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I don't know if this is the right forum, but my girlfriend and I are thinking about taking a vacation to somewhere where there would be some good reef snorkeling. So, I was wondering if any of you had recommendations for spots that are fairly inexpensive to get to, but also offer some nice snorkeling opportunities?


Thanks,
-Mike
 

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The florida keys have nice snorkeling opportunities for cheap and you can drive there. Bahia Honda State park on Marathon is a good one, also John Pennekamp on Key Largo. I've done both and they are worth the trip for sure. Or, if you really want to go for it, try Dry Tortugas National Park 70miles west of Key West. You have to take a boat or plane out to the Islands and there's some of the best snorkeling you'll see in the carribean.
Otherwise, I'm sure Hawaii would be amazing, but not cheap.
 

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Grand Caymen is supposed to be incredible if not cheap. I have done a few dives in curacao that rivalled the diving That I did on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Curacao is not cheap either, but less expensive that the Caymens or Hawaii.
 

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grand cayman

i went to hawaii last year and was not impressed with the dives. the fish where great but the coral wasnt that great. i did see alot of live stock.
but it was very very expensive. we are going to the grand caymans in april for 9 days and it was very cheap we book 6 months ago and it was only 2000.00 for plane tickets, and all inclusive hotel. that was for two people i will let you know how the dives go.
 

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Turks and Caicos....if you stay on Provo (Grace Bay is a 7 mile white sand beach) there are reefs that can be accessed from shore. They have the Coral Gardens which is right off of shore and its a full reef even a beginner could snorkel without any problem. The water is amazingly blue and clear.
Vigin Islands (US or British) I was living on a boat while I was there but I understand there are also may places to anorkel right off shore.
I have also heard that there are areas in the Bahamas that are great for snorkeling...and they are very close.
I've been to the Keys but it really depends on weather. If it is windy or there is a storm the water is no where as clear as the other places I mentioned. When I was in Turks and BVI's the visibility was 100+feet!
Good Luck and take pics!
 

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Roatan is always a high rate for diving magazines and I have Snorkeled there. It was ubelievable. You can snorkel from depths of 3' to 30' and still have fun. The island itself was very inexpensive but I am not sure on the cost to get there.(we took a cruise)It is a honduras controlled island.
 

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Mexico remains fairly inexpensive and the palancar reef off of Cozumel was a good snorkeling spot.

St. Thomas was pretty good as well and you do not need a passport!

Have a great trip!
 

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Bonaire (off the coast of northern S. America) is consistently picked as one of the best places on the planet for shallow, marine-rich diving and snorkeling. Cheap to get to in the off season (June-September). I've been there five times now to dive and will try to post some pix later. Bonaire is surrounded by a national marine park so the area is still pristine in spite of the amount of divers who visit annually.

Mike
 

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saltfishguys said:
i went to hawaii last year and was not impressed with the dives. the fish where great but the coral wasnt that great. i did see alot of live stock.
but it was very very expensive. we are going to the grand caymans in april for 9 days and it was very cheap we book 6 months ago and it was only 2000.00 for plane tickets, and all inclusive hotel. that was for two people i will let you know how the dives go.
you have to go to swim with the stingrays there, ( grand cayman) it was the best, no coral but those things are huge. I've been to hawaii the bahamas st thomas and mexico they were all good but the stingrays were awsome.
 

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reefone said:
there r lots of places to snorkel in st.thomas and the surrounding islands but it pretty pricey.
We went through there a few times on cruises, so I'm not sure how expensive a direct trip would be (?) also, everone's idea of pricey or expensive will not be the same.
 

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kbrancaleone said:
We went through there a few times on cruises, so I'm not sure how expensive a direct trip would be (?) also, everone's idea of pricey or expensive will not be the same.
i understand everyones view of pricey is difrent.
plane tickets 600-800 ea. unless its the off season.
hotel usualy start at 1500 and up for the week
the price of food is crazy10-15 for a hamgurger :eek: for 2 people to eat its about 60$
cab rides at least 10 ea person each way. they drive on the wrong side of the road in american cars:rolleyes: and they drive nutty.u can rent a car but it costs almost the same as taking cabs.
plus spending money.
my last trip there cost me 4k and that doesnt include hotel.(timeshare)
 

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St Croix would be my suggestion. Great little island, not as busy as St Thomas but more to do than St Johns. There is a great Marine Park around Buck Island. Just a short boat ride from St Croix. It is protected so lots of turtles and giant rays. The Caymans are nice also.
 

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slapshot said:
St Croix would be my suggestion. Great little island, not as busy as St Thomas but more to do than St Johns. There is a great Marine Park around Buck Island. Just a short boat ride from St Croix. It is protected so lots of turtles and giant rays. The Caymans are nice also.
the only bad thing is the boats leave at 7:30 am and i aint gettin up that early on my vacation-devil
 

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My vote is for Hawaii... mostly because I'll be there 2 weeks from today-devil Hawaii doesn't have to be as expensive as people will say. If you do some searching you can find very reasonable flights, lodging, etc. I got my flight for around $600(including taxes) and rooms under $100/night.

Check out www.scubaboard.com they have a snorkel forum as well as forums for different areas all around the world. People there have been very friendly too.

Have fun!
 

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We usally go with the "all inclusives." Cozumel thru Apple Vacations ran us ~800 each a few years ago and we went to the Dominican Republic thru AAA last year for about the same. As for snorkeling the beach side was better than the reef and Cozumel is great but not for the beginner snorkeler.
 

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Cancun is pretty cheap. There's a place there called Waterworld that does jet-ski trips out to the reef for snorkeling. What a blast.
The coral there is not very colorful, but the staghorns are huge and the chances for large animals like sea turtles and dolphins are very high.
Off the coast on Isla Mujeres, there is a guy that will let you swim with his nurse sharks for 20 pesos.
 

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fishtal said:
My vote is for Hawaii... mostly because I'll be there 2 weeks from today-devil Hawaii doesn't have to be as expensive as people will say. If you do some searching you can find very reasonable flights, lodging, etc. I got my flight for around $600(including taxes) and rooms under $100/night.

Check out www.scubaboard.com they have a snorkel forum as well as forums for different areas all around the world. People there have been very friendly too.

Have fun!
Actually, the Florida Keys blow Hawaii away so far as snorkelling goes. Having lived in both Hawaii for a few years and Key West, I speak from experience. In Hawaii, outside of Haunama Bay on Oahu, which is an underwater park/sanctuary, there isn't a lot of good viewing for snorkelling in the islands. The reason being it is volcanic and not a living reef. Apples and Oranges when compared to the reefs of the carribean.
 

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I went snorkleing in key largo with my youth group, we had a tight budget and we went snorkleing still, so I am thinking it was cheap, and it was very nice. I went were there was the jesus of the abyss. Very nice And it actually got me into saltwater... Particually because of the yellow-head jawfish. I saw a whole bunch of fish, to many to list, and the coolest was when I swam "near" a eagle spotted sting ray and saw one jump way out of the water.

good luck in deciding
 

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I went snorkleing in key largo with my youth group, we had a tight budget and we went snorkleing still, so I am thinking it was cheap, and it was very nice. I went were there was the jesus of the abyss. Very nice And it actually got me into saltwater... Particually because of the yellow-head jawfish. I saw a whole bunch of fish, to many to list, and the coolest was when I swam "near" a eagle spotted sting ray and saw one jump way out of the water.

good luck in deciding
 
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