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Best Places for Snorkling in Jamaica

I have never been to Jamaica. We like to snorkel and I am asking for advice what area to stay? Also, is it necessary to go all-inclusive or are there many restaurants to visit?.

RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke

Oh wow! There’s always a first time for everything. Your visit to Jamaica might be a first but I bet it will certainly not be your last! As a matter of fact, you might just make it a yearly visit! I dare to say that you are really missing out, but you’ll understand why I say that when you get here. I’m absolutely sure that you will agree with me!

Welcome to Jamaica my friend!

Best Places or Snorkeling in Jamaica

Jamaica has lots of cool places for snorkeling lovers like yourselves. Let’s take a look at some of the popular spots.

  1. Negril

    The Negril Coral Reef is just about 2 miles from the shore and offers a great snorkeling experience once you are willing to hire a tour guide or rent a boat. There are also other great snorkeling spots that you can find right off the long stretch of the white-sanded Seven Mile Beach.

  2. Bluefields Bay

    This is located near Negril and is actually a luxury resort that caters to the needs of snorkelers. As such, you don’t have to worry about buying or renting gears once your are staying at the Bluefields Bay Villas as you can take advantage of the free gears that are offered. Whether you are new to snorkeling or you are an expert, you can book your snorkeling excursion with Bluefields Bay.

  3. Montego Bay

    You can explore the incredible snorkeling spots in Montego Bay. The calm, warm and shallow pristine beaches will not disappoint. It’s ideal for kids and beginner snorkelers too.

    The Montego Bay Marine Park, the first marine park in Jamaica has an abundance of marine life due to efforts that were made to protect the coral reefs. As such, you can expect to see a wide variety of fish and marine life while you go swimming and snorkeling.

  4. Ocho Rios

    The Ocho Rios Marine Park is another area to look forward to, welcoming both divers and snorkelers. You’ll be happy to know that you can snorkel right from the shore if you are staying in one of the resorts on the beach. There are also snorkeling areas near the cruise ship port in Ocho Rios as well.

  5. Runaway Bay

    Yes, you can run away here to a wonderful snorkeling experience in Runaway Bay, St. Ann! Snorkeling right from the shores amidst, sea urchins, barracuda, stingrays, corals and a host of other marine life.

  6. Doctor’s Cave Beach

    Located in Montego Bay, this is one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica. You will find fish swimming up to snorkelers as they are friendly and have grown accustomed that the vast number of tourist and locals that frequent the area. Snorkeling can be done right from the beach or from the reefs further out for the more experienced snorkelers.

  7. Rock House Hotel

    Located in Negril, this is a perfect resort for snorkelers or you could call it a snorkeler’s paradise. This ocean front resort offers a true underwater oasis for snorkelers, with fascinating underwater caves, as the bungalows are stretched on cliffs that glide out into the sea. Here you will find a wide variety of beautiful fish and marine life similar to those you would see in aquariums. This is a snorkeling photographer’s dream. It certainly will not disappoint.

    I really don’t think you could run out of places to snorkel with these options. So for you who love snorkeling, you might want to consider these as some of the best places to stay in Jamaica.

    Now, let’s look at Jamaican Restaurants.

    Are there Many Restaurants to Visit in Jamaica?

    I must tell you that I believe most Jamaicans love to cook as much as they love to eat out! You most definitely will not be short of restaurant options, from as many roadside cook shops to the most exquisite fine dining styles.
    I dare to say that there is a restaurant or cook shop every five minutes apart almost everywhere in the island, not to mention when you hit the towns.

    You will savour delectable cuisines or sumptuous meals such as the popular “Jerk Chicken” and “Jerk Pork”, curried goat, escovitch fish with bammy or festivals and I could just go on and on. Not to mention when you wash that all down with an original ice-cold red stripe beer or other flavoured beers. Many natural juices, are also available if you want to try non-alcoholic options. Believe me when I tell you, you will not run out of food or drink options or places to enjoy these!

    All Inclusive or Not?

    Choosing to stay at an all inclusive resort is definitely a more economical option. However, your decision to go all-inclusive or not is entirely dependent on your preferences.

    Though your love for snorkeling might ultimately determine where you stay, rest assured that there are great options available outside of all-inclusive resorts. You will find a number of these also listed on Airbnb. You can also arrange for guided tours and meal deliveries if required. You will also find that a lot of these guesthouses, hotels, or villas, have breakfast included in the cost and also onsite restaurants. Your options are certainly not limited.

    What to Expect When You Get To Jamaica

    And a bonus for you. Considering this is your first trip to Jamaica, you must know that Jamaica has a very rich culture and there are a lot of attractions you might be interested in if you can pull yourself away from snorkeling a bit.

    Jamaica’s attractions include waterfall climbs such as the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls, water parks, hiking, zip-lining through the mountains, horseback riding, plantation tours such as the iconic Rose Hall Great House, museum tours such as the Bob Marley Museum, and the Montego Bay Civic Centre. The costs for the attractions are usually reasonably priced. Friendly and knowledgeable locals are always eager to assist with everything they can do to make sure that you have an awesome stay.

    Giving tips of a few dollars is a common practice on tours and it is very much appreciated. You will find that the Jamaican culture is fairly friendly, generally laid-back and most welcoming. However, certain areas of the island have less than ideal living conditions and some visitors may experience a culture shock when traveling through these neighborhoods and seeing first hand what life is like for these persons.

    Here are a few other tips to consider:

    1. Though the official language is English, most persons speak “patois”, the local dialect.
    2. The U.S. dollar is an acceptable currency in Jamaica. However, getting money changed into the local currency is best.
    3. Traveling around Jamaica can be expensive if you are chartering a vehicle.
    4. It is safe for you to drink the tap water in Jamaica.
    5. Marijuana for medicinal or religious purposes is legal in Jamaica. It's recreational use is illegal, but up to 2 ounces is decriminalized and punishable by a fine of $500 JMD.

    I hope the information provided is helpful to you in making your decision as to where to stay. Thanks again for stopping by the website. Looking forward to having you here soon!

    I also recommend you read My Favourite All Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica.



    • "7 Best Places to Snorkel in Jamaica", Trips to Discover,
    • "11 Important Things Every Traveler Should Know Before Visiting Jamaica", Oyster Logo,
    • "Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana in Jamaica", Jamaica Observer,
    • "Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana in Jamaica", CannaCarib,

    Editor's Note
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