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First timer suggestions!

Ashburn, Virginia
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151 posts
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First timer suggestions!

Good morning! My family and I usually vacation on St. John in the US VI. Unfortunately, after the wrath of two hurricanes, we need to give that island time to recover . We have two older children and are avid snorkelers. I think for our first trip we would like to stay in an all-inclusive place, with a beach if possible, and excellent shore snorkeling . We don't need a fancy place, just clean and family oriented. As we never been there before, not sure what part of the Island we would prefer, but probably not right in town. Anyone have any fabulous suggestions? Also, can one take a taxi from the airport rather than booking a shuttle in advancee ? Thanks so much!

Edited: 27 October 2017, 23:25
8 replies to this topic
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55 posts
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1. Re: First timer suggestions!

I strongly suggest using Google Maps to get an idea of what the beaches are like at each resort. Using the "Street View" (little person in the lower right hand corner) you can walk the beach from the Iberostar all the way through Secrets. That will give you a good perspective of the beaches for the Southern resorts. Keep in mind these beaches are not fine smooth sand, but pilverized shells. You can also do the same for the northern resorts from Melia to Club Cozumel Caribe. There are also lots of user photos from other resorts such as Cozumel Palace, Park Royal, etc.

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: First timer suggestions!

We have stayed at places on the south end of Cozumel. They have very nice sandy beaches, but the shore snorkelling was not great. We stayed at El cozumeleno (northend) as well and the shore snorkelling there wasn’t that great. We stayed at Hotel Cozumel one year, and surprisingly really liked it. It isn’t a fancy resort, but the snorkelling there was quite good. There is a sandy manmade beach, but very nice. It is located on ironshore, so you need to go down a short ladder to get in the water. There is a lagoon type area that has maybe 4 feet of water with a sandy bottom that you can walk around in etc, and an entrance into tthe deeper water for snorkelling. We found following the wall south of the resort had some really good snorkelling. The food was pretty good, service great, price to stay very reasonable, and walking distance to town. We now own a place on the island, but would recommend this place for sure!

Edited: 28 October 2017, 01:05
fort worth
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3. Re: First timer suggestions!

If they are avid snorkelers you will really want to rent a car and take them to the many different snorkel places and also do the Playa Palancar boat snorkel and Punta Sur reef for sure.

Monument, Colorado
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4. Re: First timer suggestions!

I'll second rjjj's recommendation for hotel Cozumel. Good price, decent snorkin, just outside of downtown so it's walkable to all the great places to eat. And Margarita is also correct that exploring the other places to snorkel around the island is a must. The palancar boat trip is a great way to see the reefs which outshine a lot of the close to shore snorkin.

weltbürger
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4 posts
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5. Re: First timer suggestions!

Hello, I think the private beach club Buccanos (Club Cozumel Caribe) is what you are looking for: amazing shore snorkeling in crystal clear turquoise waters, pool, clean, family oriented...and the best hamburgers. Enjoy!!

Edited: 28 October 2017, 10:44
Ashburn, Virginia
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151 posts
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6. Re: First timer suggestions!

Thanks everyone! This gives me a good idea where to start. It sounds like Hotel Cozumel may be a good fit. I will absolutely look at the snorkeling suggestions too. How difficult/easy is it to rent a car? I appreciate all this sound advice.

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: First timer suggestions!

There are lots of fly-by-night scam artists renting cars on the island. I personally would only rent from either from ISIS (older cars/lower cost) or Thrifty(newer cars at a little more cost.)

Snorkeling: usually a good beach and good snorkeling Don't mix.

Also being an avid snorkeler, i recommend 3 places:

1. For snorkelers, the most spectacular drift snorkel is the shallow water reefs at Punta Sur. However,...you have to rent a car, drive to the Southern tip of the island, pay to enter the park, drive another 7 km, then it's probably a 400 yard swim out to the reef (which some people never find) and then a long swim back...In my opinion, it's worth it ( I do it almost daily when on the island) because everything is up close, well lit, close to the surface and stunningly beautiful. (They also have about the prettiest stretch of swim-safe beach on the island IMHO.)

But With kids it might be a bit too much of a swim to get to the reef. So...

2. Since u have kids,Buccano's is pretty good snorkeling with an easy entry point, ( the stainless steps around behind the old taller hotel building) and then it's an easy drift up to Playa Azul where you get out and repeat as desired. There's also good food there to feed the kids.

3. You HAVE to go out to the reefs as well, to get the full experience. Some snorkel excursions are as much about partying as they are about snorkeling...The best deal on reef excursions IMHO is the one that leaves from Playa Palancar. (The shore snorkeling there is no good though.) their excursion is family friendly, very well priced and about actual snorkeling. Go early and sign up.

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8. Re: First timer suggestions!

I have to echo some of Enos thoughts. While I'll settle in at the reef out front where I am staying, I need to see other reefs as well. I am missing out if I don't check out multiple places. Each place has a different vibe.

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