Dickenson Bay's shoreline is a laid back destination, coming alive when cruise ships are in port. During this time, stands pop up selling everything from local handicrafts to snorkeling equipment. This is a great time to get a low price on a snorkeling kit to take out and explore local marine life.
If you're the type who enjoys the independence of snorkeling on your own, and you want to avoid the crowds, you can bring your own equipment or find a shop selling and renting out watersports equipment in the area, rather than relying on a pop-up stand in the sand. Usually your best bet will be to find a dive shop to ensure equipment is available. Don't forget to check with your hotel or villa rental first. Often, they offer snorkeling equipment as a perk for guests.
Once you've got your fins, mask, and snorkel in hand, head to the southern end of town for the best shore snorkeling, though you'll likely be satisfied at either end. If you want to ensure you visit the very best snorkeling sites, sign up for a guided tour. Off the coast of Dickenson Bay is a great reef system, but it does take a boat ride to get to it, as it is closer to an uninhabited island opposite the bay.
Still, what many find most appealing about snorkeling is the fact that you can do it almost anywhere. Simply slip into your gear, find a spot, and get started. A good tip to keep in mind is that if you see a patch of dark water in an area that is otherwise lighter, there is a good chance you'll find coral – or at the very least a patch or rocks or boulders – where fish and other sea life are likely to find solitude. There you'll be enchanted by the quiet and calm nature of the sport, made even more alluring by the crystalline waters that are known for visibility of anywhere from 50 to 140 feet and temperatures that average around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you make it out, the sea life you'll see here will include colorful coral and sponges, sea fans, sea grass, batfish, spadefish, sergents, eels, jacks, barracuda, and sometimes even sea turtles and nurse sharks.
If you'd like to explore what's down below you might want to visit Soldier Bay West. One of the most colorful and popular snorkeling sites in the area, Paradise Reef lives true to it's name. The reef features vibrant gardens of coral that are home to numerous fish, lobsters, octopuses, and turtles. This snorkeling site is located a short distance away North of central Dickenson Bay.
Deep Bay is another place you might enjoy. The final resting place of a ship that wrecked in 1905 when it caught fire and sank, it now rests at a depth of only 35 feet, making it more than accessible to divers and snorkelers alike. Since its sinking, the wreck as become a popular habitat for sponges, as well as countless small fish.
Some key information about 5 of the most popular places where you can experience snorkeling in this area are listed directly below.
|Dickenson Bay||0.3 mi. North of Central Dickenson Bay||Antigua|
|Soldier Bay West||2.0 mi. North of Central Dickenson Bay||Antigua|
|Deep Bay||3.3 mi. South West of Central Dickenson Bay||Antigua|
|Prickly Pear Island, 3.5 mi. East-Northeast of Central Dickenson Bay||Prickly Pear Island|
|Hawksbill Bay||4.4 mi. South West of Central Dickenson Bay||Antigua|
If you're looking for a place that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to contact Aquasports. This shop's line of products is extensive, giving shoppers the opportunity to find the perfect fit when it comes to snorkeling equipment and all of the accessories you may require such as beach towels and sunblock. If you're looking for a special piece of equipment and can't seem to find it, just ask, chances are they have it in stock. They are located in Redcliffe Quay, a short distance away South of central Dickenson Bay.
Another company catering to snorkelers is. See the stingrays of Antigua up close in this tropical snorkeling adventure.
Some information about two companies that provide services related to snorkeling are provided in the chart below.
|Aquasports||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(268) 480-3090||Redcliffe Quay, 2.5 mi. South of Central Dickenson Bay|
|Snorkeling Tour Operator||(268) 562-7297||Redcliffe Quay, 2.6 mi. South of Central Dickenson Bay|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.
Whether you sign up for a tour, convince a local fisherman to let you tag along as he heads out on his boat, or decide to dive in right off shore, you're sure to be as mystified with the wonders under the surface of the sea as so many of Dickenson Bay's visitors have been before you.
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