The Best Snorkeling Spots
If you’re only in Puerto Rico for a short trip and don’t have time to leave the main island, don’t worry! You can still enjoy a great day of snorkeling from Escambron beach, also known as Balneario El Escambron, right by the Caribe Hilton Hotel. The rock formations in this area protect it from the rough surf of the Atlantic, making it a calm place for the whole family to snorkel and enjoy.
The wildlife in this area is accustomed to snorkelers and scuba divers, so you can see the tropical fish and sea turtles up close. There are gear rentals and tour companies right on the beach, making it easy and convenient!
Culebra Island is considered the best snorkeling destination in Puerto Rico and one of the best in the world due to its preserved coral reefs, wide variety of beaches, clear waters, and amazing marine life including fish, turtles, and rays. You have plenty of beaches to choose from — Tamanrido, Flamenco, Carlos Rosario, Punta de Soldado, among many others — all of them offering stunning snorkeling spots and wildlife.
If you’re hoping to see sea turtles, Tamarindo is a great option. For pristine waters, choose Carlos Rosario. For shallow, family-friendly waters, check out Datiles. There’s something for everyone on Culebra and a variety of excellent tour operators who can take you there.
Fajardo is conveniently located near San Juan and El Yunque Rainforest, so if you’re stationed in this area for your vacation, it’s the perfect spot to go snorkeling! There are a variety of tour operators offering catamaran trips from Fajardo to the nearby small cays, where you can swim and snorkel among the tropical fish and coral reefs.
The small cays off Fajardo on Puerto Rico’s northern coast tend to have bigger, more turbulent waves, which might not be ideal for small children or beginners. If you’re an experienced swimmer, however, you can have a lot of fun snorkeling here.
This island was occupied by the Navy for decades, meaning it was virtually deserted and the coral reefs were protected from human damage. Today, it’s a stunning place to snorkel due to the pristine reefs and interesting artifacts left behind by the Navy. This island is a truly unique place to snorkel, home to fish, hawksbill turtles, rays, and nurse sharks.
Vieques has great snorkeling beaches, including Blue Beach, Mosquito Bay, and Punta Arenas. The waters around this island are crystal clear, offering amazing visibility. If you’re a snorkeling aficionado, you might want to spend at least a few days exploring everything Vieques has to offer.
Located in Lajas on the southern coast of the main island, La Parguera offers a totally different snorkeling experience, with turquoise Caribbean waters, mangroves, coves, natural pools, salt marshes, and more. There is an abundance of wildlife for snorkelers to enjoy, including dolphins, turtles, barracudas, and manatees.
Due to its popularity, La Parguera can get quite crowded in the summer and holidays, so for a more solitary experience, it’s best to visit on a weekday, early in the morning, or outside of the peak season. It’s best to enjoy La Parguera with a tour operator, as they’ll know the best spots and times of day to snorkel. La Parguera is also home to two bioluminescent bays, and there are operators who offer night snorkeling tours.