Snorkel

See What Life has to Offer Underneath the Water

A lot of times when we imagine jetting away to a Caribbean island, we think of beautiful beach views, ice-cold beverages and lots of R&R. And while this all sounds like a perfect way to spend your time off, there’s plenty of other activities to explore, including some under the water. The Caribbean and Mexico are home to some of the most beautiful beaches and some even more stunning sea life. Here are a few of the best Caribbean & Mexico snorkeling resorts, where you can discover the wonders of the sea with your very own eyes.

Snorkeling's Best Kept Secret: Riviera Maya

The first ‘Snorkeler's Paradise’ we’d recommend is in Riviera Maya. Located just outside of Cancun, Riviera Maya is an ideal Mexican destination to embark on an underwater adventure but also still enjoy everything an all-inclusive resort has to offer. One of our favorites here is 5-star, all-inclusive Valentin Imperial Maya. This large resort is located on Playa del Secreto, or “The Secret Beach,” making it a perfect hiding place to catch some beautiful snorkeling views as well.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Mexico & Caribbean from Cheapcaribbean.com

It’s been rumored that there is a very active sea turtle life here. In fact, there’s a good chance you can catch a mother turtle harvesting her eggs somewhere along the half-mile stretch of stunning beach.

The great thing about the location of this resort is it makes for quick, easy access to Cozumel, which also boosts some unforgettable snorkeling and adventure. When you aren’t busy wearing out your goggles and mask, be sure to take advantage of all the amenities this resort offers. There are eight full restaurants, all sampling different cuisines from all over the world and nine bars with all types of concoctions and beverages that will leave you thirsty for more.  And during the day, bounce between the three different pools, Jacuzzi and even get a round of sand volleyball going. This secluded resort is the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of thrill seeking mixed with a little relaxation.

Luxury and Snorkeling Combined: Grand Cayman Island

If you’re interested in understated luxury paired with the best Caribbean snorkeling, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is an absolute must.  Grand Cayman Island sits on Seven Mile Beach, which is infamous for its breathtaking scenery, as well as underwater views. Reefs like Cemetery Reef surround this island, where schools of Sergeant Majors surround the swimmers or Cheeseburger Reef, where 10 feet of water is home to plenty of friendly fish and iconic coral. And don’t underestimate the beaches on the Marriott shore…these current-free waters are home to parrotfish, yellowtail damsels and other colorful species just waiting to show off for snorkelers.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Caribbean & Mexico, Grand Cayman Island from Cheapcaribbean.com

The crystal clear waters of Seven Mile Beach will practically be summoning you into diving underwater and seeing what colorful sea life accompanies these beaches.

Not only will you find colorful coral and playful sea creatures, this resort is home to 303 guests rooms and 4 deluxe suites that are the most spacious on the island. A recent renovation now allows for guests to take advantage of an all-inclusive option, fully equipped with four different restaurants and unlimited cocktails. When you’re not busy taking in the views on the iconic Seven Mile Beach, take a dip in the free form pool and hot tub that stretches 85 feet along the beach. With a resort that’s focused on luxury AND located on some of the best snorkeling waters in the world, your vacation and underwater adventure is calling…and we suggest picking up that call.

One Stop Shop for Snorkeling and Fun: Cancun 

For those of you that have been to Cancun, you know that this destination is never lacking in its imperial beaches, saucy nightlife and a wide selection of resorts that are sure not to disappoint. Named one of the “Top 20 Resorts in Mexico,” by Travel +Leisure, Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa is one of our favorites if you’re looking for quality time with some of earth’s friendliest creatures.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Caribbean & Mexico, Cancun from Cheapcaribbean.com

The onsite lagoon makes it easier than ever to spend some quality time with Mother Nature's creatures of the sea.

Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa is the only area resort offering beaches on three sides and a chance to swim with dolphins right on the hotel grounds. You can even book a room with a view of the dolphin pool. The private saltwater lagoon, unique to Dreams Cancun, is filled with sea turtles and tropical fish. There are also dolphins at Delphinus Dreams Cancun complex, making it easy to take a dip with these fun, friendly creatures. This Dreams resort is the ultimate family vacation with an Explorer’s Club for the kids, private beach, freshwater pool and a ton of all-inclusive dining and drinking options. Look no further if your idea of the ultimate family vacation has everything you need all in one place.

No matter if you spend so much time in the water you almost consider yourself an honorary member of the sea, or just like to spend a little bit of time seeing what's beneath the surface, these destination hot spots and resorts are the ideal way to see it all. If you're dying for more recommendations on snorkeling spots or looking for more insights as your gearing up for your next vacation, check out all of our vacation articles here.

Divers Unite for the Best Caribbean Dive Spots

Whether you’re an expert diver or just love the ocean and all of its creatures, Mexico and the Caribbean are stuffed full of dive gems unlike anything you’ve seen before. Here are a few places we’d recommend making the trip to see:

Caribbean Dream: Turks and Caicos

Tucked in the middle of the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos is an ocean lovers dream. This 170 sq. mile island is home to some of the bluest waters, lushest landscape and richest coral walls – a diver’s dream. The entire island is home to endless amount of cays and reefs, which is why CheapCaribbean.com travelers have named this island as one of their favorite spots to dive and snorkel.

A few of the best spots on this island consist of lots of aquatic life and even a few great shipwrecks. The shipwrecks off the coast of Turks & Caicos can be found at Birch’s Lookout, Northwest Reef and Blue Hills. All of these sites are the final resting places for a whole slew of sunken ships lost to the ocean years ago. If you’re a diver looking for stunning coral reefs and sea creatures, spots like Grand Turk and South Caicos are buzzing with big fish and underwater walls that are packed full of sponges and corals. Sea turtles populate these waters pretty heavily year round, and for those of you diving during the winter months, you can try to catch a humpback whale as they pass through their winter migratory route.

Turks and Caicos Diving Trips from Cheapcaribbean.com

A pool view overlooking the ocean blue makes it incredibly hard to turn down an iconic dive on this Caribbean island.

To complete this “Diver’s Paradise,” you’ll need a fine selection of resorts. Turks and Caicos is home to a vast majority of four and five star resorts that are meant to accommodate all walks of life, from dive fanatics to honeymooners looking for a quiet getaway. Chose from resorts like Seven Stars Resort, which brings together exploration and luxury. Equipped with loungers by the ocean, a beachside pool, top-of-the-line cuisine and all the extra amenities, Seven Stars Resort is the perfect place to rest your head after an adventurous day of diving and snorkeling.

The Dark Diving Horse: Cozumel

Cozumel is located about 60 miles off the coast of Cancun. It’s opposite of Playa del Carmen and sits in the Yucatan Channel, giving it it’s diving fame. This island houses mild currents and shallow coral gardens, coral pinnacles near the wall drop-off and vertical walls in the deeper water currents making it perfect for all skill sets.

Cozumel dive vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Take a deep dive in one of Cozumel's expert dive spots and catch beautiful marine life like this sea turtle.

A few of the top diving spots on this island are Paradise Shallows and Reef for beginners, Tormentos Reef for intermediate divers looking for quick currents and rich aquatic life and Barracuda Reef for an expert diver. Among the other 20 or more dive sites, these were voted top picks by CheapCaribbean.com traveler’s like yourself. Paradise Shallows and Reef provides exactly what it’s name states – shallow waters to get acquainted with and marine life that’s sure not to disappoint. Tormentos Reef is known for its fast currents and ever-changing sand formations. There’s also a decent amount of Angelfish, grouper and snapper in these waters.  Barracuda Reef is deemed an expert dive spot because of its depth and the strong drift that comes from the north. There’s no island beyond the end of this reef making it a tough dive and one that the Port Caption monitors heavily. You can expect to see large pelagic like reef sharks and eagle rays looking for converging currents.

Cozumel Dive Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Located right on the crystal clear waters of Cozumel gives you a great view of the diving waters you'll soon take on.

After hours spent exploring the ocean floor, you’ll want somewhere to call your temporary home. Cozumel is a great vacation, no matter your level of interest in diving, because of the resort options you have. You can easily spend all your days snorkeling and diving away, or have a nice mix of relaxation and exploration. El Cozumeleno Beach Resort is a recommended choice when planning your diving trip. This 4-star resort is located right on the beach and offers close proximity to some of the best dive spots on the island. Feel free to end your day with a swim up to their bar for a refreshing cocktail or finish the night off at one of three bars, including a disco. El Cozumeleno is the perfect compliment to your next dive trip.

The Triple Threat: Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is another area that’s home to some top-notch dive spots as picked by our travelers. Consisting of three small islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, The Cayman Islands are tucked in the Caribbean Sea, which brings warm water temperatures and great water visibility.

One of the top rated dive spots to check out in the Caymans is Stingray City. It’s an area suitable for snorkelers and divers where you will literally find hundreds of southern stingrays swimming in these waters. Stingrays began congregating here years ago because the local fisherman would find their catch and throw the excess overboard, leaving lots of food for these stingrays. Stingray City is an area of 12 feet deep water where you can feed the stingrays in the shallow parts or dive down deeper to get a better view.

Cayman Island Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Swim among the fascinating stingrays in Stingray City on Grand Cayman Island.

The Cayman Islands are also home to shipwrecks from years ago that are perfect for the wandering diver. Wrecks of Captain Keith Tibbetts in the Cayman Brac or the wreck of the Cali, a masted schooner blown up by the British Corps of Army Engineers in 1957 make for great shipwrecks to explore.

For the diver looking for cays or reef walls, be sure to check out Devil’s Grotto on Grand Cayman Island which is a series of long and intricate underwater tunnels surrounded by breathtaking coral and ample amounts of marine life, or Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall is one of the most well known dive spots on The Cayman Islands. This underwater ledge starts at twenty feet and goes all the way down a thousand feet, all the while packed full of caverns, exotic sponges and stunning coral gardens.

Cayman Island Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

With a stunning beach view at Grand Cayman Marriott, you'll be itching to get in the water and take a dive.

The Cayman Islands are stuffed full of wonderful dive and snorkel spots but also offer luxury accommodations, making this Caribbean destination the total package. Resorts like Grand Cayman Marriott Beach All-Inclusive give the boutique hotel option a new meaning. Most of the resorts on these islands are on the smaller side but still bring five-star amenities. Grand Cayman Marriott Beach All-Inclusive offers 303 guest rooms with restaurant options, spa, dive shop and bar, just to name a few. There’s also a free-form pool stretching 85 meet with a spa tub to unwind in after a long day of exploring. And if you’re looking for a quick spot to snorkel, there’s a 100-yard beachfront snorkeling reef 50 yards off shore.

It’s safe to say that divers are part of community with a wandering spirit and exploring intuition. Cheapcaribbean.com has been founded on those same unique principles and works to make your vacations, whether diving inspired or not an exceptional reality. So isn't about time that we all took a dive...