Just minutes from Portsmouth is one of the island's greatest sources of natural pride: the Cabrits National Park. Within this protected area, and elsewhere along this town's coast, visitors will find breathtaking underwater scenery to explore at every turn.
Cabrits Historical and Marine Park is 1,313 acres of protected land and wet lands. Within this space there are multiple coral reef systems, hot springs, and volcanically formed structures underneath the surface of the sea. It is the top snorkeling destination in the area, and if you sign up for a snorkeling tour and don't specify that you want to see another location, chances are you'll end up here.
Truly, you can find a beach anywhere in Portsmouth and be satisfied with what you see. Visibility can reach up to 100 feet in man places, so on your shallow snorkels close to shore, you'll always be able to see straight the bottom as you explore the colorful hard and soft corals that have grown together the create a home for sea urchins, lobsters, crabs, eels, rays, and dozens upon dozens of other species of fish.
If you'd prefer to have the extra space in your luggage and leave your snorkeling gear at home, you can rent it from any local dive shop. Of course, if you sign up for a snorkeling tour, the equipment is almost always included in the price, and there are even some accommodations in Portsmouth that offer snorkels and masks to their guests as a perk of staying with them.
If you're looking forward to experiencing what's down below you might want to visit Douglas Bay. Hard and soft multi-colored corals have overcome several underwater boulders in this bay, encouraging other marine life such as barrel sponges, and tropical fish. This snorkeling site is located within northwestern Portsmouth.
Secret Beach is another option. This site is especially fun because the sulfur springs that are the result of a volcanic crater spew forth plenty of bubbles giving this spot a ethereal feel. In addition to the bubbles, there is a nice healthy coral reef.
You can look through the following table for information concerning 2 of the most popular places where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|Douglas Bay||2.0 mi. Northwest of Central Portsmouth|
|Secret Beach||2.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Portsmouth|
If you're looking for a place that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with Cabrits Dive Centre. The only dive center located on the northwest end of the island, the staff here knows all of the best local spots for snorkeling in addition to diving that are crowd-free and simply amazing to see. They are situated in Portsmouth.
View this table to see a firm that offers snorkeling related services.
|Cabrits Dive Centre||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(767) 445-3011||1.3 mi. West of Central Portsmouth||Dominica|
For more information about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read this comprehensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.
Although there is so much to see on land in Portsmouth, you will definitely want to make sure you leave some time to break out your snorkel and see what the underwater topography has in store for you here. Many agree it is unlike anything they have experienced before, and you won't want to miss out.
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