Following are the top 10 destinations in the Caribbean for snorkelers.
The Caribbean has always been a Mecca for water lovers. While most people visit the Caribbean to soak up the sun and relax on the warm sands, the water is where the attraction lies. The warm, clear water is not just great for swimming, but also for scuba diving and snorkeling.
The best part about snorkeling is that anyone with proper snorkeling gear and a thirst for adventure can indulge in it. The activity is easy and promises a lot of fun. In the Caribbean, once you don your snorkeling gear, you can explore the pristine underwater environment, swim with stingrays or marvel at a school of seahorses. The experience will be fascinating and thrilling, as you forget the world above the surface and lose yourself to the serene surroundings filled with exotic marine life living in coral reefs.
So, if you are keen to create memories of a lifetime, here are the best 10 destinations in the Caribbean that you should visit for an unbelievable snorkeling experience.
|1. Champagne Reef, Dominica|
|2. Cayo Diablo National Park, Puerto Rico|
|3. Pigeon Cay, Honduras|
|4. Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman|
|5. Booby Cay, Jamaica|
|6. Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands|
|7. Isla Mujeres, Mexico|
|8. Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia|
|10. Cades Reef, Antigua|
Champagne Reef is an island in Dominica that offers surreal snorkeling opportunities. It is replete with waterfalls and hot springs. Above all, the warm waters are filled with marine life that keeps you fascinated for hours at a stretch. You can spot lobsters, parrotfish, seahorses, and frogfish swimming lazily through the vibrantly colored coral gardens.
Nestled between the Caribbean and the Atlantic, Cayo Diablo National Park lies on the eastern side of Puerto Rico, about 20 minutes from the shores of Fajardo. You will be able to see green turtles, giant sea turtles, and hawksbill while snorkeling along with elkhorn and staghorn corals teeming with tropical fish.
This uninhabited island is accessible by boat from Roatan. The island has a white sandy beach and the coral reef begins from a depth of 15 feet. The reef encompasses the entire island and is one of the best for snorkeling. You will be able to spot parrotfish and luminescent damsels swimming merrily among the corals.
As the name suggests, Little Cayman is really little. It is merely 10 miles in width and length, but it offers one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for snorkelers. The Bloody Bay Marine Park coral reef is teeming with fish which swim alongside hawksbill turtles. You also find giant barrel sponges, soft corals, and rope corals here.
Named after the booby birds (white and grey terns that have blue feet) that use the beach for nesting, Booby Cay is a paradise for snorkelers. It is not only replete with marine life, but you will also find ancient anchors from shipwrecks and cannons. Named Gilligan’s Island by the locals, this snorkeling destination has underwater caves with corals and vibrantly colored tropical fish.
Located in St. John, Trunk Bay has a 673-foot long trail for snorkeling. Here, you will be able to see corals and their inhabitants. The reefs are no more than 20 feet below the water surface and filled with all types of fish and eels to keep you busy for a long time to come.
Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Mujeres is a haven for snorkelers. Unlike other beaches in Mexico, Isla Mujeres is an island where you will be able to snorkel with sharks, which usually come to these waters in June, July, and August when they feast on the spawning fish. In addition, you may even have the luck to snorkel alongside manta rays and dolphins. Be sure to check out the local fish that inhabit these waters. You will find the entire experience amazing.
The dark and silvery sand of Anse Chastanet rise up to about 500 feet and offer a fascinating glimpse of the marine life living in the coral reef. The reef is inhabited with needlefish, turtles, and peacock flounders. If you snorkel a bit deeper, you will be able to spot puffer fish, seahorses, moray eels, and parrotfish.
The coastline of Bonaire is lined by coral reefs, where you will see a plethora of marine life, including gobies, angelfish, groupers and grunts. The Elkhorn and staghorn corals are fascinating, and if you would like to know how they have withstood damage, you should visit the Coral Restoration Foundation. This non-profit foundation is growing more than 9,000 pieces of corals in their nurseries and has transplanted close to 8,000 corals around the coastline of Bonaire. The entire island is surrounded by colorful corals that are worth exploring.
Cades Reef is in the capital of Antigua, St. John’s. It a barrier reef extending for two miles and the pink-colored coral is home to numerous fish, including reef sharks, nurse sharks, parrotfish, lobsters, moray eels, and barracuda. While the reef sharks come occasionally to the reef, all other marine life use the reef as their home. You will not be troubled by the water current and the visibility is an amazing 50 to 140 feet. The temperature of the water hovers around 80 deg Fahrenheit on an average.
These are some of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean. There are several other places that offer snorkelers a worthwhile experience, as the Caribbean waters are still undisturbed by development and pollution. But when it comes to exceptional and memorable snorkeling experience, these 10 take the cake. So, if you are truly looking for a snorkeling expedition, the Caribbean and these 10 destinations should be part of your travel itinerary.