“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul” – Wyland
It’s in us all, that yearning feeling when you see the blue turquoise waters lapping against the white sandy shores, to go jump in and explore.
The ocean can be an amazing oasis for relaxation, excitement, and euphoria. People of all ages can enjoy and appreciate a whole other world, that exists underwater.
What’s unique about the Caribbean, is that shallow water snorkeling is both common and safe. Many of the destinations listed below have snorkeling sites suitable for beginners to advanced swimmers, making it the perfect destination for all travellers.
All of the islands in the Caribbean offer snorkeling, based on their proximity to the Caribbean Sea. However, the islands listed below are ideal snorkeling locations, offering something unique or extraordinary.
Best islands for snorkeling in the Caribbean
Due to the abundance of snorkeling spots scattered throughout the island, Grand Cayman is able to boast uncrowded snorkeling and diving sites. Explore the Kittiwake Shipwreck or the famous Stingray City, where stingrays are in abundance, just offshore located on a shallow sandbar. For more experienced snorkelers check out the South Coast and the wide variety of boat accessible sites, all within a short trip from the main island.
Belize is not only a top spot for snorkeling in the Caribbean but, also in the world! This is mainly due to the fact that it’s home to the second largest coral reef in the world. The clear, turquoise waters pairs perfectly with the beautifully vibrant marine life. Seven sections of coastal Belize is deemed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and plays a considerable role in tourism. This protection makes Belize one of the top places in the world to witness unique marine biodiversity. There are beach access sites for beginners, and for more advanced snorkelers, be sure to check out the world-famous Blue Hole just off the coast of Belize.
For something a bit different head to Dominica, or more specifically, head to Champaign Reef. This stunning bay, named Soufriere Bay was once a volcanic crater. This is also where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Pacific Ocean and to add to the mix this is also the site of volcanic activity deep within the ocean floor. Because of the volcanic activity gases are released and float up to the surface creating streams of bubbles all throughout the bay. Creating the illusion that you are snorkeling in a glass of champagne (hence the name). This location is also home to some unique marine life, such as seahorses, that are not commonly seen elsewhere in Dominica. After Champaign Reef, explore some of the other beautiful sites including Coral Gardens and Cabrits Marine Reserve which also offers bright, colourful, tropical marine life.
In relation to the US Virgin Islands, St.John is the smallest. It is also the most protected in terms of national parks. In fact, two-thirds of the island is deemed as a national park, extending into the coral reefs just offshore. Due to this protection; the marine ecosystem in St.Johns is notably healthy. Creating some of the most beautiful coral reefs and diverse marine species. This is an excellent place for everyone to enjoy as there are many shallow water sites, just steps away from the white sandy beaches. Top picks include Trunk Bay, Maho Bay, and Little Lameshur Bay.
The biggest underwater attraction in Grenada is the Molinere Underwater sculpture park. It was opened to the public in 2006 with an aim to engage the local people with the underwater world that surrounds them. Today, artists from all over the world, as well as locally, have contributed to the park. Molinere is only accessible by boat from the main island. If you are looking for a snorkeling experience that is more close to shore, head to La Sagesse Beaches, Lavera Beaches or the Aquarium Restaurant Beach.
Everyday in the ocean, is a good day.
The Caribbean is a quintessential location for exploring underwater.
All of the islands will provide opportunities to explore beneath the surface. Before planning your vacation destination, be sure to do your research on the ocean conditions. Some islands do experience strong currents and would not be advisable for beginners.
Our travel specialist are experienced in Caribbean travel, and happy to help with any questions you may have.