Yes, it is getting much colder in the Hudson Valley and last night, taking a break from correcting papers, I spent some time comparing rankings of the best islands for snorkeling (well, as a well-known character once said, “To sleep, perchance to dream. . .”—although he was not referring to thoughts of Caribbean islands).
In “World’s Best Islands for Snorkeling,” Islands magazine ranked the 25 island spots for the best snorkeling in the world, from No. 25—the Galapagos Islands—to No. 1—Big Island, Hawaii Kahaluu Beach Park. Among these, there were plenty of them in Caribbean waters: Bay Islands, Deep Blue Utila Resort, Honduras (2); Bonaire (4); Dry Tortugas, Florida (5); Champagne Reef, Dominica (7); Culebra, Puerto Rico (9); Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands (11); Stingray City, Grand Cayman (12); Laughing Bird Cay, Placencia, Belize (13); Corn Islands, Nicaragua (17) and Bimini Undersea Adventures, Bimini, Bahamas (23).
Caribbean Journal, on the other hand, named quite a few exciting spots in “The Best Islands for Snorkeling in the Caribbean”: Bonaire, St. Lucia; Tobago Cays in Trinidad and Tobago; beaches such as Grand Anse Beach and the Levera National Park in Grenada; Trunk Bay’s Underwater Trail in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; many spots around the British Virgin Islands; Champagne Reef, Dominica; Cozumel, Mexico; Stingray City, Grand Cayman; Arashi Beach, Boca Catalina, Tres Trapi, and Malmok Beach in Aruba; the Exumas, Bahamas; Jamaica’s North Coast; Bimini, Bahamas; and Belize’s Barrier Reef.
The two articles coincided in quite a few spots, such as Bonaire, Dominica, the British Virgin Islands; Grand Cayman; Belize; Bimini, and the Bahamas. I appreciated the Caribbean-specific nature of the Caribbean Journal article but also found the variety in the Islands piece to be broader in terms of the pan-Caribbean region as a whole (mentioning Culebra, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean coasts of Honduras and Nicaragua). In general, would have appreciated more attention to the French Caribbean and the Hispanic Caribbean islands; I know that there are superior snorkeling areas in Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and their smaller islands; Vieques and other islands belonging to Puerto Rico; and places that are famous for their healthy, thriving marine life such as Silver Bank and Samaná in the Dominican Republic or Jardines de la Reina Marine Preserve in Cuba.
For complete descriptions of beaches in Caribbean Journal, see http://www.caribjournal.com/2016/10/31/best-islands-snorkeling-caribbean/
See Islands at http://www.islands.com/best-islands-snorkeling