Where are the best places to snorkel in Grenada?

Grenada and its sister islands make up the southern section of the Grenadines, with the second largest island, Carriacou, just south of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Most of the population lives on Grenada, which is a major tourist location with many coastal hotels backing the frequent beautiful beaches.

The main snorkeling spots can be found on the west and south coast of Grenada, with other locations around the sister island of Carriacou. The east coast is generally not recommended for shore snorkeling as it is exposed to harsh Atlantic wave conditions.

Aerial view of Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
Aerial view of Grand Anse Beach, Grenada.

Snorkeling spots on the South and West coasts of Grenada

Grenada is famous for its underwater sculpture park at Molinere Bay, with 60 statues in less than 30ft/9m of water. Molinere Bay is on the west coast just north of Grand Mal Bay and is most easily accessed by taking a boat trip from St. Georges. The sculptures are fascinating in themselves but they have also encouraged a range of interesting fish and invertebrate species.

Further to the south, a relatively new artificial reef, Grand Anse Artificial Reef Project, has been developed at the southern end of Grand Anse Beach, through the efforts of Dive Grenada. The reef is comprised of numerous structures that encourage overgrowths of sponges, soft and hard corals, including fire corals, as well as numerous fish species.

School of French grunt at Grand Anse artificial reef
A shoal of French grunt shelters next to the structures of Grand Anse Artificial Reef.

To the south of Grand Anse Beach lies Morne Rouge Beach (also known as BBC beach) just after Quarantine Point. Although a small beach it is considered to be one of the best beaches on the island, with calm waters, that are ideal snorkeling for children and beginners.

Another great spot can be found on the southwest coast, not far from the airport. This is known as Magazine Beach and much of the area is in front of the Royalton Grenada Resort, but access to the beach is open to all. To the northeast, entry to the water can be difficult in places due to shallow water reef, but at the southwestern extreme it is generally very easy.

Spotted moray in Grenada
A happy spotted moray eel lurking in the rocks off Aquarium Beach.

In particular, in front of the Aquarium Restaurant (this area is also known as Aquarium Beach), the sandy beach gently progresses onto rock and reef outcrops, with good examples of elkhorn coral, plenty of seafans and shoals of surgeonfish. Also look out for the numerous moray eels.

The south of the island also has several interesting areas, including a headland within Prickly Bay, which can be accessed from L’Anse Aux Epines Beach. The beach fronts the Calabash Hotel but it can also be reached via the public access at its eastern end. Much of the seabed in the bay is made up of seagrass, but the headland supports coral patches with numerous associated invertebrate species and plenty of juvenile fish.

White sea urchin in Grenada
A white sea urchin in L’Anse Aux Epines Beach.

Two other locations are worth a visit on the southeast coast, both of which are more secluded, including Hog Island, which is part of a marine protected area, and La Sagesse, which is comprised of three separate beaches, reputedly supporting good coral reef.

Snorkeling spots on Carriacou

The island of Carriacou lies to the north of the main island of Grenada and is a diving and snorkeling hotspot. The island’s main beach Paradise Beach is one of the most popular destinations for snorkelers as it is an ideal choice for beginners and families with children, due to the calm, shallow waters.

Aerial view of Sandy Island in Carriacou
Aerial view of Sandy Island, in Carriacou.

If you fancy something more challenging then hop onto a water taxi, which will take you to the uninhabited Sandy Island. It has a protected coral reef (part of the Sandy Island Oyster Bay Marine Protected area) with abundant sea life, including hawksbill sea turtles, parrotfish, triggerfish, barracuda and snapper. But bear in mind Sandy Island has no facilities so go well prepared.

Branching fire coral
Branching fire coral in Grand Anse Artificial Reef.

What is the best time of the year to snorkel in Grenada?

In Grenada, the climate overall is tropical with east-northeast trade winds blowing all year round. The peak winds (>23knots) occur in the period December through March. Lightest winds occur in the period August to November.

The average year-round atmospheric temperature in Grenada is around 80.6°F/27°C, with maximums around 87.8°F/31°C. The warmest period is between August and October when the trade winds drop, although this is also the period when hurricanes are most likely to occur. Seawater temperatures mirror the atmospheric temperatures at between 80.6°F/27°C and 82.4°/28°C year round.

Massive starlet coral and long-spined sea urchins
Massive starlet coral and long-spined sea urchins off L’Anse aux Epines Beach.

The rainy season is between June and November, with minimum rainfall in March and April. Bear in mind rainfall in combination with increased winds can lead to reduced visibility in the water. Rainfall, however, is sporadic, both throughout the year and during any one day, with the sun returning very quickly.

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