From placid gin-colored lagoons to shockingly blue bays to beaches that are so rough that surfing is world-famous, the waters that surround Puerto Rico vary greatly. This means that snorkelers have a lot of planning to do to make sure they find the best spot for them to explore when the visit the island.
The temperature of the ocean waters surrounding Puerto Rico is warm, staying fairly consistent almost year-round at approximately 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Underwater visibility is quite clear at about 60 to 75 feet just off shore, and if you go farther out into the ocean, you can see up to 100 feet or more into the depths of Puerto Rico's crystalline waters.
Along the east and south shores where the best snorkeling conditions are consistently reported. Calm, almost glass-like waters invite snorkelers in to enjoy the peaceful calm of the underwater world that surrounds the island without having to worry about waves, rip-tides, and other hazards. If you're planning your vacation around snorkeling, you should consider Fajardo, Humacao, Vieques, or Culebra.
Elsewhere, you may find that snorkeling is great at any beach and you can bring your snorkeling kit with you whenever you hit the sand, or you may find the waves are so rugged that it is near impossible to snorkel without planning an excursion to another location. Even if you stay in area not particularly known for snorkeling you can usually find a dive shop or tour guide to take you to somewhere that has both pleasing conditions and sights to see.
Speaking of sights, what you see in these waters will vary by location as well. Some destinations feature shallow waters with elaborate reef systems, while other spots are known more for them mangroves. If you can plan a trip to one of the cays or islets of Puerto Rico, you'll be in snorkeling heaving with sea life like sea turtles, octopus, eels, rays, puffers, clownfish, and dozens upon dozens of other types of reef fish to be spotted.
If you'd like to experience what's below the surface you might enjoy. A chain of uninhabited islets, there is an amazing world of underwater life to be seen when you snorkel here. It is part of a nature reserve that is a habitat for sea turtles to start, and you can't discount the vibrant coral and friendly fish. This snorkeling site is located on Cayo Lobos, in the eastern part of Puerto Rico.
Shacks Beach is another option. If you visit between May and November you'll find this beach to have calm waters that make it great for snorkeling. Here, in about five to 30 feet of water, you'll swim with goatfish, blue tangs, ad grunts among many other fish.
A third place to consider is Tamarindo Beach. Part of a nature reserve, this site is home to an amazing collection of sea life in the small reef that is currently growing thanks to the University of Puerto Rico students that are planting coral. Sea life here includes sea turtles and stingrays among others. The beach is very rocky, so water shoes are a must.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is. This area within a nature reserve is a collection of mangrove islands, salt marshes, natural pools, and small cays protected by coral reefs. Not only is the snorkeling great for these reasons alone, but this is also the location of many dolphin sightings. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is located in the southwestern part of Puerto Rico.
Green Beach is a fifth option to consider. This beach is heralded as a great beginner beach thanks to the extremely calm waters and the numerous reef systems. Even though it is a popular spot, the coral beds are so plentiful and shallow that you never feel like you're being crowded.
Details concerning 26 of the most popular locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed in the following chart.
|6.2 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo||Cayo Lobos|
|Shacks Beach||0.9 mi. North of Central Isabela||Puerto Rico|
|Tamarindo Beach||5.8 mi. South of Central Yauco||Puerto Rico|
|5.6 mi. West of Central Guánica||Puerto Rico|
|Green Beach||9.2 mi. West of Central Isabel Segunda||Vieques|
|5.0 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo||Cayo Icacos|
|Palomino Beach||5.1 mi. East of Central Fajardo||Isla Palominos|
|Isla Caja de Muertos Beach||10.6 mi. Southeast of Central Ponce||Puerto Rico|
|2.9 mi. Southeast of Central Guánica||Puerto Rico|
|1.2 mi. Northwest of Central Rincón||Puerto Rico|
|6.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Aguadilla||Puerto Rico|
|2.0 mi. East of Central Fajardo||Puerto Rico|
|Crash Boat Beach||1.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central downtown Aguadilla||Puerto Rico|
|Escambrion Beach||1.8 mi. East of Central Old San Juan||Puerto Rico|
|2.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Aguadilla||Puerto Rico|
|5.8 mi. East-Northeast of Central Fajardo||Cayo Lobos|
|6.3 mi. East of Central Humacao||Puerto Rico|
|Bahia Sucia Beach||3.6 mi. South of Central El Combate||Puerto Rico|
|Pesquera Beach||2.7 mi. Southeast of Central Patillas||Puerto Rico|
|1.6 mi. Northwest of Central Camuy||Puerto Rico|
|Rosado Beach||3.8 mi. South West of Central Guánica||Puerto Rico|
|Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve||3.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Fajardo||Puerto Rico|
|Playa Escondida||3.1 mi. North of Central Fajardo||Puerto Rico|
|2.8 mi. North of Central Fajardo||Puerto Rico|
|5.3 mi. East of Central Fajardo||Isla Palominos|
|1.1 mi. Southeast of Central La Parguera||Puerto Rico|
Some people believe the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you want to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you can check with East Island Excursions Sailing. East Island Excursions has six vessels (5 catamarans and 1 tall ship - the Amazing Grace) that can take you on a number of excursions, from visiting beautiful white sand beaches to snorkeling adventures. One of their most popular trips is the Sunset Sail, where guests can enjoy great service and a stunning view of the Caribbean sunset, a spectacle you don't want to miss.
Another option worth investigating is Fondo de Cristal. On board this glass bottom boat you will have the opportunity to see the underwater world, all while staying dry. They're found in La Parguera, in western Puerto Rico.
Still another option is Erin Go Bragh. Erin Go Bragh hosts day charters, sunset cruises, private charters, and overnight charters. The destinations are flexible, and the crew will help you customize your day.
Some key facts about boat operators that provide snorkeling opportunities are displayed below.
|Capital Water Sports Sailing Charters||(787) 823-2789||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Castillo Tours||(787) 791-6195||2.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Juan|
|Catamaran Getaway||(787) 550-3138||0.8 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo|
|Coastal Marine Boat Tours||(787) 310-8458||0.3 mi. West-Southwest of Central La Parguera|
|East Island Excursions Sailing||(787) 860-3434||1.8 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ceiba|
|Erin Go Bragh||(787) 860-4401||1.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ceiba|
|Fondo de Cristal||(787) 899-5891||La Parguera, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Katarina Sail Charters||(787) 823-7245||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Maragata Yacht Charter||(787) 850-7548||1.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Palmas Del Mar|
|Salty Dog||(787) 717-6378||0.9 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo|
|Serenity Sea Tours||(787) 435-1358||1.2 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo|
|Spread Eagle II||(787) 887-8821||0.8 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo|
If you looking for a place that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to contact Desecheo Dive Shop. Everything you need for your Rincon snorkeling experience is available here, and at great rental prices. They are found within Rincón, in the western part of Puerto Rico.
Another place catering to snorkelers is Rincon Diving. Snorkeling in this area is fun and safe for everyone. Not only do they offer snorkeling excursions, but PADI training so you can master the sport.
A third place to consider is East Island Excursions Snorkeling. The East Island Excursions company invites customers to take a snorkeling adventure around one of the many beautiful reefs in Puerto Rico. Each trip is unique in where the company takes you and what they offer, so finding a trip that fits everyone's needs is only a few clicks away. They're located in the vicinity of Fajardo, in the eastern part of Puerto Rico.
The chart directly below lists some information about 13 places that provide snorkeling related services.
|Aqua Adventure||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 729-2626||1.7 mi. Northwest of Central San Juan|
|Blue Water Scuba||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(787) 288-0707||Bayamon|
|Casa del Mar||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 860-3483||Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Desecheo Dive Shop||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(787) 823-0390||0.7 mi. Northwest of Central Rincón|
|East Island Excursions Snorkeling||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 860-3434||1.8 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ceiba|
|Snorkeling Tour Operator||--||Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Island Scuba||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 309-6556||Guánica, Southwestern part of Puerto Rico|
|Paradise Scuba Puerto Rico||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(787) 899-7611||0.1 mi. West of Central La Parguera|
|Pure Adventure||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 202-6551||Ceiba, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Rincon Diving||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 506-3483||0.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Rincón|
|Scuba Dogs San Juan||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 977-0000||1.7 mi. East of Central Old San Juan|
|Taino Divers||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(787) 823-6429||1.0 mi. Northwest of Central Rincón|
|West Divers||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 899-3223||6.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo|
To learn more about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this extensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.
There are a lot of options when it comes to snorkeling in Puerto Rico. You can plan a vacation that revolves around the sport by choosing a destination known for its great conditions, you can incorporate snorkeling into your getaway with an excursion that brings you to the best sites, or you can play it by ear on a day-to-day basis and just make sure you have your kit with you at all times. Whatever works or you, there is definitely a world of gorgeous underwater scenery to explore surrounding this already beautiful island.
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