27 Top Spots for the Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean [2023]

If you are getting ready for a Caribbean vacation, this post on the best snorkeling in the Caribbean will help you plan your itinerary in one of the most spectacular vacation destinations in the world.

Your vacation in the Caribbean wouldn’t be complete without a snorkeling adventure. This post includes some of the most spectacular snorkeling spots in the Caribbean sea, according to travel writers ad explorers who have actually traveled to some of these beautiful islands and beaches.

You can either use the table of content to see which one is your favorite destination or you can just read about all these beautiful places.

Either way, I am sure you will love this post full of great ideas and travel inspirations!

The Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean

1. Snorkeling in St Thomas USVI

Hawksnest Beach St John USVI - best snorkeling in the caribbean
Hawksnest Beach St John USVI Photo © Rachel Grenis

The US Virgin Islands are a well-known, but underrated snorkeling spot in the Caribbean! St Thomas, home to USVI capital Charlotte Amalie, is known for its lively beaches, and visitors flock to popular spots known for their coral reefs. 

Coki Beach, Secret Harbor, and Magen’s Bay are just a few of the best beaches in St Thomas for snorkeling! The calm and clear waters make snorkeling suitable for everyone. All three of these beaches offer great on-site amenities like watersport rentals, nearby dining, open-air bars, and unbeatable Caribbean sunsets. 

Coki Beach: $5 parking lot fee
Magen’s Bay: $5/person, $2 parking
Secret Harbor Beach: No fee, but it is located on a resort property if you want to stay on the beach!

Fun tips: Coki Beaches waters are so clear on calm days, you can see the fish swimming around from the shoreline. 
Secret Harbor Beach, on the other hand, has incredible rocky walls and a double reef offshore to explore!

Other beaches, like Limetree Beach and Saphhire Beach, are popular for windsurfing and watersports. The waters aren’t as calm, but the coral reefs offshore are filled with colorful fish, marine life, and sea turtles!

If you’re looking for more off-the-beaten-path coral reefs, you can find tours that will take you to some of the cays and smaller islands off the coast of St Thomas. These may be more difficult for beginner swimmers, but more than worth the boat ride out if you’re able to. 

Regardless of your ability, you’ll find some incredible coral reefs and marine life snorkeling through the clear waters of St Thomas, USVI. 

Contributed by Rachel Grenis, Caribbean Uncovered

Snorkel St. John Tour from Sapphire and Margaritaville
  • Snorkel the pristine waters around St. John
  • Tour an uninhabited Caribbean island
  • Guides provide instruction to first-time snorkelers
  • Breakfast, open bar, picnic lunch, snacks, and equipment included

2. Snorkeling in St John USVI

Magens Bay Beach St Thomas
Magens Bay Beach St Thomas Photo © Rachel Grenis

St John, USVI is the smallest and more underdeveloped of the three main US Virgin Island territories. 

Two-thirds of St John is located in the Virgin Islands National Park. This untouched land allows you to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches and best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean! 

Not only does the national park make St John a unique spot to visit, but it allows you the awesome experience of hiking the park trails to secluded beaches for snorkeling!

Notably, the Brown Bay Trail will lead you to an isolated beach. This is better for more advanced swimmers, the east side of the beach holds a stronger current, but the views of the coral reefs are great! You won’t find amenities on this off-path beach, so be prepared with plenty of water and snacks. 

Brown Bay pro tip: head further offshore to Watermelon Cay for an extra snorkeling adventure!

Maho Bay is a white-sand, clear-water beach located on the northern coast of St John. This beach is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in USVI. You’re likely to run into plenty of sea turtles, so keep your distance from the precious wildlife of Maho Bay! 

St John has a few eco-campsites in Maho Bay, so you can enjoy endless snorkeling here during your stay. 

Another popular snorkeling spot in St John is Hawksnest Beach. It’s one of the more crowded beaches on the island, though crowded is relative when you’re on an island as small as St John! 

Hawksnest has rocky sides great for viewing lively fish, sea urchins, and sting rays! The beach offers picnic tables, restrooms, and grills, so you can fill your day hopping in and out of the Hawksnest Beach waters. 

Contributed by Rachel Grenis, Caribbean Uncovered

St. John Two-Stop Snorkel Sail with Picnic Lunch & Open Bar - Westin
  • Choose from morning or afternoon departures
  • Group sizes capped at 49 people per boat
  • Snorkeling equipment will be provided
  • Order free drinks from the open bar after your snorkel

3. Snorkeling in Alligator Reef, Florida Keys

Alligator reef
Photo © Victoria

“One of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean is Alligator Reef. And what really makes this one of the best snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys is that there’s actually a shipwreck here. 

In fact, the reef was named for this shipwreck, which sits just 200 feet away from Alligator Reef Light. 

Additionally, this reef is well-protected and quite shallow since some spots are only eight feet deep. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about rough waters and can easily explore the area inside of four yellow buoys, even if you aren’t a strong swimmer. 

And while you can’t anchor here, the water is super clear and has excellent visibility. Therefore, you can easily spot sponges, sea fans, Barracuda, Sergeant Majors, Yellowtail Snapper, Bar Jacks, and a Hammerhead Shark if you’re really lucky. 

You’ll also love exploring three distinct dive spots that vary in depth and, as a result, offer a diverse array of wildlife for you to enjoy. 

Also, because this reef is a bit far away from Islamorada, Florida, you’ll probably want to visit it as part of a tour with Robbie’s of Islamorada. 

You can join one of their 2.5-hour snorkeling trips that depart daily at either  10;00 am. or 1:30 pm and that costs $45.00 per person.”

Contributed by Victoria of Florida Trippers

Florida Keys Afternoon Reef Snorkel & Sail Adventure
  • Explore the waters and reefs of Key West on this snorkeling excursion
  • A sanitized mask, snorkel, fins, and flotation vest are provided
  • Beverages such as water, soda, white wine, and craft beer are included
  • Personalized attention
  • Small-group tour


4. Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro beach

Located in the beautiful bright turquoise waters of the northern Caribbean coast of Panama is the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

You don’t have to have a scuba open water certification to enjoy the amazing sea life and underwater scenery here.

Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Bocas del Toro and all you need is a mask, snorkel, and maybe fins.

From Bocas Town on Isla Colón, you can book a snorkeling tour to the surrounding coral reef. They’ll supply whatever you need to get into the water.

Or you can arrange transportation with your hotel to take the short ride out to Star Beach, a quiet and unspoiled beach on the outskirts of town.

The soft white sand beach has plenty of shade, and the water is gentle, warm, and usually crystal clear. The depth is never more than waist deep making it good for any level of swimmers and perfect for snorkeling.

If you don’t have a mask and snorkel, most accommodations will have basic equipment to loan or rent.

Once in the water, you’ll see why the beach is named Star Beach. Brightly colored orange starfish are scattered on the sandy bottom as far as you can see.

You’ll also be joined by the occasional school of small colorful fish that look for shelter in your shadow. 

After a few hours of snorkeling, there are a few local bodegas just a short walk up the beach selling cold drinks and the freshest ceviche you can imagine!

Contributed by Lori from Travlinmad

Sailing Tours in Bocas del Toro Panama
  • Includes snorkeling spots such as Starfish Beach, Solarte Coral Gardens, and Dolphin Bay Preserve.
  • Explore the underwater world
  • Snorkeling gear provided
  • Lunch is included

5. Snorkeling in Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caullker snorkeling
Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is known as the slow island in Belize. You won’t find any cars here, only a few golf carts, to carry your luggage to your hotel, and bicycles.

Most of the roads are covered with sand. One of the main activities to do in Caye Caulker is snorkeling.

There are two types of tours, depending on your budget: half a day and a full day. 

The half-day tour goes to the Hol Chan Marine reserve, whilst the full-day one includes a broader area, as well as lunch on the boat. 

No matter which snorkeling tour you go for, you will experience a little bit of the second largest reef in the world, after the Great Barrier in Australia.

Snorkeling in Caye Caulker is very rewarding, with plenty of aquatic life to see. Even if you go for the cheapest tour, you will still see plenty of different species of fish, reef sharks, eels, manta, and sting rays.

On the day tour, you can also see turtles and sometimes manatees. 

As everywhere around the world, there are plenty of unethical companies providing snorkeling tours in Caye Caulker.

When you pick a company to go snorkeling in Caye Caulker with, make sure they are responsible and don’t feed the fish. 

Contributed by Joanna, The World in My Pocket 

All inclusive Snorkeling at Hol Chan, Caye Caulker, Belize
  • Snorkel at six different sites in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
  • Incredible marine life sightings: spot nurse sharks, turtles, and manatees
  • Delicious lunch served on board the boat
  • Hotel pickup and round-trip transport by boat

6. Snorkeling in San Andres Island, Colombia

Snorkeling on san andres island
Photo © Bailey

San Andres Island is a tiny island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Although it technically belongs to Colombia, San Andres Island is actually closer to Nicaragua geographically.

This isolated island is over 120 miles from the mainland of Central America and can only be reached by plane. 

The isolated nature of San Andres Island keeps it somewhat off the beaten path, and as such, plenty of sealife live here, making it the perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling. 

While you can simply rent a golf cart and drive the 26-kilometer ring road around the island stopping wherever you want to snorkel, there are some specific spots you should check out.

Only a 5-minute drive from town, you’ll find the shore near Rocky Cay, a small island near a rusted-out shipwreck.

You can also take a boat tour (about a 20-minute ride) to the tiny island of Johnny Cay. 

Between the two, you’ll find the San Andres Aquarium – a natural area that is known for its many manta rays and starfish! You’ll need a boat to get out here, so a snorkel day trip is a great idea.

Many tours visit multiple snorkeling spots, and the clear water means you’ll be sure to see plenty of fish and coral. 

Contributed by Bailey from Destinationless Travel

Full Day Marine Tour in San Andres Colombia
  • Exclusive day of snorkeling by boat
  • More than 7 different points where to snorkel
  • Guests MUST bring their own snorkeling equipment for safety reasons

7. Snorkeling in Roatan, Honduras

Roatan beach
Photo © Lina

One of the best reef systems in the Caribbean runs through Roatan, a beautiful island off the coast of Honduras.

Famous for being a cruise port, this island destination is also one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. And for good reason.

The coral in the area is in very good condition with limited bleaching compared to many of the other parts of the Caribbean. 

While there are plenty of opportunities to join a snorkeling tour by boat, one of the best reefs to snorkel in Roatan is easily accessible from shore, only a 50-meter swim from the famous Roatan Grand Resort, considered to be one of the best places to stay in Roatan.

Located at the end of West Bay beach, the best snorkeling spot is at the very end of the beach. Simply follow the shoreline out and you will hit some of the most beautiful coral found anywhere in the Caribbean.

Here, if you are lucky, you will have the chance to spot everything from Caribbean lobster to nurse sharks, eel, octopus, grouper, and much more.

The snorkeling is generally very laid back with very little current. Make sure to keep an eye on the waves as bad weather can bring up swells in the area which can be dangerous. 

The hotel at the beach has a beach bar and a restaurant with decent food, perfect for a snack after an eventful snorkel.

Contributed by Lina from Bucket List Places

Roatan Snorkeling Adventure, Shipwreck, Starfish & Blue Channel
  • Hotel or cruise port pickup and drop-off
  • Boat transport between all snorkel sites
  • Use of snorkel equipment
  • Entrance fees included
  • 3-hour tour

8. Snorkeling in Little Bay, Anguilla

Little Bay Anguilla
Little Bay Anguilla – Photo © Stevegeer from Canva

Anguilla is a small island in the Caribbean near Sint Maarten that is known for its beautiful beaches and white sand.

This island is very quiet and a little off the beaten path for tourists, so you’ll find plenty of solitude and may well have the beach all to yourself. 

One of the smallest Anguillan beaches is called Little Bay, a small cove accessible by boat or a rope ladder. After you climb down to the water, you can snorkel around the quiet cove and see a whole host of corals, sea urchins, and small tropical fish.

Stronger swimmers can head out into the deeper sea to see more species of fish, as well as octopus and lobsters, but I was content to stay near the shore and observe the small flurries of activity. 

The area is accessible by boat, so others may join you as you snorkel in Little Bay. This experience is appropriate for strong swimmers and experienced snorkelers.

If you have any doubts about your abilities, hire a boat so that you’ll have supervision and guidance while you’re in the cove. 

Little Bay is in a protected area of the coastline, largely surrounded by private property. There are no lifeguards in Little Bay, so all swimmers enter the water at their own risk.

You’ll want to bring your own snacks and water, as well as a towel for hanging out on the beach when you’re not in the ocean. 

Contributed by Amber from Amber Everywhere

9. Snorkeling in the Tobago key, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

Tobago Cays, a protected marine park in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, is one of the most pristine snorkeling spots in The Caribbean. Home to green sea turtles and rays, who float around the shallow water around the islands and coral reefs.

The Tobago Cays are an archipelago of five small islands with no lodging, so the only way to get there is by boat.

Choose from a water taxi, day tour, or charter yacht to snorkel the beautiful waters of the Tobago Cays. Multiple boats leave daily from one of the nearby islands like Union or Bequia.

Union Island is the closer departing point to the Tobago Cays. So the trip will cost less if you start from there. If you are on a budget, you can probably find a package for $70 USD pp.

Prices go up for more luxury, food and drink add-ons, as you’d expect. It is worth it to swim with the turtles in the warm Caribbean sunlit sea.

A gem of the Caribbean, Tobago Cays is a highlight of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Surrounded by coral reefs, The Tobago Cays are a beautiful and protected oasis.

The calm shallow waters are perfect for floating around with the sea turtles and rays who live there.

The marine animals are so comfortable in this environment that it’s possible to get up close and take lots of photos!

Once you arrive, you’ll be free to jump in the turquoise water and walk the beaches where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.

Tobago Cays is a marine park, so find out what your tour includes. You will want food and water, snorkeling gear, and to protect yourself from the sun with a hat, rash guard, and reef-safe sunscreen.

Melinda from Mel on the go

10. Snorkeling in Antigua

Although in Antigua you won’t find the best snorkeling in the Caribbean there are a few spots where you can enjoy looking at the underwater life.

There are some snorkeling spots that you can reach from the shore, in Dickenson Bay and Half moon bay, but the best snorkeling in Antigua is by joining an organized tour because the best sites are away from the coast.

My favorite tour for the best Antigua Snorkeling experience is Eli’s Eco tour which will take you across a few islands in the north sound area.

You will also visit Hell’s Gate Island for another snorkeling stop (2 in total within this tour) where you will climb through a small cave-like structure that goes through the island & comes out over a natural bridge on top.

Other exciting snorkeling sites in Antigua are the Pillars of Hercules, right in front of the English harbor where you can admire spectacular limestone rock formations underwater and above the surface.

Prickly Pear is another island off the east coast right in front of Dickenson Bay, while opposite to that on the other side of the island a few miles from the shore you can find cases reef the biggest coral reef near Antigua, a great snorkeling experience.

Also read: The best All inclusive hotels in Antigua

11. Snorkeling in Curaçao

Snorkeling in Curacao beach
Curaçao Grote Knip Beach – Photo © Zphotostocks from Canva

Curacao is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean, especially for people who don’t consider themselves strong swimmers. 

The island is blessed with many beautiful small bays from which you can snorkel on your own from the shore. You don’t need a boat tour or a guide.

At some bays, you don’t even have to swim at all! All you need to do is put your goggles on and have a look underwater (head to the Grote Knip if that’s what you want). 

The best snorkeling spots are located in the Western part of the island. There is virtually no wind here, the water is calm with barely any waves, and you can easily access the water.  

Some of the best beaches to check out for snorkeling are Grote Knip, Playa Lagun, Kleine Knip, Playa Forti, Kokomo Beach, and Tugboat (where you can literally see a sunken tugboat about 5 meters deep).

And as a bonus, these are beautiful beaches which are great for sunbathing and relaxing as well. Most of them have restaurant facilities nearby and are free to enter. So as you can see there is no shortage of water-related things to do in Curacao.

You can expect to see beautiful colored coral and fish such as frogfish, parrotfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish.

As well as other cool marine animals, for example, turtles, barracudas, pufferfish, seahorses, moray eels, octopus, and stingrays. 

Contributed by Lara from The Best Travel Gifts

12. Snorkeling in the Blue Hole Belize

Great blue hole belize
Great Blue Hole Belize – photo © Jenifer Byington 

One of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean is the Great Blue Hole in Belize. This 410-foot-deep sinkhole is a bucket list dive destination that’s also fun to visit for a snorkeling trip.

The all-day excursion departs from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye at the crack of dawn.

It’s a 2.5-hour boat ride each way. Along the way, you’ll make a stop at Half Moon Caye, a picturesque, palm-filled island with funny hermit crabs. 

Once you arrive at the Great Blue Hole, you’ll see the coral edges of the sinkhole because the water is a stunning turquoise blue.

As you explore the area, the schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, manta rays, and sharks are amazing.

The sharks sound really scary but it is highly unusual that they bother humans. You can swim around above the coral and also over the crystal clear, deep blue sinkhole. 

You do need to be a solid swimmer for this trip as there’s not a beach to swim from. The tour is approximately $225 depending on the operator.

They provide you with breakfast and lunch. There’s an additional cost for snorkeling gear and a $40 Blue Hole Park Fee.

Make sure you have reef-safe sunscreen on your Belize packing list as you’ll need it every time you enter the water.

It’s a really fun day trip that is highly recommended. To get a completely different perspective of the Great Blue Hole, plan to do a one-hour scenic flight too.

It’s less of a time commitment and highly rewarding to see the view from above. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Contributed by Jenifer of The Evolista

13. Snorkeling in Norman Island BVI

Caves in norman island Snorkeling in BVI
Norman Island Cave in BVI by Catherine

Visit the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book “Treasure Island,” based on the lovely Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Its crystal blue seas offer one of the territory’s most popular snorkeling sites, The Caves.

The only way to explore Norman Island is via private boat, as there are no public ferries. So pack your bags and set sail to an island with pristine underwater beauty.

Nestled around the peninsula of the famous Willi-T’s floating bar, three open caves offer a glimpse into the darkness on the western edge of the island.

Marine life flits along the walls, and larger fish can be seen hiding in ravines waiting for prey to swim by. Keep an eye out for turtles who majestically swim right by you.

The water is typically calm enough for snorkelers but watch for strong currents as The Caves face the open ocean.

For the best experience in the cave, bring a flashlight–you may find yourself in complete darkness up to 70 feet inside. 

During high season, The Caves can be more crowded as Norman Island is relatively close to the capital, Road Town. To beat the crowds, come early or wait until later in the day.

The water isn’t as clear then, but watching the sunset from inside the caves is a spectacular sight.

Contributed by Catherine Xu from Nomadicated

14. Snorkeling in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Rincon Puerto Rico
Rincon Puerto Rico – Photo © Rachel1221 from Canva

One of the best places you can go snorkeling in the Caribbean is Rincon, which should definitely feature on your Puerto Rico itinerary!

The Tres Palmas Marine Reserve on the west coast of Puerto Rico features sandy beaches and a gorgeous reef near the shore, and it’s a family-friendly snorkeling environment. Steps Beach is a popular snorkeling spot. Since the area is a reserve, you don’t have to worry about boats. 

On a Rincon snorkeling excursion, you may see a variety of marine life, from sea turtles to squid, lobsters, crabs, and eel, as well as colorful coral and numerous species of brightly colored tropical fish: look for hogfish, squirrelfish, butterfly fish, parrotfish, angelfish, blue tangs and more. 

Mid to late April until October is the ideal time to snorkel in Rincon since the area is subject to big waves in the cooler months. 

If you wish to go on your own, you can rent snorkeling equipment in town, but you may want to join a guided excursion for a safer and more enjoyable experience.

There is a restaurant by the beach if you want a drink or a bit to eat. Rincon has many beautiful beaches for swimming and sunbathing, so snorkeling and scuba diving are not the only fun things to do here.

Parking is limited so arrive early, especially on weekends.

Contributed by Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

15. Snorkeling in Carlisle Bay, Barbados

Carlisle bay Barbados
Carlisle Bay Barbados Photo © Chrisuk1 from Canva

Barbados has some of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, especially in Carlisle Bay.

The Bay has a marine park where you can spot turtles, tropical fish, stingrays, and snorkel above multiple shipwrecks.

There are five shipwrecks spread across the Bay at different depths to snorkel or dive with.

The combination of marine life and swimming along shipwrecks makes snorkeling Carlisle Bay a must-do activity on your Barbados Itinerary ( and creates a memorable snorkeling experience. 

To snorkel in Carlisle Bay Marine Park, you can join a tour or swim from the shore by yourself.

It’s about 200m out from the shore to swim by yourself, but doable if you have your own gear, take it slow, and are comfortable swimming that amount of distance.

Tours start at 40 dollars and include all gear you need to snorkel and unlimited drinks, with options for a longer tour that includes multiple spots to snorkel and lunch. 

After snorkeling, you will probably be hungry, so if you are looking for a bite to eat nearby, dine on shore at The Boatyard Club or sip a cocktail on the beach at Copacabana Beach Club.  

With its proximal location to the capital city of Bridgetown, things to do nearby, including walking around downtown Bridgetown, visiting a rum distillery, or trying other watersports in the Bay. 

Get ready to put on your snorkel gear and dive into the beautiful and refreshing blue waters of Barbados. 

Contributed by Melissa from My Beautiful Passport 

16. Snorkeling in Culebra, Puerto Rico

Tamarindo beach
Tamarindo Beach Puerto Rico- photo © Nikki

If you’re looking for the best snorkeling spot in the Caribbean, look no further than Culebra, Puerto Rico!

This tiny island off mainland Puerto Rico is just a short ferry ride or a small plane ride away. This tropical oasis is home to the stunning Flamenco Beach Puerto Rico

You’ll find completely clear water at Flamenco Beach, as well as stunning white sand and picturesque rolling hills that kiss the shoreline. You can take a snorkeling cruise from San Juan or Fajardo for a day trip. 

Better yet, stay on the island for a few days to experience snorkeling at some of the other spots.

Tamarindo Beach on Culebra is known for its sea turtles. Just be sure not to step on the coral and don’t touch the sea turtles or other sea life!

The reef is getting more and more bleached by tourists, so be sure to wear reef-safe sunblock when snorkeling in Culebra (or anywhere else).

Both beaches on Culebra typically have gentle waves, which create great snorkeling conditions for any swimmer.

Tamarindo Beach is rocky and not soft sand, so when you’re not in the water you’ll want water shoes. 

If you’re staying on the island for a few days, be sure to bring your own snorkeling gear with you.

The small island doesn’t have many amenities, and it may be hard to find snorkel gear on Culebra.

This also allows you to snorkel when and where you want!

Recommended by Nikki of She Saves She Travels

17. Snorkeling in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos beach – Photo © Orietta Gaspary via Canva

One of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean is Turks and Caicos. Known for its superior underwater diving and snorkeling scene, this beautiful island chain offers brightly colored reefs and a variety of sea life. 

On the main island of Providenciales, Bight Beach, Long Bay Beach, and the Beach at Smith’s Reef are all incredible snorkeling spots where you can swim out a small distance and see awesome marine life!

Smith’s Reef has the most variety of brightly colored fish and sting rays.

The coral has huge drop-offs here and is a simply amazing snorkeling experience!

At Long Bay Beach you can expect to see conch and octopus along the sea floor right out from the beach.

Bight Beach is known for its clear water, and you can sometimes see dolphins or sting rays.

Kids and those new to snorkeling should wear flotation devices while snorkeling in Turks and Caicos.

Although the seas are traditionally soft along the shore, Long Bay Beach has the strongest waves coming into the island.

Providenciales is a very drivable island; taking your own snorkeling gear will ensure you can snorkel at your leisure. You’ll want to explore the best beaches on the island, as snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is phenomenal!

Recommended by Nikki of Inspired Routes

18. Snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is considered one of the best diving spots in Mexico and in the World, and naturally it has amazing snorkeling spots as well.

Located just east of Playa del Carmen in the Caribbean Sea just Cozumel, is world-famous for its crystal clear blue waters and diverse ecosystem of coral reefs, a real dream location for water lovers.

Travelers go to Cozumel for two reasons Diving, or snorkeling, besides enjoy the tranquil local island vibe.

In fact, while diving in Cozumel is one of the greatest experience in the world, the island also offers great snorkeling sites such as Palancar Reef, El Cielo, to see the hundreds of Starfishes, Colombia Reef and Paradise reef among the most popular.

You have two choices for snorkeling in Cozumel, you can either take a boat excursion to the reef, or snorkel from the shore.

If you have half a day I would suggest you should join one of the most popular boat tours that include El Cielo, Palacar, and Colombia altogether.

If you prefer to go snorkeling on your own, you can do that too from some of the amazing beach clubs in Cozumel, where you can leave your stuff in convenient lockers and rent the snorkeling equipment if you don’t have your own.

Either way, in Cozumel you will definitely experience some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Book your snorkeling tour in Cozumel on VIATOR

19. Snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico

Tulum Beach hotel aerial view
Tulum beach

The bohemian Magic Town of Tulum is mainly known for the unique Tulum archaeological site, the endless pristine white sand beach and a hipster culture of yogi, party lovers and style conscious travelers.

In Tulum you will find some of the most exclusive hotels and world class restaurants, but also increidble natural wonders such as the sacred cenotes, lagoons and the unique Sian Ka’an biosphere.

Snorkeling in Tulum is one of the most popular activities that you will enjoy and the most popular places where to see some amazing underwater world are some of the cenotes, such as Cenote Escondido, Cenote Eden, or Cenote Corazon to name a few.

From Tulum beach, playa paraiso, close to the ruins, you can also enjoy a short snorkeling tour to the coral reef where you can swim with turtles manta rays and sometimes you may be able to see manatees.

Snorkeling Tour in Three Ecosystems BOOK NOW ON VIATOR

20. Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

21. Snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico

underwater statues
Photo from Canva

Considered one of the most touristy beach destination in Mexico, Cancun boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in Mexico with it’s 21 km of white sand flanked with stunning all inclusive hotels and the turquoise Caribban sea.

If you visit Cancun, make sure you will stay in one of the world class all-inclusive resorts on the beach to enjoy spectacular views of the most turquoise waters you will have ever seen.

And of course with this water, snorkeling in Cancun is one of the most sought after activities amongst the many other things to do. There are quite a few spots for snorkeling in Cancun both from the shore or by tour.

If you are traveling in the summer from mid-June through August, you should consider joining a tour to swimming with whale sharks, for a unique unforgettable experience.

If you want to do some snorkeling on your own from the shore, the only place is at the end of the 21 km beach in Punta Playa Delfines near Punta Nizuc.

From Cancun you can also snorkel over the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA), located between the Cancun Hotel Zone and Isla Mujeres, about 25 miles south of Cancun.

The museum has been created with the joint effort of the local tourist board and the talented sculptor Jaso Decaires Taylor to preserve marine life ad create awareness.

Divers and snorkelers love to explore the rich underwater life thriving through human statues, furniture, and even a WV Beetle.

Small-Group Eco Friendly: Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya

✔️ Whale shark snorkeling adventure off the coast of Cancun

✔️ Comprehensive narration from a professional guide

✔️ Lunch on the boat off the coast of Isla Mujeres on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

✔️ Complimentary pickup and drop off from most Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum hotels


22. Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Puerto Morelos is one off-the-beaten-path beach town on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

Much less popular than the nearby Cancun or Playa del Carmen, this fishing town sits in between the two mainstream vacation destinations in the Mexican Caribbean and offers a quiet laid-back beach life, but not only.

In fact right beyond the beach, on the other side of the federal highway, Puerto Morelos is home to some of the most amazing cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, and in some of them, Snorkeling is indeed one of the most popular activities.

However, one of the biggest reasons to visit Puerto Morelos in Quintana Roo is its proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which makes it one of the best spots for snorkeling in Mexico.

This reef is just off-shore and is a national marine protected area. Over 500 different kinds of fish live in the reef system, as well as 65 species of coral.

One of the largest populations of manatees in the world calls this reef home, as well as sea turtles, queen conch, crocodiles, and splendid toadfish.

You will find boat tours that leave right from the white sand beach, and make sure you try some of the delicious restaurants right in front of the Caribbean water.

If you prefer to book your tour in advance, you can do it on VIATOR, a trustworthy company that I always use when it comes to finding some great tours from local companies.


4⭐ 119 Reviews

Girl snorkeling on the reef

5⭐ 15 Reviews

23. St Kitts and Nevis

Shipwreck after the hike from Majors Bay in St Kitts
Photo © Michelle Moyer

St Kitts and Nevis are great destinations for snorkeling in the Caribbean.  These small sister islands are located in the southern Caribbean with some shores facing the Caribbean Sea while others face the Atlantic Ocean.  

St Kitts is a volcanic island that is known for many beautiful beaches with good snorkeling reefs close to its shores. 

There are different snorkeling sites that you can reach from the beach and for all levels of swimmers and most beaches have snorkel gear rental from rental shacks on the beach.

The beaches facing the south, like South Friars Bay and Frigate Bay South, face the calmer waters of the Caribbean Sea and are more suitable for beginner snorkelers. 

These two St Kitts beaches are populated with food huts and beach chairs and the good snorkel areas are reefs that are reachable by a short swim from the shore.

The best snorkel destination in St Kitts is the shipwreck that is found in Shitten Bay.  This delightful snorkel area is reachable by a 1-mile hike from Majors Bay, or by a boat excursion. 

The wreck is beached on the Shitten Bay shoreline, so it is easily reached from land or sea.  Just a word of caution about the rusty metal that seems to stick out from everywhere and has been degraded by the salty water.

Another thing to watch out for at Shitten Bay and most of the other snorkel areas is the high sea urchin population. 

They are easily visible and easy to stay away from if you keep afloat and don’t step on them.

Snorkelers will most likely come into contact with schools of fish as well as eels that are swimming through the reef. 

Stingrays are common in the sand and bottom of the shores.  Sea turtles are often another exciting find while snorkeling in St Kitts!

Contributed by Michelle Moyer from Moyer Memoirs Empty Nest Travel Adventures

24. Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park

Snorkeling in Grenada - underwater sculpture
Photo © Taylor

The Caribbean island of Grenada is a hidden gem especially when it comes to in water adventures.

One of the best snorkelling spots in the Caribbean is hiding below a cliffside, and is actually the world’s first underwater sculpture park created by Jason deCaires Taylor the same sculpture that created the underwater museum in Isla Mujeres in Mexico!

The Grenada Underwater Sculpture park is a must-do when you’re visiting Grenada, and can be accessed through a variety of tour companies.

It is not accessible by beach, but the tour companies often stop for lunch at a nearby beach, so you’ll have a chance to experience some of the Best Beaches in Grenada that way!

While some boat tours allows some free snorkeling, others offers guided tours where a guide will take you around the most interesting points for the best sights.

Since the area does have access to the open ocean, and currents can be strong, I’d definitely recommend staying with a guide if you are not a strong swimmer.

One of the most popular sculptures is called the Vicissitudes, and is a circular structure of people holding hands, but there are many other ones through the park to see.

It is a truly magical experience! It is advisable to take this tour on a clear day as the sediment in the sculpture park can inhibit visibility, when the sea is rough.

Once the tour is over, I’d recommend heading to Esther’s Bar on Grand Anse Beach to soak up the sunset and try their mango mojito!

Contributed by Taylor from Tea N’ Sea Travel

25. Pablo Escobar’s Sunken Plane near Norman’s Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Snorkeling in Exuma The Bahamas
Photo © Taylor

With more than 700 islands, The Bahamas are known for their crystal clear water, pristine white sand beaches, and many popular snorkeling spots.

Among them, snorkeling on a sunken airplane is definitely one of the most unique experiences!

Located just off of Norman’s Cay, this sunken plane was once Pablo Escobar’s and used for smuggling drugs to and from the Bahamas.

Now the plane has found a forever home underneath the surface.

This shallow snorkeling spot offers great visibility but it’s not accessible by beach, so you’ll either have to know someone with a boat or hop on one of the many tour boats.

Most of the tours do offer additional stops, including the famous swimming pig beach, and iguana beach!

Since the area has access to open water, it can be a little rough, but the current isn’t very strong.

Look out for groupers living under the plane, and try not to touch any coral you see growing on the plane!

Also, keep your eyes out for sharp edges, since the plane is rusting in the ocean, you don’t want to accidentally cut yourself!

Snorkeling by Pablo Excobar sunken plane is definitely something you need to add to your Exuma Bahamas Bucket List!

Contributed by Taylor from Tea N’ Sea Travel

26. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

Jardines de La Reina Cuba
Photo © David Basiove from Canva

Located south of central Cuba, the protected ocean reserve of Jardines de la Reina is the largest protected area of ocean in the Caribbean.

With its incredible reefs, underwater features, and unique fish and coral species, Jardines de la Reina is considered the best destination for snorkeling and diving in Cuba. 

There is no better place to visit for adventurous snorkelers and divers than Jardines de la Reina. This section of the ocean is known for having countless sharks, specifically Caribbean reef sharks, some of which grow larger than in any other spots in the Caribbean.

Snorkeling and diving with sharks is a popular specialized excursion in the area. 

Snorkelers can also embark on excursions within the mangrove forests closer to the keys and the coast, where you can snorkel alongside Cuban crocodiles for an unforgettable and unique experience.

To reach Jardines de la Reina, most international travelers arrive in Havana and then travel by plane or bus to the province of Ciego de Ávila.

The Avalon Diving Center is the primary provider of snorkeling and diving tours in the area and only issues a few thousand permits per year to travelers, so plan to book well in advance if interested in visiting this unique site. 

Contributed by Carley from Home to Havana

27. Snorkeling in Rosario Archipelago, Cartagena, Colombia

Del Rosario archipelago cartagena
Photo © Cyprus Niko from Canva

The 27 islands that make up the Rosario Archipelago off the coast of Cartagena are a snorkeler’s paradise in large part because of the protected coral reef.

A tour to the Rosario Archipelago makes it one of the best day trips from Cartagena.

The National Park Corales Islas surrounds the Rosario islands and protects over 12,000 square kilometers of coral reef. Add some crystal blue water to the mix and you have a true paradise.

A trip under the water will be full of angelfish, spadefish, and barracuda. And lucky snorkelers might see a sea turtle.

At night, the water literally glows as one of the few places in the world to experience plankton bioluminescence.

Snorkeling is definitely open to all kinds of swimmers. We had no trouble all snorkeling as a family.

Most people who snorkel the Rosario islands come out as a part of an island day tour. The islands are a quick 45-minute boat road from Cartagena.  

However, those who want a break from the city life of Cartagena can certainly choose to stay on several of the islands. 

In addition to snorkeling, the islands, especially Playa Blanca, are known for their brilliant white beaches. Making the Rosario Islands a perfect place to swim, snorkel, relax and take in the sun. 

Contributed by Faith Hansen from 3ticketsplease.com

28. Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Otto beach Nicaragua
Otto Beach Nicaragua by Carina from bucketlist2life

Little Corn Island is a gem on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua and a true paradise above and below water. You can go snorkeling both on a guided boat trip and independently from the beach.

If you want to go snorkeling on your own, the best spot to do so is Otto Beach on the north shore. The walk along the jungle path seems like an adventure in itself.

There is one restaurant and even a small shack where you can rent snorkel gear in case you didn’t bring your own.

Snorkeling at Otto Beach Reef is nice but the water is quite shallow and it can be a bit challenging due to the waves so we only recommend this spot to experienced snorkelers.

We advise you to go on a guided snorkeling tour at least once during your stay. They are offered all over the island for around 20$ and you can even book them in most accommodations.

You’ll have a knowledgeable guide with you to keep you safe and help you spot wildlife. There’s a good chance to see nurse sharks when you go out on a boat!

If you want to go even deeper, you can also do some great and affordable scuba diving here. Dolphin Dive offers to discover scuba dives for complete beginners as well as fun dives for certified divers for only 35$. You’ll probably spot some large schools of fish here.

Contributed by Carina from bucketlist2life.com

28. Snorkeling in the Cayman Islands

Stingray City Experience Plus Two Snorkeling Stops on Grand Cayman
  • 3 hours tour
  • pick up and drop-off are offered from some hotels and designated meeting points
  • snorkel at the Barrier Reef and Coral Gardens beside sting ray city.
  • snorkel equipment provided
  • 723 5⭐️ Reviews

Snorkeling in the Cayman Islands is like snorkeling in an aquarium.

Located in the western Caribbean, south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, and approximately 480 miles south of Miami, Florida.

The three islands that make up the Cayman Islands are Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman and they are a British Overseas Territory.

With an abundance of colorful fish, coral reefs, and sea turtles, snorkeling in the Cayman Islands will be an unforgettable experience.

The islands are in fact one of the most popular diving destinations in the Caribbean but there are a lot of snorkeling opportunities as well if you are not a diver.

One of the best snorkeling spots in the Cayman Islands is Stingray City. It is a shallow sandbar located in the North Sound of Grand Cayman where visitors can swim and interact with Southern Stingrays in their natural habitat.

It’s a unique experience to see these gentle creatures up close and personal.

Another popular spot for snorkeling is the Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef system in the Caribbean. It is home to a wide variety of marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional shark.

This tour includes both experiences plus a third one at Coral Gardens, another amazing snorkeling spot.

The best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean: final thoughts

Wherever you choose to travel within the Caribbean island, you can never get it wrong. Between spectacular landscapes, pristine water, and an abundance of corals and marine life, you will love any of the above-mentioned Caribbean destinations.

However, I hope this post has helped you figure out the best destination for your next vacation in the Caribbean!

The best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean FAQ

Which Caribbean island has the best snorkeling from shore?

I may get into trouble for saying this because almost all the Caribbean islands have some good snorkeling spots from Shore but the best one I had was in St Lucia.

For Further Reading

I hope you enjoyed this thorough list of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean islands. If you are planning your trip to this spectacular tropical region of the world you may find these below posts helpful as well.

👉 Amazing things to do in Jamaica and practical tips: a full guide
👉 A weekend in St Barts
👉 The Bahamas travel guide
👉 Interesting facts about Antigua and Barbuda
👉 Driving in Antigua and Barbuda