Editors’ Picks: Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is known for some of the world’s best reefs. Our editors dove in fins first to name their top five favorite spots for an underwater adventure.

World’s Best Islands for Snorkeling | Best Caribbean Snorkeling Resorts | 10 Must-See Caribbean Fish

Best Caribbean Snorkeling | Caribbean Snorkeling | Island Snorkeling | Honduras

Bay Islands

Once inhabited by pirates as a galleon attack base, the Bay Islands have become a snorkeling mecca. The area’s three islands — Roatan, Utila and Guanaja — are located on the north coast of Honduras on the world’s second largest coral reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and are actually the mountaintops to a subaquatic mountain range. From caves, canyons and sand chutes to vibrant coral, towering sponges and nearly every species of marine life found in the Caribbean, the Bay Islands offer divers an underwater oasis. unknown
Best Caribbean Snorkeling | Caribbean Snorkeling | Island Snorkeling | Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Finding world-class snorkeling in Grand Cayman is a breeze. Simply walk into the water from the beach or jump in at a remote spot like the locals. The island is surrounded by the undersea beauty of ship wrecks, exotic coral heads, and oversize fish and rays that more often than not, are just yards from shore. These are the same rays that graze your lap and suck bait right from your fingertips at Grand Cayman’s most popular snorkeling destination, Stingray City.
Best Caribbean Snorkeling | Caribbean Snorkeling | Island Snorkeling | Belize


Our No. 3 pick offers spectacular day and night snorkeling in the cays, atolls and on the 185-mile barrier reef. The days are filled with gentle turtles and wading nurse sharks that swim so close you could brush their sides. The nights offer a completely different dive — bioluminescent bacteria release flashes of green and blue; glowing green moray eels stake their claim; and dozens of colorful parrotfish rest in their protective cocoons. Zach Stovall
Best Caribbean Snorkeling | Caribbean Snorkeling | Island Snorkeling | Tobago


Snorkeling is big in Tobago. With the shallow reefs and year-round 80-degree waters, dive operators are always busy. Sea fans that flutter with the ocean currents, the world’s largest brain coral, neon-orange sponges and hammerhead sightings make Tobago our No. 2 underwater spot.
Best Caribbean Snorkeling | Caribbean Snorkeling | Island Snorkeling | Bonaire


Elkhorn coral just below the surface, thousands of silversides pulsing in the shallows, a parade of parrotfish en route to some secret aquatic event. Only on Bonaire can a neophyte safely pilot a rental truck (watch out for iguanas and burros) to dozens of exotic shore entries. The lee shore offers almost 25 miles of calm waters and reefs starting as close as 20 feet from shore. The arid tropical climate means consistent sunshine and water the color of Bombay Sapphire, while a latitude below the hurricane belt sends out a true 365-day-a-year invitation.

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