With numerous snorkeling sites around the area, Negril, Jamaica offers breathtaking views of a variety of marine life, such as clownfish, angelfish, stingrays, turtles and eels. The best time of the year to visit is generally from October to December since the weather is still good, but the island will be less busy and expensive.
What to Expect
Negril, Jamaica is a fantastic destination. Water visibility is between 20 to 30 meters (70-100 feet) and temperatures average around the mid-20s (low 70s). With protected coves and bays, snorkelers will experience calm bodies of water that provide for relaxing snorkeling experiences. All of these features combined, means that you’ll be able to enjoy hours of uninterrupted snorkeling in Negril.
Best Spots for Snorkeling in Negril
There are many different spots for snorkeling in Negril and which one you choose depends on what type of marine life or fauna that you would like to see, or which tour boat you select to take you around the Caribbean Sea.
Rockhouse, which is listed on CNN’s top sites for underwater photography, is a unique destination that offers underwater caves to explore. During your adventure you may see silverfish and may even be lucky enough to catch a snake eel or two. If you’re staying at the Rockhouse Hotel, this snorkeling destination is right outside your hotel door!
(image is a link to the personal page of snorkeling Rockhouse, Negril)
Booby Cay has received mixed reviews, but it is certainly a site worth checking out as long as the water isn’t too choppy. The tiny, secluded cay is home to lobsters, which you can catch and have cooked by local chefs.
Seven Mile Beach, located on the northern end of Negril, offer golden sands and decently maintained amenities. The water is generally calm, and will allow non-swimmers or first-timers a fun snorkeling experience. Just offshore, snorkelers can find starfish and plenty of other tropical fish swimming about.
Located a bit off shore from Seven Mile Beach, is the protected, Negril Coral Reef. You will need to catch a boat to the 2-mile reef, but your experience will certainly be worth the small cost. What you will see while exploring the reef will depend on the time of year, but if the timing is right (late spring to early fall), you’ll be swimming through swarms of jelly fish. Don’t worry, they are so small that you won’t even feel them! Sea urchins, conch shells and sting rays frequent these reefs as well, so keep your eyes peeled!
To get to the area for snorkeling in Negril, you will need to take a two-hour long shuttle from the international airport in Montego Bay (MBJ) to Negril. Many hotels offer the option to purchase a shuttle when you book a room online, so be sure to check that out. Regardless of where you stay on the island, snorkeling in Negril will leave you with some memories that will last a lifetime.