Barbados is infamous for its glorious, soft, sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. The weather is warm all year round and the coral reef sits close enough to the shore to bring in a wealth of tropical fish and other wildlife.
It’s an amazing holiday destination, with the island offering something for all types of people including hikers, snorkelers, surfers or even just those who want to chill out and get away from it all.
Because of its amazing coral reef, there are some perfect snorkeling spots to experience the colorful underwater world. Here are some of the best Barbados snorkeling spots.
Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Carlisle Bay is one of the most celebrated snorkeling spots in Barbados because of its crescent-shaped bay, which is home to multiple shipwrecks including the Barge, Cornwallis, Bajan Queen, Eillon, Ce-Trek and Berwyn. The wrecks start from 7 feet long and just below the surface, right up to 55 feet sunken ships at the bottom of the ocean.
Shipwrecks form the perfect home for tropical fish and other marine wildlife, giving the keen snorkeler plenty to look at.
Each ship is marked with a buoy to make them easily visible by boat, so even less confident snorkelers can reach the most interesting places.
The shallow reef of Paynes bay attracts a huge range of marine wildlife including moray eels, manta rays, grouper, seahorses and tigerfish. The bay offers the ability for snorkeling in very shallow water, meaning it’s the most suitable for children.
The area has also been noted to attract green turtles at certain times of the year. As well as snorkeling, it’s a popular spot for jet skiing and kayaking.
If you’re feeling like more of a chilled-out day in the sun, catamarans frequently take out snorkeling parties, so you can get off and on the boats at your leisure.
Heywoods is a secluded and peaceful beach offering a tranquil snorkeling experience for the more experienced snorkeler. You can also arrange beginners’ trips with an instructor who will help you into the calm water and the more convenient spot to find wildlife.
Because of the beach’s private location, it’s advisable to pack your own lunch and fetch drinks with you.
This private beach is cut off from the rest of the island by a row of trees, making it the perfect romantic place to relax in between your snorkeling sessions.
Because of the shallow water, you’ll see needlefish, flounder, eels and rainbowfish. At this part of the island, the wildlife is less accustomed to tourism, so you may find that the fish come right up to you to explore.
The beach is also adjacent to Holetown and Speightstown, making it the ideal place to grab some food and drink after your day in the ocean.
Dover beach is on the south coast of the island, making the ocean choppier and the waves larger. It’s the perfect spot for water sports such as windsurfing or boogie boarding. The beach has a chilled, surfer vibe and offers an onsite beach bar and restaurants for your convenience.
Although it’s a little tougher to spot the smaller fish at this point, the area is known for turtle sightings and is frequented with octopi and larger sea creatures which makes for a wonderfully unique snorkeling experience.
Folkestone Marine Park
The Folkestone Marine Park is notorious for its calm waters and safe snorkeling environment. The off-limits areas are ropes off between buoys and you’ll be constantly overlooked by reliable lifeguard supervision.
This makes Folkestone the perfect place for beginner snorkelers who are eager to spot tropical fish, sea sponges and colorful plant life.
Offshore, an artificial reef was created around the Stavronikita shipwreck to attract more wildlife. The wreck is most easily accessible by boat and the trips are frequent. You’ll also be able to reserve beach chairs and parasols for your relaxing afternoon.
Mullins beach lies on the west coast of the island near the St. Lawrence Gap. This creates the ideal shopping and dining location after your snorkeling day out. The coast is sheltered by a rocky cove, keeping the wind away and calming any waves.
It’s an excellent place to take a walk into the water and snorkel. Make sure you have your water shoes handy though, as some of the floor can be a little rocky in places.
Barbados is a fantastic destination for snorkeling and there are so many spots to enjoy rich and varied wildlife. Make sure you pick a spot which suits your snorkeling level to ensure you stay say out in the ocean.