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'd like to see below the water's surface you might enjoy visiting 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 found within the heart of Montego Bay.

Coyaba Reef is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. 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 place 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 check it out, this site is found in southwestern Montego Bay.

The chart below provides more information on the 4 of the most popular places where you can go snorkeling in this area.

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

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Barrett Adventures Sailing. Aside from offering cottages to rent and land adventure tours, Barrett Adventures also features day and week long sailing charters. Groups can take half or full days out on the water where the crew even offers guests the chance to assist them, which is fun for those who are interested in sailing.

Another option worth investigating 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.

A few details concerning boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling can be found in the table below.

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 looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with 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 in Montego Bay.

Another company that offers snorkeling related services is Barrett Adventures Snorkeling. Barrett Adventures offers its guests a plethora of different land and sea adventures, one of them being an amazing snorkeling and lobster tour on the Lark.

You can look through this table for a list of 2 firms that provide snorkeling related services.

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 about snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read our extensive Caribbean snorkeling page.

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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