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Best Snorkeling Spots in the Caribbean

best-snorkeling-spots-in-the-caribbean

The Caribbean has some of the best dive sites in the world. However, it takes more than clear blue water to make a good snorkeling destination. A good snorkeling site should have calm waters, and a water depth of around 7 to 21 feet. High swells can push you into rocks or hundreds of feet from your original starting point.

Another consideration is ease of accessibility to your snorkeling site. Try to choose a spot that can be reached quickly by swimming or by boat. Snorkeling locations are sometimes nice if you are fortune enough to have perks such as shops to rent gear, hire a guide, or get a cold drink following your dive. Once you find a location that is of interest to you, enjoy your dive viewing the marine life, sea shells, or shipwrecks. From the smallest marine animals to the majestic shipwrecks, snorkelers who visit the Caribbean will experience a world of adventure. For this article, I have made a list of some of the better snorkeling destinations, which have the potential of being a great vacation. Hopefully you will find the perfect destination for your excursion.


Eleuthera, Bahamas

Eleuthera is located fifty miles from Nassau, Bahamas. This island is 112 miles long and only two mile wide. Eleuthera is known for its unusual mixture of quite communities, resorts, and fishing. Also this island is known for its wetlands caves, spectacular coral and pink sandy beaches. Eleuthera is blessed to have many lagoons and ponds, which makes it a good location for water sports. Another interesting activity could be to explore the shipwreck at Pineapple Dock.

One of it's biggest attractions is the fantastic snorkeling. With hundreds of shallow reefs and abundant marine life, this destination has the makings of a wonderful trip. When visiting here you will see many species of tropical fish, stingrays, sharks and beautiful coral formations, including a variety of beautiful shells. If you dive on the Caribbean side of the island, the shells found there have the potential of being quite beautiful. Some shells types found here include butterfly shells, tulips, sea biscuits and sand dollars. With hundreds of beaches and snorkeling locations such as Tarpum bay, Millar's beach, and Harbor Island, there is sure to be a snorkeling destination in the Bahamas to meet your needs.

La Parguera, Puerto Rico

One of the best locations for diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean is La Parguera, Puerto Rico. The coral reefs found here are considered to be one of the best coral reefs found in this part of the Caribbean. Also, La Parguera is believed to be among the best dive destinations in the world. The waters found here in southwest Puerto Rico are spectacular and calm, making them ideal for diving or snorkeling. One of the main attractions in this area is a twenty-two mile reef called "The Wall." The wall starts at about 55 ft. of water and drops to just over 1500 ft.

In addition to "The Wall," there are many small islands and cays which are suitable for snorkeling also. La Parguera is also know as one of a few destinations in Puerto Rico that is a Phosphorescent Bay; this in it self can make nightly snorkeling interesting. Other activities popular in this location include sailing, shelling, fishing, and diving.

Anegada, BVI

If you are the type person that can spend the whole day on the beach or snorkeling, Anegada is for you. This island is located in the Northern British Virgin Islands, and it is the least populated of the big islands. This island is a haven for the outdoor person.

Anegada is known for its beautiful beaches and its abundance of seashells. Also this island is surrounded by a coral reef, and there are over 500 ships wrecks along the reef, which has the makings of an interesting adventure in itself. For the snorkeler, some good beach destinations include Loblolly, Smuggler's Cove, and near by Virgin Gorda. If you want to immerse yourself into beaches and snorkeling, this island is for you.

St. Croix, Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands are known to have some of the best snorkeling in the world and St. Croix is no different. One location that is popular among snorkelers is Buck Island. This reef located two miles off St. Croix's North shore is known for its abundant marine life as well as various corals, shells, and crustaceans. Look all you want but don't plan on taking any shells or other souvenirs. This area is protected by the National Park Service. With it's bays and deserted coves ready for exploring, this is one of the best places for snorkels.

Another great location for snorkelers is Cain Bay. This location is know around the world as a great snorkeling and diving destination. Located close to the beach is the famous "Cain Bay Wall." This wall starts at thirty feet and drops to over 2000 feet. For the first timer, there are tours available from Cain Bay Dive shop here in St. Croix. The tours offered will allow the customer to set their own pace and choose from a variety of options. Other great locations for snorkeling include Monk's Bath, Divi Divi, Changes in L'Attitude and Butler Bay know for its shells. Also if wrecked ships fascinate you, St. Croix has those too. If snorkeling or diving turns you on this may be the place for you.

Grand Cayman

With a large number of tourist visiting here for the diving and snorkeling, the Caymans Islands are one of the busiest destinations in the Caribbean. This island can be crowded, but it can still be a memorable vacation. One area of interest is the wrecked ships. If you are into exploring old ships, this activity can be enjoyable. The Cayman's are also known for its abundant marine life, coral reefs and clear waters. One of the islands most popular snorkeling destinations is Stingray City.

Other popular snorkeling destinations in Grand Cayman include Seven Mile Beach, known for its convenient location to many of the resorts, villa and condos. Another popular location is Smith cove located on the South side; this beach is known for it's superb snorkeling. One last destination is Cemetery Reef known for its excellent snorkeling. If you are attracted to the beauty of the Caymans and the lack of modern conveniences isn't a problem, Cemetery Reef is a must visit. Whether you are looking for adventure or just a few days away from it all, Grand Cayman can be the place for you.


St Lucia

The clear waters and coral reef around St Lucia offer a wide variety of dives and a natural setting to suit the needs of any visitor.

For those visiting there, some of the best snorkeling is found in the waters of Ance Chastnet Beach. This location in known by its large palm trees and its rolling hills, which is an interesting contrast to the beach. Because boats aren't allowed and the reef has a few shallow areas, this location is especially good for first time snorkelers. On the shallow end, the reef is five to twenty-five foot deep. On the deep end, the depth goes down to 140 feet. Because of the bright colors, variety of marine life, and clear waters found here, this is a popular location for photographers. One popular activity of visitors includes exploring the wrecked ships found there.

If you are looking for a destination with world class snorkeling, beautiful beaches and colorful diverse marine life, you will find this Caribbean destination appealing.

Aruba

Aruba is known for offering a snorkeling experiences unlike other locations. When looking underwater, you will see a dazzling array of colorful fish and coral

Although Aruba is sometimes passed over as a primary diving spot, this island has some of the best best snorkeling in the Caribbean. Aruba is home to plenty of marine life, coral, and a few shipwrecks to explore. Its waters have a visibility of 60 to 90 feet, giving snorkelers plenty to view beneath the waves. Aruba is not a place to go for collecting sea shells, but if you look you may be surprised by what you find. With different underwater attractions there such as Boca Catalina, Bachelors Beach, De Palm Island and other popular snorkeling destinations you are sure to find activities to your liking.

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Comments

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 11, 2014:

@Gordon Fisher - Yes they are beautiful. Thanks for you comments.

Gordon Fisher from Connecticut, USA on December 07, 2014:

Really cool article! Those places all look beautiful. I have some experience both scuba diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean, and I can't recommend it enough. Fantastic experience.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 24, 2011:

@promisem - Sorry to hear you didn't get what you expected. When I was in Cozumel, I enjoyed myself. Thanks for your feedback on my article :)

promisem on December 24, 2011:

FYI, the second largest barrier reef in the world stretches from Belize up to Cozumel and Roatan. That whole area is known for great snorkeling. We tried Cozumel and had an OK experience. But maybe it was a bad day. :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on October 09, 2011:

@onehub - Thanks for the information, I will take a look.

onehub on October 09, 2011:

On the french Northern side of the island of st martin there is a reserve where I am sure you will enjoy snorkeling. You can find more information here http://st-martin-island.com/st-martin-st-maarten-n...

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 27, 2011:

@Dolores Monet - I hope you make it to the Caribbean some day soon to see the beautiful blue waters there. Thank you for commenting on my article. It is nice to hear from you again :)

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 27, 2011:

Hi, Cool! I've never been to the Caribbean but would love to see that beautiful water. Tried snorkeling once, in a pool, and could not get myself to breathe underwater. I love to swim and love the sea - I'd be happy just to float around on top!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on May 11, 2011:

@C-Bless - I am glad you enjoyed reading my article :)

C-Bless from Canada on May 06, 2011:

G'day Coolmon ... your avatar caugt my eye (hhhmmmm, wonder why?). I don't snorkel but have heard that Charlottesville, Tobago is great spot for the sport. I enjoyed reading your hub; lots of good information. Thank you for sharing.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on February 05, 2011:

@Scott - I am sure there are many out of the way Caribbean snorkeling locations that remain under the radar. Thanks for your comments.

Scott on February 05, 2011:

I've gone snorkeling in the Caribbean in a half dozen destinations or more, including some that are highly recommended. But the best one I did was in St. Thomas, which is not usually recommended.

Sometimes it's just a matter of luck if you happen to be in a spot where something shows up unexpectedly -- like a barracuda.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on November 08, 2010:

@realfree - Thanks for your invitation, I will visit your site.

realfree from Indonesia on November 08, 2010:

I like your story.

Fantastic video.

Please visit my blog:

http://amazingbali-vacation.blogspot.com/

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on November 05, 2010:

@Dr irum - Thank you for your comments, it is nice to hear from you again :)

Dr irum on November 05, 2010:

Hello dear , i am reading your hub after a long time , interesting visuals .

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on October 28, 2010:

@libby101a - Thanks for your comments :)

libby101a from KY on October 28, 2010:

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on October 22, 2010:

@supercibor - I know what you mean. Thank for your comments :)

Hector Herrera from Dominican Republic on October 22, 2010:

Scuba diving is like floating in outer space

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on September 15, 2010:

@mike - I am glad it was helpful to you.

mike on September 15, 2010:

Thanks for the advice.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on September 12, 2010:

@samb - Thanks for feedback ;)

samb on September 12, 2010:

Hi Coolmon,

Thanks for this info, I run sailing holidays around the islands and its good to have some insider info to the best spots! Good hub.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on August 13, 2010:

@Mike - Besides choosing a location that you and your family members will mutually enjoy, I have a few suggestions that may help your trip to go smoothly.

1) If you are bringing your own snorkeling equipment, Please consider the value of it should it get lost or stolen. You can protect yourself by purchasing travel insurance.

2)Please make sure you have enough medical coverage if you or a family member require medical attention while on your trip.

3) Carry a medical kit that contains important medical supplies such as band aides, sunscreen, ear drops, sea sickness pills etc.

4)Double check your reservations before you leave on your trip.

5) Do your OWN checking on your destination of choice, to ensure it is a good fit for you and your family. This includes attractions, accommodations, and potential personal safety issues.

mike on August 13, 2010:

I was planning a family beach snorkeling trip to cuba in Dec. But heard water is cold there. Besides all the beautiful south Caribbean islands you mentioned, any other points could let me have better snorkeling experience at the north part of Caribbean in Dec.? any suggestions are welcome.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 27, 2010:

@outdoorsguy - Ok thanks for your feedback.

outdoorsguy from Tenn on July 27, 2010:

your welcome. I had the advantage of having lived in PR. for a couple of Years. LOL got to sail, dive and snorkel in alot of places while I was there. Awesome place to visit and live.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 27, 2010:

@outdoorsguy - Thank you for the additional destinations.

outdoorsguy from Tenn on July 27, 2010:

Great list, Id like to add a few.

Dorado Beach in PR. and theres a hole in the wall seafood place on the hill nearby that is awesome.

Aquadilla in Pr. pristine beaches and great diving.

Vieques, especially if you want to dive with dolphins.

Calebra a small island Near PR.

St. Johns excellent water for snorkeling and diving.

and Ill leave off there LOL.

Great hub I voted it up

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 27, 2010:

@Girish1000 - Thank you, I am glad you like it :)

Girish1000 from India on July 26, 2010:

nice hub

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 26, 2010:

@Micky Dee - Thank you for your kinds words and it is nice to hear from you again :)

Micky Dee on July 26, 2010:

You're awesome Coolmon! I'll never go snorkeling without your help on your pages!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 26, 2010:

@Ign Andy - I hope when that day comes you have a great time in the Caribbean. Thank you for your comments.

Ign Andy from Green Home Office on July 26, 2010:

I never visit those site. I hope, I can be there someday. Really nice hub to read.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

@prasetio30 - You are right snorkeling is popular in the Caribbean. Thank you for your feedback :)

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 25, 2010:

I like all about traveling idea. I think this is the best hub from you. I really enjoy read all information about these places. Caribbean is the heaven for snorkeling. I like all the video....beautiful. I can't say anything. But you have done it well, my friend. Good job. I can't wait to vote this up. Have a good day!

Prasetio

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

@katiem2 - Thanks for your kind words and your feedback too :)

Katie McMurray from Westerville on July 25, 2010:

What fantastic info on the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. Love your hub! :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

@Pamela99 - Glad you like my article and it is nice to here from you again :)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2010:

Those all look like fantastic places to visit and snorkel. I love the Caribbean islands anyway and your pictures were enticing.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 25, 2010:

@dahoglund - Yes it is very inviting, even if you just roll up your pants legs and walk in the water on the edge of the beach :)

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on July 25, 2010:

These look like great places to go even if you don't engage in snorkeling.