Snorkeling Around St. Johns

Photo credit: © Pirate_J

A major port and the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, St. Johns is a coastal destination that one might expect is prime for watersports.  Although anyone who is willing can find space to participate in these water based activities, if you're looking for the best snorkeling on the island, you'll do best to seek it out just north of town.

Dickenson Bay and the more secluded Hawksbill Beach are great for easy shore snorkeling, and both are directly north of town.  You can rent equipment at nearby hotels or watersports operations then head to the shore and give it a go.  

Most would recommend, however, that you sign up for a guided snorkeling tour.  There are several that operate out of the harbor in St. Johns and offer full days of fun centered on snorkeling.  The best ones will take you about an hour away by boat to Cades Reef which is just offshore the southwest coast and overrun with soft corals, barracudas, moray eels, and much more, as it stretches about two miles long.   

It is this destination and many more that are indicative of what it is that makes snorkeling such a popular and important pastime.  Here, the visibility ranges up to 140 feet deep, and the waters are an ideal 80 degrees Fahrenheit on any average day, plus the current is unnoticeable.  In a sport that already promotes a peaceful, almost meditative state, not having to worry about weather or poor water conditions makes it that much more serene.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience below the water's surface you might enjoy Deep Bay. The final resting place of a ship that wrecked in 1905 when it caught fire and sank, it now rests at a depth of only 35 feet, making it more than accessible to divers and snorkelers alike. Since its sinking, the wreck as become a popular habitat for sponges, as well as countless small fish. This snorkeling site is located in Five Islands, a short distance away West of central St. Johns.

The chart just below provides you with some details concerning 4 of the most popular places where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near St. Johns
Site Location Island
Deep Bay Five Islands, 2.8 mi. West of Central St. Johns Antigua
Dickenson Bay Dickenson Bay, 3.0 mi. North of Central St. Johns Antigua
Hawksbill Bay Five Islands, 3.6 mi. West of Central St. Johns Antigua
Prickly Pear Island Prickly Pear Island, 4.9 mi. Northeast of Central St. Johns Prickly Pear Island

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Treasure Island Cruises. For nearly 20 years Treasure Island Cruises has shown Antigua's visitors the joy of sailing around the island. They can handle all of your sailing needs, whether you're hosting an event or simply want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

Some details with regard to the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling can be found directly below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In St. Johns
Name Type Phone Location Island
Treasure Island Cruises Boating and Day-Sailing Provider (268) 461-8675 Downtown St. John's Antigua

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for a place offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you can check with AquaSports Jolly Harbour. Opened in 1998, AquaSports in Jolly Harbour is the second of two AquaSport stores that have provided residents and visitors to Antigua with all of their watersports needs for over two decades. They are located in Jolly Harbour, easily reached by taxi South West of central St. Johns.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is AquaSports St. John. This shop's line of products is extensive, giving shoppers the opportunity to find the perfect fit when it comes to fishing, snorkeling and water sports equipment. All types of accessories you may require such as waterproof cameras, beach clothing, shoes, towels and sunblock are available. If you're looking for a special piece of equipment and can't seem to find it, just ask, chances are they have it in stock.

A third company worth contacting is Stingray City. See the stingrays of Antigua up close in this tropical snorkeling adventure. They're situated in the heart of St. Johns.

Some information with regard to 4 companies that offer snorkeling services are listed down below.

Snorkeling Services In And Around St. Johns
Name Type Phone Location
AquaSports Jolly Harbour Watersports Equipment Shop (268) 462-3474 Jolly Harbour, 4.6 mi. South West of Central St. Johns
AquaSports St. John Watersports Equipment Shop (268) 462-3474 Downtown St. John's
Life's A Beach Snorkeling Tour Operator (268) 784-1406 Freeman's Village, 4.3 mi. Southeast of Central St. Johns
Stingray City Snorkeling Tour Operator (268) 562-7297 Downtown St. John's

For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" check out this exhaustive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

While you may have to make plans to head out of town to find the island's best snorkeling, those planning a vacation in St. Johns should not discount the possibility of participating in the sport.  Here, it never takes much work to make your way below the surface of the sea.  


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.