Snorkeling is a must do when visiting Barbados. With a number of colourful coral reefs to explore and plenty of fascinating marine life to see, snorkeling is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike.
Snorkeling is a fun, exciting and relatively easy activity for the whole family to enjoy. Unlike scuba diving, snorkeling involves little training or expertise.
Avid snorkelers will delight in the number of convenient, easily accessible snorkeling locations around Barbados. Snorkel equipment can be easily rented or purchased from a number of island shops or beach-side kiosks. Alternatively, join a guided tour or book a trip on one of the many catamaran cruises that operate daily around the island.
What to see
Snorkelers will have plenty to see almost anywhere along Barbados' coastline. You don't need to swim too far from shore to view a range of sea creatures and tropical fish, coral formations, slugs, starfish, sea urchins and even turtles.
The best place snorkeling conditions can be found along the fringes or patches reefs found close to shore. View colourful corals and schools of tropical fish and other sea creatures that feed off the reefs.
Sandy bottoms afford snorkelers the chance to view the occasional sea snake, conch shell and star fish. Sea horses can also be found close to shore. Look closely at weeds and plant life as they are often very hard to spot.
Savvy snorkelers will pay close attention to rocks, cement blocks, logs and old jetty remains, wrecks or other debris. Take a close look around as these spots make excellent homes and hiding places for fish and other sea life including octopus, moray eels and other exciting finds.
Swim with Turtles
Barbados is well-known for its prolific number of Hawksbill turtles which are present year round. Lucky snorkelers might also see leatherback and green turtles. The best time to view leatherback turtles are during the months of February and July when they visit Barbados' shores to nest.
For more information on Barbados' turtles, visit the Barbados Sea Turtle Project's official website at www.barbadosseaturtles.org.
When to Snorkel
The island is blessed with the warm blue waters of the the Caribbean Sea along the south and west coasts and slightly cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean along the eastern and northern shores.
Water temperatures rarely go below 79°F (25°C) and the visibility is excellent for snorkeling year round. Avoid snorkeling after a storm or when waves are present. Storms often kick up the sand and make for poor visibility while waves can make it difficult to position yourself along the water's surface and risk getting water into your snorkel making it difficult to breathe through the tube.
Where to Snorkel
All beaches in Barbados are open to the public however snorkelers should contain their adventures to the calmer waters of the south and west coasts where there almost a continual line of white sand beaches, less wave action and a number of beautifully maintained and fully accessible beaches to swim out from.