Snorkeling Around Portsmouth

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.

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to see below the water's surface 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 found 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.

Some key information about 2 of the best places where you can experience snorkeling in this area are listed in the table below.

Snorkeling Sites Near Portsmouth
Site Location
Douglas Bay 2.0 mi. Northwest of Central Portsmouth
Secret Beach 2.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Portsmouth

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for someone that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you should check out JC Ocean Adventures. A private and peaceful adventure awaits you within the confines of Cabrit's National Park when you snorkel with this husband and wife team. They have over 17 years in the boating and diving world, they speak Spanish, and they love to snorkel, too. They are located in Portsmouth.

A second company that offers snorkeling related services is 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.

Some details with regard to a couple of firms that provide snorkeling services are summarized here:

Snorkeling Services In Portsmouth
Name Phone Location
Cabrits Dive Centre (767) 445-3011 Central Portsmouth
JC Ocean Adventures (767) 295-0757 1.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Portsmouth

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this detailed Caribbean snorkeling page.

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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