Are you looking for your next tropical snorkeling adventure? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll be covering the snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean sea has some of the most captivating marine life in the world, and the number of good snorkeling spots is endless. However, there are a few breathtaking locations and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore them. No matter which part of the Caribbean you plan to visit, there’s a majestic underwater landscape for you to explore.
Without further ado, here are the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.
Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful waters in the world. You can explore various reefs littered with sea creatures. Some reefs are easy to access where others require a short boat trip. Whether you’re a beginner or a snorkeling veteran, Puerto Rico should be on your snorkeling bucket list.
Only about 125 miles away from San Juan Boqueron Beach is an unforgettable paradise loaded with relaxing shores, vibrant wildlife, and of course, amazing snorkeling. Several travelers enjoy this location because it’s a nice escape from the busy tourist areas near the fancy island resorts. At Boqueron, you get a nice private vibe while you set off into the water.
You can ask the locals to take you out to the best spots for less than $20, and there you’ll find beautiful reefs full of magnificent sea creatures. Other than snorkeling, you can partake in other activities such as kitesurfing, scuba diving, basketball, or bike riding around town.
Carlos Rosario is a popular beach located on one of the small islands off the coast of Puerto Rico. You can take the ferry from Fajardo directly to the island for around $5 and head right over to one of the many snorkeling rental companies at the main beach.
Carlos Rosario beach is much more secluded than the neighboring tourist-filled Flamengo Beach, so you can have more privacy. As for the snorkeling, the reef is amazing and full of life. The crystal clear blue waters add a nice touch while exploring this underwater landscape, and the amount of fish you can spot is unimaginable.
Not everyone has the time or the funds to get on a ferry and spend the night on a small island off the coast. If this describes you, don’t worry as Seven Seas Beach has all of the snorkeling magic you need. This small town is widely known for having some of the best ocean activities and snorkeling throughout Puerto Rico.
There are several locations around Seven Seas Beach to get some snorkeling in. You can always speak with one of the local tour guides to find one that matches your preferences.
(Explore more destinations at Best Puerto Rican Snorkeling Destinations)
Without a doubt, the Grand Cayman Islands offers some of the best snorkeling throughout the region. The area is well-known for its easy waters, vibrant marine life, and beautiful sunsets. Life on the islands is also extremely safe and relaxed. There’s little crime, the locals are friendly, and there is an abundance of nice hotels to choose from.
Between Eden Rock and the Sunset House is Devil’s Grotto, an extremely deep reef with several vibrant coral formations and ocean life. You can choose to dive deep and swim through the coral or stay at the surface and peek down. Devil’s Grotto is most popular for having large schools of fish and colorful tarpons.
When snorkeling through Devil’s Grotto, be sure to bring a light with you so you can see inside all of the small underwater caves. Several of the pre-diving centers come with lockers where you can store all of your belongings before hitting the water, and you can always rent gear if you don’t have your own.
5. Spotts Beach
If you’re looking for a more low-key spot that’s not packed with tourists, Spotts Beach is only a 20-minute drive away from George Town. It’s also a fantastical snorkeling location if you have a love for sea turtles as the spot has a high turtle population. After a day of snorkeling, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world right on the beach.
For those looking for vibrant corals, this spot may not be for you. However, you can still find endless schools of sea creatures. Spotts Beach is notorious for having choppy water and strong currents, so it’s only recommended for strong swimmers or experienced snorkelers.
6. Smith Cove
Although Smith Cove is a popular tourist destination, several locals come here to wind down after a long day’s work and watch the sunset. The location has beautiful trees and rock formations surrounding the small cove.
For snorkeling, you need to swim out to the buoy, that’s where the reef is located. If you’re looking for soft colorful corals, you can glide along the shallow water near the coast. However, this is only for the brave as you’re destined to see nurse sharks. All of the facilities near Smith Cover are extremely clean, contain bathrooms, and numerous benches to watch the sunset.
(Find more at Best Snorkeling Experiences in the Grand Cayman)
When you think of the quintessential island paradise, you’re likely thinking about Aruba. This small island nation is a popular tourist destination that’s cluttered with hidden gems and world-class snorkeling spots. However, the majority of the hot spots are in the open ocean, so snorkeling in Aruba isn’t exactly beginner-friendly.
7. Mangel Halto
Some claim that Mangel Halto offers the best snorkeling on the island. You have calm waters, beautiful reefs, and endless amounts of sea life. However, it’s not an ideal snorkeling spot for beginners and weak swimmers due to the strong currents. You also have to swim out a good distance to get to the best reefs.
If you tend to make it out to the outer reef, you’ll find the most openings and sea life. Make sure to bring your underwater camera if you have one because here you’ll have the chance to capture some breathtaking images.
8. Baby Beach
Baby Beach caught worldwide attention because there were a few deaths associated with this location. While some think Baby Beach is dangerous, it’s quite safe if you’re careful. The danger comes when people try to swim past the protected bay where the water becomes more aggressive. As long as you stay in the popular areas, you should be fine.
Although there are tons of fish to see, it’s typically because somebody is feeding them. Therefore, you need to be on the lookout for sharks and other large and aggressive fish. If you’re an adventurous and experienced swimmer, Baby Beach has a lot to offer. However, beginners are better off at one of the other locations.
9. Arashi Beach
If you visit Aruba, you have to check out Arashi beach. Not only for the amazing snorkeling but for the ultra-chill beach vibe that comes naturally to the area. Some people claim that Arashi Beach doesn’t have much to offer in terms of snorkeling. However, all you need to do is find the right spots. We recommend reaching out to a guide if you want to see most of the action underwater.
The best reefs are at the right end of the beach. You won’t find much in the center other than algae and sand. There should be a buoy marking the shallow reef where you can find the healthy corals and ocean life, so make sure to follow the marker.
(Read our article specially on Best Underwater Snorkeling at Aruba)
It would be tricky to talk about the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean without mentioning Belize. With crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches, and endless tropical fish to discover, Belize is a prime destination for any traveler looking for an unforgettable snorkeling experience.
10. Glover’s Reef
Glover’s Reef is a must if you plan on snorkeling in Belize. You can explore over 700 patches of reef littered with exotic fish and soft vibrant corals. This location is also safe for beginners. However, we recommend you go with a group if you’re new to snorkeling.
11. Lighthouse Reef
Lighthouse Reef is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in the nation. At Lighthouse Reef, you can observe over 200 species of fish along the reef. There are both shallow and deep spots, making it an optimal location for beginners and experienced snorkelers. To make the most of your experience, hire a local guide who can bring you to the best spots.
(You can read more at Best Snorkeling Spots in Beliz)
The Caribbean is a magical place when it comes to ocean activities. There are virtually endless options for amazing snorkeling spots that we couldn’t fit on this list. However, the locations above should offer everything you’re looking for. Since the water is relatively calm throughout the region, it’s an excellent place to do your first couple of snorkeling trips.
However, it’s always safer to hire a professional guide or to go with a large group.
What do you think of our list of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean? If you know somebody that’s planning a trip to one of the countries above, be sure to share this post with them.