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Snorkeling options?

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jbark

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My wife and I are coming to coz in a couple weeks as part of the pod people. She does not dive and our ship arrives at noon. However she loves to snorkel, so looking for some good options.

Last time we were there we snorkeled at Sand Dollar and had a great time, but would like to see something different.

Our needs:

Mine: good snorkeling

Hers: clean restrooms, sunshine,

both: good local food, taxi access

We are coming in at Puerta Maya and could also use a suggestion for a nice local, non-tourist dinner spot nearby.

Thanks
Jerry
 

cicopo

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Unless you want to spend a lot on the taxi rides to / from Punta Sur you're best bets for the snorkeling are the Money Bar & area between the Presidente & what was the Fiesta Americana. Washrooms at Money bar get good ratings & so does the food but I haven't eaten there. You can eat at Ernesto's which isn't too far in the other direction but there are a few choices in the area towards town from your pier. You'll notice that several snorkeling tours use the area I've mentioned.

Picasa Web Albums - Larry - The Money Bar

Picasa Web Albums - Larry - Snorkeling be...
 

nodakdive

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About 3 blocks north of Puerta Maya is a restaurant called Paprika. It's on the same side of the street as Casa del Mar, and about 100 feet north of Casa del Mar. Right across the street is Tikila, which is a little 2nd story bar that's serviced by Paprika. The first story is basically a tiny beach area with water entry. Cruise ships bring snorkelers here. There's diving. I think you can do those "jets on your feet, fly in the air" thing there. The style of food at Paprika is hard to describe. Creative? For instance, a fish entree will be some kind of special preparation, not just "grilled with garlic". I had the coconut shrimp there once. It was served "head on".

If you want good snorkeling, I'd suggest going on an excursion that absolutely takes you to Colombia Shallows. I don't know where AquaCat goes, but you'd walk past a shop of theirs on the way to Paprika/Tikila/Snorkeling. I don't know that you can get on their boats there though. Friends staying at Casa del Mar had to get on the boat downtown.

As for other shore snorkeling options with food, etc, others here have better knowledge than I do. Money Bar?
 

nodakdive

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I've eaten at the Money Bar many times as we'd SI there between morning and afternoon trips. Very nice place. Very good food. Didn't know for sure about the snorkeling, but if it's good, that would be a really great option. I forgot to mention Ernesto's which I see cicopo mentioned. It's on the way to Paprika, and I really like the food there too. Personally, I'd eat there before Paprika, but Paprika seems more "local" or something. Ernesto's is almost an institution? In a week, friends of mine ate there 4 nights as they loved the chimmies so much. Great fajitas too.

On the cheap? Leave Puerta Maya and turn left, walking about 3 blocks. 4 I suppose when you add in all the cruise terminal walking. A nice step up? (really nice bathrooms and good food), get a taxi to the Money Bar.
 

jbark

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After looking at Larry's photo album I think the Money Bar might fit the bill nicely. Being close and with plenty to see I think we could enjoy a couple of snorkeling sessions interspersed with some food and drinks and still have plenty of time left for some shopping/touristing before our ship leaves.

I did more digging and found plenty of tours, but they all seem to leave before we dock or are very short.

Ernesto's seems like a winner for a late supper prior to our 11 pm departure.

Thanks,
Jerry
 

sharky60

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I've always liked going to Playa Corona to snorkel. The food there has always been good and not as expensive as the Money Bar (I'm apologize to all the MB fans, but experience has been that there's a reason why it's called the "Money" Bar, that's where I left it all)

Nice little beach, clean facilities, good service, a little closer to the Maya pier than MB.
 

cvchief

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I've always liked going to Playa Corona to snorkel. The food there has always been good and not as expensive as the Money Bar (I'm apologize to all the MB fans, but experience has been that there's a reason why it's called the "Money" Bar, that's where I left it all)

Nice little beach, clean facilities, good service, a little closer to the Maya pier than MB.

Hey I love the Money Bar, but I agree that the Playa Corona snorkeling is better and easier. You can just walk in and paddle around seeing lots of stuff in very shallow water so it is up close. Money you really need to walk a ways up the road, pick your way across the rocks and then snorkel down.

Sky Reef is down there next to Playa Corona so should share the same protected snorkeling area.
 

ggunn

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Hey I love the Money Bar, but I agree that the Playa Corona snorkeling is better and easier. You can just walk in and paddle around seeing lots of stuff in very shallow water so it is up close.
Playa Corona is where we have taken my eighy-something year old mom snorkeling. She loves it and as you say, entry is easy, which is important to us. The hard thing about snorkeling there is not running into the fans and elkhorns in 4' of water
 
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