Every year people flock to Jamaica to frolic on the white sand beaches as well as to explore the world under the sea. You can have fun snorkeling in Jamaica as an easy add on way to play without any training or great added expense. This family friendly activity is a leisurely way to spend a few hours in the afternoon with nothing more than a mask and a snorkel, and maybe fins, which many a hotel offers as an included option.
Snorkeling equipment is a fairly easy item to pick up at any store and pack in your bags but, even if your hotel or villa doesn’t have items like these readily on hand in various sizes, equipment is often also readily available for rent through the various dive shops, scuba diving schools, and beach clubs that dot the island. While prices do vary, most snorkeling packages cost less than US$20, which include a mask with a snorkel and flippers. Some offer buoyancy devices as well like jackets.
The best snorkeling water is shallow, clear, and calm, which is why the waters around Negril are so popular. However, there are also a number of great snorkeling places in Montego Bay, for instance, Doctor’s Cave Beach is among one of the favorite spots because it is accessible, the mineral spring water is warm, and the underwater adventure amazing. Abundant sea life is also found around Ocho Rios but for beginners, we strongly recommend Negril. Because the waters are so calm and clear, people of all ages can enjoy snorkeling. If preferred, a person can snorkel out further from shore but because the waters are harder to manage it is recommended to hire a qualified snorkeling guide.
Even though water where snorkeling is done is shallower and calmer than water for scuba diving, there are still important things to know and rules to follow. Here are some important tips that even an experienced snorkeler needs to remember.
Awareness – Snorkelers need to be aware of several things. For instance, currents can be deceiving and as such, they can slowly pull a person too far away from shore or push them into challenging waters. It is also important to be aware of time, which can slip by quickly when snorkeling.
Feeding Fish /Touching Coral - While tempting, snorkeling is about having the opportunity to see underwater marine life and coral up close and personal, not about feeding fish and/or touching coral. This may seem innocent enough but unfortunately, feeding can lead to aggressive behavior in some fish and touching can actually damage coral’s vital protective layer.