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The 7 Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Snorkeling in the Caribbean [2024]

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Ashley Onadele
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Ashley Onadele

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Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerou...
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Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...
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Snorkeling is a popular beach vacation activity that almost anyone can enjoy. You don’t have to be a particularly strong swimmer as you can wear a snorkel vest to keep you afloat. Snorkeling also doesn’t require you to swim too far from your boat; in some places, you can snorkel right from the beach. For those who are curious about marine life, snorkeling is a great and safe way to explore the ocean.

But where are the best places to snorkel? And better yet, which all-inclusive resorts offer the best experience?

Here are the best all-inclusive resorts for snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Snorkeling vs. Scuba Diving

It’s worth noting the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving. The 2 main differences are equipment and certification.

Snorkeling is done at the water’s surface. As such, the only equipment you need is a snorkel, the tube that lets you breathe under that water. You often have a mask attached to your snorkel to see underwater. You don’t need fins or a snorkel vest, especially if you’re confident in your swimming ability.

If you decide to swim below the surface of the water, you don’t have a reserve of oxygen other than what’s in your lungs, so you likely won’t be able to stay under for long.

Scuba (an acronym for “self-contained, underwater breathing apparatus”) requires wearing an oxygen tank on your back when exploring underwater. Depending on how far below the surface you dive, you can stay underwater for an hour or longer when scuba diving.

While you don’t need to be certified to scuba dive, it is highly recommended. Certification also ensures that you know all the safety requirements and learn from experts. Some resorts offer scuba lessons and certification.

The Best Destinations To Go Snorkeling

There are endless destinations around the world where you can find great snorkeling. Snorkeling requires clear water and a good assortment of marine life. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the Caribbean, which is considered one of the best regions in the world for snorkeling. (Other popular snorkeling spots include the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, and Hawaii.)

Snorkeling excursions usually take place in calm and more remote waters. The best snorkeling is done at coral reefs, where an estimated 25% of all marine life live.

Hot Tip:

Be prepared to see more than just colorful fish when snorkeling. Depending on the location, you may find yourself swimming with sea turtles and manta rays during your excursions.

The 7 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean for Snorkeling

An all-inclusive resort in an ideal location for snorkeling may allow you to snorkel right off the beach at the resort. Snorkel gear might also be included in the rate at some of these resorts, or some may go a step further and include dive shops where you can also dabble in scuba diving.

1. Anse Chanstanet Resort (St. Lucia)

Anse Chastanet Resort Oceanview
The reef at Anse Chanstanet Resort starts just 10 yards from the shore. Image Credit: Anse Chanstanet Resort

Anse Chanstanet Resort in St. Lucia has 2 bays that are part of a marine reserve with miles of reefs, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The reef begins 10 yards from the resort’s shore.

In addition to complimentary snorkel equipment, the resort offers many other activities. You can go hiking or birdwatching both on the resort and through daily excursions outside the grounds. You can also rent watersports equipment. The resort has 2 beaches ideal for lounging. Additional activities offered by the resort include full- and half-day sailing trips on a yacht and excursions on the resort’s 60-foot, double-decker catamaran.

Anse Chastanet Resort has 8 restaurants and 2 bars, all supplied by the resort’s farm. The cuisine includes Caribbean fine dining, East Indian-Caribbean fusion, and a fully vegan menu. Private dining and sunset celebrations can also be arranged.

Children 10 or older are allowed to stay at Anse Chastanet Resort all year long. Children between 6 and 10 are welcome in July, August, and September.

The all-inclusive nightly rates in a standard room at Anse Chastanet Resort start at $890 per person, and the child all-inclusive rates start at $150 per child. The all-inclusive rate at Anse Chastanet Resort includes all meals and most beverages. Champagne, wines sold by the bottle, and specialty liquors cost extra.

2. Beaches Negril (Jamaica)

The water slides and pools at Beaches Negril.
Beaches Negril is a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort in Negril, Jamaica. Image Credit: Beaches Negril

Many consider Negril the top place to snorkel in Jamaica. Beaches Resorts is the family-friendly sister brand of Sandals Resorts, and Beaches Negril is ideally located for a family snorkeling trip.

Beaches Resorts are known for having an incredible number of activities included in the all-inclusive rate. Snorkeling is one of those activities at Beaches Negril, and rightly so, with the hotel on the famed 7-Mile Beach.

Other activities at the resort include kayaking, windsurfing, hydrobikes, and waterskiing. Land sports such as beach volleyball, soccer, and basketball are also included. An on-property water park with kid-friendly pools and a lazy river is a bonus to your snorkeling vacation.

As at other Beaches and Sandals resorts, there are several restaurants to choose from, including Peruvian and Mexican cuisine. All dining venues are included in the all-inclusive rate except for a candlelit dinner on the beach.

There are kids’ clubs, nurseries, and registered nannies for children up to 17 years old. Beaches was the first brand to offer autism-friendly kids’ camps.

Nightly rates at Beaches Negril start at $356 per adult and $38 per child.

3. CoCo View Resort (Honduras)

View of the water from one of the docks at Coco View Resort in Roatan, Honduras.
The second-largest coral reef in the world can be explored near CoCo View Resort in Roatan, Honduras. Image Credit: CoCo View Resort

CoCo View Resort in Roatan, Honduras, is on the country’s Caribbean coast near the world’s second-largest coral reef, the Mesoamerican Reef System (or Great Mexican Reef).

You can snorkel right from the beach or from a dive boat, which can take you to sites like the wreck of the Prince Albert, a 140-foot tanker intentionally sunk in 1985. The wreck site is normally for divers, but snorkelers can see it from near the surface, visibility permitting.

Over 425 species of fish have been identified at CoCo View Resort. The resort hosts underwater photography presentations detailing the best underwater spots to shoot around the resort. There’s also a large photography editing room on the dock.

The resort features oceanview rooms, as well as overwater bungalows. Amenities included in the nightly rate include kayaks, a pool, a swimmable beach, and nightly entertainment with dancing and music.

The resort serves 3 buffet meals each day. Breakfast includes made-to-order eggs and omelets, while lunch includes a traditional Honduran meal of red beans and rice. Dinner offers 2 entrée options, a fresh salad bar, and dessert.

Rates at CoCo View Resort start at $1,564 per person based on double occupancy for a 7-night stay. Children must be 10 or older, and guests who don’t dive can expect $100 off the rate. Reservations must be for 1 or 2 weeks at a time, with Saturday arrivals and departures only.

4. Curacao Marriott Beach Resort (Curaçao)

Curacao Marriott Beach Resort
The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort has a man-made beach and reef. Image Credit: Katie Seemann

Curacao Marriott Beach Resort is a Marriott Bonvoy all-inclusive property in Willemstad, Curaçao, 15 minutes from Hato International Airport (CUR).

The all-inclusive rate at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort includes complimentary use of snorkel equipment. Goby Divers Curacao is on the beach at the resort, where you can join a dive boat to go out into deeper waters.

The family-friendly beach resort features 2 swimming pools (1 for adults and the other for children and families), a kids’ club, and a fitness center. Other activities near the resort include ATV and buggy tours, catamaran trips, and Shete Boka National Park.

The all-inclusive rate includes beach chairs, umbrellas, a welcome drink, meals, premium brand liquors, and cocktails. Use promo code ES1 when booking online to receive the all-inclusive rate plan.

There are 5 dining venues at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort, ranging from Mediterranean to Japanese to grab-and-go snacks, smoothies, and coffee.

All-inclusive rates at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort start at $574 per night. You can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points from 25,600 points per night. Note that the all-inclusive rate is unavailable when redeeming points at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort.

Hot Tip:

5. Guana Island Resort (British Virgin Islands)

Guana Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands overlooks the water from high on the mountainside.
Guana Island is a private island in the British Virgin Islands. Image Credit: Guana Island Resort

Sitting on a private island, Guana Island Resort has 850 acres, 7 beaches, and just 18 rooms and villas. It’s one of the few remaining unspoiled islands in the Caribbean and is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in the Virgin Islands. The staff greets guests at Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) on Tortola and takes them to the resort island by boat.

Guests can freely use the resort’s snorkel gear, and the hotel can arrange diving excursions. The best area for marine life is the protected fisheries area at Guana’s northern tip. Other water activities include paddleboards, kayaks, and kite surfing. Guana Island Resort has 12 miles of trails with other land activities, such as volleyball, badminton, and lawn bowling.

The resort utilizes its organic orchard to support its farm-to-table meals. All meals, wines, snacks, and fresh-baked cookies are included in the room rate. The menu is seasonal and changes with what the orchard produces.

Rates at Guana Island Resort start at $1,045 per night for 2 guests, with a 3-night minimum stay required.

6. Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort (Belize)

Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort
Off The Wall Dive Center and Resort is in Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize. Image Credit: Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort

Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort is 35 miles offshore at Glover’s Reef atoll. To reach the resort, you must first fly to Philip W.S. Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Belize City before catching a local flight to Dangriga, where the resort will pick you up by boat. The flight from BZE to Dangriga is less than 20 minutes long and departs every 90 minutes.

Though the resort’s name reveals that it’s primarily a dive center, you can also snorkel along the reef. You can also take a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) scuba diving course at the resort.

Additional activities include paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, walking a nature trail that circles the island, or relaxing in hammocks around the resort. A pair of yoga mats can be found in each room.

As an eco-resort, it has optional outdoor rainwater showers heated by the sun and composting toilets. Energy is generated from solar and wind turbines.

The all-inclusive rate includes 3 meals per day with open-air and outdoor seating. Complimentary drinks include coffee, tea, juice, purified water, and fresh coconut water. Beer, soda, rum, and wine are available for purchase. The resort warns that, because of its remote location, it may not be able to meet all dietary restrictions, so let the staff know of any you have in advance of your stay.

Rates at Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort for 2024 are $1,995 per person for double occupancy for a 7-night stay. The resort charges an additional $750 fee for guests staying by themselves. Check-in and checkout take place each Saturday by boat from Dangriga.

7. Small Hope Bay Lodge (Bahamas)

An aerial photo of Small Hope Bay Lodge from the ocean.
Small Hope Bay Lodge is on Andros Island, Bahamas. Image Credit: Small Hope Bay Lodge

There are 3 ways to get to the secluded Small Hope Bay Lodge in the Bahamas. The easiest for those traveling from the U.S. might be to take a 1-hour flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to San Andros (SAQ) in the Bahamas on Maker’s Air, Aztec Air, or a private charter. Alternatively, you can fly from Nassau (NAS) to Andros on Le Air, Titan Air, or a private charter.

Small Hope Bay Lodge is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving, and the resort offers free snorkel and scuba lessons through the dive center. Andros Island in the Bahamas has over 175 miles of coral reefs to explore, and divers can also look forward to underwater caves. The eco-resort also offers guided nature walks and fishing excursions. Guests can freely use resort bikes and kayaks.

The all-inclusive rate includes all meals and an open bar. Bahamian and international meals are served buffet-style, mainly outdoors, and feature locally sourced seafood and produce. The buffet also offers children’s and gluten-free dishes. Complimentary babysitting is available during dinner for children 2 to 7 in the games room. Children under 2 incur a fee for babysitting services.

Nightly rates at Small Hope Bay Lodge start at $325 per adult and $135 per child between 2 and 12. Children under 2 are free. There is no additional fee for those traveling alone.

3 Honorable Mentions (Not All-Inclusive)

Other Caribbean islands, such as the Virgin Islands, are also great for snorkeling. However, they may not have all-inclusive resorts to stay at. Here are 3 more resorts that are great for snorkeling that are worth a mention:

1. Rockhouse Hotel (Jamaica)

Rockhouse Hotel Jamaica along the cliffs in Negril.
Rockhouse Negril is in Negril, the best place for snorkeling in Jamaica. Image Credit: Rockhouse Negril

At Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica, guests can descend a ladder right into the ocean for their snorkeling excursion.

The boutique hotel has only 40 rooms and makes a point of practicing regenerative travel and giving back to the community. During their stay, guests can even volunteer at Rockhouse Foundation. The hotel offers a glass-bottom boat reef tour, yoga, and a sunset cocktail party. Guests can also take a complimentary class on rum or hydroponic farm and garden tours.

Dining includes Rockhouse Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Pushcart Restaurant and Rumbar for Jamaican cuisine and a nightly DJ; Pool Bar & Grill, open for lunch and beverages; and an organic juice bar open daily.

The hotel isn’t quite adults-only, but all guests must be at least 12 to stay here.

Rates at Rockhouse Hotel start at $170 per night.

2. The Westin St. John Resort Villas (St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands)

Westin St. John Resort Villas
The Westin St. John Resort Villas is perfect for large groups or families that want more space. Image Credit: The Westin St. John Resort Vilas

St. John has some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, thanks to its clear waters. The Westin St. John Resort Villas, a Marriott Bonvoy and Westin Vacation Club property, has a beach that lends itself to great snorkeling.

This resort is not all-inclusive, but if saving on food is important, you’ll be glad to know that the villas come with a full-size kitchen or kitchenette. The villas have up to 3 bedrooms for families or groups and are also equipped with washers and dryers. The resort pool overlooks Cruz Bay, and there’s a Westin Family Kids Club for kids 3 to 12. Tennis courts are also included in the on-property amenities.

The resort has 2 restaurants and a deli. A poolside restaurant and beach bar serves casual lunch and dinner in the form of salads and sandwiches, along with tropical drinks. Lemongrass Restaurant & Bar serves an eclectic menu of American and local Caribbean dishes and is open for breakfast and dinner most days. It offers indoor and outdoor seating with views of Cruz Bay.

Rates start at $371 or 77,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, with no resort fees.

3. Windsong Resort (Turks and Caicos)

Windsong Turks and Caicos from the beach.
The biggest draw to Windsong Resort in Turks and Caicos is the proximity to the snorkeling reef. Image Credit: Windsong Resort

The appeal of staying at Windsong Resort in Turks and Caicos is the snorkeling reef, just 20 yards from the beach. The resort was voted the country’s best boutique hotel last year by World Travel Awards.

Windsong Resort is not an all-inclusive resort, although a daily continental breakfast and several other amenities are included in the rate. Amenities include butler service, free use of watersports equipment such as Hobie Cats and kayaks, free bicycle rentals, and washers and dryers in all suites. There is also a fitness center and a heated oceanfront pool.

The boutique hotel offers 4 bars and restaurants. Jojo’s Poolside Cafe serves grilled and chilled sandwiches, pizza, and room, beach, and pool service. Dune Beachside Dining’s menu includes seafood, pasta dishes, soups, and salads. The hotel’s bar serves after-dinner cocktails near the beach.

Rates at Windsong Resort start at $431 per night.

The Best Ways To Book an All-Inclusive Resort

As with any hotel, the best way to book is directly with the hotel, especially if you have or are working toward hotel elite status. If that’s not an option, you can book through an online travel agent like Expedia or your credit card’s travel portal.

Use the Best Credit Card and Travel Portal

Use the best credit card to make your reservation to maximize your all-inclusive resort stay. If you’re staying at a hotel that’s part of a larger hotel brand, it makes sense to use that hotel’s co-branded credit card to earn bonus points. For example, the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort is a Marriott Bonvoy property, and you could use a Marriott Bonvoy credit card for your reservation. If the hotel is independent of any large brand, you could use a card that earns flexible travel rewards and bonuses on travel purchases.

Below are a few credit cards that earn bonus travel rewards on hotel purchases and travel:

Book Through an OTA

Online travel agents (OTAs) are a convenient way to book an all-inclusive resort and vacation. For starters, you can often make payments for your vacation over time or place a deposit and make a final payment shortly before you travel. You can also book packages that include air travel, accommodation, and a rental car. Airfare must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Keep in mind that hotels usually give priority to bookings made directly with them. So, when you book through a third-party website, calling and confirming your reservation is a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Snorkeling is a fun activity to enjoy under the right conditions. Luckily, you don’t have to travel too far from the continental U.S. to find great spots to snorkel and view marine life in the Caribbean. When you stay at the right resort, you can experience an all-in-one vacation that includes snorkeling in the package price, sometimes without even leaving the resort!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best snorkeling in the world?

There are several great places to go snorkeling around the world: Maldives, Hawaii, Thailand, and the Caribbean, just to name a few.

Where is the best place to snorkel from the beach?

Some of the best places to snorkel from the beach include Ningaloo Reef, Australia; Moorea, French Polynesia; and Dahab, Egypt.

Which Caribbean island has the best snorkeling from shore?

The Caribbean islands and areas with the best snorkeling from the shore include Curacao Underwater Marine Park, Curaçao; Haulover Bay, St. John; and Cane Bay, St. Croix.

Does Turks and Caicos have good snorkeling?

Turks and Caicos has the third-largest coral reef system in the world, making it a great place to snorkel and dive.

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About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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