Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in the Caribbean

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about the top snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
Jacques Cousteau

As I was driving the kitties back from their shots yesterday, my mind started wandering. Random thoughts. So totally random. Seriously, who has their mind making a list of all the places they've snorkeled while sitting at a stoplight on an April Monday morning in Idaho? And who starts putting  them in alphabetical order in their head? Well, me. (I didn't finish the ABC order. I wasn't at the stoplight that long.)

Bahamas
Belize
Grand Cayman
Grand Turk
Aruba
Bonaire
Cabo San Lucas
Cozumel
Costa Maya
Curacao
Dominica
Hawaii
Playa del Carmen
Roatan, Honduras
St. Thomas
St. Maarten

I've snorkeled most of the list several times over. Don't worry - my drive wasn't long enough where I was assigning tally marks of how many times I snorkeled in each place.

But I did assign a ranking.
My top 5 spots for snorkeling in the Caribbean.

1. Bonaire
You can snorkel from shore - the beach itself is made from coral so you'll definitely need water shoes - but the best snorkeling is somewhere else.

See that island out there? That's Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island. No chairs, no toilets, no services. But there is a water taxi that can take you out there so you can snorkel from shore. Tours also take snorkelers out for drift snorkeling. The absolute best snorkeling in the Caribbean, hands down. (Check out Woodwind tours. The best!)

2. Roatan, Honduras
If you head to the West Bay you'll have easy access to the reef  right from the beach. There are even fellows in kayaks working for tips who will tow you out to the back side of the reef for even better snorkeling. Water clarity is amazing, coral is in pretty darn good shape, and fish are abundant.

3. Grand Cayman
There are a couple spots in Grand Cayman that are my favorite. If you've never snorkeled or swam with stingrays, this is the place. No, their barbs aren't removed. Head out to Stingray City on a boat or jet ski to see something like this.
Those dark blobs are the stingrays. They congregate at the sandbar and are fed by tour operators. You get up close and personal. And yes, you should go in the water with them.
Otherwise head to the Paradise Seaside Grill and snorkel right from the shore to the reef. It's within sight of the ship.

4. Bahamas
You can see the clarity from the shore.
 From the air.
 And from the water.
And the fish are pretty cool, too.
5. Belize
Belize has its own barrier reef. You'll need to take a boat to get out there, and the current can be a bit strong depending on the weather, but the clarity, fish, and coral are amazing.

Belize was my first snorkeling adventure - before I had an underwater camera. And the next Belize visit was after my underwater camera busted. So no pictures. But I'll be back again some day!