5 Best Spots for Snorkelling in Puerto Rico:
Carlos Rosario Beach
Carlos Rosario Beach is one of the many sandy snorkelling spots found on Culebra, a small island from the east coast of Puerto Rico. The ride is about 45 minutes long and costs only USD 4.50 for a round trip ticket. After you reach the island, you will have to decide on the rental shops available if you do not have snorkel gear. Carlos Rosario is one of the best sites for snorkelling in Puerto Rico. Just a quick stroll west of Flamenco Beach (which manages to draw larger crowds), it allows you to explore the reef more closely as compared to other beaches on the island. The pristine waters you will witness show just how rich this particular reef is.
ViequesThe Isla de Vieques’s most popular site is Rompeolas or Mosquito Pier, a mile-long embankment on the north shore of the island. Forty feet of sheltered waters allow easy dives for novices and exciting tours for those more seasoned divers. While snorkelling in the area, you will spot green turtles, resident hawksbill, eagle rays, stingrays, moray eels, Caribbean lobsters, and a wide diversity of reef fish. Some of the best beaches to hit include Blue Beach which contains the mini island of Isla Chiva, Esperanza Beach, Playa Pata Prieta, Mosquito Bay and many others. Black Beard Sports, Isla Nena Scuba, Pure Adventure, Melaya's Tours, Abe's Snorkeling & Bio Bay, Fin Time Adventures and Bisque Eco Trips are some of the operators offering snorkelling tours.
Around the island city of Culebra, there are more than fifty different dive sites including caves, sunken vessels, and unperturbed coral reefs with difficulty levels ranging from beginner to advanced. Flamenco, Carlos Rosario beaches, Tamarindo, and the Luis Peña and Culebrita cays are all surrounded by coral reefs abounding with fish, sea turtles, and rays just a short swim from the shore. For snorkelling gear and snorkelling tours visit the Culebra Divers, Culebra Snorkelling and Dive Center, or Culebra Island Adventures. You can take a snorkelling tour to Culebra through Pure Adventure, Culebra Island Kayak and Snorkeling Adventure, Beach Tour, or SS Tobias Snorkel all of which depart from Fajardo. You can opt for a charter or private boat with Culebra VIP & East.
Located inside the incredible Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, the Steps Beach serves up some of the most incredible experiences while snorkelling in Puerto Rico. The reserve prides itself on nurturing the fragile marine life that lives in the area — from turtles and whales to dolphins and lobsters. You will definitely come across these exotic marine creatures, whether it is just small fish like grunts and snappers. Because of the area’s focus on the preservation of marine life, most people prefer guided snorkelling tours to explore, though it’s not completely necessary. It is also notable that this beach is best suited for the summer months when the peak surf period tends to die down a bit.
The surfer town of Rincón is situated on the west coast of the island. Snorkelling in Puerto Rico at Rincon is accessible just off Steps Beach at the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. You can book a guided snorkelling tour with the Rincón Snorkeling Adventure by Rincón Diving and Snorkeling which goes out directly from the shore. Taíno Divers offers snorkelling and diving trips for more seasoned snorkelers to the island of Desecheo where sharks, dolphins and even humpback whales can often be spotted.
Best Time to Visit for Snorkelling in Puerto RicoPuerto Rico has warm weather and remains stunning all year round, but the best time to visit Puerto Rico is from November to December. Although June to November is equally impressive, this period is just before the peak tourist season, has warm water, and wonderful weather perfect for visiting beaches and diving.
Have we missed out on any of your favourite sites for snorkelling in Puerto Rico? Let us know in the comments below!