However you define a great snorkeling experience, we can help you find it. Here are 35 of the best places to get in over your head.
You can jump in almost anywhere in the warm, clear Caribbean Sea and find beautiful sights and fascinating marine life. From the most prolific coral reefs offshore to the bizarre burrowing creatures of the back bays, snorkelers who travel here have a world of underwater opportunities. To give all you masked mariners a go-to list custom-made for fantastic finning, we’ve scoured the bottom to find resorts where you can practically roll out of bed and onto the reef, the best I-don’t-need-no-boat beach dives, the most expert naturalist guides, the top extreme snorkel adventures and the wettest and wildest day trips.
Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
The reef beckons from the water’s edge at the south end of Anse Chastanet Beach, a swath of salt-and-pepper sand on St. Lucia’s lush southwestern coast. The resort exudes a nature-loving atmosphere, which complements the always-rewarding snorkeling you’ll find. Watch for peacock flounders, octopus, needlefish and turtles in the shallow areas. Farther out, the reef goes deep over dense coral. (800-223-1108; ansechastanet.com)
Cocoview Resort, Roatan
Accommodations don’t get much more snorkel- and dive-friendly than those actually built over the water, like the bungalows and cabanas at Cocoview. Guests have 24-hour access to the resort’s watery Front Yard, including the famed Cocoview Wall, where coral rises to within five feet of the surface. With plenty of octopus and other critters in the shallows, this is also a wonderful place for night snorkeling. (800-510-8164; cocoviewresort.com)
Coral Gardens, Provo
Crossing Grace Bay Beach right in front of this boutique resort puts you on Bight Reef and its scenic snorkeling trail through fringing coral. Submerged placards in three to 16 feet of crystalline water introduce the residents — multiple species of tropical fish, crustaceans and invertebrates. Matthew Williams, adventure concierge at Coral Gardens, provides private instruction, tours and boat excursions. (649-941-3713; coralgardens.com)
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