As beautiful as the beaches of Anguilla are, would you believe that what lies beneath the surface of the sea may just be even more amazing? Just a few feet from the shore is a wondrous world filled with coral reefs, sunken ship wrecks, and curious fish all waiting for you to discover.
Snorkeling is a popular activity because anyone who is able to swim has the opportunity to enjoy the calming, yet still exciting activity. Donning a dive mask, swim fins, and a snorkel, snorkelers can remain under water for hours and explore Anguilla's shallow reefs. No training is required, and you can typically obtain snorkeling gear free of charge from your hotel or resort. If this is not a possibility, local dive shops offer equipment for purchase or for rent, and of course, you can always bring your own.
The great thing about the underwater world of Anguilla is that coral reefs surround the island, the waters tend to be calm, and visibility is excellent. This means almost every stretch of beach you encounter can be considered for snorkeling.
As snorkeling has proven to be so popular among tourists over the years, a few locals enlisted the help of the government to enlarge the natural reef through artificial measures such as sinking ships in strategic locations. In turn, they have created nurseries for fish who are able to thrive because of them. Thanks to these efforts, a series of five marine parks were created:, , Sandy Island, , and Dog Island; and now there are nearly twenty sanctioned dive sites, including four shipwrecks, that are also accessible by snorkelers.
If you're wondering exactly what type of fish you can expect to encounter, here are a few that are known to make an appearance: parrotfish, blue tags, snapper, baraccuda, angelfish, goat fish, eel, and even sea turtles on occasion.
If you'd like to explore what's down below you might want to check out. One of the prime snorkeling spots around Anguilla, this area features some very clear water and nearly empty shores that make it a favorite place for marine life, as well as snorkelers. This snorkeling site is located in Prickely Pear Cays, in the western part of Anguilla.
Sandy Hill is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. Home to a large reef, this is one of the best spots in Anguilla to catch a glimpse of some underwater action, as stingrays and fish are frequently found in the area. Additionally, since the beach is hardly ever crowded, snorkelers will rarely have to worry about there being too many swimmers in the water.
A third site to consider is Anguilla's Shoal Bay. With two reefs located just offshore, this is a great place to explore, no matter what your skill level. The larger of the two will take about forty-five minutes to complete, while the two together can take around an hour. Along the way you will see plenty of tropical fish and colorful coral.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is Little Bay. These protected waters offer great sights for snorkelers. Be on the look out for small fish, young sea turtles, and stingrays, all of which frequent the area. If you're interested, you'll find this site located in the central part of Anguilla.
is a fifth site to consider. Just offshore lies a long reef that is filled with aquatic animals. Sea turtles, tropical fish, stingrays, and even squid can be found swimming about the area. Experienced snorkelers and confident swimmers can even go further out where the bigger fish reside.
Take some time to look through this table to learn more about 13 of the most popular places to go snorkeling in this area.
|Sandy Island Beach||2.9 mi. Northwest of Central Blowing Point|
|6.2 mi. North-Northwest of Central Meads Bay|
|Sandy Hill||1.0 mi. South West of Central East End|
|Anguilla's Shoal Bay||3.3 mi. North-Northeast of Central the Valley|
|Little Bay||Central Anguilla|
|0.9 mi. West-Southwest of Central Meads Bay|
|Crocus Bay||Central Anguilla|
|Meads Bay||0.2 mi. South West of Central Meads Bay|
|Scilly Cay Beach||1.8 mi. North of Central East End|
|0.7 mi. South of Central East End|
|Mimi Bay||0.7 mi. Southeast of Central East End|
|0.8 mi. East-Southeast of Central Blowing Point|
|Junks Hole||1.4 mi. Northeast of Central East End|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you want to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you can check with Junior's Glass Bottom Boat. A whole new experience awaits you as you sail through the waters of Anguilla on a glass bottom boat that has a canopy and a cooler filled with soft drinks.
Another option to investigate is Sail Chocolat. "The Best Way to See Anguilla" is by boat. This 35 foot Edel Catamaran offers guests the opportunity to do that in style as you explore some of the small islets that surround Anguilla. They're found in the Valley, in central Anguilla.
Still another option is Sea Pro Charters. If you can think of doing it by boat, this charter company can make it happen for you. Their typical offerings include airport transfers, private charters, customized island tours, sunset cruises, fishing, and day trips to nearby islands.
Information about boat operators that provide snorkeling can be found directly below.
|Calypso Charters||(246) 584-8504||0.4 mi. South of Central Blowing Point|
|Junior's Glass Bottom Boat||(264) 235-1008||2.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central the Valley|
|Sail Chocolat||(264) 497-3394||The Valley, Central Anguilla|
|Sea Pro Charters||(264) 584-0074||Sandy Ground Village, Central Anguilla|
If you're looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with Andy's Beach Rentals. While they actually specializes in rental car, Andy and his team is happy to help his guests explore all the best that Anguilla has to offer -- including what lies beneath the surface of the sea. Snorkeling is amazing in this area of the island, so pick up your snorkeling kit here before you drive off. They are located in the southwestern part of Anguilla.
Some details with regard to two companies that offer snorkeling services are summarized right below.
|Andy's Beach Rentals||(264) 584-7010||0.4 mi. South of Central Blowing Point|
|(264) 497-8644||1.9 mi. South West of Central Meads Bay|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our comprehensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.
No matter where you stay on the island of Anguilla, you are just moments away from some of the best snorkeling in the region. Rent equipment or bring your own, just make sure you make time to get out and see what mysteries the sea has in store for you.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.