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drsmith

Snorkel on my own in Costa Maya or Cozumel or St Thomas?

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My Husband isn't thrilled about snorkeling, but I'd like for him to give it a try on our next cruise.   Just in case he doesn't like it very much, I hate to invest in a paid excursion.  So, are there any free places to snorkel in Costa Maya or Cozumel or St. Thomas?  We have our own equipment.  Something close to the port would be my first choice.  Thanks for your help.

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    In Cozumel, we take a cab to The Money Bar.  12.00 plus tip each way for up to 4 people.  It is free for chairs here, but they want you to order food and drinks.  This is from Puerta Maya.  Not sure where your ship docs.

   In St. Thomas we like either Secret Harbor or Sapphire beach for a DIY snorkel trip.  Cab to Sapphire is 10/pp each way.  It's been a while since we've been to Secret Harbor, so I'm not sure of the price of the cab.  This is from Havensight 

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I'll second and add to topspot's recommendations.  In St. Thomas, we went to Coki Beach, about 2 miles from Sapphire Beach, and had a wonderful time.  Sapphire Beach was equally highly recommended.  I don't recall what made me choose one over the other, but it might have been beach lockers.  Coki Beach has them.  I'm not sure whether Sapphire Beach does (or did).  Both beaches are about a 20-25 minute cab/shuttle ride from the port.

 

I've been looking at the Money Bar Beach Club (or the PalMar Beach Club next door) for our upcoming Cozumel port of call.  The snorkeling is supposed to be excellent at both.  It's even closer to the cruise terminal.  5 minutes or so by cab.

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I've snorkeled off Coki myself many times, the reef to the left toward the cliff is really good, that end of the beach is less croweded. Coki is a little more protected than the other 2 as far as waves.  Coki does have lockers, there's even a Discover Scuba facility there on the right side.  You can rent chairs very inexpensively, there are several bars/restaurants there on the beach. They do have nice restrooom/shower facilities. 

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My recommendations for Costa Maya is a place on the Malecon called Blue Kay. There's a pretty nice beach there and bigger than any of the others on the malecon. The snorkeling is right out in front of the beach and there's rocks to break any high waves. It is also fairly shallow and you can stand up most of the time, which makes it the perfect place to learn or try out snorkeling.

 

You can see my reviews with tons of pictures HERE  and also HERE. It's not a reef, but there's plenty of coral, fish, and one time we seen tons of spotted caribbean stingrays. 

 

 

In St Thomas, we have enjoyed snorkeling at Sapphire Beach and Coki.  Back when we went to Sapphire, I wasn't taking as many pictures as I do now, but do have some located HERE. Coki beach is a little more crowded but the snorkeling there is amazing along the sides with beautiful purple coral. (We have also scuba dived there as well because we enjoy what it has to offer).

You can find my Coki snorkeling HERE.  The day we went diving at Coki, you can find those pictures HERE (mid-way down) but at the end of the review are tons of pictures from snorkeling.

 

For Cozumel, I have always enjoyed snorkeling at Chankanaab (which is a park and you have to pay admission to get in but included tons of other things to do). HERE is one of the times we went there and snorkeled.  A lot of people suggest The Money Bar and I have been there as well. I personally didn't really find too much exciting there, but it is an ironshore type of place so there is snorkeling there. Review located HERE.

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@mitsugirly thank you for the information on St. Thomas.  We plan to go there in May and plan to spend most of our time at Sapphire Beach - hopefully it won't be as windy as the webcam showed for today 🙂 (Reading your review I had to smile when you wrote "pop." Growing up on Lake Erie it still sounds odd to hear "soda" even though I've lived in soda areas more of my life than pop.)

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6 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

@mitsugirly thank you for the information on St. Thomas.  We plan to go there in May and plan to spend most of our time at Sapphire Beach - hopefully it won't be as windy as the webcam showed for today 🙂 (Reading your review I had to smile when you wrote "pop." Growing up on Lake Erie it still sounds odd to hear "soda" even though I've lived in soda areas more of my life than pop.)

 

You are very welcome. It's funny you mentioned how windy it was there the other day. I hadn't looked at that web cam in a long time and the day I looked it was very windy. lol

 

haha on the pop story.

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