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Diver snorkeling for seashells in the Caribbean.

Best Snorkeling Spots in the Caribbean

From colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs to sea turtles and shipwrecks, there’s plenty to explore in the calm, crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Let’s dive into some of the top snorkeling spots in the Caribbean—and the incredible snorkeling excursions you can experience on a Holland America cruise. 

Which Caribbean islands have the best snorkeling?

The Caribbean is celebrated for its stunning underwater landscapes and diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling enthusiasts. With its clear waters, warm temperatures, protected marine areas, and ease of accessibility, the Caribbean provides the ideal environment for underwater adventures. With countless islands to choose from, we’ve narrowed down our top picks for the best snorkeling in the Caribbean—and the one-of-a-kind shore excursions that await you on a Holland America cruise.

Snorkeling in Cas Cay, U.S. Virgin Islands.

St. Thomas

Beyond its pristine beaches and luxury shopping and dining experiences, St. Thomas is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. Here, you’ll find plenty of accessible, shore-based snorkeling sites like Coki Beach and Sapphire Beach, where you can discover vibrant coral reefs and spot sea turtles and stingrays. Further out, you can explore shipwrecks teeming with tropical fish and encrusted coral, or venture to secluded areas by boat for a private snorkeling experience. In St. Thomas, snorkelers of all levels can choose their own adventure and enjoy unforgettable underwater experiences. 

Experience the magic of snorkeling in St. Thomas on our Shipwreck & Turtle Cove Two-Site Snorkel shore excursion. Sail along the coast on a state-of-the-art catamaran to two different snorkeling locations: Shipwreck Cove, where you can explore an old naval supply ship amidst colorful marine life; and Turtle Cove, where you can swim with majestic sea turtles and rays.

Woman Snorkeling By Boat on Bahamas Cruises

Aruba

Aruba’s consistently pleasant weather and calm sea provide ideal snorkeling conditions year-round, making it a sought-after destination for snorkelers of all levels seeking remarkable underwater experiences amidst a stunning Caribbean backdrop. Many snorkeling spots are freely accessible from the shore, including Malmok Beach and Boca Catalina, while others are a quick boat ride away, like the iconic Antilla shipwreck. Snorkelers can explore vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of tropical fish like parrotfish and angelfish, various species of rays, moray eels, and even the occasional sea turtle. 

Explore the beauty of Aruba’s coastline and the riches of its underwater world on our Sailing & Snorkeling Cruise shore excursion. Sail away to Boca Catalina for some great reef snorkeling before heading to the famous Antilla shipwreck, one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean—and a hotspot for fish, coral, sponges, and other marine life.

Colorful fish in the coral reefs of Bonaire.

Bonaire

Laid-back Bonaire may seem sleepy on the surface, but just below its crystal-clear waters it’s teeming with life. Bonaire’s commitment to marine conservation has resulted in protected marine parks with accessible shore dives, making it an ideal destination for snorkelers of all levels. With vibrant coral formations, a plethora of marine species, and easy accessibility from the shoreline, Bonaire offers a unique and captivating underwater experience, solidifying its reputation as a top snorkeling destination in the Caribbean.

Find out for yourself why Bonaire is a top-rated snorkeling spot on our Catamaran Sail & Bonaire Marine Park Snorkel shore excursion. Board a luxury catamaran and set sail to Bonaire Marine Park, one of the oldest marine reserves in the world. Don your snorkel gear and explore Bonaire’s thriving coral reefs, home to some of the most diverse fish populations in the Caribbean.

Picture of a stingray encounter on a beach on a Cozumel cruise

Turks and Caicos

With its pristine coral reefs, abundant marine life, and exceptional water clarity,  Turks and Caicos is a premier snorkeling destination. The islands boast vibrant underwater ecosystems, including colorful coral gardens, diverse species of tropical fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures. Combined with warm temperatures year-round and numerous snorkeling sites easily accessible from the shore, the islands provide an unparalleled underwater experience for both beginners and experienced snorkelers.

Get up close and personal with Grand Turk’s enchanting underwater world on our Snorkeling & Stingray Adventure shore excursion. First, explore an abundance of bright tropical fish and vibrant coral as you snorkel the clear turquoise waters. Then you’ll head to the beautiful uninhabited island of Gibbs Cay for an encounter with friendly stingrays.

Lush nature preserve near Cozumel, Mexico.

Cozumel

Cozumel, a picturesque island in the Caribbean Sea off the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, is renowned as a top snorkeling destination thanks to its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and its strategic location in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest reef system in the world. The island's protected marine parks and dedicated conservation efforts ensure that visitors can experience an underwater realm of breathtaking beauty, teeming with colorful corals, tropical fish, and other captivating sea creatures.

Take in the underwater sights on our Clear Kayak & Beach Snorkel Adventure shore excursion. Start by gliding over a coral reef in a clear kayak, where you can look down to see tropical fish swimming through coral reef formations right beneath you. Next, grab your snorkel gear for a closer look at Cozumel’s fascinating marine life. After your snorkeling adventure, relax on beautiful Playa Uvas beach.

Book Your Caribbean Cruise Today

Pristine, white-sand beaches. Clear, calm waters. Unforgettable snorkeling adventures. Experience the magic of the Caribbean for yourself. Whether you’re looking for a 7-day getaway or a 21-day voyage, your dream vacation awaits. Explore our Caribbean cruise itineraries and book the journey of a lifetime today.