Snorkeling in Puerto Rico
If you are heading down to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico is on your "must snorkel in the world" list, you have to bring your snorkeling gear! Puerto Rico has a beautiful mountains and waterfalls all over the island and the fresh water does come off into the ocean but only clouds small pockets of the ocean off the beach and does not affect your snorkeling.
In San Juan you can take day trips on fantastic catamarans to remote islands to snorkel, eat lunch, have beverages and enjoy the beautiful nature of Puerto Rico. You can check out Mona Island but make sure you bring your own gear to check out the sea. Caja De Muertos which is another spectacular island for best caribbean snorkeling.
Not only does Puerto Rico offer amazing snorkeling it has amazing Spanish Buildings and exquisite fortresses that you can check out and enjoy the entire country!
Culebra Island Adventures
If you don't like getting up early Culebra Island Adventures are for you! Tours start around 1 pm and most likely Island time so make sure your there but, you won't be rushed. Located on the West of the Island you will be looking out at amazing island scenery. You will be snorkeling in Tamarindo Beach while enjoying Culebra and Cay Luis Pena scenery. A natural reserve you swim in so make sure you don't touch, kick, or even take any of the marine life.
The beach is sand but has a mix of black, green and white pebbles and coral stone that are from the sea and make for an amazing beach just watch that you do not step on the sharp rocks. Water shoes are a great idea. There are NO lifeguards at this beach and the edge of the water drops off quickly to 5 feet so if you have children make sure they are wearing snorkel vests or a PFD.
You will see lots of brilliant fish, rays, starfish, sea urchins and lots of coral!
Mail: PO BOX 756 Culebra, Puerto Rico 00775
Telephone: 1 + (787) 529.3536
They are open every day year with lots of options to choose from. Tours start from $70.00 that can include pick up, gear, snacks, kayaking (which I highly recommend). They do NOT include sunscreen, towels, prescription masks, or water shoes so make sure you have these items and bring them with you.
One of my favorites snorkeling excursions is to Mona Island and is sometimes called the Galapagos Island of the Caribbean. So right there you know you won't be disappointed and is about 40 miles west of Puerto Rico. Not only is it world class snorkeling but you can go hiking, camping, check out historic sites with pictographs and petro glyphs, star gaze, fish and hunt! You might need more time there than a day trip!
***there are not hotels and you need a permit to camp before you go
You will see a wide arrangement of fish including octopus, rays, puffers, clownfish, turtles and much much more.
Getting to and from. Most companies on the island do charter boats or you can charter a private one if you are living more luxuriously. I have seen than you can fly into the area by plane but I have not found anyone who has but I would ask locals or even you hotel operator to make sure it is legit. Book your trip before you get there and if you are planning on staying the night or a few nights book well ahead. It will take about 3 hours or so (40 miles) so it is a long day but well worth it!
Caja de Muertos
Off the coast of Ponce in the south of Puerto Rico it is an uninhabited island which actual means Coffin Island. The name is derived from an 18th century French writer who noted the islands shape looks like a coffin. It is about 2 miles off the coast and you can get there by chartering a boat. The island is protected by the Reserva Natural due to the native turtle traffic and is 1 of 7 islands in the protection off the coast of Ponce.
You can get there by ferry from the La Guancha Boardwalk or charter a private boat. There are 4 different beaches that offer pristine white sandy beaches and amazing snorkeling. Make sure you bring your own gear though just in case you charter a boat and they do not have the best quality equipment.
Island Adventures is a great provider for getting to and from. They have a couple options for your economy and deluxe cruises.
Economy is $23.50 for children under 12 and $28.00 for adults over 12 and includes roundtrip to and from the island and does NOT include food or snacks.
Deluxe is $43.00 for children under 12 and $60.00 for over 12 and includes water, beer, soda, hot dogs, and chicken skewers.
La Guancha,00716 Ponce, PR.
In the southwest of Puerto Rico this is another amazing spot for snorkeling but is known for its bio luminescence whether you are kayaking or snorkeling I would HIGHLY recommend this if you have not yet see bio luminescence before. It is a speechless endeavor that cannot be missed.
If you are looking for an all day tour that takes you through La Paguera check out Viator which is a Trip Advisor sub company that won't disappoint you. Follow this link to book ahead from about $199.00
This is an 8 hour excursion from San Juan that does come with snorkeling gear but I highly recommend you bring your own for comfort. You will be swimming and snorkeling in the dark before a dinner is provided for you in the dinoflagellates that light up when you enter the water. They are harmless. As I said before if you have never seen anything like this it truly is amazing.
If you want to Kayak instead of snorkel you can check out Kayaking Puerto Rico from $48.00 and heading out in the evening and times vary depending on the season so check the website first.
Website : http://www.kayakingpuertorico.com/pages/biobay.html
Duration: 2 hours
Available from Monday through Saturday Only
Launch Site: Las Croabas, Fajardo.
Skill Level: Adults and children (6 years and up)
Light Snacks, water and refreshments served.
Overall if your up for a long trip and don't mind spending the money go for the big tour but if you are on a budget, go kayaking and you may be able to find other options through your hotel or even walking down the street. Have fun and get ready for a great day!