Puerto Rico is blessed to yet have beaches with healthy coral reefs and great snorkeling. The main island has a few good snorkeling spots but the offshore islands of Vieques, Culebra, Isla Mona, Caja de Muertos offer the best snorkeling beaches. Enjoy beaches with shallow and crystal clear waters perfect for children so the whole family can enjoy the snorkeling experience.
Bring your snorkel mask and flippers and get ready for some fun and memorable experiences under the sea.
Following are the best beaches for snorkeling in Puerto Rico. Map below
Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico (Offshore Island)
At the top of the list are the beaches of Vieques , one of the offshore islands of Puerto Rico. There are no rivers flowing into the waters of Vieques , so the waters are very clear and the visibility is great even on a cloudy day. Favorites for snorkeling are Bahia de la Chiva (Blue Beach) , Punta Arenas (Green Beach) , Cayo Blanco, Cayo de Afuera, Mosquito Pier , Pata Prieta and a few more. Almost every beach in Vieques is great for snorkeling. More about snorkeling in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
Isla de Culebra (Offshore Island)
The offshore island of Isla de Culebra is a wonderful place to snorkel, enjoy many beaches with healthy coral and abundant sea life. Both the main island of Culebra and the offshore cays give you days worth of excellent snorkeling experiences. Culebra is the home to one of the top beaches in Puerto Rico.
La Parguera, Lajas, Puerto Rico (Southwest coast)
La Parguera Nature Reserve is a group of mangrove islands, coral reefs, natural pools, salt marshes and small cays offering clear waters with underwater playgrounds where you may encounter dolphins, turtles, barracudas and many other varieties of tropical fish. Caracoles is a favorite spot for snorkelers. More about Snorkeling in La Parguera, Lajas
Isla Caja de Muertos (Coffin Island), Ponce, Puerto Rico (South coast)
Head to Ponce and make reservations for a ferry ride to Caja de Muertos which offers good snorkeling along “Vereda Submarina” (Underwater Trail) with interpretative signs telling you what you’re seeing as you snorkel through the trail, be sure to say hi to the dolphin. The islands offers scenic vistas, hiking trails and a lighthouse. Great beach and amazing scenery in one of the unbeaten paths of Puerto Rico. The following video is in Spanish, but even if you don’t understand, you’ll see a glimpse of what awaits.
Isla de Mona (Mona Island), Offshore secluded island on the west coast
“The Galapagos of the Caribbean”, a nature reserve uninhabited by humans but home to iguanas, healthy coral reefs and a rich underwater world. Getting here is a fun expedition not for the faint of heart, you may face pretty high waves on the way there, you must book a charter boat to get you there. Once you get there, you can snorkel crystal waters, swim with turtles and most likely have the entire island to yourself. More about Mona Island, Puerto Rico
Rincon, Puerto Rico (west coast)
During the summer months when the surf is calm, head to The Tres Palmas Marine Reserve (Steps Beach).
Gilligan’s Island (Cayo Aurora), Guanica (west coast)
Cayo Aurora also known as Gilligan’s Island on the town of Guanica makes it to one of our top snorkeling spots for being kid friendly. Gilligan’s Island is like a giant clear pool with clear shallow waters perfect for children to snorkel. Your children can sit in 2 feet of water and have schools of tiny fish circle their feet. We have not seen a variety of fish, not much coral, but we’ve often seen many barracudas. Our son loves to snorkel here because the surrounding mangroves gives him a sense of “safety” on the water. There are mangrove channels easily accessible for additional snorkeling spots.
More snorkeling spots in Puerto Rico
- Icacos Cays, Palomino and Palominito Islands offer good snorkeling. There are various tour operators / charters that will take you there for half a day.
- The Blue Hole, Isabela (the west coast)