Snorkeling Around Coral Bay

One of the draws to a stay in Coral Bay is the “other side of the island” appeal that gets tourists away from the busier Cruz Bay for a stay in a quieter, quirkier town.  With fewer attractions to keep you busy, it is nature that becomes your main focus.  Fortunately, the island's topography is worthy of your attention, extending out to the sea where snorkelers fall in love on a daily basis.  

Although the north coast is most popularly visited among snorkelers thanks in part to the existence of the Trunk Bay Underwater Trail, many argue that the East End, and Coral Bay, have the best snorkeling on the island.  This protected bay mostly features calm waters that are clear and warm, all of which create the perfect environment to host beautiful coral patches and dozens upon dozens of fish.  

Haulover Bay Snorkel Site and Round Bay are two top choices, but if you are a seasoned snorkeler every beach has something for you to experience.  In fact, one of the best things about snorkeling in Coral Bay is that each and every beach offers something a little different so those who crave variety will be especially pleased.  

In addition to snorkeling the beaches of Coral Bay, there are some spots throughout the rest of the island chain that you may be interested in exploring.  If a day of sailing to some of the uninhabited cays and islets where the reefs are as pristine as they come is intriguing to you, get in touch with a local dive shop or inquire with a boat charter about the possibility.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience below the water's surface you might want to check out Waterlemon Beach. With its calm, warm waters, this site is the favorite hangoutfor beginning snorkelers -- as well as stingrays and flounder. This snorkeling site is found a short distance away North-Northwest of central Coral Bay.

Lameshur Bay is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. Snorkelers who chose to explore this destination will be treated to a sight of sea turtles, tropical fish, stingrays and many other kinds of marine life.

A third location to consider is Hurricane Hole. Although most people balk at the idea of snorkeling in the mangroves, however if you find the right location it can be magnificent. This is one location where mangrove snorkeling is recommended providing a great alternative to the typical reef experience. Shallow waters, calm conditions, and healthy coral and sponges all help to make this site what it is, but be on the lookout for sea urchins and avoid them.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is Brown Bay. This isolated bay has a sandy, grassy bottom, and on calm days when the waters are clear, you'll find snorkeling out to the fringe reef to be a treat. Hard corals exist at the top of the reef where there is a garden of gorgonians and a collection of sea whips, plumes, and sands. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is located a short distance away Northeast of central Coral Bay.

Princess Bay is a fifth option to consider. Known for its thriving mangroves, this spot is a superb snorkeling site for those wanting a break from the tropical sites found throughout the Caribbean. While you will see some fish, your are more likely to see crabs, snails, and other hard-shelled marine life.

Some basic details about 5 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed in the following chart.

Snorkeling Sites Near Coral Bay
Site Location
Hurricane Hole 1.3 mi. East of Central Coral Bay
Brown Bay 1.2 mi. Northeast of Central Coral Bay
Princess Bay 1.5 mi. East-Northeast of Central Coral Bay
Waterlemon Beach 1.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Coral Bay
Lameshur Bay 2.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Coral Bay

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you can check with Sail Pepper. Full day sails, sunset cocktail cruises, and private charters are offered by Sail Pepper. The day trip provides guided snorkeling and a complimentary gourmet lunch and drinks.

Some key facts regarding the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling are provided here:

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Coral Bay
Name Type Phone Location Island
Sail Pepper Boating and Day-Sailing Provider (340) 771-7011 Central Coral Bay St. John

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" check out our exhaustive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

A true snorkelers paradise, Coral Bay keeps its guests busy with variety and a gorgeous underwater landscape that is hard to resist.  


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