Some envision lazy days on luxurious beaches while dreaming of the quintessential Caribbean vacation. Adventure seekers picture hundreds of brightly colored fish flitting in and out from the coral reef. The Caribbean is known around the world for its incredible shallow reefs just off of island shores, making snorkeling one of the most sought after past times on the islands.
If you are interested in making swimming with the fishes, part of your Caribbean holiday, you will want to book your time on one of these islands:
One of 3 islands known as the Bay Islands, Roatan is the largest and can be found off of the northern coast of Honduras. What makes Roatan and the Bay Islands so special is that they are severely under developed in comparison with the other islands in the Caribbean. This gives you a feel for what life was like in paradise before the western world discovered it.
The island is also located right on top of the second largest coral reef on the planet, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. When you dive into those aqua blue waters, the incredible coral you see is growing off of the apex of an underwater mountain range. The really adventurous go full dive ahead to explore the marine life that is living inside of the numerous ocean caves and caverns that make up the mountains.
You will be hard pressed to find that same solitude on the Grand Cayman, which is one of the more popular tourist destinations. Known for its Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman has become hot spot to visit for the rich and famous. Just take a stroll through George Town and you’ll find seashell necklaces being sold next door to Versace.
You don’t need to go far to find exotic fish off the coast of the Grand Cayman. Just walk a few feet into the ocean and you are suddenly a part of a discreet sea world. There are remote areas on the shoreline where you can dive in and find parts of ancient ships that act as apartment buildings for coral life and tropical fish. Snorkeling aficionados frequent Stingray City, where these incredible sea beasts will swing along besides you.
Tobago mirrors Roatan in its lack of a robust night life or five star resorts. This is made up for in spades with an atmosphere that invites you to slow down and enjoy the tranquility. Located off of the coast of Trinidad, Tobago’s inland is a tropical rainforest surrounded by the white sandy beaches you expect in the Caribbean.
Just off the shores is the world’s largest brain coral and an array of fish both big and small. The water is shallow, making this a prime spot for amateur snorkelers who just want to float on their bellies and watch the sea turtles swim by below them.
With its location below the hurricane belt, Bonaire is a popular island to visit year round. It is also light years ahead of the rest of the world in conservation, and has been making a concerted effort to preserve its waters since the late 1970’s. As a result, it is an ideal snorkeling island for those who want to see large numbers of different marine species.
The lee shore has over 25 miles of calm water to explore, with the reef starting at the 20 foot mark. Amongst the fire coral you are going to be greeted by parrot fish and angel fish galore, all gliding in and around the lush underwater seascape.
St. John Island
Part of the US Virgin Islands, St. John offers no airport or dock for cruise ships, making it a more tranquil Caribbean visit. It does however boast an immense national park, making it a popular destination for hikers and snorkelers. The park takes up over 2/3rds of the island and is home to dozens of bird species and tropical plant life.
Trunk Bay is the spot to snorkel, with a 225 yard snorkeling trail to follow in the water. It is shallow waters, where plaques have been strategically placed on the bay floor to help describe the different fish species to the novice snorkeler. With a widely popular beach right behind you, this is an ideal spot on the island to spend your whole day in.
Once you get up close and personal with the exotic sea life of the Caribbean, your entire impression of the surrounding aqua waters and the awe-inspiring world it contains will be altered forever.