Enjoying the sea takes on a whole new meaning in the Caribbean. Scuba diving and snorkeling in Puerto Rico is a dream experience thanks to the protected marine areas and pristine islets and cays with colorful ocean life. Isn’t this the best way to spend a tropical vacation?
The waters surrounding Puerto Rico offer unique oceanic encounters, from swimming with sea turtles, playing with tropical fish to even encountering dolphins. This island has one of the largest coral reef reserves in the world, something you should definitely visit.
Difference between scuba diving and snorkeling in the caribbean
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 in Puerto Rico.
Likewise, if you prefer to dive, you will find the option to do so. It has more expensive equipment and the excursions are also more expensive.
In both cases, there are different options available. 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 under the best conditions.
The best places to snorkel in Puerto Rico
Carlos Rosario and Tamarindo
Two beautiful beaches off the coast of Culebra. They have calm waters and a mountainous backdrop, whose true beauty is hidden under the gentle waves. Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario have a kilometer-long beach where you can see sea turtles, manta rays, groupers and much more.
The beaches share their waters with the Luis Peña Natural Reserve. Therefore, you will find an immense variety of aquatic life. Its waters are calm, so they are ideal for families with children and for those who chose Puerto Rico as a snorkeling destination.
It is common for visitors to these shores to snorkel towards the left end of the beach. This is because this area has the highest concentration of animals. In addition, the University of Puerto Rico spends a lot of time planting coral to help restore the reef.
Cordillera Natural Reserve
The Cordillera in Fajardo is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Icacos, Cayo Lobos, Palomino, Cayo Ratones and other small portions of land make up a group of 9 cays of abundant nature.
In case you don’t know, a cay is a small virgin “island” in the middle of the ocean. Puerto Rico has many of them and they are frequently visited by snorkelers.
You can reach any of the keys by “water cab”, catamaran or motorboat. Those who are fond of aquatic vegetation frequently visit this place. In this habitat you can find turtles, manatees, sea cucumbers, starfish, young fish, conches and even rays.
La Chiva, formerly known as “Playa Azul” (Blue Beach), is an isolated beach in Vieques that stands out for its relaxing blue waves of various colors. The calm waters, interspersed with areas of seagrass, are ideal for first-time snorkelers.
During the summer, the water clears up, making diving and snorkeling 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, this one has a beach with restaurants, allowing you to rest between tours.
Puerto Rico will be your best choice if you decide to dedicate your vacation to snorkeling. Remember to use adequate sun protection to avoid accidents that could ruin your excursion. Always stay in the group and follow the safety recommendations.
Remember that you are a visitor, and the real owners of the house are the animals, take care of them, respect their space and live to the fullest of the experience of snorkeling in Puerto Rico.