When opting for a beach vacation, the first thing that many travelers think of is beautiful stretches of sand. Both the Caribbean and Hawaii are famous for their beautiful beaches, but some of their greatest sites are actually hidden just a short swim from shore. If you’d like your next beach getaway to come with a side order of adventure, consider these four amazing snorkeling beaches!
Turks and Caicos: Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales
The Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales (“Provo” for short) is home to one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of sand: Grace Bay Beach. Over ten miles of powdery sand are met by translucent turquoise water and teeming coral reefs are just a short distance from shore. For skilled snorkelers or divers, excursions are available to the historic shipwrecks in the island’s surrounding waters.
Hawaii: Hanauma Bay, Oahu
The same volcanoes that have helped shaped Hawaii’s dramatic landscape have also created one of the world’s prize snorkeling destinations: the submerged volcanic crater of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Protected from the open ocean, the coral reefs offer a sheltered haven for the resident tropical fish and snorkelers of every skill level.
British Virgin Islands: The Baths, Virgin Gorda
The second-largest of the British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda is home to a unique natural phenomenon known as The Baths. Giant boulders dot this stretch of beach, creating underwater caves and seawater pools that offer a completely unique snorkeling experience. While you will probably spot fewer fish here than in nearby Mahoe Bay, you may be lucky enough to spot an octopus or two clinging to the stones.
St. Barts: Anse de Colombier
What it lacks in convenience and amenities, Anse de Colombier more than makes up for with natural beauty. Reachable on foot or by boat, this St. Barts beach is twenty minutes from the nearest road. Slip on your snorkel mask and head for the best fish hiding places along the edges of the cove or stick to the seagrass beds and keep an eye out for sea turtles.
Whether you are planning a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean, you can’t go wrong with these four amazing beaches. If you’ve been to one of these beaches or another great snorkeling site I’d love to hear about your experiences!
After years working in Montreal’s fashion industry, Katherine Scott has decided to pursue her love of travel writing full-time. As a regular blogger for Luxury Retreats, a leading international private villa rental company, Katherine loves to write about the best beaches in the Caribbean and Hawaii, as well as her favorite luxury travel experiences around the globe.