Snorkeling Around Marsh Harbour

Marsh Harbour is a great location for snorkelers both because there are several great snorkeling sites within immediate reach, but also because it is the home base for a series of water taxis that can take you to other islands in the Abacos so you can spend even more time donning a snorkel, mask, and fins. 

Unique to this area are two shallow wreck sites, one of which is a collection of locomotives.  That's something you don't see underwater every day!  They ended up there when the vessel carrying them from the United States to Cuba had an accident, and over the years coral has grown up over them allowing local sea life to thrive.  The other wreck site is a boat that ran aground after only six months of life at sea.  Both require a boat for access, but are still shallow enough that snorkelers can see both easily.  

Most of the rest of the more natural sites are clustered around the harbor and consist of reef, tunnels, and caves filled with brightly colored fish.  These locations are easier to access from the shore, but a tour guide is still recommended.

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to see what's below the surface you might enjoy visiting Mermaid’s Reef. Remarkably clear waters make it easy for snorkelers to see the wonders that can be found beneath the surface. Green moray eels and schools of snapper draw the eye immediately, but keep looking and you'll encounter yellowtail, trumpet fish, butterfly fish, and a single barracuda nicknamed Rambo that is known for its interactions with tourists. This snorkeling site is located in Marsh Harbour.

Maxi Caves is another option. Depths of this site range from 10 to 35 feet and will provide snorkelers with glimpses of coral pillars, brain coral, southern sting rays, sea whips, and sea fans.

A third location to consider is Sandy Cay. Both snorkelers and divers love this site, which ranges from five to 30 feet deep and features a nice array of local marine life. This area is known for being home to the largest collection of elkhorn coral in one single area, and you'll also catch glimpses of eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, damselfish, butterfly fish, angelfish, and peacock fish among others. The coral reef is on the seaward side of Sandy Cay, making it a part of the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Pelican Cay. Located within the national park of the same name, this reef spreads out over 2,000 acres and depths range up to 30 feet. Within the shallow reefs there are angelfish, grouper, spotted eagle rays, and jacks. If you want to check it out, this site is located within Elbow Cay, within taxi range Southeast of central Marsh Harbour.

The chart right below provides you with more information about 4 of the best locations where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Marsh Harbour
Site Location Island
Mermaid’s Reef 0.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Great Abaco
Maxi Caves 3.6 mi. Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Great Abaco
Sandy Cay Sandy Cay, 4.2 mi. Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Sandy Cay
Pelican Cay 5.6 mi. Southeast of Central Marsh Harbour Elbow Cay

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you might want to check with Dive Abaco Snorkeling. Whether you need to rent equipment, earn PADI certification, participate in a guided dive, or get in some snorkeling, this dive center will handle all of your needs.

A few details regarding the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling are displayed in the following chart.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Marsh Harbour
Name Type Phone Location Island
Dive Abaco Snorkeling Boating and Day-Sailing Provider (800) 247-5338 0.5 mi. East-Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Great Abaco

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

Home to some of the most unique snorkeling sites in the world, Marsh Harbour is the gateway to snorkeling throughout the rest of the Abacos as well, making this a top destination for snorkelers around the world. 


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.