Its cruise season in the Caribbean and what a better time to see the most beautiful destinations this beautiful region has to offer for underwater exploration. The Caribbean offers some of the most relaxing and indulgent holiday experiences imaginable, but if you feel like getting up from your deck chair and trying something more active, the range of options is just as exciting. With a wonderful and varied selection of underwater marine environments, this beautiful region fascinates all snorkeling and diving lovers, from beginners to experts.
Without further ado, here are five of the best stopovers to visit, with snorkeling and diving opportunities, guaranteed to impress.
This fascinating destination will never let you down. Magnificent Hotels, beautiful beaches and great restaurants are to be expected, but it is also a great diving and snorkeling destination that will never disappoint you. There are many opportunities for snorkeling during your visit here, but without a doubt, the signature and most popular attraction is the famous Sandbar and Stingray City. The experiment was initiated by fishermen who originally used this place to clean their catches. This has led to a reaction from a variety of rays in the region, and this has been the case ever since. Diving operations have taken the place of the original fishermen, but still maintained the same process to ensure that the rays remain constant residents of the site. This experience offers the opportunity to really get closer to these fascinating and graceful creatures. With the possibility of getting off a boat and walking in the middle of the sea, the sandbank is an incredible attraction in itself.
One thing to remember is that due to the popularity of this experience, it will be very busy and will always attract large crowds. Be sure to plan your trip early and if possible try to visit the area early in the morning. All the weather is busy, but the morning is often the least restless and the temperatures will also be less noticeable than in the middle of the day.
Here there are opportunities for beginners to the most experienced divers and divers. Always check with your cruise company before boarding to see the tour options available, and make sure you book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.
Key West, Florida
From the destination attraction of the Grand Caymans Sandbank, the next on our list is a much larger and more diverse area for underwater exploration. Key West, Florida offers the opportunity to discover the Florida Keys national Marine Sanctuary, an attraction that stretches over 120 miles. The sanctuary begins in the north at Key Largo and goes south to Key West. The marine reserve is famous for the third largest coral reef in the world and also for its protection of about 3,000 nautical miles of coastline.
The variety is certainly attractive here, because visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to driving under water. Stunning coral reefs and spectacular mangroves are regular features as well as wrecks and habitats of marine grasses. There are different attractions for different levels of experience. Snorkeling divers have the chance to see the sunken treasures of Dry Tortugas national Park, an attraction often available for day trips. The water here is of a perfect depth to see places like grouper and LOBSTER with depths between 5 and 15 feet.
For experienced divers, the USS Vandenberg is one of the most attractive experiences. Previously a projectile tracking ship for the army, this ship sank just seven miles from Key West in 2009. The top of the ship’s structure can be reached to a depth of 45 feet, but other levels require more experienced divers to be seen.
Looking for incredible snorkeling opportunities? It’s a great place! The visit of Cozumel is an invitation to experience a phenomenal underwater arc of colors. The reefs here are world famous and since this beautiful destination usually has more than 350 sunny days a year, the weather is not too bad either! The island is almost tear-shaped, and the conditions are really idyllic, for an underwater adventure. More than 500 species of tropical fish can be seen here and a major attraction is the enchanting Mesoamerican coral reef, which lies just off the coast.
Cozumel has long been considered a prime diving destination and without exciting places like the Wall of Santa Rosa, Tormentos Reef and Palancar Reef, it’s certainly not hard to understand why. Since cozumel is such a popular destination for these activities, the fish are used to being exposed and are known for posing for the spectators as they move.
With a great variety of tropical fish, the region is also very attractive for its various coral formations. From shallow water, ideal for beginners to deeper depths and caves for more experienced divers, the conditions are perfect for all kinds of experiments. Some coral walls rise over 500 feet, but the crystal clear view is what is most impressive. Cozumel is one of the 305 best diving destinations in the world, so of course snorkeling is also impressive. The classification of this wonderful place is often due to the above-mentioned clear water and creates a view that often goes beyond 150 feet while waiting for streams of water at a certain time.
The cruise routes you visit here will always include various opportunities for snorkeling and diving, but if you are not satisfied with the opportunities offered, you can also book with local guides. Many good trips drive Money Bar dock, formerly known as Dzul Ha, or there is also the Chankanaab marine park is another great place for snorkeling.
There is a great mix of experiences here for all levels of experiences. The only thing to consider is whether you are comfortable with the currents. The visibility and weather are certainly appealing, but Cozumel is also known for its strong currents, which beginners need to pay attention to before deciding what to do.
Ambergis Caye, Belize
The cruise routes will arrive in Belize City, a port that offers a variety of exceptional attractions, but for those who want to snorkel and dive here, Ambergris Caye is the easiest and most convenient destination you can reach, just a mile away. A very popular area to explore is The hol Chan marine Reserve, a fascinating place for all levels of experience, whether you want to dive or snorkel. The reserve is full of marine life, including snappers, barracudas, carp, and much more. The reserve has been a protected area since 1987 and has therefore preserved its glorious beauty for all divers and divers.
Be sure to also consider Shark-Ray Alley when planning your time here. This great place has become one of the most popular in Belize as sharks and stingrays keep gathering here in search of food. All experience levels will love this place as the depths are only up to 30 feet, making it ideal for admiring the wonderful marine life with the utmost ease. Eels, turtles and fairy basslets are all known to perform here regularly.
Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
Roatan invites crusaders to discover the second largest coral reef in the world. The reef extends from the northern Yucatán peninsula in Mexico to the Bay islands of Honduras, creating spectacular places for lovers of diving. Of all the places available to enjoy, one of the most popular and well-known by far is Mary’s Place, a place known for its coral reef that stretches up to 95 feet. The location is good for different levels of experience as novice divers can still enjoy the view of the show from about 20 feet down at the top of the crack.
For diving, snorkeling, one of the best places you should visit is right from West Bay Beach and also offers one of the most beautiful scenes from the island’s beach with an expanse of beautiful sand. Here you will find magnificent hotels and an immersive resort, but if you go to the ends of the beach you will find a beautiful coral reef to explore as well as a variety of small fish, including parrotfish and butterfly fish.
These exciting destinations are among the best for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts when visiting this remarkable region. Here we only scratch the surface of the underwater attractions of the Caribbean, but you will never be disappointed in the wonderful places mentioned above.