Exploring the Caribbean Sea is an experience like none other.
Scuba diving and snorkeling in Puerto Rico are like a dream come true. Its protected marine areas, stunning islets and relaxing cays make Puerto Rico a hotspot for ocean lovers.
The waters surrounding Puerto Rico offer marvelous oceanic encounters. You’ll be able to swim alongside sea turtles, play with tropical fish and even encounter dolphins. Also, you’ll get to see one of the biggest and well-preserved coral reefs of the sea.
The Difference Between Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The main difference is in-depth. While scuba diving seeks to explore great depths, snorkeling consists of swimming close to the surface. The latter is the most popular one in Puerto Rico.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scuba-dive here, but it has its downsides. You’ll need quite the expensive equipment, and the excursions cost a pretty penny, too.
There are different options available for both cases: you can bring your own equipment or rent it from various companies and rental boats.
Snorkeling excursions in Puerto Rico have many safety measures. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, you will have a great time underwater!
What Are the Best Areas for Snorkeling in Puerto Rico?
Carlos Rosario and Tamarindo
These are two beautiful beaches off the coast of Culebra.
They have calm waters and a mountainous backdrop, whose true beauty is hidden under gentle waves. Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario have a kilometer-long beach where you can spot many marine creatures such as sea turtles and manta rays.
The beaches share their waters with the Luis Peña Natural Reserve. Hence, an immense variety of aquatic life can be found here. Its waters are calm, making them an ideal pick for families with children or snorkeling beginners.
Tourists often snorkel towards the left end of the beach. The reason behind it is that this area has the highest concentration of animal wildlife. Additionally, the University of Puerto Rico spends a lot of time planting coral to help rehabilitate the local reef.
La Cordillera Reef Nature Reserve
La Cordillera in Fajardo is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Icacos, Cayo Lobos, Palomino, Cayo Ratones and other cays make up an otherworldly archipelago full of nature.
Cays have the particularity of being ‘virgin’ islands that haven’t been populated yet. Puerto Rico has many of these scattered around its waters.
You can reach any of these islets by “water cab”, catamaran or motorboat. Those who are fond of aquatic vegetation frequently visit La Cordillera. In this reserve you can find turtles, manatees, sea cucumbers, starfish, colorful fish, sea snails and even rays.
La Chiva, formerly known as Playa Azul (Blue Beach) is an isolated beach in Vieques that stands out for its waves tainted in a relaxing blue color. Its calm waters, interspersed with areas of seagrass, are ideal for first-time snorkelers.
During the summer, the water clears up and diving and snorkeling become considerably easier and more fun. Some of the healthiest coral reefs on Isla Nena are located slightly offshore. These serve as home to a wide variety of fish and turtles.
Unlike other cays, Isla Nena has a beach with restaurants for you to rest while enjoying the views.
Puerto Rico will be your best choice if you want to snorkel in charming and vivid seas. Remember to use adequate sun protection to avoid incidents that could ruin your trip.
Also, if you’re on an excursion, do follow the instructions guides issue and keep in check all the safety measures. Despite how safe snorkeling in Puerto Rico is, precaution is your best weapon against any accident.
Be mindful to respect the local wildfire: you’re merely a visitor that dropped by. Nature owns these beautiful waters and beaches, so be respectful towards the land and its animals. Everyone has to enjoy Puerto Rico!