By Linda Carter
Ifw you ant to experience the magic of the under sea world, but don't want to get wet, then start with a a glass bottom boat ride. Marvel as the sea life darts past, completely oblivious to the world above them. Fish in multiple brilliant colors, and unusual shape; brain coral; stag horn coral; sponges; sea fans; the shapes and colors are as varied as a landscape. Incentive enough to don mask, fins and snorkel to get a closer look. Experience the top 5 islands for snorkeling in the Caribbean.
Located Off the coast of Honduras, Roatan’s snorkeling delights. Find your way to the West Bay Beach, and rent a chair near the Infinity resort. Slip in to the glass clear water. Navigate around the coral, and be rewarded for your perseverance with giant schools of blue tangs dancing in the currents. Drift aimlessly, discovering something new at every turn. Plentiful and close in, the fish and coral here delight, this is paradise.
In Bonaire, you need only wade in to the water to discover the colorful reefs. Encircled by a national park to a depth of 200 foot, this island is made for snorkeling. Putt across the bay to Little Klein Bonaire, and be rewarded with mesmerizing reefs, just steps from shore. Pack a picnic, and plan to spend a whole day. Walk the whole island in four hour but be sure to pack plenty of water, as there are no stores. Ideal for drift snorkeling, simply paddle out past the reef and let the current draw you along the islands edge. Relaxing and extensive, the reefs will amaze you.
Volcanic Dominica’s beaches are covered with softball size rocks. While not great for walking or sunbathing, the exceptional for crystal clear water is great for snorkeling. Accessible from shore, don’t miss Champagne Reef. Here tiny bubbles of volcanic sulphur gas dance continuously skyward in the caressing tropical waters. Curious blue damsels dart by, as the waves slowly roll toward shore. Snorkel at this special reef.
Grand Cayman’s most popular activity is not snorkeling. Instead, for a once in a lifetime experience try swimming with the stingrays. Paying attention to instruction counts here. Hold the squid carefully to avoid the stingrays’ teeth. Feel the suctions as the gentle rays suction squid from your hand, brushing by your legs as they go. With up to a four-foot wingspan these rays can be enormous. Combined with a snorkel stop, this is a cant miss experience.
Graced by several cays Belize is a top snorkel destination. The best, Laughing Bird Cay, is 40 minutes from the town of Placenia. Named after the bird once nested here, it has been protected since 1981. Discover a tropical paradise, swaying palms, gentle breezes, and easy beach access. Sorry, you can’t stay, as this National Park has no facilities. Spend your time paddling slowly past sea life, and think you may have found paradise.