Despite the continual growth of tourism in Ocho Rios over the years, snorkeling still appears to be in its infancy here. While there are certainly some great sites to see, rentals and excursions just aren't very organized. By no means does that mean you can't get in the water and go, so if you love snorkeling don't be deterred.
Beginning at the east portion of town at Galina Point there is a shallow coral reef that you can reach by swimming straight out from the beach. The sea life here is plentiful and friendly, however, tourists should be warned that recent reports have noted that it is not being very well taken care of and it beginning to deteriorate. With some effort on the part of conservationists, the area should soon be up to snuff once again.
Aside from this reef system, most visitors will just take the snorkeling kit offered to them by their hotel or rent one from a diving for around $20(USD) and get in the water to explore whenever they hit the beach. If you want to be sure to see the best sites, you may want to look to a tour operator that works outside of town. in Montego Bay is the most highly recommended choice, but there are sites in Port Antonio that may work as well.
To learn more about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read this comprehensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.
In the coming years, we may see snorkeling become a more popular pastime in Ocho Rios. For now, it takes a little bit of effort to plan a good day participating in the sport, but if you've been snorkeling before you know it is worth the time.
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