best islands for snorkeling in the caribbean

The Best Islands for Snorkeling in the Caribbean to Visit Next

When you want to get the best of natural wonders, culture, and people, the Caribbean islands are at the top of everyone’s lists. Apart from the sunny skies and clear aquamarine waters, the Caribbean is also a popular destination for those who want to experience snorkeling. Considered one of the top recreational activities for marine enthusiasts, this activity is best experienced in the Caribbean.

Thanks to the abundance of tropical fishes, rays, seahorses, and coral reefs, snorkeling in the Caribbean is a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take a look at our top picks for the best islands for snorkeling in the Caribbean.

8 Best Islands for Snorkeling in the Caribbean

1. St. Lucia: Anse Chastanet Beach

Anse Chastanet

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Renowned for its volcanic beaches and pristine landscape, St. Lucia is among the best snorkeling sites. And among its many snorkel spots is Anse Chastanet — a stunning beach that offers unbarred views of the Pitons (volcanic peaks).

The coral reef is just a short swim away from the beachline and is part of the marine reserve. And since the area is clearly marked with buoys and is entirely roped off, it makes snorkeling in the region more convenient without having to worry about interrupting boat traffic.

The beach also has select spots for beginners and advanced snorkelers, creating an ideal spot to bring family and friends over. Expect plenty of angelfish and trumpetfish and several moray eels. Since this is a public beach, it does get crowded during summer, but there’s plenty of water to explore.

2. Jamaica: Doctor’s Cave Beach

Doctors Cave

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Jamaica is a paradise for beach lovers. And if you’re looking for the best snorkeling spots in Jamaica, you absolutely must stop by Doctor’s Cave Beach!

This relatively smaller beach is located off the island’s north coast with shallow waters and a view that will be the highlight of your trip! Not only will you enjoy the calm seas but there’s also an abundance of coral formations near the shoreline, making it an accessible exploration for both young and old.

Treat yourself to the natural wonders of this beach’s marine life, which includes parrotfish, sea urchins, and stingrays.

3. Turks and Caicos: Smith’s Reef

Reef

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One of the best islands for snorkeling in the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos is a snorkeler’s dream come true. And located near Providenciales’ Turtle Cove is Smith’s Reef where crisp blue waters and colorful coral awaits.

Dive into the clear blue water and be amazed at its diverse coral reefs, sea beds, and seagrass. You might even encounter some green turtles, eagle rays, and barracudas along the way. Make sure you keep an eye out for colorful fish and sting rays and unreal coral that you may have only seen in videos and books.

With waters so clear and the marine life so vibrant and colorful, it’s hard to believe they’re all real. So, if you just want to marvel at marine life, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot than Smith’s Reef.

4. Sint Maarten: Mullet Bay

Mullet

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Sint Maarten is known for its stunning mountains, clear blue waters, and jaw-dropping diverse sea life, making it one of the best Caribbean islands for snorkeling.

And Mullet Bay is among the best beaches that Sint Maarten has to offer. With powder-soft sand and waters that reflect the colors of the forests and skies, this beach will have you spellbound.

It’s one of the quieter beaches on the island but that also means you don’t have to deal with crowds. The sea is also calmer and more inviting here, and there is plenty of puffer fish to spot.

5. Barbados: Carlisle Bay Marine Park

Carlisle

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Shallow reefs and shipwrecks abound in the gorgeous Caribbean island of Barbados. And the crescent-shaped Carlisle Bay is one of the most popular destinations for snorkeling.

There are six shipwrecks to be found here — Barge, Bajan Queen, Berwyn, Cornwallis, Ce-Trek, and Eillon. There are buoys along the way to mark the shipwrecks, so you can easily find your way to them. If you want to explore and snorkel at your own pace, you can swim the 200 meters distance from the shore to the shipwrecks, but if you want some bits and pieces of history along the way, joining a guided tour is also a good option.

Apart from the shipwrecks, you can also spot schools of fish darting around as well as turtles passing by, along with stingrays and tropical fish.

6. Sint Maarten: Baie Rouge

Baie

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Another fantastic snorkeling destination in Sint Maarten is Baie Rouge beach in the French-speaking part of the island. The remote beach features stunning turquoise waters and pink sands that will capture your heart.

If you don’t want to compete with the crowd and take your time snorkeling and exploring, this is the perfect spot for you. The vibrant coral reef combined with majestic sea turtles and colorful schools of fish makes it a snorkeling spot you cannot miss.

The beach is inviting to snorkelers, especially its eastern side, because of the vibrant reefs and fishes like the blue tang and snapper that are regulars of the area.

7. Grand Cayman: Starfish Point

Starfish

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Grand Cayman is one of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands, along with Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. And all three take the top spots for being incredible places for snorkeling.

In Grand Cayman, Starfish Point is located near Rum Point. And as the name suggests, this beach has no dearth of stunning starfish. Another major attraction of this area is the red cushion starfish.

Sightings of starfishes are almost guaranteed here. But what cannot be ensured is how many starfish you chance upon during your snorkeling escapade, as you might only spot a couple sometimes, but after the next wave, you’ll see dozens of them in the shallow water.

And yes, these waters are very shallow here, so shallow that you can walk through the waters.

8. Grenada: Molinere Bay

Molinere

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If you’re looking for a more unique underwater experience, nothing beats Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada. This underground sculpture park in Molinere Bay was installed less than two decades ago and was designed by Jason De Caires Taylor, a British artist.

The creative team placed 75 different sculptures in 800 square meters of underwater space that look like ethereal bodies. Not only can you snorkel down to these artworks, but there are also guided tours to help visitors appreciate their beauty.

Many divers and snorkelers are also able to experience the natural beauty of the aquatic life here, thanks to the steady stream of marine animals in the area.

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