Sun, sand, and snorkeling! If you’re planning an adventure to the Caribbean Sea, then you know the importance of finding the perfect home base for your snorkeling vacation. But with so many hotel choices out there, how do you pick the best Caribbean snorkeling resort?
Worry not; we’ve collected a list of the top ten snorkeling resorts to help you explore the ultramarine underwater world of the Caribbean Sea. From shore snorkeling to spa treatments, we’ve got you covered.
Our top pick, Guana Island Resort, stands out for its private beaches, tropical fish, and authentic island feel. Let’s dive into this guide and explore the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts—your gateway to a world of marine wonders.
Top 10 Best Snorkeling Resorts in the Caribbean
- Coral Gardens, Turks and Caicos (Best Beach Snorkeling)
- Sunset House, Grand Cayman (Best for Underwater Exploration)
- Zemi Beach House, Anguilla (Best for Relaxation)
- Sorobon Beach Resort, Bonaire (Best for Adventurers)
- Cocobay Resort, Antigua (Best for Romantic Waterfront Escapes)
- Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort, Belize (Best Secluded Snorkeling Spot)
- Avila Beach Hotel, Curacao (Best Value)
- Guana Island Resort (Best Overall)
- Windsong Resort, Turks and Caicos (Best Luxury Boutique)
- Secret Harbour Beach Resort, St. Thomas (Best for Family-Friendly Snorkeling)
Best Snorkeling Resorts in the Caribbean
1. Best Beach Snorkeling – Coral Gardens, Turks and Caicos
If you’re looking for pristine beach snorkeling, then look no further than Coral Gardens Resort in Turks and Caicos. The resort is located on Grace Bay Beach, recently voted the #1 beach in the world by Trip Advisor.
With 30 luxurious suites for travelers of all budgets, can it get much better? Coral Gardens guarantees a high-quality boutique resort experience with direct access to the stunningly transparent sea, making it one of the best Caribbean resorts for snorkeling.
Plus, the calm water of Grace Bay Beach makes it great for snorkelers of all levels.
Even better, only a few steps from shore, you’ll find Bight Reef, one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean Sea. If you’re seeking beach snorkeling right from your resort, then Coral Gardens is one of the best Caribbean snorkeling hotels out there.
2. Best for Underwater Exploration – Sunset House, Grand Cayman
Located on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, Sunset House is one of the best snorkeling resorts for those eager to explore limestone outcrops over traditional beaches. With an abundance of marine life and clear seas, you’re guaranteed to spot a turtle or two.
For those seeking an extra adventure, Sunset House offers an on-set dive site with access to some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, including Grand Cayman’s exquisite reef wall. A little further out, you might even be able to see the famous bronze mermaid statue.
Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or just starting out, this is one of those Caribbean snorkeling resorts that caters to all levels and offers guided tours and hands-on professional dive instructors. If you’re passionate about marine life or eager to test your hand at underwater photography, then this resort is meant for you.
3. Best for Relaxation – Zemi Beach House, Anguilla
With unparalleled beachfront access, Zemi Beach House is one of those Caribbean resorts for snorkeling that offers luxury, beauty, and nature all in one. Located in the Shoal Bay of Anguilla, this resort offers snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding right in your backyard.
Stroll the white sand beaches or hire a private charter for a boat trip to see everything Anguilla has to offer. The Zemi Beach House is renowned for its Thai-style spa, so when you’re done with snorkeling, get ready to book a spa treatment—relaxation at its finest.
4. Best for Adventurers – Sorobon Beach Resort, Bonaire
Bonaire is a unique Caribbean island with a remote, cozy feel and dozens of flamingos, and it holds a reputation as one of the top Caribbean resorts for snorkeling out there.
On the sparkling shores, you’ll find the Sorobon Beach Resort, an adventurers’ dream. Located in the protected Lac Bay, the Sorobon Beach Resort offers turquoise waters and non-stop wind. Never been windsurfing? Even if you’re a newbie to the sport, the resort offers beginner lessons.
Spend your mornings snorkeling the shallow sea and your afternoons windsurfing the waves.
And if you prefer to stay in the water, you won’t be disappointed. The bay has a plethora of rich marine life, and with cottage beach houses to call home, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
5. Best for Romantic Waterfront Escapes – Cocobay Resort, Antigua
If you’d prefer a romantic getaway for your vacation, then this is one of the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts out there. With quaint, secluded cottages and private hammocks by the sea, Cocobay Resort in Antigua is an all-inclusive resort geared toward those seeking a haven away from it all.
And when you’re finally ready to leave your room, the idyllic Coco beach offers snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding. All non-motorized water sports are included! For an extra adventure (and a unique place to pull out that diamond ring) check out the resorts guided sailing tours.
If you’re craving love and fun in the sun, then this Caribbean resort is the spot for you and your partner.
Before you book, make sure you leave the kids at home, as Cocobay is an adults-only resort.
6. Best Secluded Snorkeling Spot – Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort, Belize
If you’re seeking a unique retreat in nature for your snorkeling trip, then look no further than Off the Wall Dive Center in Belize, one of the most unique out of all of the snorkeling resorts on our list. The eco-friendly resort, nestled in nature, is off-the-grid, a tranquil retreat with a commitment to sustainability and conservation.
Even better, the resort is close to the Belize barrier reef, meaning you’ll have over 700 patches of reefs to explore, giving guests a snorkeling adventure like no other. Ideal for eco-conscious travelers seeking to snorkel with vibrant marine life, Off the Wall is a haven in nature, a resort without the crowds.
7. Best Value – Avila Beach Hotel, Curacao
Avila Beach Hotel in Curacao is a family-run boutique hotel. With access to some of the best snorkeling spots in the country, it’s one of the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts out there. The centrally located hotel offers two beaches, an infinity pool, and access to an awesome coral reef right offshore.
The historic site was once the governor’s mansion and dates back to 1780 and combines a contemporary feel with rich cultural heritage. It’s a perfect spot for those who seeking a hotel that offers marine adventure without jeopardizing the culture of the country.
And with an affordable nightly rate, Avila Beach Hotel is a value you won’t want to miss.
8. Best Overall – Guana Island Resort
Guana Island Resort, located in the British Virgin Islands, is a private island complete with more than one private beach. It’s a paradise guaranteed to give you that true island vibe. With 850 acres and seven beaches, Guana Island Resort is nestled in the heart of untouched nature and surrounded by crystal clear sea and vibrant coral reefs.
Renowned for its privacy, the resort offers personalized service and unparalleled snorkeling; Guana Island Resort is our best overall pick. If you’re seeking a Caribbean getaway that combines snorkeling, nature, and low-key luxury, this intimate getaway is for you.
Oh, and they have their own flock of flamingos. Does it get any better than that?
9. Best Luxury Boutique – Windsong Resort, Turks and Caicos
Windsong Resort is the winner of the 2023 World of Travel Awards ‘Leading Boutique Hotel.’ In other words, this is one of those snorkeling resorts that offers a piece of paradise guaranteed to leave an impression. Only twenty yards from shore, you’ll find a snorkeling reef full of marine life.
Encompassing over four hundred feet of the famous Grace Bay beach, you’ll have access to an upscale snorkeling experience, complimentary water sports, and some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean.
Windsong is one of the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts, ideal for those who desire adventure without jeopardizing convenience and comfort.
10. Best for Family-Friendly Snorkeling – Secret Harbour Beach Resort, St. Thomas
Secret Harbour Beach Resort in St. Thomas was voted as TripAdvisor 2023 Travelers’ Choice Award. Located on Nazareth Bay, Secret Harbor Resort has ‘beach’ in it for a reason. This boutique resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands is renowned for being swim and snorkel-friendly.
In other words, if you’re traveling with children who are eager to dive into the Caribbean Sea, then this is the place for you. With beachfront rooms, boating charters, and water sports rentals, this resort has a little something for everyone.
Best Snorkeling Resorts in the Caribbean Shopping Guide
Traveling to the Caribbean for a snorkeling adventure is a dream for many, but avid travelers will tell you: Where you stay can make or break your trip.
So, out of all of the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts, which should you choose? Let’s face it: not every traveler has the same vision for the Caribbean vacation.
Let’s explore the different factors you might want to consider before choosing from the list of snorkeling resorts for your home base for your vacation.
This comprehensive guide can help you customize the different aspects of your vacation to ensure your Caribbean snorkeling trip is nothing short of magical.
Location, Location, Location
It’s likely you’re traveling a long distance to reach the Caribbean. The last thing you want is to arrive at your resort and have to jump through hoops just to dip your toes in the sea.
Obviously, you want a resort located on the ocean. It’s likely that will be easy to find. But what about the reefs? Do you need to drive to go snorkeling?
Or can you just stroll from your suite to the shore? And speaking of, are you looking for a private beach? What about trying out scuba diving, too? Are there dive sites nearby, as well?
Caribbean snorkeling resorts like Sunset House in Grand Cayman offer unique limestone outcroppings to snorkel and dive, while Windsong Resort in Turks and Caicos offers a stretch of pristine white sand beaches and coral reefs.
The best question to ask? How far will you have to walk before slipping into the sea?
You’re on a snorkeling trip, so this should probably be the first thing you look for in your resort. While the location part of your research will probably reveal the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts and their proximity to coral reefs, you might want to ask a few more questions.
Are there guided snorkeling tours? Quality gear? Can you rent a boat charter to go snorkel further out at sea? If your resort is near a reef, like Coral Gardens in Turks and Caicos, it’s likely you’ll have access to all of the above.
You know you’ll be spending half your vacation underwater, but what about when you breach the surface? Are you bee-lining it to the spa? Or do you prefer strolling barefoot to the outhouse behind the palm tree on the corner?
Most resorts offer amenities like fitness centers and spas, but not all are made the same. Zemi Beach House boasts a Thai-style spa.
And while Off the Wall Dive Center in Belize may include a private beach and be one of the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts out there, it also offers a state of the art compost toilet and swinging hammocks.
So, you value those top-tier amenities with infinity pools and saunas? Or are you craving a nature getaway with hiking trails in your backyard?
Dining in or Eating out?
You’re burning those calories in the sea; time to make them back in the kitchen.
Are you seeking a fine-dining experience with Michelin-starred chefs? Or do you prefer to get a taste of the local cuisine? Guana Island Resort combines the two with an on-site Orchard that supplies their organic menus. You can even plan a visit to see where your food comes from.
Pro-tip: If ‘Dining’ isn’t listed on the resort’s website, it’s likely that food isn’t the highlight of what they offer.
Cost and Value
Are you traveling solo or bringing along the whole brood? Considering your budget is important whenever you travel, but definitely when you’re headed to a foreign destination.
If you want to detach from your bank account on your vacation, it might be in your best interest to sift through the best Caribbean snorkeling resorts for one that’s all-inclusive, like Cocobay in Antigua. Just keep in mind, this one is only for the parents! (Childfree adults may find that factor adds an extra level of value.)
While all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean typically include meals, drinks, and activities, most resorts, even those not listed as all-inclusive, will likely include snorkeling in the cost. It’s worth it double check, especially since snorkeling is the main goal of your vacation.
If you’re planning on doing some exploring outside the resort, all-inclusive is likely not for you.
This might also be the case if you’re intending to do more than just snorkel. You might want to choose a more budget-friendly resort with the option of add-ons, like Avila Beach. This Curacao resort is a perfect launch pad to explore the country.
Are you on vacation to catch up on your sleep? Or are you traveling with your beau and seeking to do the opposite? Accommodations can make or break your trip. Are you seeking a luxurious suite designed for royalty? Or perhaps you’d prefer a beachfront cottage with extra privacy?
Maybe you’d just like the kids to have their own room. If so, the family-friendly Windsong resort is probably for you.
Either way, consider the room size, view, and distance to the beach before you book. Oh, and is room service included?
The best snorkeling resort for you might not be the best for someone else, which is why it’s so important to consider what you’re hoping to get out of your trip. Is it important that the resort practices sustainability? Are there shuttles to and from the airport? Security cameras?
By asking these questions and taking into account what matters to you, you’re guaranteed to find the right Caribbean resort to make your snorkeling vacation the best it can possibly be.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I look for when it comes to snorkeling?
When you’re picking a Caribbean resort geared towards snorkeling, check for the proximity to coral reefs. Do you have to walk or drive to go snorkeling? Is the snorkeling gear included in the price of your stay, or will you have to rent it out? Are there guided snorkeling tours?
Can beginners snorkel at the resorts?
Of course! If you’ve never snorkeled before, check to see if your resorts offer beginner lessons or guided tours. There’s a reason the Caribbean is geared towards snorkeling. The water is crystal-clear, calm, and often shallow enough to stand.
Plus, most snorkeling gear will include a life vest for peace of mind.
What is the best time of year to plan a snorkeling trip in the Caribbean?
Because the Caribbean is located near the equator, seasons are separated between the rainy and dry seasons. The best time to snorkel is when the weather is dry, the rain is sparse, and the water is clear.
The dry season in the Caribbean is between December and April. You’ll be able to skip the hurricane season, run from the winter up north, and experience water temperature is warmest and the marine life is the most active.
Now that you have an idea of what to consider before booking your snorkeling resort in the Caribbean, you’ll be better prepared to narrow down your options. Remember to consider key factors like location to coral reefs, preferred amenities, dining options, and the overall cost and value for your unique trip.
Guana Island Resort stands out as the best overall option for its combination of luxury and access to nature, coral reefs, and marine life. For those seeking a more budget-friendly snorkeling adventure, check out Avila Beach Hotel in Curacao.
Whatever Caribbean resort you pick, the crystal-clear sea will be waiting for you. Happy snorkeling!
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