Snorkeling Spots In Puerto Rico?

by Mike
(Minnesota)

Do you or any of your readers know of any good snorkeling spots in Puerto Rico, including Culebra Island off the eastern coast? I am from the Midwest and about once a year, usually in the winter, I travel to Puerto Rico to visit an important customer.

If anybody does have experience with Puerto Rico snorkeling, how does it compare to the middle keys?

Comments for Snorkeling Spots In Puerto Rico?

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 20, 2012
Same question
by: JB

We have the same questions...wondering if anyone has snorkeled Cuelebra/Vieques or anywhere else in Puerto Rico? Keys were great, but you need a boat. Looking for snorkeling from beaches or off the beaten path snorkeling....Any advice?

Jul 01, 2012
Culebra Snorkeling is INCREDIBLE!
by: Wendy

Just returned from 10 days in Culebra, snorkeling to my heart's content. I can't begin to recommend it nearly enough! For such a tiny island (~4x7 miles), it has so many beautiful snorkeling areas (some with the most beautiful beaches, too).

From each one you can very easily snorkel straight from the shore into crystal clear, aqua blue, perfectly warm waters (since Culebra has no streams/rivers, no run-off occurs to cloud the water around the island). And, each one offers something a little bit different from the next.

Sea life abounds around this island - a couple of days I swam around turtles that feed and play in the sea grass, alongside the rays, at one beach named Tamarindo. Many of the locations are within a couple of miles from the little town of Dewey (the only town on the island).

The other great feature is the lack of tourism. This island is still relatively undiscovered. There is only one official resort - however guest houses abound which is really the way to go.

This special little place deserves a spot high up on a snorkeler's bucket list! I will be going back!

Jul 01, 2012
Blue Beach - Vieques
by: Anonymous

We have been to Vieques several times and love it! Really love Blue Beach. Great snorkeling out around the small Chicken Island. Green Beach is great too! Mosquito Pier had really interesting snorkeling. Also you can do the Bio Bay tour at night which is lots of fun! Vieques is now on our short list of places we must go back to!

Dec 02, 2012
Culebra Snorkeling Spots - May 2012
by: Steve

I am a diver and snorkeler, though now with 2 little kids I snorkel more than dive. I loved the snorkeling in Culebra! As Wendy said, you can flop in the water at many places around this tiny island and enjoy awesome snorkeling, with abundant fish life and often very healthy coral with lots of sea fans. We spent 10 days snorkeling every day, often two or three times. A few beaches stand out in my mind as having better and more interesting coral reefs and good fish life: Carlos Rosario, Tamarindo, and Melones.

Carlos Rosario requires about a 15 minute pretty easy hike to reach it. If you go to the right, you get deeper coral which reminds me of scuba diving, as there is a lot of terrain and very diverse coral. If you go left from the beach, it is more shallow (6-12 feet) with a lot to see. We didn't get to the point on the left, and I wonder what it's like around that point.

Tamarindo is known for turtles and rays, and has a lot of sea grass. We saw about 5-10 turtles each time we snorkeled there. If you go to the right, in shallower water you will find some nice coral with sea fans and lots of fish, and it gets better the farther you go, all the way up to the point. We didn't go past that point, as it took us about and hour to reach it, meandering slowly as we do. If you go left from the beach, you will come to a very shallow area as you approach the point on the left, and if you go past that, it remains shallow with interesting coral and some slight topography and very good fish life.

At Melones Beach we only went to the right and it has quite nice coral in the shallows, though you had to go some distance before the coral got very healthy.

We never saw more than 2 people at any of the snorkeling spots--pretty amazing!

The beaches are quite nice as well if you like to sit on them (I'm always in the water).

The island itself is sort of run down and definitely not touristy. Grocery stores are quite limited, such that we didn't really eat at our house often. Many restaurants are closed in the off season, though there are some pretty good ones. Many serve deep fried food.

Culebra had some of the best snorkeling I've ever done. It rivaled Glover's Reef 35 miles off the coast of Belize and was more interesting than any I've done in Hawaii (only been to Big Island and Kauai).

Aug 14, 2013
Culebra and Rincon (on the main island)
by: David

I had great snorkeling on the island of Culebra. There were some beaches (Tamarindo, Carlos Rosario, Flamenco) where you can snorkel yourself. I was just getting started with my own snorkeling here so didn't see as much as there is to actually see, but I definitely want to go back now to catch things I missed the first time around. There are also snorkel tours that you can do, leaving from Dewey (the only town).

Another great place I snorkeled was in a city called Rincon on the west coast of Puerto Rico. There are a few snorkeling beaches but I went to Steps Beach (very easy to find) that had shore snorkeling. I saw large schools of Blue Tangs, French Angelfish, Porkfish, chubs and grunts, as well as two sea turtles (one in the morning and then a different one when I went back after lunch). There are also a ton of Sea Fans and Elkhorn Coral here. You can see some of my pictures on flickr.

Feb 01, 2014
Rincón, Puerto Rico
by: Steven

Rincón, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer! Tres Palmas Federal Marine Reserve @ Steps Beach is easily accessible and offers instant access to incredible snorkeling from the shore. Elkhorn Coral, barracudas, sea turtles, French Angelfish, Spanish hawk, Rock Beauties, and schools of Blue Tang are among just some of the species easily found here.

Nearby Rincón there are two islands (Desecheo & Mona) often called the "Galapagos of the Caribbean" because of their unique flora and fauna. These spots are excellent for snorkeling and scuba diving; however you will require a boat and some preparation. Several charter boats out of Rincón service these islands.

Another great spot in Western Puerto Rico is Lajas (La Parguera area).

Apr 10, 2014
Where to stay in Culebra?
by: moleroja

Thanks to Nicole drawing my attention to Steve's comments, Culebra is on my short list for March of 2015. The main reason is that my 10 year old grandson will be coming, and this will be his first snorkeling experience. I want him to be able to swim to snorkel directly from a sandy beach.

Steve...did you rent a car while there? Thanks for any advice.

Apr 11, 2014
About Culebra car rentals
by: Steve

Moleroja, I would definitely recommend Culebra for your 10 year old grandson for snorkeling. The island is run down and in the off season it's a bit difficult to find decent restaurants and the grocery stores are extremely limited.

However, the snorkeling is excellent and incredibly accessible. Also, much of the snorkeling is in water that's less than about 8 feet deep, in case that matters for your grandson.

We researched rental cars quite extensively and decided to rent with Jerry's Jeeps. Some people call it Jerry's Heaps (!) since they're not new or pretty, but he keeps them running well and we had no problems with them. He's a great guy and if I go back I'll rent his jeeps again.

Happy snorkeling!

Jun 10, 2014
Culebra booked!
by: moleroja

Well, I just sent off two deposits for houses on Culebra, for next March. Thanks for all the info!

Jun 30, 2014
Culebra vs Mona snorkeling
by: Julie

Anyone know if the snorkeling is better in Culebra or Mona Island??

Click here to add your own comments

Ask your question or share a story! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Caribbean Snorkeling Stories and Q&A.


Share

Like

Follow