cater, so AirBNB/VRBO/etc is a requirement

    The month of January, we're going back to Curacao. What else within the Lesser Antilles (we'd like to minimize airfare where possible) might we consider for the month of February?

    Aruba (is there really enough to do)
    Grenada?
    Antigua?
    T&T?
     
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Bonaire is the obvious answer, have you already "been there, done that"?

    I've never been to Aruba but it should be easy to get there from Curacao. I know that there is some boat diving available there but I haven't heard much about shore diving. It is said to be a good spot for non-divers traveling with divers.
     
    jonhall likes this.
  3. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    my suggestion was going to be curacao. oh well. haha obviously as stated above, bonaire would be the best choice.
     
  4. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

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    A newsletter I get recently mentioned Caribbean Airlines is adding service to Curacao starting 8/2, to their hub in Trinidad&Tobago. Caribbean Airlines’ Newest Destination
    I don't actually see it on their website at this point, but that might be another option to get to T&T or some other islands without going back through Miami or some such.

    You say "Aruba (is there really enough to do)" are you asking about shore diving, or other things? And if other things, what?

    Curacao has a fair amount to do topside, as does Aruba. Bonaire not so much, but as said it's the obvious choice for significant shore diving.

    I thought Grenada was a pretty interesting island with lots to do, but I haven't heard of shore diving there. T&T, it seems like the place to dive is Tobago (lots of current so I doubt there's shore diving.) And I'm under the impression that Trinidad itsellf is a place to pass through on the way to Tobago, not a place you want to stay.

    Grand Cayman has a rep for being expensive - and it is if you stay at a nice resort, eat at lots of nice restaurants, and boat dive. But there is a decent amount of shore diving and if you go the rental/self catering route/mostly shore diving route you might be able to do it reasonably. (I know, not lesser Antilles, but thought I'd throw it in there.)
     
    KathyV likes this.
  5. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You could consider flying to Miami from Curacao and then shore diving in southern Florida, but the water temperature will be rather cold in Florida in February, probably mid 70s, and it may rough too. There's lots of options for a non-diver in Florida and reliable wi-fi.

    But I think that it will be easier/cheaper to get to other popular Dutch islands directly from Curacao, like Aruba, Bonaire and perhaps Saint Martin.

    Saint Martin has lots of topside attractions but it is not known for diving. But it is only a ferry ride away from Saba, a small Dutch island with good diving - but there's not much to do for a non-diver on Saba and I'm not aware of shore diving options or wi-fi reliability.

    Here's some info about shore diving Aruba, but I've never been there so I don't know if it is accurate.
    Scuba Shore Diving Site Listing for: Aruba, ABC Islands

    Here's a thought, Curacao is a large and diverse island, so why not split your time between 2 different sides of the island? Perhaps stay close to Willemsted for awhile to do some diving but also to focus on topside activities. Then head to the more remote West End for relaxation, quiet, and lots of diving to finish out your trip.
     
    GrafCanuck and Damselfish like this.
  6. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    this what we did. one week at playa lagun, the other near the city. worked out well.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    No shore diving at Grenada as far as I know but I very much enjoy it there. Beautiful island. I can make some recommendations for you, if you decide to go that way.

    I haven't been to St. Vincent but have been to Bequia. I found the diving at Bequia sweet and hope to get to St. Vincent now that one can finally fly in there. Just something to consider.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  8. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

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    I like the idea of splitting your time between 2 different areas of Curacao. I get if you’d really want to hit 2 different islands. But for some larger islands, staying in 2 different spots can be like 2 completely different islands and trips.

    You might even consider dividing your time differently, like more than a month between 2 different parts of Curacao. Then a few weeks someplace you’d like to check out but don’t want to stay a whole month.

    Dividing time between the Dutch and French sides of St Martin is 2 very different things, with a lot to see and do. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the island. But not a shore diving place and not noted for diving in general. (We had pretty good luck there because conditions were great and we could dive seldom done spots, but that probably wouldn’t happen in winter.)
     
    KathyV likes this.
  9. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    One of the reason we enjoy the Caymans is because the Sister Islands are very different from Grand Cayman. We usually spend a week on GC enjoying topside activities and shore diving and maybe some boat diving, and then a week in Little Cayman or Cayman Brac relaxing and diving - and they are different experiences.
     
  10. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    We really enjoyed St. Martin also, the 2 sides of the island are very different and that's nice. We haven't used the Ferry yet, but it is a 1.5 hour trip to Saba with no worry about the "wait to fly" rule that you often encounter when hopping between Caribbean islands to dive. We thought that the diving around Saba was very good.
    Twistour
     

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