Dave and I honeymooned in the Dominican Republic so it has a very special place in our hearts. The Dominican is a part of the second largest island in the Caribbean so there are many places to capture beautiful tropical island pictures. But this one from Puerto Plata captures our view of what a tropical vacation should be about. Beautiful skies, over the water bungalows and a cruise ship off in the distance.
Having a good snorkeling experience is partly about expectation. Why are you going snorkeling? Why do we snorkel? We do it for many reasons, but the primary reason is joy. Snorkeling is about the joy of watching and appreciating the beauty of the underwater world. If you have no interest in the natural world, snorkeling is probably not for you. Snorkeling is less a physical sport, and more a meditation. Learning how to relax, allowing yourself to be completely supported and held by the salt water, being in the moment, experiencing all the movement and life around you, that is what snorkeling is about. For us, snorkeling is therapeutic. And with experience being in the water feels like home. Most of all though, it is fun.
The total length, inner diameter and/or inner volume of a snorkel tube are matters of utmost importance because they affect the user's ability to breathe normally while swimming or floating head downwards on the surface of the water. These dimensions also have implications for the user's ability to blow residual water out of the tube when surfacing. An overlong snorkel tube may cause breathing resistance, while an overwide tube may prove hard to clear of water. A high-volume tube is liable to encourage a build-up of stale air, including exhaled carbon dioxide, because it constitutes respiratory dead space.

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Picture a dream island that perfectly rises out of the ocean with a bright blue lagoon protecting it from the outside world. An island that has truly succeeded in slowing down time. An island where heavenly scented flowers and palm fringed beaches with blindingly white sand are everywhere. And the best part? It’s small enough to be explored on foot! Known as ‘the preserved island’ and looking like a mini version of its big sister Bora Bora, Maupiti has managed to resist the temptation of mass tourism. Visitors to this dream island will find it hard to believe such a place really exists. There are no resorts, no ATM’s and no night clubs – just traditional Polynesian life moving in the extra slow lane. When you’ve finally adjusted to island time, go for a swim with manta rays in the lagoon, snorkel in the pristine coral garden, climb to the top of the island’s highest peak and walk across the lagoon to your very own private beach.

I think Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Oaxacan Coast of Mexico are all excellent options. If you’re just going to these places as a tourist it can get quite expensive but if you’re staying long-term you can find much cheaper accommodations that fits your budget (may be a bit minimalist). I have a friend who works in Bocas Del Toro and she absolutely loves it. Probably much better than Panama City if you just want to relax, study and recharge.
Fins: Provide a large surface area to push against the water. This allows you to swim using your powerful leg muscles. This moves you more efficiently and frees your hands.You want your fin to fit like a comfortable shoe. Not so tight that your feet cramp but also you don't want your foot to have any loose movement inside the fin.  Desirable features: Look for Fins that are high quality, lightweight fins that come in a variety of sizes for both children and adults.
11:00am, 3:00pm moderate 3.5 hrs Food & Beverages
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