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Snorkel from shore or boat??

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Snorkel from shore or boat??

The fam & I will be in Cozumel for 8 nights in March. We plan to do quite a bit of snorkeling. Should we look into a boat trip to different areas or will we see the same things from the shore? We are planning to do the playa palancar boat trip, but was wondering about the ones that stay out for several hours? We definitely don't want a "party barge" trip, just a focus on snorkeling! Looking forward to any suggestions or recommendations!

CO, USA
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1. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

You will definitely see more from a boat trip than from shore so I would definitely plan one day out on the boat. The reefs will be bigger and more colorful and you'll see a greater variety of marine life -- possibly even turtles and rays.

Shore snorkeling is lots of fun, but understand that many of the close to shore snorkel locations are still recovering from Hurricane Wilma and the coral will be smaller. Still lots of great stuff to see. Last year we saw squid, flamingo tongue snails, lobsters and a lionfish on one of our shore snorkel days.

Do be careful when snorkeling in shallow water that you don't step on or kick the sea fans or coral.

Have fun!

Colo Spgs
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2. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

I suggest having water shoes or equivalent for shore snorkeling. Walmart has had some that were around $10 USD a pair.

Fort Collins...
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3. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

Approx one km north of the Fiesta Americana and Money Bar, along the sw shoreline there are a couple of pullouts along the road where you can park and walk across the road to the ironshore and drop right into the reef area. As CO pilot mentions, water shoes are preferable, I've snorkeled there several times without fins and it was very enjoyable. You're on your own, no fees, no supervision, and the currents/waves can be very tough on a windy day, making it dangerous as you will get slammed against the coral. In that case, I would postpone for your safety and the safety of the reef. The depth drops quickly but you're in 8-10' of water right off the shore and shallower at the access points, which you'll have to scout for, as you do not want to walk on any part of the live reef of course! The east coast is brutal for snorkeling, as the waves are usually punishing and the reef not as accessible. I've heard there are better opportunities at the south end National Park at Parque Punta Sur, where the lighthouse is, but have not checked it out.

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4. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

Thanks moabman, we enjoy little known places, if we have a calm day we will definitely check it out!

Scubamare, can you recommend a specific boat trip orby the looks of your name, maybe you scuba instead of snorkel?

We already have our own snorkel gear and water shoes, thanks for that tidbit though!

Any recent experiences out there? We've done the Tucan, and while fun, it definitely isn't what I would call a snorkel adventure! I've read about the Adelaide, Chichi charters & 2D's, anyone have experiences with them?

CO, USA
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5. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

I do scuba dive but on the days we're not diving we usually snorkel. We live in Colorado, for crying out loud, so when we're in Cozumel we pretty much hit the ocean every day. LOL! :-)

There are many great operations that offer snorkel trips. Years ago we used Eagle Ray Divers who, I believe, still has a good reputation. They leave from La Caleta marina. I know that Playa Palancar offers snorkel trips by boat from their beach club that people on this board have recommended before. I'd stay away from the Fury Catamaran tours as they tend to be the party barges that you're not interested in.

Playa Corona has good snorkeling if you're adventurous and aren't scared to venture out a little farther from shore -- but still within the "no boat zone." Last year, we saw about 6 or 7 little squids hanging around the rope that holds one of the buoys in place that marks that zone. Very cool.

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6. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

Thanks Scubamare, great information! And I live in Oklahoma for crying out loud, so I know exactly what you mean. I do believe I am going to go ahead and get scuba certified while we are down there, but my son is a little young yet so we will have to spend some quality time snorkeling also!

Corpus Christi...
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7. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

Our first snorkeling trip was from a boat, The Manta. We loved it! It was a catamaran, but nothing like the Fury Boats. It was not crowded. The only "partying" was music and margaritas on the way back from snorkeling. The next one we went on was with Mystic Snorkeling. That was pure snorkeling. She gets the size of boat needed for your group and will tailor it to your wants and needs.

I have since done shore snorkeling and it just does compare to going on a boat. Not only do you not see as much, you have to worry about shoes and steppping on something or being slammed into something. Much more enjoyable on a boat in my opinion.

Also another reason we like staying at El Cantil or the Palace. You enter the water in deep water. So much easier than shore snorkeling.

Rockport, Texas
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8. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

If you snorkel from shore around Fiesta Americana and Money Bar please watch out for boat traffic! It's a popular place for the glass bottom boats that people pay $$ for to see the same stuff you see for free :-)

Luquillo, Puerto...
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9. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

I've done lots of snorkeling in Cozumel both from boat and off shore. Best boat trip was a private boat to Punta Molas with Adrian (owner of Especias). It was not cheap but by far best boat snorkel day. Playa Palancar is decent but did not compare. Best off shore I did was in Punta Sur park. It's about a 2/3mile swim out to the reef but there is a kayak guide that will pull you by a rope behind his kayak and even jump in and guide you. We saw a turtle there. The guide works for tips. Chankanaab is decent too, have seen some squids and eels there. go on a low cruise day.

Have fun!

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10. Re: Snorkel from shore or boat??

A2asia, do you know if Adrian still does the snorkeling tours? How do you go about setting that up? Thanks so much for all the input!! Gotta love the advise from TA!!