San Juan offers its visitors culture, history, shopping, and nightlife, but snorkeling is one activity that has tourists looking elsewhere. If you love snorkeling, don't discount a vacation here just yet.
San Juan is located along the north coast and its beaches welcome waters from the Atlantic Ocean. This means rough waters, tip-tides, and otherwise unfavorable conditions. Add on the overpopulation of beachgoers roughing up the landscape and you can see why snorkeling is not a top attraction here.
Tourists staying in San Juan and the surrounding area needn't worry. Less than an hour away is Fajardo, which is home to some of the best snorkeling on the island. This town is located on the east coast and its coastal area touches the Caribbean Sea, making for clear, calm conditions and a beautiful underwater world that includes healthy coral reef, a huge variety of fish, sea turtles, dolphins, rays, and much more.
The offshore islands of Vieques and Culebra are also very popular snorkeling destinations, and accessible by ferry from Fajardo. Many snorkeling tours offered by dive shops and adventure tours bring San Juan's visitors to these sites, but you can also rent a car and drive yourself then rent a snorkeling kit when you arrive.
Look through the chart below for a summary list of one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|Escambrion Beach||1.8 mi. East of Old San Juan||Puerto Rico|
For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.
If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you might want to check with Castillo Tours. Castillo Tours has maintained a reputation as a one stop shop in Puerto Rico for over 40 years, and they feature activities such as boat trips, fishing charters, and more.
Review this table for information concerning the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling.
|Castillo Tours||Boating and Day-Sailing Provider||(787) 791-6195||2.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Juan||Puerto Rico|
If you're looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with Scuba Dogs San Juan. As a dog is man's best friend, Scuba Dog's is the diver's best friend -- but they do more than dive. In addition to their scuba diving training and excursions, they also offer snorkeling trips throughout the island and to neighboring islands. They are situated on Viejo San Juan, in the northwestern part of San Juan.
A second company catering to snorkelers is Aqua Adventure. The full day snorkeling tour takes guests to the Caja de Muerto Nature Reserve where they will snorkel then have lunch. After lunch is a hiking tour. The entire trip takes between eight and nine hours.
A few details about a couple of firms that offer snorkeling related services are listed in the chart below.
|Aqua Adventure||(787) 729-2626||1.9 mi. East of Old San Juan|
|Scuba Dogs San Juan||(787) 977-0000||1.7 mi. East of Old San Juan|
For more information about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our exhaustive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.
You already know all of the reasons you should visit San Juan on your next getaway, and now you also know that there is no reason to count this city out just because the local snorkeling is not ideal.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.