A secluded and pristine archipelago, with top-quality Caribbean snorkeling

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island chain laying on the southern part of the Lesser Antilles arc, just south of Saint Lucia. It is made up of the main island, Saint Vincent, and 31 smaller islands and cays, the largest among them being Bequia, Union Island, Canouan, and Mayreau.

Snorkeling with sea turtles in the Tobago Cays
The Tobago Cays, especially Baradal Island, are one of the best spots in the Caribbean to swim with green sea turtles.

Excellent snorkeling spots can be found all over the archipelago. In St Vincent, the country’s main island, Wallilabou Bay is one of the most recommended spots. Petit Byahaut is also a great option, but this small bay is only accessible by boat.

Mayreau and Canouan, fringed by coral reefs, are some of the best islands of the Grenadines for shore snorkeling. In Mayreau, head to the Mayreau Gardens, which boast healthy and colorful coral reefs. 

Cowfish in Chatham Bay
A scrawled cowfish encountered in Chatham Bay.

It is also possible to snorkel from the beach in Union Island, particularly at Chatham Bay, where cushion sea stars abound. Palm Island, just 1 mile off Union, is a great option if you are looking for a resort with shore snorkeling. This small private island, managed by the Palm Island Resort, is surrounded by reefs and seagrass beds where sea life abounds.

If you stay in Bequia, don’t miss the short boat trip to Devil’s Table, a shallow reef full of sponges, sea fans, lobsters, and tropical fish. From the shore, you can snorkel over the reef found at the western tip of Lower Bay.

However, if you are visiting the archipelago, you should not miss the trip to the Tobago Cays. Home to protected reefs and hundreds of green sea turtles, these 5 picture-perfect, idyllic islands are the ultimate snorkeling destination in the Grenadines. You’ll easily find in the archipelago snorkeling tours to get there.

Palm Island beach
Palm Island beach.

What will I see underwater while snorkeling Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?

St Vincent and the Grenadines boasts a typical Caribbean underwater world, including hundreds of species of reef fish, eagle rays, stingrays and sea turtles. Among the most commonly spotted fish at shallow depth in the archipelago are the Queen angelfish, the French angelfish, the blue tang, the banded butterflyfish, as well as several species of grunt, wrasse, and pufferfish.

Sea urchins and sea stars, including the beautiful cushion starfish, abound at reef and in the seagrass meadows. In protected areas, lobsters are easily sighted in rocky outcrops and small caves. To spot sea turtles, head to the Tobago Cays, where sightings of green sea turtles are almost guaranteed. In the sandy areas, you may also encounter a southern stingray or a roughtail stingray resting on the seabed.

If you are planning a snorkeling trip to St Vincent and the Grenadines or anywhere else in the Caribbean, we recommend the excellent Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (also available in ebook), the reference guide to ID the fish you will encounter snorkeling the archipelago.

Underwater life in Palm Island
A lot of sea life shelter under the rocky outcrops, like here in Palm Island.

When to go snorkeling Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?

Snorkeling in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is great year-round, as it enjoys a tropical climate, tempered by trade winds. The temperature stays fairly constant throughout the year, with an average temperature of 80°F/27°C.

A dry season, from January to May, can be distinguished from the wet season (May to November), with July experiencing the most rainfall.

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Where to spot them?

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