We have visited Barbados ourselves, and it is a truly beautiful part of the world. We’ve covered a few aspects of the island, and today we are looking at the Barbados snorkeling options. The coral reefs and shipwrecks have created an ideal environment for marine life to thrive. Experience the protected reefs first-hand at the countless snorkeling locations along Barbados’ coastline. We didn’t even realise that Carlisle Bay and its shipwreck existed before we went, and it is a magical location.
In this article we look at this location, and 10 of the best locations for families to adventure in Barbados. Do also check out our things to do with kids in Barbados article too. We also have a Caribbean travel section too.
1. Carlisle Bay
Carlisle Bay is home to several shipwrecks which have created a complex artificial reef full of colourful marine life. Snorkeling at Carlisle Bay will bring you close to many incredible sea creatures such as sea turtles, rays, octopus and maybe even sea horses if you’re lucky!
2. Folkestone Marine Park
Also located in Carlisle Bay, Folkestone Marine Park is home to the shipwreck ‘Stavronikita’. Found under 120ft of water, the ship has formed into a stunning artificial reef less than half a mile from the shore. An excellent location for experienced divers.
For less experienced snorkelers, the inshore reef found in the recreational zone of the park, is home to an equally vibrant reef. Due to the bay’s protected status, the shallow water is full of life from lovely corals to parrotfish.
The calm waters and gentle waves at Folkestone also make it the perfect spot for water sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding! Perfect for all the family.
3. Folkestone Marine Museum
After a breath-taking snorkel in the marine park, the whole family can visit Folkestone Museum. The museum holds a fascinating aquarium which houses many rare marine species including coral and sponges.
4. Dover Beach
Dover Beach is one of Barbados’ most popular snorkeling spots. Located along the south coast, it is very popular amongst those who love to windsurf, jet ski and sail. Dover Beach is a great spot to catch the turtles that come to feed in the shallows.
5. Paynes Bay
Paynes Bay is the ideal beach for snorkeling. Located on the west coast of the island, the calm water is ideal for families who seek a relaxing activity with excellent services nearby.
The best time to snorkel at Paynes Bay is early morning, before all the water sports begin. At this time, you can swim around undisturbed observing the small reef and swim with the turtles.
6. Paradise Beach
Get a taste of Paradise snorkeling at Paradise Beach. Located on the west coast of the island, Paradise Beach is a quieter location with some occasional water sports taking place here. The shore has some shallow rock formations for snorkellers to see. Another excellent spot for a relaxing swim.
7. Palm Beach
Palm Beach is a gorgeous location for a tropical relaxation day. Unwind beneath the coconut palm trees that line the shore and witness the artificial reef designed to protect the shoreline. With some luck, you may witness the endangered Hawksbill turtle or perhaps see the baby hatchlings travelling to the sea.
Arrive at Palm Beach in the evening to witness the dazzling sunsets.
8. Worthing Beach
The shallow waters of Worthing Beach make this shore an excellent snorkeling spot for families with children. The calm waters are home to a magnificent reef that runs just off the shore. Make sure to look out for turtles wherever you see seaweed!
9. Heywoods Beach
Heywoods is a quiet beach with lots of parking. Located on the north-western coast, the sandy seabed offers safe water access to the shallow reef. Children can play within the small tide pools around the rocky area where crabs and small fish can be seen.
10. Pebbles Beach
Located just a 5-minute drive from the capital city of Bridgetown, Pebbles Beach is an excellent snorkeling spot for all of the family. The vast array of marine life inhabiting its waters are located very close to shore. The mellow waters allow for alternative marine viewing. View the many schools of fish from above with a stand-up paddleboard!
If you are planning a trip to Barbados with your family, do check out www.visitbarbados.org, we found it extremely useful before travelling.
For more articles on Barbados and the Caribbean, do check these out:
Other Barbados and Caribbean articles on KiddyCharts
Here are some more articles about Barbados and beyond that you might be interested in taking a look at when planning any trips you might have.
10 things to do in Barbados with kids
What can you do on the island with kids - we've visited a few of the best places, and here is what we thought of them....
Sea Breeze Beach House review: 5 reasons why it's great for kids
Why the Sea Breeze is a great family friendly place to stay on the island.
10 things you have to do in Antigua and one you don't
Looking at other family destinations in the Caribbean - why not check out Antigua too?
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