It's often hard to pinpoint the best snorkeling in Anguilla because it has some of the finest collection of beaches and tropical environment in the world. The resorts are clean and luxurious, the restaurants are superb; in fact, you'd have to be a shark to get fresher lobster and grilled fish from the assortment of Caribbean restaurants. And the ocean shores, filled with an array of vibrant and exotic ocean species, are so transparent that it's like floating in midair. But the best snorkeling in Anguilla is the subject at hand.
The ocean water in Anguilla tends to be the most ideal in the world, usually calm and with temperatures ranging close to eighty plus degrees Fahrenheit on a consistent basis. Scattered coral reefs saturate the islands, with water visibility anywhere from 60-100 feet below the surface. Snorkelers can expect to see an array of water-colored tropical fish and underwater species at any given time, including giant tarpon, turtles, eels, Spotted Eagle Rays and even an occasion school of squid. This island is perfect for the novice and experienced snorkelers.
In the early eighties, the government with a group of environmental activists took steps to improve the underwater life, including sinking several ships to create artificial ocean ecosystems, as well as creating a series of marine parks.SHOAL BAY
Shoal Bay East is probably one among Anguilla's most famous beaches that has a creamy soft sand swath about a mile long, as well as the island's most extensive assortment of restaurants, seafood buffets and bars, a collection of world class resorts and exotic shores that attract an abundance of ocean activity, such as diving, snorkeling and glass-bottom boats. Around the point where the beach sharply curves south, visitors will stumble upon another superb area of white powdery sand about a mile long, known as Upper Shoal Bay, where snorkeling is exclusive and but a fin-kick off the sandy beach.SOUTHEAST COAST
Heading just west along the main road from Savannah Bay, one can find several hidden off-the-beaten-path bays with superb beaches, known as Sea Feathers, Little Harbour and Mimi's. Sea Feathers provides a stretch of beach that is usually isolated, with some fascinating snorkeling alongside the north rocky shoreline ridges. Little Harbour is a remote area with a coastline surrounded by rough limestone and smaller scattered beaches. Mimi's is another sheltered bay that is wildly beautiful, with a slightly stronger current.SANDY ISLAND
Literally an isolated lagoon, Sandy Island is a quintessential Caribbean island in the sun, adorned with tall coconut palms, anchored to a seamless blue sky year-round and a little-known haven for sunbathers, hikers, swimmers and snorkelers. To get to the island from Anguilla, a free shuttle boat launches every thirty minutes from a pier at Sandy Ground beach, by Johnnos Bar.PRICKLY PEAR
Other than the two small restaurants in the area, and the need for the staff to travel some ways just to service patrons, Prickly Pear is pure paradise for visitors who like seclusion on the coast of Anguilla. It's also an ideal place for birdwatchers, as Palm trees that line the shore and bask in the sun offer a place of haven for the variety of exotic bird life in the area. It provides long undisturbed stretches of areas to swim and snorkel to your hearts content.DOG ISLANDS
Massive coral gardens, just off of Great Dog Island, are offered here. A vast array of tropical fish call this place home, and it's not at all rare to see an abundant of puffer fish and schools of squid. Snorkeling takes place in about twenty feet of water, which allows enough space for coral to grow up to eight feet and display some amazing formations.
The best snorkeling in Anguilla is sort of rhetorical since snorkeling and Anguilla are practically synonymous. Anguilla is a great Caribbean locale for those looking for bit of everything, but especially those looking for areas of exclusion and relaxation, with perhaps a bit of snorkeling in some of the best waters one could ever ask for.
By Roy Jamason
Updated September 12, 2014