When it comes to a Caribbean vacation, snorkeling in crystal clear waters with perfect conditions and balmy temps is one of the best experiences to take in the beauty and spot colorful marine life. From snorkeling on secluded private islands to open-water swims off spectacular reefs, enjoy our guide to the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.


Located in the French West Indies, the island of St. Barths is a paradise for snorkeling, with temperatures averaging in the low-to-mid 80s year-round. In 1996, a Marine Reserve was created to protect its precious sea life so naturally it’s become a well-loved hotspot for swimming and snorkeling its turquoise waters. Here you can expect to come up close and personal with sea turtles, eels, sea rays, and a stunning array of colorful tropical fish.

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One of the most popular snorkeling spots in St. Barths is Colombier Beach, which can only be accessed by boat or a 30-minute land hike. You’ll arrive at a beautiful hidden beach with the most pristine blue water. Take to the ocean to view barracudas, remoras, sea rays, or sit on the white sandy beach to watch the families of sea turtles that are nestled in the seagrass along the shoreline.

Where to Stay:

Eden Rock St. Barths is one of the most incredible hotels in St. Barths, if not the world. Sitting on Baie de St. Jean, the resort was founded in 1950 on a rock spur that leans out into the Atlantic Ocean, offering spectacular views from all of the 41 luxury guest rooms and villas. 

Its secluded location from the hustle and bustle of the town, is also a draw, with easy walking access to nearby restaurants or a short drive to the town center for people-watching, ice cream outings, and boat rides.


Jamaica has long been a Caribbean vacation hotspot for its beautiful white beaches and the constant stream of reggae music that gives it its famous vibe. As for snorkeling, due to its reef-filled beaches, marine life is abundant among the miles of shoreline. 

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Negril is one of the most popular spots on the island, especially in Bloody Bay. Here, the gorgeous reef runs closer to shore, making the waters super clear and easily accessible. Adventurers can also climb to epic cliff jumping spots for stunning above-water views that will give you a taste of the spoils that await below.

Where to Stay:

Hideaway at Royalton Negril Resort & Spa is a luxury adults-only all-inclusive resort that is perfect for romantic vacations or escapes with friends. All 161 guest rooms and suites come with breathtaking ocean views, and some even have swim-out access, taking the notion of bed to beach to a new level.


Barbados is known for being one of the most British of the Caribbean islands, often referred to as “Little England.” Though you might be traveling to the island to swim, snorkel, deep-dive and more, daily rituals and activities also include cricket, afternoon tea, and the island is well-known for the historical tradition of dressing for dinner. Though the climate rarely drops below 70 degrees, summertime is often slightly rainier than winter and fall, with most visitors opting to head to the island between November and June.

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With trade winds blowing from the northeast, the south and west coasts of Barbados are the only coasts that are calm enough to snorkel in. But because there aren’t very many deep-water diving sites around the island, snorkeling is a common water activity for tourists, year-round. What’s more, all around those coasts, there is fairly easy water access, which makes snorkeling a pretty solid go-to activity. That said, in terms of the best travel months, it’s best to go between March and June every year, as they are the driest months of the year. A particular draw during that time is the leatherback turtle nests, which exist roughly between February and July.

Where to Stay:

The Crane, the first luxury resort to open in Barbados, is set on a secluded spot on the southeastern corner of the island. Spread out over 40 acres, this lush tropical oasis on the oceanfront is peppered with winding pathways and you can take your pick from ground-floor suites with infinity pools, deluxe suites with rooftop pools, or a two-bedroom suite that comes equipped with your own private 28-foot pool.  


Aruba is the perfect year-round island destination, given its location outside the hurricane belt, so you can – almost – be guaranteed picture-perfect balmy weather. Beyond its climate, the other main draw of Aruba is its vibrant amalgamation of cultures and languages thanks to Dutch colonial history fused with lively Caribbean culture.

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When it comes to snorkeling in Aruba, there are fewer individual sites than other Caribbean islands, but each is so gorgeous, exploring them over and over feels like a new adventure each time. Most snorkeling on the island is exposed to the open ocean, though two areas are protected by bays, at Baby Beach and inside the bay of Mangel Halto. Do pay attention and stay within the more protected areas and you’ll be rewarded with abundant marine wildlife in crystal clear waters thanks to the lack of live coral reefs to block the view.

Where to Stay:

Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort is set on its own private island, with luxurious ocean suites and easy access to the adult-only part of the Renaissance Marina Hotel, where you can bask in the sunshine on pristine white sandy beaches and experience the thrill of watching flamingos roam free.


The Bahamas comprises 16 stunning major islands, so a visit here is truly one of a lifetime and you can expect a different vacation every time. Oh, and did we mention the Bahamas is home to over 100,000 square miles of ocean, making it a paradise for snorkelers.

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The Exuma Cays Park is an idyllic snorkel spot that stretches over 176 square miles of ocean. You could truly visit the same location every day of vacation and still not even cover a fraction of it. Reachable by boat from Nassau, or small charter plane from outer Bahamas islands, the coral reefs are still in stellar condition, thanks to the sheer size of the waters, meaning it’s never inundated by ocean lovers. And, the best bit; many of the Exumas islands are known for their swimming pigs and you won’t need to snorkel far to see these incredible creatures.

Where to Stay:

If you’re looking for a truly unique Bahamas stay, consider the private island of Musha Cay. You can live like a celebrity here, there are over 700 acres you can enjoy in the seclusion and privacy of your nearest and dearest. It’s not easy to get to, with two separate flights from Miami required, but enjoying the A-list treatment is worth it. 

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