Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities to try when visiting the Caribbean. Diving just beneath the clear waters to observe untouched marine life is a great activity to try solo or with the whole family. While all islands offer a unique underwater adventure, here are the best Caribbean snorkeling destinations to visit.
Saint Martin – French Side
Saint Martin’s French side is a very special place for snorkeling. The government carefully protects marine life and preserves areas like the northeastern underwater nature reserve. There are tons of little coves to explore, each filled with beautiful fish and coral. The shores are shallow and the water is warm, making Saint Martin a great place for the whole family to snorkel.
1. Happy Bay
Happy Bay is a great little beach for swimming and snorkeling with plenty of marvelous sights to discover. Whether you’re an expert underwater adventurer or just beginning, there’s something special waiting for you here in this idyllic and secluded tropical paradise. For a quieter, more relaxing time, it’s best if you arrive in the morning and leave early in the afternoon.
2. Creole Rock
Just off Grand Case, a small rock island awaits you and your snorkeling adventure. Although you can trek out to this stunning, uninhabited island yourself, most snorkelers choose to take a boat trip from Grand Case or book a tour of the area. The vibrant marine life on Creole rock is a feast for the eyes. With many species of beautiful tropical fish, snorkeling here is exciting for even the most experienced snorkelers.
Where to Stay
Dreamin Blue: Take a luxury holiday in the sun by renting out this luxurious 4 bedroom villa in Saint Martin. The villa offers stunning views of both the sea and nearby islands. You can relax on the pool terrace with its two pools and private jacuzzi. Or go for a swim in the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Petite Plage 4: Situated at the end of Grand Case, Petite Plage 4 overlooks a beautiful and secluded beach, making it the ideal location for peace and serenity. This 5 bedroom oasis is perfect for an upscale and luxurious vacation.
US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands have a lot to offer travelers in terms of relaxation, adventure, and sightseeing. This destination comprises three pristine, hiker-friendly islands: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. The sapphire waters are home to beautiful coral reefs and tropical sea life, while the golden sands create a picture-perfect scene for those who want to kick back and relax under a palm tree with a cocktail in hand. Between the food, history and natural beauty, this destination has so much to offer any type of traveler.
3. Buck Island
Buck Island in St. Croix, USVI is an exceptional area to view Caribbean Sea life. The area is strictly protected by the US National Park Service, allowing only snorkelers and divers to explore the local underwater species. Over 250 species of fish, coral and crustaceans are located just beneath the surface, so dive in and prepare to be amazed.
4. St. John
Visitors in St. John, USVI are delighted to learn that every spot in the area is a great place to snorkel. The locals say that you can see up to 50 species of fish in just half an hour. Trunk Bay is one of the most popular beaches for snorkeling in St. John – the beach features underwater signs that guide snorkelers to exciting species. Outdoor showers, equipment rentals, and a lifeguard on duty make it a safe place to bring the kids.
Where to Stay
Marea: If you are looking for an extremely private, luxurious place to spend your next tropical vacation, then Marea is the perfect spot for you. Located on more than seven pristine acres of land on St. John, this villa offers 5 beautiful bedrooms, incredible amenities and a short walk to it’s very own private beach.
Miramar: This 5 bedroom, 5.5-bath villa offers a modern luxury experience with the gorgeous Caribbean Sea as its backdrop. Absolutely breathtaking in its beautiful natural surroundings and very well equipped to accommodate a relaxing and comfortable stay on the island.
British Virgins Islands
There are some Caribbean destinations where you can discover something new at every turn no matter how many times you visit. The British Virgin Islands is one of those spectacular places, offering a unique blend of secluded beaches, rich culture, and lots of action.
5. Virgin Gorda
A wide variety is what makes the Virgin Gorda one of the best Caribbean snorkeling destinations. Each snorkeling site offers a new underwater adventure. The Baths Hill is home to rock life instead of coral, allowing snorkelers to explore nooks and crannies filled with tropical fish. A popular spot for families is Mahoe Bay where the reef begins just offshore from the beach.
6. The Indians
The Indians is one of the BVI’s most prominent dive sites because it offers unique and impressive snorkeling experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the British Virgin Islands. This spot can be found just east of Norman Island and they make up three rock formations that stick out of the water and are incredibly fun to snorkel around. Strap on some gear and explore a natural attraction where the super-abundance of coral, marine life, and undisturbed tranquility allow you to touch and appreciate nature in a way that is truly unforgettable.
Where To Stay
Baraka Point: Completely private, with an amazing layout, Baraka Point Estate was designed specifically for groups of all sizes. It’s the best place to have a family reunion, a corporate retreat, or an intimate wedding celebration.
Bayhouse Villa: This magnificent villa is an oasis of luxury, style, and comfort in a tropical paradise. With 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, its stunning 180 degree view offers a picturesque setting above the Caribbean Sea.
Surrounded by white sands, mountain peaks and a lush rainforest, St. Lucia is an island paradise. Believe it or not, St. Lucia is also famous for more than its stunning beaches! It is also known for its historical and cultural attractions.
7. Anse Chastanet
Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia is a preserved slice of underwater heaven. The site contains a marine reserve which protects over 150 species of beautiful fish. The waters are calm and warm, making it easy to make your way from the north to south shore of the bay.
8. Anse des Pitons
Located between St. Lucia’s famous twin peaks, Anse Des Pitons (also known as Sugar Beach) is a favorite among divers, snorkelers, and beachgoers alike. The calm, shallow waters are great for swimming. The most popular feature of the bay is the Marine Reserve where you can snorkel amongst colorful corals, schooling fish and a variety of other tropical marine life.
Where To Stay
Arc En Ciel: This villa is perched high above a private cove with views of the sea and the majestic Piton. You’ll fall in love at first sight as you take in its spectacular Caribbean setting, as well as every room of the villa.
Akasha: This 6 bedroom villa is nestled in the hills above the Caribbean Sea. Relax in the infinity pool and enjoy sweeping views of the iconic St. Lucian landmarks like The Pitons, Pigeon Island, and Rodney Bay. It’s only minutes away from restaurants, bars and other beaches on the island.
The available sights and activities in Jamaica are as eclectic as the different types of visitors the country receives each year. From rustic hiking destinations, to tropical deep sea diving, to metropolis city tours, there’s something for everyone in this fabulous area. The gorgeous beaches, quality accommodations, and authentic Jamaican culture make it such an attractive place to visit.
9. Montego Bay
The city of Montego Bay offers some of the best snorkeling in Jamaica. The Marine Park as well as Doctor’s Cave Beach offer a range of coral reefs and tropical fish, so whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a snorkeling adventure for everyone to enjoy. Get up close and personal with the beauty of Jamaica’s marine life on a boat canoe tour or an outer reef snorkel. Located just a short drive from Doctor’s Cave Beach, Cornwall Beach is also a great snorkeling option if you want to snorkel near the shore.
10. Booby Cay
Booby Cay, just offshore from Negril is a small island and a good spot for snorkeling. Since the waters aren’t too deep, it’s a great place for first timers. To some of the locals, Booby Cay is referred to as Gilligan’s Island. The turquoise water is filled with marine life, and there is an old shipwrecked anchor and cannon for your viewing pleasure.
Where To Stay
Greatview: This 8 bedroom luxury villa is set in a gated community, with views overlooking the Half Moon golf course and ocean vista. Three world-class golf courses (Cinnamon Hill, Half Moon, and White Witch) are close by. Greatview staff is personable and accommodating, including two butlers who provide 24 hour concierge service, room service and breakfast in bed.
Palm Villa: Offering you an authentic Jamaican experience, this seafront holiday home is perfect for families. With its private pool, 5 spacious rooms and open layout, this two-story villa provides sufficient space for ten guests.