The Caribbean Sea, located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, is rated as one of the best snorkeling destinations not only in North America, but also in the world.
It is also worth mentioning that 14% of the world’s coral reefs are located in the Caribbean Sea, making it one of the greatest locations for underwater adventures.
In the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea you can find nurse sharks, green turtles, barracudas, and different types of tropical fish.
As the Caribbean region is relatively isolated from the other tropical seas on the planet, most of the species living there can be found nowhere else.
Stay with us as we are about to take you to some of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean region. Here is what we are going to cover today:
- Buck Island, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea
- Brewer’s Bay Campground, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea
- Cocles Beach, Cahuita Beach, Punta Uva Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Let’s start with the U.S. Virgin Islands…
Buck Island, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea
There are 3 islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
St. Croix is one of them. You will be staying on the island of St. Croix. Buck Island is a very small island about 1.5 miles off the St. Croix coast.
Fly to St.Thomas, and then take a short ferry ride to St. Croix. It’s a care free trip and very beautiful.
This entire area has been made into a National Park, and you will understand why once you get there, you won’t want to leave.
Turtle Beach, on Buck Island’s west end, has been voted by the National Geographic, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Proof? Here is but one of a myriad of snorkelling videos, showing that Buck Island is the place to snorkel in this virgin sea.
You say you are not a snorkeler, well this place will change your mind.
There is an underwater trail, and so if you have never snorkelled before, or are just a novice, take a guided tour.
You will experience amazing things that live under the turquoise, warm, very clean waters. The coral is so wonderful and so diverse.
It will amaze you! Be prepared to take endless photos of the fish, such as the angel fish, and various crustaceans.
There is a tour company called, Caribbean Sea Adventures, just waiting to make your life memorable.
The stories, photos, and videos you will have to take back to your friends, will make them so envious of you.
Hotels and Accommodation in St. Croix
Make your trip to the St. Croix unique and memorable by staying in one of its luxurious villas or hotels. Most of the St. Croix’s hotels and villas offer beautiful pools, great ocean views, fascinating food and much more.
On to the next one…
Brewer’s Bay Campground, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea
This is a beach paradise! If you’re a snorkeler, you will be in heaven.
Take your own equipment because it would be difficult to find what you need on the island of Tortola.
The closest international airport is on the island of St. Thomas, which is a U.S. Virgin Island, quite close to Tortola.
So fly to St. Thomas, shown below.
Make your way by taxi from the airport down to the boat launch. That’s where you will find the ferry boat that will take you across the channel to Tortola.
Tortola is a relatively small Caribbean Island, with very steep roads that twist and turn. There are potholes everywhere.
The fall rain storms do that, and the people haven’t the cash to repair them.
There are no guard rails either. Maybe this is one reason very few tourists travel to Tortola, which we think is great for the passionate snorkelers of the world.
Now don’t let us scare you away. Remember, Tortola is paradise and Brewer’s Bay Campground is heaven.
You will be able to rent a jeep before you get there using the Net, and we recommend you rent from Paradise Jeep Rentals.
They will meet you at the Tortola ferry dock.
Tortola has one main town called Roadtown. That’s the place to go for groceries.
The island does have other small villages that you can visit. If you’re in any kind of physical shape, you could even walk to some of them.
Brewer’s Bay Campground is on the far side of the island. It is located in Brewer’s Bay.
The jungle hugs the beach, and if you bring your own camping equipment, you can rent a site for under $10 a night.
If you want to rent their tents and all the necessary camping equipment, that will only cost you around $35 per night.
That’s what we recommend you do. The camp sites are right on the sandy beach in the lagoon between the palm trees. Here’s what a view from your window could look like…
You will feel like Robinson Crusoe for sure.
The best time to be camping on the beach in Tortola is between January and April. The temperature will be warm and wonderful.
No rain usually happens in those months, and you won’t be bothered by many people, so you could live in your “birthday” suit all day and all night if you wish.
Snorkelling in Brewer’s Bay is the best on the island.
The local people are friendly and their food is spectacular. You will be supplied with all the cooking utensils, and pots and pans and bbq’s that you need.
You might have to rub two sticks together to make a flame.
The stars at night will take your breath away. Oh, and let’s not forget the snorkelling…
Hotels and Accommodation in Brewer’s Bay
Brewer’s Bay on Tortola is often described as one of the most underdeveloped spots on the island. Many locals say that this place is a throwback to the way the island looked 30 year ago.
You could think this place doesn’t have any good accommodation to offer. And, you would be wrong. There are plenty of great hotels and apartments available in Brewer’s Bay.
Cocles Beach, Cahuita Beach, Punta Uva Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, Caribbean Sea
You will fly to the capital city of San Jose in the centre of Costa Rica.
Take a taxi from the airport to the bus station in the centre of town. There is a bus heading to the east coast of Costa Rica, in the direction of a big city called Limon.
That’s the bus you want. This bus will follow the coastal highway all the way to Panama.
Tell the bus driver to let you off about 1 mile on the south side of the surfing town of Puerto Viejo.
We recommend you make a reservation at a small resort called La Costa de Papito. Your casa in the jungle, with all the amenities, will make you think you are in the “Garden of Eden”.
You won’t regret this beach vacation. If you want to research this region, there are a few very unique accommodations from beach tree houses to jungle lodges.
Cocles beach is small and strikingly beautiful.
The lush tropical jungle will immediately relax your entire persona. This region is culturally rich with Latino, Afro Caribbean and the indigenous Bribri people.
Everyone is super friendly and very helpful. You can even rent a bike if you need transportation, unless you rented a jeep at the airport back in San Jose.
Not only is the Puerto Viejo area one of the premiere surfing destinations in the world, the snorkelling and scuba diving are the best as well.
This coast is rugged, with tons of tidal pools to explore.
After hours of enjoying the warm clear waters of the Caribbean, you might want to check out the night life, surf shops, boutiques, restaurants and other local amenities.
There are various parks to explore such as the Cahuita National Park, the Talamanca Indian Reserve and the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
They aren’t that far away either, but you might need a ride to get to them. Don’t forget the bus that travels this costal highway daily.
The local people and visitors are committed to protecting the plants and animals.
They understand how delicate and diverse their environment is.
If you like to be around people who work hard at saving our planet, then this place is for you. It is truly heaven on Earth.
We recommend asking a local native resident to take you on a jungle tour in search of the mysterious sloth.
There won’t be any snorkelling in the jungle, and you might need some boots and long pants.
Ask about renting a kayak, and go exploring the many jungle estuaries that feed into the ocean along the coast.
Beware of the crocodiles!
Cocles Beach is a great way to begin your beach experience along this coast line.
It shouldn’t take long for you to get comfortable with the Caribbean Sea at this beach.
But when you are ready for the snorkelling experience of all times, move along to Cahuita Beach and especially Uva Beach.
These beaches are small and intimate and very private, with the very best snorkelling life in the area.
Hotels and Accommodation in Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a vibrant seaside town with amazing beaches, crystal clear blue waters, and some of the most amazing hotels and villas.
Fast becoming one of Costa Rica’s premier tourist destinations, many travelers from all over the world come here to enjoy beautiful nature, amazing food and great accommodation.