Best Caribbean snorkeling spots: Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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The 10 Best Caribbean Snorkeling Spots

Updated January 10, 2024

Ready to don fins and jump into the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean? Snorkeling is one of the region's most popular activities—and one of the most visually rewarding, too. Dive on into our list of 10 must-see snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.

Best Caribbean snorkeling: Trunk Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Flickr/ Lenny Baker
Trunk Bay, St. John

Trunk Bay's self-guided 673-foot-long snorkeling trail has large underwater signs that identify species of coral and other items of interest. Back on land, the beach has showers, changing rooms, equipment rentals, and a lifeguard. The beach is part of Virgin Islands National Park, which is free to enter—though each visitor does have to pay a small fee to access Trunk Bay. 

Best snorkeling in the Caribbean: Buck Island Reef National Monument in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Buck Island, U.S. Virgin Islands

More than 250 species of fish, as well as a variety of sponges, corals, and crustaceans, have been found at this 840-acre island and reef system, a U.S. national monument located 2 miles off St. Croix's north shore. Snorkelers follow an underwater trail through a forest of elkhorn coral, keeping eyes peeled for angelfish, trunkfish, and many other kinds of marine life. 

Best Caribbean snorkeling: Stingray City off Grand Cayman
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Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Stingray City is a collection of relatively shallow, 13-feet-deep sandbars situated near the northwest tip of Grand Cayman. As you can guess from the name, the crystal-clear waters here are frequented by dozens of stingrays, accounting for the site's popularity with snorkelers and divers. It's an extraordinary experience to witness the creatures gliding elegantly all around you.

The Caribbean's best snorkeling: Curacao
dronepicr [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Curaçao Underwater Marine Park

In contrast to Curaçao's arid terrain, the marine life dwelling along the island's circumference is rich and varied. The best-known snorkeling sites in the Curaçao Underwater Marine Park stretch for 12 miles along the southern coastline. Sunken ships, gardens of hard and soft coral, and millions of fish are among the highlights. 

Best Caribbean snorkeling: St. Martin
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St. Martin

The island's best snorkeling lies on the northern French side (as opposed to the Dutch Sint Maarten in the south), where calm, government-protected waters shelter schools of brilliantly colored fish. Find a tiny cove and explore the shallow reefs along the shores. The views are especially impressive in the underwater portions of the northeastern nature reserve.

Pictured above: Anse Marcel beach

Best snorkeling in the Caribbean: Bonaire
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Bonaire National Marine Park

The attributes that make Bonaire a world-class diving destination—starting with an especially rich marine ecosystem located close to shore—apply to the snorkeling, too. The reefs of the nearly 7,000-acre Bonaire National Marine Park provide a chance to glimpse anemones, parrotfish, sea horses, and turtles. Don't miss the waters around the small, uninhabited isle of Klein Bonaire, either. 

Best Caribbean snorkeling: the Grenadines
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The Grenadines

Every island in this chain seems to offer great snorkeling possibilities right off magnificent white-sand beaches. In many places you'll have the waters to yourself. One of the best spots is the reef stretching 1 mile along the island of Canouan, home of beautiful brain coral and vibrant fish. You'll also want to take a gander below the surface of the sea at Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent (pictured above).

An underwater shot of royal blue waters and bright pink coral.
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Haulover Bay, St. John

Once a local secret, this small bay with a pebbly beach on St. John's East End has become a favorite with snorkelers. The waves can get a little rough when the wind picks up, but the underwater scenery is a dramatic mix of ledges, walls, nooks, and sandy areas set close together. Here only about 591 feet of land separate the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea.

Best snorkeling in the Caribbean: Antigua
Curtain Bluff

Blessed with a multitude of beaches and encircled by coral reefs, Antigua is a snorkeler's dream. The dense marine life offshore includes colorful sea anemones and different types of coral that make finned explorations fun and rewarding at locations such as Great Bird Island and Cades Reef.

Pictured above: snorkeling at the Curtain Bluff hotel on the island's south side

Best Caribbean snorkeling: Cane Bay off St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
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Cane Bay, St. Croix

One of the best diving and snorkeling sites on St. Croix—and in all of the Caribbean—is off this breezy north-shore beach. On a clear day, you can swim out 459 feet and see the Cane Bay Wall that drops off dramatically to deep waters below. Multicolored fish, elkhorn coral, and brain coral abound.