How Is the Snorkeling in Antigua?

By Joe Laing – (Airdrie, Alberta, Canada)
I was wondering how the snorkeling is on Antigua? Is it worth taking a snorkeling trip there or should we go to a different island in the Caribbean? Can we snorkel from the beach or is it all by boat tour? Thanks for any information. We love to snorkel.

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Anonymous – Nov 4, 2014 – Poor Shore Snorkeling

Hi! We snorkeled Antigua two years ago. We were quite disappointed with the shore snorkeling. We didn’t do any boat trips so I can’t comment on that. We went to basically all of shore sites all week and none were great. Very damaged reefs and not many fish. I wouldn’t recommend Antigua as a good shore snorkeling island. We found Curacao and Bonaire to be 100 times better.

Older Couple – Nov 4, 2014 – Antigua Snorkeling

The only “from the shore” snorkeling we found on Antigua was at Hawksbill Beach. It is a beautiful beach and is frequented by nudists. Just go there, respect any beachers, and head for the water. Snorkel out to and carefully around the Hawksbill Rock. We found no shore snorkeling elsewhere after a week in Antigua. We did not experience any boat trip snorkeling in Antigua.

Good luck. 🙂

Anonymous – Nov 6, 2014 – Antigua Snorkeling Was Disappointing

We were in Antigua in January 2014. The beaches are beautiful but we drove around the whole island and found no good snorkeling. We went out on a boat day trip which turned out to be very rough so all I can say was disappointing snorkeling!

Bonaire and Curacao were awesome!

Music Mom – Nov 7, 2014 – Antigua Snorkeling a No-Go

Went to Antigua in July 2013 for our 20th anniversary, fabulous resort, great food, nice water, but the snorkeling was terrible! The coral is all bleached white-gray, very small amount of fish to be seen, very rough waters. The boat ride was the best part. After the Disney-like colors of Roatan, we were terribly disappointed with the blah. It is not worth the trip if that’s what you’re after!

Peg – Nov 8, 2017 – Snorkeling 2017

Has anyone tried to snorkel in Antigua in 2017? We have been going to St John, USVI for over 20 years but now the island is practically destroyed, so we are looking for another good snorkel island, going in January 2018.

Anonymous – Dec 27, 2017 – Know Where to Go

We stayed at the Veranda Resort and walked to the nearby bay down the road to the east. It was very good snorkeling off the beach on the right hand side. We saw all the usual reef fish, plus large sting rays, turtles, and barracuda.

Also near the Veranda Resort is the natural bridge. Before you get there the road narrows and you can see water on both sides in bays. We snorkeled there as well. It’s a little deeper, and though not as good as the other place, there were many fish to still see. There was no coral but still quite a few fish.

If you want great snorkeling and are tired of Mexico, head to Roatan!

Anonymous – Jan 15, 2018 – Know Where to Go

Would the bay to the east of Veranda be Long Bay? Near the Grand Pineapple Resort? Or is it the bay the Veranda Resort is on? Thanks for any clarification.

Mamie – Nov 3, 2019 – Antigua Updates?

Any updates on beach snorkeling in Antigua? It’s appealing because it’s a nonstop flight from where I live but not if there is no beach snorkeling!

Nicole & Galen – May 25, 2020 – Freeman’s Bay Snorkeling

Site visitor Steven shared a story about his experience snorkeling at Freeman’s Bay Antigua we think you might find useful.

1 Comment

  1. Hello! We are avid snorkelers and decided to try Antigua this year, as it is fairly easy to get to. We had low expectations about this island in regards to snorkeling, but we also like to try new places. I would rate this island as average for snorkeling; there is not a lot of coral, but plenty of life under the sea!

    We were there for two weeks in January 2024, so had a chance to try quite a few beaches. There’s not a lot on the north side; we tried to boat to Prickly Pear twice, but the conditions were too rough.

    On the west side, there are a few notable beaches; Deep Bay was one of our favorites. Focus on the north side of the beach along the rocks. We tried Galley Bay, but conditions were choppy that day. Hawksbill is another good snorkeling beach. Darkwood Beach, near the rock wall, has some interesting critters and healthy coral formations. Turner’s Beach has quite a bit of diversity as well. We opted out of taking an excursion to Cades Reef, as the water conditions were always quite rough, but it is supposed to be the best snorkeling in Antigua.

    Towards the East coast, we swam at Pigeon Point. It is mostly sea grass with some different fish around. Towards the middle of the bay, you will see larger fish, turtles and rays, but must watch for boat traffic. Galleon Beach and Freeman’s Bay would be our favorites. We saw rays, porcupinefish, squid, turtles, crabs, large healthy coral and most other tropical fish. This is the place to see turtles. The conditions were calm one day, so we swam around the point to the Pillars of Hercules. Interesting rock formations in and out of the water!

    On the east side, we visited Half Moon Bay and Long Bay Beach. We enjoyed Half Moon, but there was sargassum at Long Bay and was a bit cloudy. If the conditions were better, we might have found some more gems. It’s an El Niño year, so the weather was a bit odd for January.

    To summarize, if you are a beginner snorkeler or are not expecting stellar snorkeling, you will be pleased with this island. The island is amazing to visit – great food, nice people, beautiful scenery as well.


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