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Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

MaconMO
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Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

So I know I can jump in the ocean at most any beach and do some shore snorkeling, and have done my homework on hot spots. So where would a boat on a tour package be taking me? To a shore I can already drive over to if I wanted to? Or am I not realizing how close to the surface the reef is, a mile or so out from the shore??

Looking to save some money and stick to the DIY trips, but do not want to miss out on something awe inspriing!!

olive branch, ms
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1. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

I think your best shore snorkel option is from Punta Sur Parque. About $10 entry fee and a couple hundred yard swim out to the good reef. I find that much better than the Money Bar or even Chankanaab.

For an offshore tour try Playa Palancar's snorkel tour to the nearby Palancar reef.

Rockport, Texas
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2. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

The Palancar Reef is pretty far offshore and don't think you could swim .. and even if you could it would be quite dangerous with all the boat traffic!

I agree wtih MSDiver.. the Playa Palancar trip is well worth the $30 or $35 they charge.

The Colony, Texas
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3. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

If you take a boat snorkel it is good for you to do some research on a tour group - the ones suggested come recommended by many so I bet it is good. However - when I first started going to the island I rented a snorkel trip right at the ferry dock nad yes - we only went to places that I could have driven to (and have) myself.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

You CAN'T swim out to any of the great reefs suitable for snorkeling except maybe Paradise Reef, which can have tricky currents making it risky without boat support. You really need a tour to the areas around Colombia Shallows plus a stop at Colombia Shallows. The more easily accessed trips to that area leave from Alberto's beach club & Palancar Beach Club, but there are other tours that include Colombia Shallows but also include places you can do from shore.

Kansas City...
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5. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

The most popular snorkel reefs - palancar, punta sur, columbia shallows...

Can someone provide on the water depth at all these?

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

Absolute max depth at Colombia Shallows is 30 feet.

Punta Sur may hit 12 feet on the way back in but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure I could stand (sometimes on the tips of my fins) at any point on the way out to it's beginning point. I've got an album with link to my snorkeling trip report at Punta Sur here

https:/…

Lots of albums for Colombia Shallows by using the Larry's Gallery tab there, BUT there isn't a Palancar Shallows, just deep sections of which are all too deep to enjoy while snorkeling.

https:/…5416680966616766818

But most of it is much deeper than the tops of the coral & our dives are usually below 50 feet the majority of the time even while cruising the top sections.

Edited: 31 March 2011, 16:17
Colo Spgs
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7. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

Palancar Gardens is in the 25 foot range.

MaconMO
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8. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

Oh cicopo! Nice photo albums, and "Thanks" to everyone for the info.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

Thank you.

Ron I've never been offered a shallow dive at Palancar Gardens so you've got my interest peaked. How big of an area is in shallow enough water to snorkel or consider a shallow dive? We did 2 or 3 tanks at the Gardens last trip, and they were all either along the wall or even when cruising over the top we were much deeper than 50 feet the majority of the time.

Orillia, Canada
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10. Re: Clarification of snorkel tours and reef

Just a polite clarification -

Adult admission to Punta Sur Park is $12USD. Info current as of March 4/2011.