Snorkeling Around Montego Bay

Photo credit: © Jon Connell

Home to the best snorkeling beaches on the island, Montego Bay's tourists will also find a few reefs to check out nearby as well.

The most talked about beach among snorkelers in Montego Bay is Doctor's Cave Beach.  Mineral spring water flows into the ocean which helps to amplify the visibility, plus keep the already typically warm waters even warmer.  There are a few small coral beds close to shore where friendly fish frequent. 

Other beaches in the Montego Bay area will not disappoint, so make sure to bring your snorkel kit with you every time you step onto the sand.  You can rent one from a local dive shop if your hotel doesn't offer it as a benefit as staying with them and you don't already one the gear to bring from home.  

Some people prefer the excitement of planning a boat trip out to see shallow reefs in waters too far off shore to swim to.  There are a few locations that will work for visitors in Montego Bay, but they tend to  not be as lively as what you'll find back on the beaches, and recent reports have mentioned that the coral is not as healthy as is preferable.

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore below the water's surface you should consider a visit to Doctor's Cave Beach. Warm spring water flows into this beach keeping the temperature extra warm and the visibility even clearer than normal for snorkelers. Underwater, the sites include gorgeous coral reef and friendly fish that are so used to tourists in their territory that they'll swim right up to your hand. This snorkeling site is situated in the heart of Montego Bay.

Coyaba Reef is another option. The diverse underwater habitat that exists in this offshore reef includes chromis, parrotfish, wrasse, and more. Snorkelers should monitor conditions on a daily basis because the waters here can sometimes be rough.

A third location to consider is Montego Beach. A popular spot among tourists, this underwater park has everything you could hope to see in the waters that surround Jamaica including shallow reefs and steep vertical dropoffs.

A fourth place to go snorkeling is Bogue Lagoon. With visibility of 80 feet down or more, this site makes it easy for snorkelers to see a great deal of coral, lobster, and the rare green eel. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is located in southwestern Montego Bay.

Some basic information concerning 4 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed directly below.

Snorkeling Sites Near Montego Bay
Site Location
Doctor's Cave Beach 1.0 mi. North-Northwest of Downtown Montego Bay
Coyaba Reef 4.3 mi. Northeast of Central Montego Bay
Montego Beach 1.4 mi. North of Downtown Montego Bay
Bogue Lagoon 2.5 mi. South West of Central Montego Bay

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to check with Barrett Adventures Sailing. Barrett Adventures sailing tours caters to those with an adventurous spirit, and their staff is dedicated to creating a thrilling and authentic experience for their guests in Jamaica.

Another option to consider is Dreamer Catamaran Cruises. The featured Gold Coast Yachts include the 65' Island Dreamer, the 53' Day Dreamer, and the 53' Tropical Dreamer. The tours begin with a brief introduction before heading out to snorkel, and snorkeling gear and a guide are available. They're found within the heart of Montego Bay.

Be sure to look at the chart below for a listing of boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Montego Bay
Name Phone Location
Barrett Adventures Sailing (876) 382-6384 1.5 mi. South West of Downtown Montego Bay
Dreamer Catamaran Cruises (876) 979-0102 0.8 mi. Northwest of Downtown Montego Bay

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business offering snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to contact Kelly's Water Sports. From tubing to glass bottom boat tours, the watersports operator does it all. One of their top excursions is a snorkeling trip to see beautiful coral reef formations and colorful fish. They are located within Montego Bay.

Another place that offers snorkeling related services is Barrett Adventures Snorkeling. This is an incredible experience for anyone who loves to snorkel. Early in the day, the group heads out to one of the snorkel sites, either Airport or Secret's reef, and can swim along the surface with the marine life all day long. Not only do they get to see many colorful fish and interesting coral formations, but they get the chance to feed and interact with marine life in a very close environment.

Information about two companies that provide services related to snorkeling can be seen in the table below.

Snorkeling Services In Montego Bay
Name Phone Location
Barrett Adventures Snorkeling (876) 382-6384 1.5 mi. South West of Downtown Montego Bay
Kelly's Water Sports (876) 893-2859 1.6 mi. West-Southwest of Downtown Montego Bay

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

Several options exist for tourists who hope to get in some snorkeling when they visit Montego Bay, so you can make plans to stick to the beaches, head out to deeper waters, or even do both with ease. 


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