Hello, Departure time is approaching and this forum has been incredibly helpful but I still have some questions: I understand that the best way to go swimming is to enter the water from the docks,although I can swim I have a stupid fear of water and wonder if depth might be an issue for me, any shallow spots for swimming/snorkeling? I do mean shallow as I'm only 5'4, if yes great I'll pack my snorkelling gear otherwise I'll stick to admiring the view from terra firma while hubby goes scuba diving... Other question is it easy to buy sugar cane syrup in AC? Not an essential but I quite like it to mix my favourite rum cocktail! Thank you for your answers, will be arriving 10th of August, sadly missing the Maya festival, and staring to count the days.
I'd bring your snorkel gear....It doesn't take much space and you will probably find it useful and be kicking yourself if you don't bring it. If it's a space issue you can rent snorkel gear at the various dive shops on the island if needed.
As for the syrup... I don't think you'll find it in the store but you can buy raw sugar or blocks of solid cane sugar and make your own simple syrup on the stove. 1:1 ratio of sugar and water....I love to use the raw brown sugar. It not only sweetens but has it's own unique flavor.
If this is your first time to the island, I would also recommend you fight that fear of water and snorkel Hol Chan. You won't regret it.
I am a crap swimmer having learnt way too late in life!!, have a totally irrational fear of jumping into water (I won't do it at any price) and I'm only 5 foot. That said I do snorkel here, and you should definitely give it a try. You will see stuff just from the docks but the trip to Hol Chan is amazing and the guides will take good care of you.
Hello all, Thank you for your answers, yes I know I'm coming to a water paradise, I've been to the Red Sea, the Maldives (husband keen scuba diver)and various other places but that does not change my irrational fear, still I'll take my mask/tuba just in case... In answer to JPADILLA666 I tend to like rum from the Martinique island, add lime and cane sugar syrup and you get a lovely Ti'punch!
Ivory, you will love the local "One Barrel" rum - excellent. I would love to find pure ribbon cane syrup (old cajun that I am) on the island but have never seen it.
My wife and I always bring our snorkel gear and go around the docks, just keep an ear out for boats. Almost all of the morning tour boats leave by 9:00. Several docks have ladders where you can walk down in the water. The best dock snorkeling is off of Ramon's Village pier. They have set up a man made reef and have a boat ladder to get in the water. But do not miss Ho Chan and Shark-Ray Alley. Find a tour operator that has a 'boat ladder" or easy access rear. I know "Grumpy and Happy" and I believe Little Alfsonso have one. This way you don't have to JUMP into the water.
We will be staying in Sunset Beach condos so hopefully away from tour departure, in anycase can't imagine being around and about that early in the morning as I'm more of a night owl... Thank you for our advice, getting in the water is one thing but my biggest problem is depth, if I can't stand up I just panick badly...Stupid I know but there you go! Can survive without cane syrup, sure I'll still manage to appreciate the rum and whatever other local produce I'll find in AC!
you sound a lot like me. My husband and I have been coming to the island every year since 1993. Never once has my head gone under the water. I too like to be able to stand in water and keep my head out. I found that taking one of the life jackets and putting it around my waist helps a lot. And a lot of the tour guides will stay with you and also have a ring you can hold onto. They keep saying you can't sink in saltwater but I don't want to take a chance. Plus the water is very shallow by the beach. You can walk a long ways out.