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Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Mystic, Connecticut
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266 posts
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Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Planning on staying at the beach i Luquillo for a few days, then a couple of days in Old San Juan- we haven't snorkeled, but with 2 teen sons, we'd like to try it out.... if we can't snorkel right off the beaches where we'll be staying... (?) thinking of booking a cruise/tour for this...but I'm thinking of buying some snorkels/masks of our own - or can we find a place that rents them? Not sure of what to do here...

Rio Grande, PR
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for San Juan
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1. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

If you book a snorkel tour, they will supply gear (not the best, but adequate).

USA
3 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

There are a few places to snorkel right in Luquillo. To the left of La Pared (the beach for surfers) there is a reef -you can see it when you look at the ocean and there are quite a few pretty fish. You can swim to it but probably should have fins due to the currents. The reef after this one is to the left beyond that bay (you have to pass the beach for the condos). Again you can see it from the beach area and this also is pretty interesting.Like Ray said above- the tours will rent you passable gear. There is a surf shop in Luquillo near the plaza that sells stuff. If your just giving it a try I'd recommend doing a tour (they're fun and you get the instructions) then get your gear if interested!!

Edited: 08 January 2014, 21:25
Mystic, Connecticut
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266 posts
90 reviews
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3. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Thanks for the replies....since this is all new for us..... I think based on your advice we will likely want to check out the reefs right near the beach, and also book a tour,to see the outer island reefs..... but I think having gear will be essential (even basic stuff) to do some snorkeling on our own..... you recommend flippers, is it safe to swim to the reef near Luquillo? (we're all decent swimmers, but not olympic athletes) I guess I could bring along a couple of things,and get some at the local shop as needed...

Puerto Rico
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for San Juan
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4. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

I would say, take a snorkel trip first, so they can teach you . All Catamarans have gear, free to use ( not renting). After that you can try it our yourself, but be cautious of weather/ocean condition. Not every beach is swim able or safe( may get strong undercurrent)

Caguas, Puerto Rico
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5. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Good snorkeling gear can be expensive; a snorkle alone can cost around $35, mask a hefty $80. This is what you could find at local surf shops.

I always recommend the Walmark mask&snorkle kit. It is about $35-40 for both pieces. Try to find it at your local stores and bring it with you (this minimizes using vacation time to look around for gear). If not then you could buy it here in PR.

Flippers are good if you are planning on snorkeling for over an hour. You will get really tired after paddling for over 15 minutes. Swimming on ocean is different than on a pool, where your body does not has to struggle with waves and normal current.

As a tip, do tell your kids to not stand on reef stones or touch them. This actually kills the coral.

Mystic, Connecticut
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6. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

absolutely great advice! we will remember this

Ann Arbor, Mich.
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7. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Yes, Walmart is a good place for cheap gear. I bought an inexpensive set (I think around $20, which pays for itself in rentals after only a couple uses) last year and it was more than adequate for this first-timer. I didn't get fins, as I am a pretty strong swimmer and had no problems. Plus, I'm taking it back with me in a couple months. But if you and the teens are not used to swimming in open waters, fins are a good idea. You'll want something to protect your feet (fins or water shoes/sandals). As others have noted, you should not stand on live coral, but you still want your feet protected anyway from other rocks, sea urchins, etc.

Sydney, Australia
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373 posts
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8. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

Just wondering - is there a Walmart in OSJ where one can buy the snorkel gear?

El Yunque National...
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for Puerto Rico
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9. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

I don't think I ever saw any snorkel gear for sale in OSJ. No Walmart there.

Caguas, Puerto Rico
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10. Re: Snorkeling- rent gear or bring?

The nearest Walmart to OSJ is in Santurce, about 10 min drive. It is a multiple level store and there are parking facilities.

Don't expect to see the usual Walmart: huge square store large parking lot in front. This one is located in the metro area, multi level building with a multiple parking lot level, but it does has the large Walmart sign :)

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