10 of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean
March 5th, 2016, Posted by travelwith2ofus
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The Caribbean, a sprinkling of beautiful islands, most if not all, surrounded by beautiful beaches with turquoise water and an abundance of unique marine life, including many tropical fish found only in the coral reefs of the region. The Caribbean has so much to celebrate, its pulsating music, its exotic and spicy cuisine and its countless miles of beautiful beaches, bays and coral reefs.
On many occasions we said we were going to try snorkeling. We have had many opportunities, but it was only back in 2014 that we finally did it. We were on our first cruise and docked in Aruba. We spent the day at De Palm Island, an all-inclusive resort located in Oranjestad. It was a beautiful resort with many activities, some decent food and a notably great atmosphere. After taking part in a couple of activities, we decided to give snorkeling a try.
After we spoke to the guys managing the snorkeling booth, we were geared up and ready to give snorkeling a try. So, we got into some shallow water and tried it out. After about twenty minutes, we decided that this is more difficult than it seems, so we quit.
Back on the shore relaxing under umbrellas that shaded us from the sun, we spoke about what an amazing place Aruba is and what a beautiful day it was. Nikks is such a determined person that she said we should give the snorkeling another try. And that is exactly what we did.
On the second attempt we finally got the hang of it and it was one of the best experiences we have had since traveling. Well, I said one of the best. Some of the others included diving underwater using individual mini submarine under water scooters in The Bahamas; trust me that was awesome! Another one was our first time zip lining in St Lucia and riding The Leap of Faith and The Abyss water slides in Atlantis, The Bahamas as well.
So, anyway, after our successful dive into the amazing world of snorkeling and planning our travel itinerary for the next two years we have decided to include snorkeling on our list. So here are some of the top spots we will be snorkeling in the Caribbean in the next couple of years.
Buccoo Reef TobagoBesides being a naturally beautiful island, Tobago can be easily considered one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean. Buccoo reef is one of the major attractions on the island, it is the largest coral reef in Tobago and has over one hundred and nineteen fish species, including Creole wrasse, parrotfish, butterfly fish, blue Chromis, toadfish, and angelfish.
While some of the types of coral are star and Elkhorn, brain and starlet coral are found at greater depths.
Stingray City Cayman Islands
Honesty, I wouldn't even have to convince Nikks because she likes to interact with Dolphins, hold snakes and swim with sea lions, so I know she would jump at the opportunity to mingle with the rays. Besides Stingrays there are many different species of fish within the barrier reef, which surrounds the island of Grand Cayman. If you're looking for a totally different experience you can try bioluminescent or night diving in Grand Cayman as well.
Brighton Beach Barbados
Brighton Beach is one of most popular beaches in Barbados, due to its proximity to the cruise ship terminal and one of the many places you can snorkel in Barbados. It is located on the South West Coast of the island and beneath the calm, clear water you will find coral reefs, sea turtles and many species of tropical fish.
Check out these gear for snorkeling:
National Marine Park Bonaire
We have learned that most of the snorkeling spots in Bonaire can be easily accessed from the shore. However, we have decided that we would jump in the water at the Bonaire National Marine Park. Our reason is that we like the work the organization is doing to help conserve and preserve the coral reef. There is a fee, but we don't mind paying this at all. The park is located at Barcadera z/n, Kralendijk.
Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park Bahamas
Fourchue Island Saint Bartholomew (St Barts)
The water surrounding Fourchue forms part of the Nature Reserves of Saint Bartholomew and is said to have over 40 coral species as well as some 165 species of fish.
Catalina Cove Aruba
Some of the fish you will encounter include Squirrel fish, Butterfly fish, Basslet, Chromis and Trunk fish. Some types of coral include starlet, finger, Mustard Hill and Blue Crust. You may also see Zoanthid, squid and urchin.
The Bight Reef Turks and Caicos
It is also beginner friendly and that suits us fine. While there are many fish, larger marine inhabitants like stingrays, turtles and barracudas are less common.
Champagne Beach Dominica
Voted as one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean, you will most likely be swimming with seahorses, Frog ﬁsh, Parrot fish and lobsters.
Another reason Champagne is the most popular spot for snorkeling on the island is because it is easily accessible and no boat is required to reach the best snorkeling spots.
Mullet Bay St Martin
Other locations recommended for beginners include Cupecoy and Beach Bay Rouge. David’s Hole is the main attraction at Beach Bay Rouge.
Coral reefs are filled with some of the most beautiful and amazing marine creatures, but because of the recklessness and exploitation of man, many of the best reefs are either partially or totally destroyed. While there are many efforts to save these natural marvels, is it too little too late.
Here are a few tips to remember when you go out to snorkel.
- 1. Do not take shells or coral
- 2. Do not touch fish or coral
- 3. Try not to brush coral with your fins and gear
- 4. Don’t heavily coat yourself with sunscreen or other lotions before snorkeling. Always use biodegradable lotion.
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