The 7 Best Snorkeling Spots in Puerto Rico
Some of the best snorkeling spots in the world can be found right here in Puerto Rico, with its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and abundance of marine life. There are countless beautiful beaches and diving spots to choose from, whether you want to stay close to San Juan or venture out to one of the smaller islands.
Snorkeling is the perfect island activity for all ages. You don’t need special training, and with just a mask and some flippers, you’re ready to dive into the shimmering blue world that awaits beneath the surface of the water. Find the best snorkeling beaches in Puerto Rico and get ready to jump in!
You don’t have to go far from your accommodation in San Juan to enjoy some world-class snorkeling. Balneario El Escambrón, or Escambron Beach, is a fun snorkeling destination conveniently located right by the Caribe Hilton Hotel. The surrounding rock formations protect this beach from the otherwise rough surf of the Atlantic, making it a family-friendly location with calm waters.
Although you can walk to this beach from Old San Juan, you’ll find yourself surrounded by nature the moment you immerse yourself in the blue waters. Coral reefs teeming with turtles and tropical fish greet you as you peacefully swim at this picturesque beach, and they’re so used to divers and snorkelers that you can swim right up to them!
Fajardo is a great homebase for your vacation, giving you easy access to El Yunque as well as the smaller nearby islands. You’re just a short boat trip away from some top-rated snorkeling destinations!
This small deserted island boasts one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Puerto Rico and the clearest waters off the east coast, making it the perfect place for snorkeling. With its wonderfully warm warms and plenty of coral reefs, tropical fish, and manta rays, you’ll want to spend the whole day in the water. But save some time to relax on the beach and experience a true deserted island.
There are no facilities or services on the island, so the best way to visit is on a boat charter that includes everything you need for a memorable trip.
Located off the east coast of the main island, Culebra is considered one of the best snorkeling spots in Puerto Rico and the world. Its healthy, well-preserved coral reefs, abundant marine life, clear waters that offer great visibility, and many spectacular beaches make it an unparalleled destination for sea lovers. Here are some of the top snorkeling beaches:
- Tamarindo: A great spot to see sea turtles
- Carlos Rosario Beach: Beautiful clear waters
- Flamenco Beach: One of the top beaches in the world
- Punta de Soldado: Calm waters and plenty of wildlife
- Datiles: Shallow water, perfect for families with kids
Visit the island on a day tour for the best experience!
The island’s biodiversity, clear waters, and Navy history make Vieques a fascinating snorkeling destination. Located off the east coast of the main island, this small island is home to the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, protecting the wildlife that thrives here. The island was occupied by the U.S. Navy for decades, and during that time it was virtually deserted, protecting the coral reefs from human damage.
Today, Vieques offers unforgettable snorkeling experiences, with abundant marine life including green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, spotted eagle rays, and nurse sharks. You can also encounter artifacts left behind by the Navy, making for unique underwater photos. Here are some of the top snorkeling beaches on the island:
- La Chiva (Blue Beach): Clear waters and seagrass beds full of fish
- Punta Arenas: Remote feel and stunning views
- Mosquito Pier: For experienced swimmers and divers
Seven Seas Beach
If you don’t want to spend the day on a boat, you can still enjoy an amazing snorkeling adventure near Fajardo at Seven Seas Beach. Even though this is a haven for water sports, it’s not usually crowded, so you can take your time and calmly explore the beach. Its warm, shallow waters have beautiful reefs and tropical fish to discover. You can find equipment rentals nearby in the marina and jump right in! The locals love this spot, which doesn’t have the typical touristy vibe.
Located on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, La Parguera Nature Reserve in Lajas offers a different snorkeling experience from the north side of the island. The turquoise waters are full of surprises to discover, like mangroves, coves, salt marshes, and natural pools. If you want to see wildlife, this is the perfect spot, where you can find barracudas, turtles, and even manatees! La Parguera is also home to a bioluminescent bay, making it an ideal place for an all-inclusive tour.
If you’re staying on the west coast of the island, you can’t miss a visit to the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, which protects a variety of wildlife including turtles, whales, dolphins, and lobsters. During the winter, this is a popular surfing spot with large swells. But when the waters calm down in the summer, it’s a perfect spot to snorkel right from the shore and see the beautiful wildlife. The Reserve’s coral reef spans 0.75 miles and is often surrounded by colorful fish and turtles.
No matter where you choose to stay on the island, you can easily find a spectacular spot for snorkeling. This family-friendly activity is one of the most popular in Puerto Rico, and with good reason. With so many different spots to explore and an abundance of wildlife to discover, you’ll want to go snorkeling at least a few times! For more snorkeling inspiration, check out our snorkeling tours.