Snorkeling is one of the favorite pastimes here in the Spanish Virgin Islands of Vieques and Culebra. Spend days beach hopping and exploring the beauty of a world that has been preserved partly thanks to the Navy’s presence in the past and the low development. In Vieques you can snorkel over reefs with beautiful fans, brain coral, and gorgonian coral forests. Swim along schools of angel fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, eagle rays, the beautiful and endangered hawksbill turtles, and much more.
In Vieques, you can easily access many snorkeling spots on your own. Bring your own snorkeling gear, so you can get right on the water as soon as you arrive to begin your adventure. Snorkeling vests and rash guards are recommended.
Following we have listed favorite snorkeling spots around the island. If you prefer, you can go to one of the shops in Vieques and rent the gear, or you may book a tour with friendly and knowledgeable snorkeling tour guides so they can take care of the details and you can focus on enjoying the experience.
Favorite Snorkeling Spots in Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
- Bahia de la Chiva (Blue Beach) – We’ll list it at the top of the list, here you can snorkel right off the beach along the length of the beach. The beach is shallow and it’s a great place for families to snorkel together. Even at some spots around the edge of the shore, small children can sit on the water and watch schools of fish swimming around. The best snorkeling spot is at the end of the road where you can get easy access to La Chiva, a small island with surrounding waters full of life and a long reef that extends across the beach. The waters are shallow, and you can easily float and swim with the current depending on the wind conditions.
We have seen people make the mistake of walking on the shallow waters in order to get into the water without paying attention to where they’re stepping. What appears to just be seagrass, may actually be young coral growing underneath and around, which is easy destroyed when stepped on. You also risk stepping on sea urchins, please swim out, it’s an easy 7-10 minute swim to the reef and you’ll be protecting this delicate natural treasure.
- Cayo Blanco – Schedule a sailing snorkeling charter with Capt. Judi from SeaVieques.
- Cayo de Afuera: See dramatic antler coral. Enjoy the sights of nurse sharks and occasionally you may encounter a manatee cruising by. Rent a kayak or schedule a snorkeling tour.
- Esperanza Beach: One of the most popular spots for snorkeling and most easily acccessible. Great snorkelling under the concrete pier and the area right in front of Trade Winds Guesthouse. You may spot manta rays, sea turtles and some cool varieties of colorful fish.
- Gorgonian Forests: Schedule a tour and see the beautiful sea fan forests.
- Gringo Beach: This beach is located on the north side of the island next to the W Retreat & Spa. When the winds are calm you can enjoy snorkeling along the rocks on the side of the resort.
- Punta Arenas / Green Beach: Green Beach is excellent, you can begin to snorkel right off the beach. The variety of fish at Green Beach is amazing and magical. Please be careful not to step on the reefs, many of them start right off the shoreline and they’re very sensitive, so getting on the water and off will take some extra care.
- Media Luna: A shallow beach/ protected cove excellent to take children snorkeling.
- Mosquito Pier: located on the north shore of the island, the clarity and variety of sea life is excellent. Mosquito Pier is a very popular spot for scuba divers and great for snorkeling. You’ll want to snorkel along the left side of the pier where the waters are protected from the surf. We recommend you book a tour guide for safety and to make the best of your time there.
- Escondida Beach – Enjoy the best snorkeling on the left side of the beach along the rocks bordering with Blue Beach next door. This beach is very small and intimate, but the variety of fish is very surprising. We’ve spotted manta rays as we swim and enjoy the beach.
Snorkel Gear in Vieques
There are several shops in Vieques with rental gear available. Stop in before you go on your snorkeling adventures, the attendants are very friendly and informative.
- Black Beard Sports (787) 741-1892
- Playa Voltios Surf & Skateboard Shop 787-741-7873
Snorkeling Tours in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
- Abe’s Snorkeling & Bio Bay Tours – Tel: (787) 741-2134 or (787) 436-2686
- Black Beard Sports (787) 741-1892
- Fin Time Adventures (787) 981-4109
- Fun Brothers 787-435-9372 / 787-741-0151
- Isla Nena Scuba 787-718-7605 / 7607
- Made in the Shade 508-353-3090
- Sea Vieques 787-435-0256
- Travesias Islenas Yaureibo 787-447-4104 / 939-630-1267 – Nestor Guishard
- Vieques Paddle boarding 787-366-5202