Caribbean Travel & Life had a good article recently about the best Snorkeling Beaches in the Caribbean. I love snorkeling, but sometimes you can go somewhere and realize that you are in the wrong spot for it. Although the water may be beautiful and clear, there may just not be anything interesting below the surface.
So here are the Top Ten Caribbean Beaches for Snorkeling:
1. Anse de Colombier – St. Barts
White sand, blue water and no roads. That means less tourists. You may see parrotfish, angelfish, morays and sea stars are some of the things you’ll see. There are also coral reefs and sea turtles.
2. Cane Bay – St. Croix, USVI
Cane Bay has a 7 mile coral wall, however it is also one of the most popular beaches in St. Croix, so be prepared to battle crowds.The coral starts around 15 yards from shore and includes much to see, including “Lots of turtles, eels, octopuses, lobster, flamingo tongues, seahorses; we even have an ancient Dutch anchor.” That sounds great, I love to see old ships and relics.
3. 18 Palms – Bonaire
Rays, squid and octopuses are among the marine life you’ll see in 18 Palms. Known more for its reefs than its beaches, Bonaire is one of the best places for snorkeling.
4. Lighthouse Point – Eleuthera
This sounds like the place for me, no development. That means no tourists and very few people in general. You can find grouper, lobster, parrotfish and most everything else in the corals in Eleuthera.
5. Playa Kalki – Curacao
In the reef at Playa Kalki, there are mushroom shaped corals, giving it the name of Alice in Wonderland by divers. If you want to see dolphins, this may be the place to go. “You will find all manner of sea life – fish, eels, turtles – by swimming to the right, along the cliffs. We’ve also been seeing lots of dolphin, with large pods coming through; our snorkelers and divers have the chance to encounter them underwater.”
6. Playa De La Chiva – Vieques
Playa de la Chiva is also known as Blue Beach. The rock formations of the island create canyons for the fish to live in, and the best snorkeling is at Isla Chiva. There is a lot of marine life, “such as reef fish, small turtles, octopuses, eels and conch.”
7. Smith’s Cove – Grand Cayman
Two miles outside of Georgetown, Smith’s Cove, is what the magazine calls a ‘well-known “secret” beach’. I have no idea what a well known secret is, but it doesn’t sound too private. There is some great snorkeling up close to the shore (parrotfish, peacock flounder, angelfish and surgeonfish), or you can go out further for some bigger marine life (stingrays, hawksbill turtles, and maybe a nurse shark).
8. The Baths – Virgin Gorda
I have talked about The Baths at Virgin Gorda before. It is a very popular beach, and for good reason. Actually made up of three strips of beach, and full of rocks and boulders, there are plenty of places to snorkel, and plenty of fish to see. They do recommend to not snorkel between 11 AM and 3 PM because of the crowds.
9. Trunk Bay – St John, USVI
White sand beaches, surrounded by palms and sea grape trees, that sound like paradise to me. Trunk Bay is part of the Virgin Islands National Park, so it will be relatively unspoiled. There is a marked snorkeling trail for those who are new to snorkeling, and for those who just want to know where to go. Trunk Bay is great for beginners and experienced because it has a great snorkeling in the bay, but more experienced snorkelers can go all the way around Trunk Cay, the actual island.
10. West Bay Beach – Roatan, Honduras
Half a mile of sand, and 40 miles of coral reef. That’s a good bit of snorkeling. You can find many species here, including “eels, turtles, grouper and conch.” Eels are very plentiful here and you can see dozens of them at Mandy’s Eel Garden.
Have you found great snorkeling before? Let everyone know where you’ve been and how it was in the comments.