These spots are a diver’s paradise

Located in the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a beautiful chain of islands in the southern part of the Lesser Antilles arc. Made up of the main island, Saint Vincent, and 31 other islands and smaller cays – the largest being Bequia, Canouan, Mayreau and Union Island – this paradise is a haven for healthy reefs and marine biodiversity and is therefore teeming with exceptional snorkeling spots. Affectionately dubbed the ‘Creature Capital of the Caribbean’, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as a group, boasts around 65 square miles of coral reef, where around 400 species of reef fish bustle amid overflowing underwater flora.

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Although this Caribbean archipelago is not particularly renowned for snorkeling off the beach, its most dazzling spots can be reached by boat, with many excursions available for visitors who wish to explore the underwater kingdoms of these islands. Naturally, with breathtaking coral reefs, pristine coastlines, postcard-perfect beaches, exploring the beauty of the SVG Islands beyond beaches and sublime shorelines via boat trips is a must. Plus, like some of the lesser-visited Caribbean islands, this underrated gem truly is the ultimate off-the-beaten-track retreat, ideal for jet-setters in need of a crowd-free vacation in pure paradise. Once those toes are sandy, the hair is crisp and salty, the warm tropical breeze is blowing and the reefs are bustling before your eyes, taking time to research the best spots to snorkel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines before this dream getaway will prove it was worth it.

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8 Wallilabou Bay

Wallilabou Bay has the privilege of being called the best land-based snorkeling destination on the main island of St. Vincent. In fact, its bay may be familiar to lovers of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies; a number of scenes were filmed in this very location (all the more reason to check this one off the bucket list). Even those who have never heard of Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbosa and Davey Jones will find their fantasies fully satisfied here thanks to the excellent dive sites just off the coast; from a variety of colorful corals, gorgonians and sponges to fireworks of tropical fish below the surface of the water, this sensational section of the island catches the eyes of discerning nature lovers, not just filmmakers.

Additionally, particular swimmers to watch out for here are moray eels, trumpetfish, damselfish, wrasse, and blue tangs, which are usually found among reefs and rocky seabeds. Add the whimsical rock formations and sheer cliffs creating a stunning backdrop while plunging into the waters, and Wallilabou Bay is truly a picture of paradise.

seven mayreau

Within the Tobago Cays Protected Marine Park, Mayreau Island is a mecca for snorkelers and snorkelers. Many great diving and snorkeling spots abound in the fairytale underwater world here; however, among its most notable are the Gardens of Mayreau – a kaleidoscopic reef teeming with biodiversity. Home to rainbow-colored coral gardens, brightly colored sponges, clouds of tropical fish, marine snails and the biggest boys, such as sea turtles, stingrays, barracudas and sharks, most creatures snorkelers and snorkelers would ever wish to see in this part of the Caribbean can be observed in this beautiful underwater ecosystem.

Submarine enthusiasts can also find fringing reefs near the beaches on the northeast coast of Mayreau Island, but a boat trip might be the best option if they intend to explore the areas. Mayreau gardens further from the shores which are not easily accessible by swimming. Additionally, tourists visiting this area of ​​St. Vincent and the Grenadines get the best of both; Home to some of the most spectacular sea reefs and picturesque beaches in the Caribbean, Mayreau is an undisputed choice for a day of snorkeling (or scuba diving) and buzzing beach. Windward Bay, Saline Bay and Salt Whistle Bay are some of the best beaches promising screensaver-worthy scenes.

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6 Canouan

Located in the southern Grenadines, Canouan Island is a little different from the others as it offers some of the best shore snorkeling available in the entire archipelago. Home to a mile-long reef that shelters the coast, the ocean conditions here are ideal for snorkeling and swimming, which means calm, crystal-clear waters ideal for spotting all the busy underwater animals that thrive in inside.

The abundant marine species here include tons of reef fish, bizarre brain corals and many other exciting creatures to observe and admire. In addition, the beauty of Canouan Island also lies in its accessibility and its possibility of spending the night there if visitors are so enchanted by its splendor that it is impossible for them to leave. With an array of resorts and accommodations on the island, guests can stay and create an extra part of their vacation if they wish; if not, they can always take their exploration in the form of a day trip by boat.

5 The Tobago Cays

Composed of five desert islets, namely Baradal, Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Petit Tabac and Jamesby, the Tobago Cays are divine and surrounded by a vast system of coral reefs. Part of the 1,400-acre Tobago Cays Marine Park, the area’s waters are fully protected and therefore promise some of the most incredible snorkeling spots in all of the Caribbean. Of all the best spots, one of the main highlights is the 2.5-mile Horseshoe Reef, which wraps around the small islets found here.

With spectacular displays of marine life, such as colorful corals and gorgonians, turtles, eagle rays, nurse sharks and a host of reef fish, adding the Tobago Cays to your snorkeling list will lead to many rewards. However, visitors should note that these cays are only accessible by boat, although there are many day trips, guided tours and catamaran cruises offering access from St. Vincent and its other smaller sister islands. , such as Bequia, Canouan and Union. . Getting to the Tobago Cays by water taxi is also a viable option, which can be done from Union, Canouan, Mayreau.

Related: Adventure Awaits: Snorkel the Caribbean’s Largest Reef

4 Little St. Vincent

Located near Carriacou – Grenada’s sister island – Petit Saint-Vincent is one of the southernmost islands of the Grenadines. Operating as a resort, the island is privately owned, where 115 acres of its serene space promise one of the most luxurious and exclusive tropical retreats in the Caribbean. Not only is an opulent paradise nestled in the utmost privacy, the island is also a top scuba diving and snorkeling hotspot, with a number of exquisite diver sites accessible directly from the beach.

From pristine coral to a wealth of tropical marine life, from colorful fish to eagle rays to sea turtles, there’s so much to behold in the teeming waters of this tiny speck of the Grenadines. . Amazingly, the resort here even has an artificial coral garden as part of its marine conservation initiatives, where elkhorn and staghorn corals are grown. As for the icing on the cake at this pristine pint-sized pinnacle, Petit St. Vincent also offers fantastic water sports and in-water activities ranging from relaxing to heart-training, like paddleboarding. -vantage, kite surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and, of course, scuba diving are available to resort guests.

3 palm island

The paradisiacal Palm Island is also a beautiful private island, reserved for guests of the Palm Island Resort and Spa and the high-end villas nearby. The bright white sand beaches of this tranquil island are lapped by transparent, shallow waters, ideal for inexperienced swimmers and snorkelers to find their fins. As stunning as Palm Island may be, its beautiful ocean doesn’t really have many corals or reef systems; however, what it lacks in the reef it makes up for with an abundance of brightly colored tropical fish and waveless waters perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing and many other memorable water sports and pastimes. wet.

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2 Bequia

Clearly, the largest of the Grenadines is sure to offer a sampling of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking snorkeling adventures – but that “largest” branding is somewhat misleading since it’s only seven square miles. Only ten miles from Saint-Vincent, it is easy to reach the island of Bequia; however, it is still relatively unvisited and undiscovered despite its proximity to the main island of these regions. With a number of wonderful waters to discover, it is not easy to choose the best of the Bequia group in terms of snorkeling sites. Yet the point known as the Devil’s Table consistently ranks among the most cited centers for sea adventurers, where a shallow reef enjoyed by snorkelers and snorkelers alike serves as a prolific breeding ground for sea creature bounties. .

This pristine reef is home to habitats for a myriad of creatures large and small, including gorgonians, crawfish, octopus, parrotfish, snappers, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays and adorable seahorses. The Lower Bay is also a great site for snorkelers, where a laid-back stretch of sand provides snorkeling access right from shore at the western end of the beach. For even more beach lounging and calm water snorkeling spots, Industry Bay and Spring Bay are equally worthy candidates to add to the list of places to visit.

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1 Petit Byahaut

Last but not least, Petit Byahaut is on the southwest coast of St. Vincent – but it’s unlike any other and therefore deserves a serious shout-out. Boasting a paradise lagoon accessible only by yacht, visitors can discover an underwater cave known locally as the Bat Cave (no Bruce Waynes inside though – he’s probably on one of the private yachts docked basking in the sun).

Plus, it’s not just cavernous sites and pretty lagoon landscapes above water to explore and adore here; it is also the spectacular underwater natural formations that complete the snorkeling experience. At Dinosaur Head – a scenic location in Byahaut Point – divers can admire the beautiful towering underwater wall over 100 feet covered in colorful sponges, hard corals and beach grass.

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