Snorkeling Around Jolly Harbour

Photo credit: © Indigo Divers, Antigua -

If you're hoping to get some snorkeling in during your time in Jolly Harbour, you're in a great jumping off point to begin your adventure.  While most agree that waters close to shore are not clear enough to make it worth your while, just a mile off shore by boat is a great reef system just waiting to be explored.

If you insist on snorkeling from the shore, you aren't completely out of luck.  Head to Johnson's Point or Darkwood Beach in the Jolly Harbour area, you may catch glimpse of sea creatures darting from one rock to the next.  These locations do not have stands set up to rent out equipment, however, so you'll need to be proactive and bring your own or rent from somewhere else.

Jolly Harbour is home to several different tour guide operators and scuba diving outfits that offer tours geared towards snorkelers.  In this area, this option will be your best bet for seeing the best snorkeling sites around.   The trips take off from the marina and promise that guests will see healthy, thriving coral as well as colorful reef fish.

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to explore what's below the surface you should consider a visit to Darkwood Beach. While it does not offer the best snorkeling on the island, the clam waters and decent wildlife viewing opportunities make Darkwood Beach a good spot for beginners and anyone looking for a quiet snorkel. This snorkeling site is situated a short distance away South of central Jolly Harbour.

Carlisle Bay East is another option. The clear waters of Carlisle Beach make it a great place to spot the tropical fish that frequent the shore.

The chart just below shows more information about 4 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Jolly Harbour
Site Location
Darkwood Beach 1.8 mi. South of Central Jolly Harbour
Johnson's Point 2.8 mi. South of Central Jolly Harbour
Hawksbill Bay 3.4 mi. North of Central Jolly Harbour
Carlisle Bay East 5.1 mi. Southeast of Central Jolly Harbour

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Adventure Antigua Day Sails

For some people, the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you want to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you can check with Adventure Antigua Day Sails. Since 1999, third generation Antiguan Eli Fuller has been offering his services as captain to show visitors around Antigua by boat, offering many sailing options as well as ecology education and fun.

Another option to consider is West Coast Tours Antigua. You're in charge when you captain your own two-person watercraft and zip along Antigua's coast whether it be for a fun day of sailing, snorkeling, or both. No sailing experience is necessary! They're located in Jolly Harbour.

Take a moment to read the following chart to read more about boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Jolly Harbour
Name Phone Location
Adventure Antigua Day Sails (268) 726-6355 Central Jolly Harbour
West Coast Tours Antigua (268) 728-5239 Jolly Harbour

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with AquaSports St. Johns. This shop's line of products is extensive, giving shoppers the opportunity to find the perfect fit when it comes to fishing, snorkeling and watersports equipment. All types of accessories you may require such as waterproof cameras, beach clothing, shoes, towels and sunblock are available. They are found in downtown St. John's, easily reached by taxi Northeast of central Jolly Harbour.

A second company worth knowing about is Stingray City. See the stingrays of Antigua up close in this tropical snorkeling adventure.

The following chart lists information concerning a couple of firms that provide snorkeling related services.

Snorkeling Services Near Jolly Harbour
Name Type Phone Location
AquaSports St. Johns Watersports Equipment Shop (268) 462-3474 Downtown St. John's, 4.7 mi. Northeast of Central Jolly Harbour
Stingray City Snorkeling Tour Operator (268) 562-7297 Downtown St. John's, 4.7 mi. Northeast of Central Jolly Harbour

To learn more about snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read our extensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

Jolly Harbour may not be the best location for independent snorkeling, but it remains a possibility, and you can't go wrong hiring a local guide to show you the ropes.  Whatever option ends up working out best for you, making sure you carve out some time specifically for snorkeling is a must. 


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