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Providenciales Or Bonaire  
User currently offlineEightball From Saudi Arabia, joined Oct 2007, 289 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3740 times:

Next year, 2012, will be my last year as an undergraduate college student in the U.S., as I will be graduating from college in January 2013. So I'm considering making spring break of next year special by going to a tropical destination. Scuba diving and snorkeling are two of my favorite hobbies; all of my scuba diving has been in the Red Sea so far.

For a destination that has plenty of healthy coral reefs and coral marine life for scuba diving and snorkeling, which would be an overall better choice, Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos, or Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles? It would be great if the destination has coral reefs that would be easily accessible from beach areas for snorkeling. I would appreciate any input on this matter.

Follow your dream.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6489 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3713 times:

I have been to Providenciales and love it. It's a great place to scuba, I can imagine. I snorkeled there and it was one of the most amazing natural experiences of my life...I can only imagine scuba is even better. Unbelievably clear water that I had no problem seeing fish, sharks and coral/plants from 35 feet up.

Beyond just Providenciales, the rest of the Turks & Caicos are great. I also spent a little time on Middle Caicos, and it was fantastic. However, there are very few people, cars, and amenities on Middle Caicos as compared to Providenciales (450 people vs. 18,000 people or so). Plus it's a bit trickier to get to - boat or Air Turks & Caicos.

User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1139 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3678 times:

I would say Bonaire but the really spectacular time to go is in the fall for the coral spawning, not during spring break.

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 706 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Bonaire may be a bit cheaper than T&C. Both are nice but also price out:
1. St. John USVI, via STT,
2. Tortola, BVI also via STT,
3. Aruba,
4. Belize,
5. and a bit of a stretch and can be pricey, but Bermuda for vibrant reefs and wrecks to explore. Surprisingly you go once, you'll keep coming back.

watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3509 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3579 times:

I read something in a PADI magazine a while back that voted Bonaire as the #1 place for diving worldwide. Pretty hard to beat that, straight from the horse's mouth.

I've heard both are great, though.


User currently offlineEightball From Saudi Arabia, joined Oct 2007, 289 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

Thanks for your input, guys. I'll look into Bonaire.

Follow your dream.
User currently offlineLeftCoaster From Cayman Islands, joined Nov 2007, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

I'd like to throw a plug in for the Cayman Islands.

Grand Cayman is fantastic, but a quick twin-otter flight over to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac (aboard Cayman Airways Express - www.Caymanairways.com ) will put you on the doorstep of some of the best diving in the world. Little Cayman's "Bloody Bay Wall" is beyond words. And there's also a sunken Soviet navy ship to dive as well.


A lot of the diving in Grand Cayman can be accessed from the shore too.

That being said, if it's solely between Bonaire and T & C... I had a friend that dove Bonaire and said it was unbelievable, so that's what I'd choose. Bottom line is that you can't really go wrong choosing any of the above.

User currently offlineEightball From Saudi Arabia, joined Oct 2007, 289 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3490 times:

Thanks for the suggestion, LeftCoaster. I'll look into the Cayman Islands as well.

Follow your dream.
User currently offlinecanadianpylon From Canada, joined May 2003, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

My suggestions would be the Cayman Islands, (especially Cayman Brac and Little Cayman), British Virgin Islands, or Antigua (and nearby Barbuda) for something a little different (Quieter and English influenced), Bonaire (with it's Dutch and Hispanic influences), and Turks and Caicos.

Like PI4EVER stated, Belize is also very nice (it does have the world's second largest coral reef!) It is an intriguing option if you want to explore Mayan Ruins or the jungle.

Each of the islands has it's own pros and cons, but the diving is consistently excellent among them. What else are you looking for? Price? Other activities? Onland scenery? Do you want your destination to be quieter and more lively?

Always looking for the longest route with the most transfers.
User currently offlineEightball From Saudi Arabia, joined Oct 2007, 289 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3340 times:

Thanks for the suggestions, canadianpylon. With regards to what I'm looking for, I'd prefer something that's close to what I've experienced at resorts in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: enjoying a good breakfast buffet at the resort in the morning, then going on either a pre-booked diving trip afterwards, or snorkeling at a coral reef by the resort's beach. If the coral reef by the beach is healthy and it has lots of marine life, then I would have no interest at all in a swimming pool. At night I like to have dinner outside of the resort, then chill out at a cafe or go to a traditional market. In short: divin', snorkelin' 'n chillin'.

Follow your dream.
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