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're ready to explore below the water's surface you might enjoy 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 located in 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 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 location where you can 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're interested, you'll find this site found within southwestern Montego Bay.

Check the table below to find out more about 4 of the best places where you can enjoy 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

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

If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to contact 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.

Another option worth investigating is Barrett Adventures Sailing. Barrett Adventures caters to those with an adventurous spirit, and their staff is dedicated to creating a thrilling and authentic sailing experience for their guests. Groups can spend a half-day, a full day, or even an entire week out on the water. They're situated in Montego Bay.

Information regarding day sails and boat trips that provide snorkeling opportunities are displayed 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 snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with Kelly's Water Sports. The tour lasts for 90 minutes and brings you to one of the most gorgeous reef systems in the area with the help of a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide. They are located in Montego Bay.

Another place catering to snorkelers is Barrett Adventures Snorkeling. Barrett Adventures offers its guests a relaxed, high-quality private snorkeling experience on the Lark -- a forty foot Jeanneau sailing yacht. This is not a typical "booze cruise" packed with other tourists, where you experience a lot of time pressure. Instead, snorkelers are encouraged to explore the waters for as long as they like.

Be sure to look at the following table to learn more concerning 2 companies that offer 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 concerning snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this detailed 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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