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 down below you might enjoy 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 found 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 below offers more details regarding 4 of the best locations to enjoy 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

Some people believe the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you can check with West Coast Tours Antigua. There are three different tours offered by WCT. They include a three hour Snorkeling Adventure Tour, the 90 minute Fantastic is the Word of the Day Tour, and the half day Explore Antigua by Land and By Sea Tour.

Review this table for details on the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Jolly Harbour
Name Type Phone Location Island
West Coast Tours Antigua Boating and Day-Sailing Provider (268) 728-5239 Jolly Harbour Antigua

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with AquaSports Jolly Harbour. AquaSports specializes in all things watersports. You will find everything from T-Shirts and Beach Towels to technical equipment for diving. They are located within the heart of Jolly Harbour.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is AquaSports St. John. This shop's line of products is extensive, giving shoppers the opportunity to find the perfect fit when it comes to fishing, snorkeling and water sports equipment. All types of accessories you may require such as waterproof cameras, beach clothing, shoes, towels and sunblock are available. 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.

A third option is Stingray City. See the stingrays of Antigua up close in this tropical snorkeling adventure. They're located within Redcliffe Quay, easily reached by taxi Northeast of central Jolly Harbour.

Some key facts regarding 3 places that provide snorkeling related services are displayed right below.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Jolly Harbour
Name Type Phone Location
AquaSports Jolly Harbour Watersports Equipment Shop (268) 462-3474 Central Jolly Harbour
AquaSports St. John Watersports Equipment Shop (268) 462-3474 Redcliffe Quay, 4.7 mi. Northeast of Central Jolly Harbour
Stingray City Snorkeling Tour Operator (268) 562-7297 Redcliffe Quay, 4.7 mi. Northeast of Central Jolly Harbour

For more information concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" read this exhaustive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

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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