Puerto Rico Things to Do ⎮ Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours & Best Places to Snorkel

Snorkeling in Puerto Rico Guide - 2022

While most reefs are dying across the Caribbean, Puerto Rico still has healthy coral reefs with colorful and abundant sea life.  While the main island of Puerto Rico provides excellent snorkeling spots, it’s worth noting that the offshore islands offer the best snorkeling experiences, best accessible by boat.  This guide covers the best snorkeling experiences organized to make your search easier.  Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler seeking adventure or a beginner exploring with children, get ready for an unforgettable snorkeling experience in Puerto Rico. 

Top 3 Snorkeling Places & Excursions

Content on Page – Puerto Rico Snorkeling Guide

Best Places to Snorkel & Tours

East Coast – Best Snorkeling Region

North Coast

West Coast

Snorkeling Tours Directory

By Region

Culebra - Best Snorkeling Destination in Puerto Rico

Best Places to Snorkel, Tours & Excursions

Culebra Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours & Best Places to Snorkel

The idyllic offshore haven of Culebra is the best snorkeling destination in Puerto Rico and among the best in the Caribbean.  Over the years, a unique blend of factors, including decades of Navy possession, restrained development, and stringent protection laws, has played a pivotal role in maintaining the coral reefs in pristine condition.  

From the main island of Culebra to the tiny island of Culebrita and the surrounding offshore cays, the archipelago offers weeks’ worth of unparalleled snorkeling experiences in some of Puerto Rico’s clearest waters.  In Culebra, shallow waters grace the beaches, providing an ideal setting for younger snorkelers to partake in the enchanting underwater spectacle, making Culebra a haven for all seeking a magical marine experience. 

Carlos Rosario Reef 

Culebra Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours - Carlos Rosario Reef

Carlos Rosario is one of the most precious beaches in Puerto Rico, besides the beauty underneath the surface, with the added pleasure of snorkeling with a handful of people, most likely from your snorkeling excursion.  The reef is expansive you could spend hours leisurely snorkeling.  The reef is teeming with fish, colorful coral and many sea fans, you may also spot sea turtles that love these waters.  Carlos Rosario is part of Cayo Luis Pena Natural Reserve, keeping the reef protected from the damage of development, and overfishing.  Please help protect the reefs, by never touching, stepping on,  feeding fish, or leaving trash at the beach.  

The best snorkeling tours/charters go to Carlos Rosario as part of the itinerary, weather permitting.  Reserve a spot, there are only a few boats that offer snorkeling excursions to Culebra.

Snorkeling Excursions to Carlos Rosario - Home to The Best Coral Reef in Culebra

From Fajardo

From San Juan

From Ceiba

Local Snorkeling Charters / Tours

Vieques - 2nd Best Snorkeling Destination in Puerto Rico

Snorkeling Excursions & Best Beaches

Puerto Rico Best Snorkeling Beaches - La Chiva - Vieques Island

The beaches of Vieques will inspire awe from the moment they come into view. The lush, rugged, and blissfully natural landscape is breathtaking, setting the stage for the crystal-clear waters that span an endless spectrum of blues and jewel-toned emerald greens, enticing you for a refreshing swim and explore underneath, unveiling a serene and magical world.   Here, sea turtles and octopuses gracefully navigate their way alongside parrotfish, eagle rays, angel fish, and an array of other captivating marine life.

Despite the challenges Vieques faced due to the navy’s presence, many reefs have rebounded, boasting health, vibrancy, and a flourishing ecosystem.  No rivers are flowing into the beaches of Vieques, so the waters are very clear, and the visibility is great even on a cloudy day.

Punta Arenas Beach

Vieques Snorkeling Excursions & Private Charters

1st Tour Listed is by Pure Adventure

More Punta Arenas Videos

More Snorkeling Beaches in Vieques

  • Bahia de La Chiva – One of the best snorkeling beaches in Vieques, right off the rocky point of Punta Conejo and just offshore from the main beach.  You’ll see a nice variety of fish, coral, spotted eagle rays, hawksbill turtles, and more.
  • Mosquito Bay Pier
  • Pata Prieta
  • Gringo Beach

Map - Best Snorkeling Beaches in Vieques

Fajardo - Best Island Hopping Snorkeling Experiences

Best Snorkeling Excursions & Places to Snorkel

Fajardo is the most popular snorkeling destination in Puerto Rico, the best off-shore snorkeling excursions and private charters depart from the marinas in Fajardo as you’ll when taking a look at the tours on this guide.  Right in Fajardo, you can go to Seven Seas Beach to do a little snorkeling, learn more below. 

Icacos Cay 

Icacos Cay, part of La Cordillera Reef Nature Reserve, immerses visitors in a pristine paradise where the only companions are pelicans, fish underneath the surface, and dolphins that love to greet visitors.  Try and count the shades of blue on the water, set against the backdrop of soft, ivory-like sands.

En route to Icacos Cay, knowledgeable tour guides make stops at vibrant reefs, alive with a kaleidoscope of colorful fish—a spectacle both adults and children will treasure.  Upon reaching the island, a stroll towards the rocky fringes unveils an opportunity for snorkeling experiences, although you see much coral, you’ll see a live colorful aquarium.

Snorkeling Excursions and Charters to Icacos Cay

Puerto Rico proudly has an impressive list of 5-star excursions to enhance your snorkeling experience.  See below for top-rated tours organized to make your search easier.  Categories include catamaran sailing, small group shared boat tours, and private charters catering to your group.  Most tours meet at a marina in Fajardo; some offer transportation from San Juan.  

Top 3 Rated Snorkeling Excursions to Icacos

Private Snorkeling Charters

Private Sailing Snorkeling Charters

From San Juan

Shared Boat Snorkeling Excursions

Map - Icacos Cay

Seven Seas Beach

Fajardo Puerto Rico Snorkeling Places & Tours

If you are staying in Fajardo and want to go snorkeling without taking a boat excursion, head to Seven Seas Beach.

Snorkeling Experiences at Seven Seas

Seven Seas Snorkeling Tours & Charters

Video Inspiration

Map - Seven Seas Beach

San Juan - Best Place to Snorkel with Sea Turtles in the North Coast

Best Beaches & Snorkeling Tours

Balneario El Escambron – Best Snorkeling Experience in San Juan

Escambron Beach - San Juan Puerto Rico - Snorkeling Tours

The stunning beach in San Juan provides a tranquil, sheltered cove with calm waters, creating an ideal environment for snorkeling.  Here, you can encounter graceful sea turtles and a diverse array of vibrant tropical fish.  San Juan takes pride in the harmonious blend of Escambron‘s enchanting allure and welcoming tour guides. 

Snorkeling Tours - Escambron Beach - San Juan

Award Winning Snorkeling Tours

Happy visitors have elevated this beach to global recognition for unforgettable snorkeling experiences. For the last three years, our local snorkeling tours have consistently received excellent service ratings, earning them a well-deserved spot in the prestigious Best of the Best Traveler’s Choice Awards by TripAdvisor.

Videos - Snorkeling - Escambron Beach

Map - Escambron Beach

Playita del Condado

Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours - San Juan - La Playita del Condado Beach

This small beach in the city packs a lot of fun under the sun and snorkeling is a favorite.  You can snorkel all year round at Playita del Condado, and from late spring until late fall, the water at Playita del Condado is more shallow allowing families with children to enjoy it more safely.  Snorkeling spots are easily accessible from the beach.

Snorkeling Tour at La Playita del Condado

Videos - Snorkeling at La Playita del Condado

Map - La Playita del Condado

Rincon Puerto Rico - Best Reef on the West Coast

Best Snorkeling Tours & Beaches

Steps Beach / Tres Palmas Reserve

Rincon Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours & Best Places to Snorkel

On days when the waves subside and the sea adopts a serene demeanor, venture towards The Tres Palmas Marine Reserve (Steps Beach), a premier snorkeling destination on the tranquil west coast of the island.  This stretch of coastline grants easy access to the marine reserve, inviting you to meander above one of the Caribbean’s largest Elk Horn Coral gardens.  Immerse yourself in the wonders of a vibrant reef adorned with beautiful rocks, living coral, graceful sea turtles, schools of enchanting Blue Tang, and a kaleidoscope of colorful Angelfish.

Tip for a Safe Snorkeling Experience at Steps Beach:  Even during seemingly calm waters, unexpected waves can surprise you, potentially leading to a painful crash against the coral wall—an unfortunate scenario witnessed on numerous occasions.  While many beaches allow for independent snorkeling, we strongly recommend a guided snorkeling tour led by an experienced guide familiar with the water.  This not only enhances safety but also enriches your overall experience, ensuring you explore the marine wonders with confidence and expertise of a local.

Snorkeling Tours at Tres Palmas Reserve

Video - Snorkeling at Steps Beach in Rincon

Map - Steps Beach

Aguadilla - Snorkeling and Lively Beach Experience

Best Snorkeling Tours & Beaches

Crash Boat Beach

Best snorkeling places in Puerto Rico - Aguadilla

Beneath the unassuming facade of that weathered pier lies a snorkeler’s paradise, unveiling one of the best and most easily accessible spots adorned with a vibrant artificial reef bustling with colorful fish and coral.  Despite its unassuming appearance, Crash Boat transforms into a family-friendly haven.  This beach is designed for family enjoyment, even extending the snorkeling experience to toddlers.  The north side of the pier, closest to the beach, boasts shallow spots ideal for the littlest adventurers when the tide is low and the waters are calm.  While winter ushers in rough waters and attracts surfers from late spring to late fall, Crash Boat emerges as an ideal snorkeling haven during summers.  The water, boasting remarkable clarity and maintaining a pleasant temperature of 82 degrees, beckons enthusiasts to explore its underwater wonders.

Snorkeling Tours in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Video - Snorkeling at Crash Boat Beach

Safety Tip

If you’re not an experienced swimmer or snorkeled, we strongly advise booking a guided snorkeling tour with a knowleadable local.  The waters of Crash Boat may look calm and clear, but at times, depending on various factors, local experts have informed us of dangerous undertows and currents from time to time.  Locals snorkel at Crash Boat, but they know the waters well.  Please spend a little extra money for a safer and more pleasant experience, you can reserve, pay later and easily cancel.

Scuba Diving at Crash Boat Beach

For those seeking a bit more adventure, the pier at Crash Boat is a hub for scuba divers, offering a fun and straightforward dive.  So, whether you’re a family looking for a snorkeling retreat or a scuba enthusiast seeking an easy dive, Crash Boat promises an aquatic escape filled with wonders waiting just beneath the surface.

Top Rated Scuba Diving Tours on the West Coast of Puerto Rico

Playa Peña Blanca

Snorkeling in Puerto Rico - Best beaches in Aguadilla

Playa Peña Blanca is also a great beach for snorkeling, where you’ll often spot beautiful sea turtles in crystal clear waters.   Playa Peña Blanca is only accessible during the summer months.

Video Inspiration

Guanica, Puerto Rico - Best Family Snorkeling Experience

Best Snorkeling Tours & Beaches

Gilligan’s Island – Best Place to Snorkel for Families with Children

Gilligan's Island, Guanica, Puerto Rico - Best snorkeling beaches in Puerto Rico

Gilligan’s Island, officially named Cayo Aurora in the town of Guanica, has secured its place as one of our top recommendations for snorkeling, particularly for families with children. This pristine island resembles a colossal, crystal-clear pool featuring shallow waters tailor-made for young snorkelers.  Children can comfortably sit in two feet of water, where playful schools of tiny fish circle around their feet.  While the underwater landscape may not showcase an extensive variety of coral, Gilligan’s Island offers enchanting playground for fish at the roots of mangrove trees, you can snorkel all around the island through the channel effortlessly with a gentle current.  Gilligan’s Island is a haven where families can create cherished memories of aquatic exploration and marine wonders. 

Snorkeling Charters to Guanica

Video - Snorkeling at Gilligan's Island

Map - Gilligan's Island

La Parguera Nature Reserve - Snorkeling & Bio Bay Day Trip

Snorkeling & Bioluminescent Bay Experience

Caracoles

La Parguera - Puerto Rico Snorkeling Beaches

La Parguera Nature Reserve may be the highlight of your south coast adventure; made up of mangrove islands, coral reefs, natural pools, salt marshes, and petite cays, creating a haven of clear waters that serve as underwater playgrounds.  Here, encounters with dolphins, turtles, barracudas, and even manatees are not uncommon.  Among the favored spots are the popular mangrove cays, Caracoles, and Mata La Gata, nestled conveniently next to each other, making a dual visit a delightful morning adventure. Your tour guides will expertly lead you to additional snorkeling sites within La Parguera, revealing the hidden treasures beneath the surface.  After a day of snorkeling, swimming, and exploring, the quaint fishing village surrounding the reserve welcomes you with various restaurants.  Here, you can savor the delights of fresh fish and indulge in traditional Puerto Rican fritters, putting the perfect finishing touch on an enriching day of coastal exploration.  It doesn’t end at sunset, after dinner head back to the water on a bioluminescent bay tour.  La Parguera is the only bioluminescent bay where you can swim, so prepare for an exciting experience.

Snorkeling Charters to La Parguera Nature Reserve

Video - Snorkeling at Caracoles Cay

Map - La Parguera - Lajas, Puerto Rico

Isla de Mona

Mona Island often called “The Galapagos of the Caribbean”, a nature reserve uninhabited by humans but home to iguanas, healthy coral reefs with the riches underwater world. Getting here is a fun expedition not for the faint of heart, you may face pretty high waves on the way there, but 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 be the only ones there.

We are currently updating the charters available to Mona Island. 

Snorkeling Tours Directory by Region

How to use tours by region guides – We have divided tours to save you a lot of time when searching for a snorkeling tour.  For example, if you’re staying in San Juan, use the San Juan / North Coast snorkeling page; the tours listed are local (meet in San Juan), or offer transportation from San Juan to other good snorkeling places around the island.

Puerto Rico Things to Do ⎮ Puerto Rico Snorkeling Tours & Best Places to Snorkel