Best Snorkeling Catalina Island

Snorkeling Catalina Island

Around 26 miles off the south western coast of Los Angeles Catalina is one of California's Channel Islands. It has amazing snorkeling that will leave you speechless. Not only does it have the best snorkeling but it is easily accessible from the mainland and has spectacular wildlife, Mt. Orizaba which is the tallest mountain great for hiking and 2 harbours. There is around 4000 people who live permanently on the island and has a area of around 120 square miles.

To and From

It is as easy as hoping on a ferry! The Catalina Express has 3 different routes you can take from the main land including:

San Pedro to Two Harbours and Avalon

Long Beach to Avalon

Dana Point to Avalon

There are year round ferry trips and up to 30 round trip ferries daily. It takes around an hour to go one way so easily accessible for day trips and there are lots of local hotels and services to spend the night. Check the website for exact departures and arrivals just click on the link below or call:


Telephone: 1-800-613-1212

From early morning departures out of Long Beach at 6:45 am and returning around 7:30 pm and throughout the day. Make sure days and times correspond before booking your trip.

Prices are as follows:

Adult (12-54 yrs) $ 36.00 $ 72.00
Senior (55+ yrs) $ 32.50 $ 65.00
Child (2-11 yrs)* $ 28.25 * $ 56.50 *
Infant (under 2 yrs) $ 2.50 * $ 5.00 *
Bikes/surfboards $ 3.50 $ 7.00
Captains Lounge Upgrade $ 60.00 $ 120.00
Commodore Lounge Upgrade $ 15.00 $ 30.00

Lover's Cove

A hot spot for snorkeling on Catalina Island. It has a pebbly beach but don't let that fool you with because the snorkeling is fantastic once you get in the water! Have those water shoes ready and opened heeled fins for easy access and away you go. There are picnic tables for lunch and restrooms close by at the Ferry Landing so need to worry if your lunch looked a little questionable. There is no parking but is only a short walk and there are no dogs allowed at the beach. The address is:

lovers cove

Pebbly Beach Road
Avalon, CA 90704

You will see lots of marine life there including the rocky reef and Garibaldi, rockfish, rays, kelp bass and maybe even and octopus!

The fish are not afraid of humans and have got used to being fed. If you do have bread or peas for the fish I would recommend wearing gloves as sometimes they might nipple a little too much. You won't be in any danger but little nibbles on the fingers can be uncomfortable.

Lovers Cove is great for the whole family. The depth gets to about 15 feet at the deepest point so make sure you have a snorkel vest for the kids or people are just not that comfortable in the water yet.

The best time to go is in the summer and the water is in the low 70's which is ideal to cool off in once the scorching heat arrives.

Descanso Beach Snorkeling

Another great spot to go snorkeling, it is north of Avalon on Catalina Island. It is a private beach but is open to the public, however, there is a small charge that won't break the bank. The beach is pebbly like the other beaches but there are a few sandy spots to lounge out and get comfortable in. Not only can you snorkel here (which I will talk about shortly), but you can kayak, go swimming, use Stand Up Paddle boards. There is a Restaurant with a bar if you get quite thirsty after snorkeling. If you took your boat there you can moor it but check with the marina first. There are restrooms and showers available to clean up after a big day of fun! No dogs unfortunately if you have your pooch with you.

If you are looking for something different you can Snuba as well. It is an enclosed dome over your head and a breathing apparatus that connects to the surface.

You can call the Santa Catalina Island Company at 310-510-2350 or check out their website for further information.

There is a flourishing amount of marine life much like Lovers Cove but a few nicer amenities that will leave a lasting impression. You can stay at the beach club which is beautiful but a little pricy if you are on a budget!

Check out their website for specials and more information. Just click the link below and remember they have hotels at Avalon and Two Harbors so make sure you book the right hotel!

Ron Moore's Snorkeling Catalina

Looking for a guided snorkeling tour on Catalina Island? Check out Ron Moore's Snorkeling Catalina! From $49.00 this tour is perfect for the beginner or someone who wants to try snorkeling for the first time. You will go to Lover's Cove which is a pebbly beach so make sure you have your snorkel boots for protection and the tour does include all of your gear but as always I recommend you bringing your own to make sure that it will work perfectly. This is a 1 hour guided tour and there is an option to go explore on your own for a second tour for no additional charges.

Looking for something a little more exciting... Check out a night snorkeling tour through Lover's Cove. Lots of marine life stays hiding during the day so at night you will see much more that you may have never seen before. It is recommended that you are comfortable snorkeling or have experience prior. Make sure you are wearing a snorkel vest just in case and that way you will be visible and can still enjoy the sights of night time snorkeling! This tour is from $65.00 and is a lot of fun.

For contact information

Email -

Phone - 310-510-3175

Ron's Cell - 562-472-4503

Website -

Other places

Catalina Island is just a quick ferry ride to a wonderful vacation that is right in your back yard.  Check out other destinations on our website that will fill you in about amazing snorkeling in Belize, Cancun, Maui, San Diego and much more.  Just click on the name and you will be on your way to more great vacations!

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