The 5 Best Snorkeling Spots in Jamaica

With over six hundred miles of coastline, Jamaica has some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who has gone snorkeling before, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Jamaica’s underwater world features beautiful coral reefs and colorful marine life, and the crystal clear waters make it all easy to see. Many of the more captivating views are close to the shore, which makes Jamaica ideal for snorkeling.

If you're staying at an all-inclusive resort, it’s important to know where you can find the best beaches for snorkeling so you can fit it into your schedule among all of your other activities.

These are some of the best snorkeling spots in Jamaica:

1. Montego Bay

When planning a vacation to Jamaica, you want to choose a location that gives you easy access to the best snorkeling spots.

Montego Bay makes a great choice, especially for first-timers.

For families with small kids or for couples who want to take it easy, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay offers safe, calm waters for snorkeling. You might run into crowds on cruise ship days, but Doctor’s Cave Beach is vast and has plenty of room to snorkel near the coral reef.

There's an added bonus, too. Snorkeling at Montego Bay gives you the opportunity to explore part of Jamaica’s first marine park: Montego Bay Marine Park.

Travelers who want to have a more challenging snorkeling experience can access the offshore reefs in Montego Bay. Most resorts in the area organize boat trips that allow visitors to go farther out in heavier currents and interact with larger fish.

2. Negril

Negril is home to the most enchanting coral reefs and marine life in Jamaica. Most experienced snorkelers know that it doesn't get much better than swimming in shallow, crystal-clear waters. That way you can get unobstructed views of all there is to see underwater.

Like Montego Bay, at Seven Mile Beach in Negril, you find snorkeling experiences for everyone. The beach features stunning cliffs, which allow you to scope out a suitable spot below.

You can also catch a boat from your resort and head to the Negril Coral Reef and spend some time with hordes of small thimble jellyfish, urchins and other vibrant marine life.

3. Runaway Bay

Runaway Bay is a unique spot for snorkeling in Jamaica. There's plenty of opportunity to experience diverse marine life and coral right offshore.

Visitors come to the North Coast Beach to see barracuda, stingrays, lion fish, sea urchins, tropical fish and bountiful corals. This is a good bet for people who want to see a good variety of marine life during their snorkeling experience.

4. Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios is brimming with scorpion fish, lettuce sea slugs, nurse sharks and colorful coral. Devil’s Reef in Ochos Rios is an underground ridge that has upper and lower reaches suitable for open-water divers and advanced open-water training.

Dive through the reef and see more of the action as creole wrasse and varieties of bogus speed by. The reef is populated by spadefish, snapper, scorpion fish, barracuda and sea slugs.

Devil’s Reef is a must-see spot for anyone who wants to go snorkeling in Jamaica.

5. Port Royal, Kingston

Port Royal, Kingston is home to vibrant tropical fish thanks to shipwrecks that have created safe place for marine life underwater. If you’re a history buff, you know that this is the place to learn about the earthquake that struck Port Royal in 1692. This earthquake was devastating and caused most of the city to sink below sea level.

There are rules about diving in Port Royal. Be sure to ask local dive operators before diving and snorkeling at the sunken city.

Snorkeling in Jamaica

If you're planning on snorkeling in Jamaica, it makes sense to look into some other water sports as well, like scuba diving, windsurfing, paddle boarding or even cruising around on a power boat.

But if you're just sticking to snorkeling, make sure you read up on what it will be like so you're prepared for the experience. Some basic tips to follow are to always snorkel with a friend, get familiar with all of your equipment, only swim in waters you're comfortable with and to look at, but don't touch marine life.

Other than that, you're ready for your snorkeling experience in Jamaica. Enjoy the beautiful marine life and have a blast.

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.