Best place to snorkel Western Carribean

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#1
Maine
105 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Hey all! Looking for suggestions on the best places to snorkel in the Western Carribean. We will be on Carnival Legend in March going to Cozumel, Isla Rotan, Cayman and Belize. I have heard that you can snorkel at the Money Bar in Cozumel with out booking an excursion? Is the snorkeling there any good? Any suggestions would help...thanks.
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#2
Upstate SC
898 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Try Eden Rocks Diving Center in Grand Cayman.It is a short walk from the tender dock.They rent gear,lockers,etc. No charge to snorkel if you have your own gear.Snorkeling is very good right from shore.
#3
OH
24,144 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
When we were trying to pick a place to snorkel, I did extensive research on The Money Bar and it came highly recommended by a lot of people here. Just be aware that it's not your typical beach. There is a small beach area by the place, but it's up high with a wall. There are steps that you walk down into the water and the iron shore is there. People state that a lot of the "snorkeling companies" actually take their excursion people there to snorkel so it has to be good.

(We decided not to go there this time around because we will have our little one with us and decided to go to the Dolphin Encounter instead at Chankanaab-which has identical snorkeling there as well if you are interested in looking it up).

Here is a link to someone that did a website/review on the Money Bar:

http://cozumelmexico.net/The_Money_Bar.html

Here are a few nice pictures of the place:





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#4
Maine
105 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Thanks for the info!
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#5
Houston, Tx
9,651 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by atnick11
Hey all! Looking for suggestions on the best places to snorkel in the Western Carribean. We will be on Carnival Legend in March going to Cozumel, Isla Rotan, Cayman and Belize. I have heard that you can snorkel at the Money Bar in Cozumel with out booking an excursion? Is the snorkeling there any good? Any suggestions would help...thanks.
In order of preference: Roatan (it's world class), Coz (not far behind), Belize, Cayman.

Roatan has excellent shore snorkeling. Coz, not so much. Hurricane Wilma destroyed the near shore reefs and they have yet to recover. However, the off shore reefs were largely undamaged. It's best to avoid the ship's cattle call trips. There are a number of good snorkel operators. I use Eagle Ray Divers. They use a small, but slow, boat with a mix of snorkelers and divers. The guides are excellent, and they're flexible at which reefs to visit and the best location on each reef for the day.
A ship tour at Belize is probably best. It's a tender port and the snorkel boat will pick up and drop off from the ship's tender door. The snorkeling is good at the cays along the offshore reef. The boat will be crowded, but the crowd disperses upon arrival at the designated cay. Grand Cayman is either a shore or boat snorkel. Lots of good operators. If you prefer snorkeling from shore, Eden Rock is walking distance from the cruise ship dock. Visit the GC message board for ideas. Most folks go with Capt Marvin. A "full" day trip includes two snorkel stops, one at the barrier reef and the other at a coral garden. They all make the stingray stop.

Cozumel
http://www.eagleraydivers.com/
http://www.mantaraya.com/
http://cozumelinsider.com/

Cayman
http://www.captainmarvins.com/
http://www.edenrockdive.com/
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/578136829ZBJSVn
Roatan
http://www.upachaya.com/snorkeltour/
Belize
http://travel.webshots.com/album/552120505VGqCka
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#6
south florida and the ski slopes of vt.
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Joined Jan 2000
I thought roatan from shore was spectacular. Have not snorkeled Belize but am planning to on my next cruise which has Belize on the itinerary. Grand cayman has good snorkeling from shore. And coz I prefer to do via boat
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#7
Houston, Tx
9,651 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by Host Star
I thought roatan from shore was spectacular. Have not snorkeled Belize but am planning to on my next cruise which has Belize on the itinerary. Grand cayman has good snorkeling from shore. And coz I prefer to do via boat
Agree. First visit I took the ship's "tour" to Tabyana Beach. I was certain it couldn't be topped until last time when I snorkeled at Fantasea Resort. It was even better.
http://fantasyislandresort.com/

However, boat snorkeling with Anthony's Key Resort was the ultimate.
http://www.anthonyskey.com/en/activi...norkeling.html
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#8
Maine
105 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Thanks for the info everyone....sounds like some great spots to choose from.
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#9
Tennessee
1,675 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Stevesan - I have snorkeled at Tabyana many times and keep going back there because it is so great, so I wanted to know what makes Fantasy Island better than Tabyana? We love the easy entry from the beach at Tabyana and having the reef so close with such great visibility. We are going back to Roatan in a few months with friends who have never been there and were planning on taking them to Tabyana. We like the shallow water for the visibility since we like to take underwater photos. Will be interested in hearing more details about Fantasy island and why you like it even more than Tabyana. Domo Arigato Gozai masu in advance.
#10
Tennessee
1,675 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Stevesan - I thought I would send this message again since I sent it some time ago and you may have missed it.

We love Tabyana in Roatan for snorkeling. Why is Fantasy island better than Tabyana? We will be returning to Roatan in December. We always go back to Tabyana because it is so great, but since you have been to both, I would appreciate a comparison so that maybe you will convince me to try Fantasy rather than returning to Tabyana.

Thanks!!
#11
Houston, Tx
9,651 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by CRUISERTN
Stevesan - I thought I would send this message again since I sent it some time ago and you may have missed it.

We love Tabyana in Roatan for snorkeling. Why is Fantasy island better than Tabyana? We will be returning to Roatan in December. We always go back to Tabyana because it is so great, but since you have been to both, I would appreciate a comparison so that maybe you will convince me to try Fantasy rather than returning to Tabyana.

Thanks!!
I, too, enjoyed Tabyana. Especially liked booking thru the ship because there was a shuttle bus round tripping every half hour.

IMNSHO, There's a greater variety of coral and marine life at Fantasea.
And you can't get trapped in the coral.
The resort has a dock for entry. The dock beats beach entry for gearing up.
Lastly, a bit of variety is a good thing.

BTW - My absolute best at Roatan was a boat snorkel with Anthony's Key Resort. That was "Fantastic".
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#12
Tennessee
1,675 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Stevesan - thanks for the info. We have friends going with us this time who have never been to Roatan and they want to go to Tabyana since they have heard good things about it. Maybe the next time we will try something different and go to Fantasea.
#13
San Diego,CA
248 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Can anyone advise me on the pros and cons of snorkeling from a boat with Upachaya or shore snorkeling from Tabyana? We will be there in late November. I have only snorkeled a few times, mostly from boats, but having said that, I am not the strongest swimmer.
Thanks in advance...