Nobody goes on a Caribbean vacation without getting wet. The irresistible turquoise hue of the sea just lures you in. These warm waters are teaming with fish, coral, turtles and shipwrecks that make the underwater world is as much as a draw as the islands themselves. While not everyone is a certified scuba diver, just about anyone can snorkel. The minimal equipment is easy to pack or pick up while your there – mask, snorkel and optional fins – and the basic skills take just a few minutes to acquire (just float and breathe). Suddenly the amazing aquatic ecosystem beneath the surface is yours for the exploration. Here are some of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean.
Belize boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef and some of the top snorkeling opportunities on earth. The spectacular reef runs 192 miles along the length of the coastline and has three offshore atolls with standout snorkel sites. The only minor downside is you need a boat to access the best spots, but there is no shortage of tour operators that can take you there. Try Shark-Ray Alley for a close encounter with stingrays, Gladden Spit to hang with enormous whale sharks or, ideal for beginners, Hol Chan Marine Reserve which has a narrow channel cutting through the reef that is home to ridiculous numbers of jacks, groupers, snappers and barracuda.