With a smattering of excellent beaches and coral reefs, Fajardo on the east coast of Puerto Rico, is a great place to take a snorkeling trip.
Fajardo is a key spot in Puerto Rico for boat tours of all kinds. The port serves ferries bound for the Virgin Islands or one of the many offshore Puerta Rican islands, such as the National Wildlife Refuge of Vieques or the pristine beaches of Culebra. There are plenty of snorkeling tours available too. Reefs and keys (recifes and cayos) can be found closer to shore, offering an abundance of underwater life, while the larger islands offer quieter spots with fewer visitors. Here are five of the best snorkeling tours from Fajardo, taking into account factors like duration, value for money and eco-friendly practices.
From $77/ per person
White sand, turquoise seas and a protected environment home to rare species can be found at beautiful Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. This half-day tour heads to the clear waters around the island to snorkel over the colorful coral reefs. Look out for marine life such as turtles and relax on the beach. Refreshments and snacks are provided, as is the snorkeling equipment. This popular tour runs on Tues–Wed and Fri–Sun. It departs from Ceiba, as do most of the tours on this list, which is located to the south of Fajardo.
From $84/ per person
For a snorkeling trip closer to shore, this half-day trip to the Cayos de la Cordillera Nature Reserve is a well-liked option. The crew are particularly attentive and have all received first aid and CPR training. They will be on hand to point out the marine life that you may be able to spot beneath the waves, such as stingrays and various tropical fish. Alcohol is provided on the tour, but under the strict understanding that people respect the calm, family-friendly atmosphere. Daily departures at 1pm.
From $87/ per person
Another stunning island off the shore of Fajardo is Icacos Island, with its shallow water and sandy beach all the way round the island. The six-hour tour is ideal for swimmers of all abilities. Head out to Icacos, and take part in a guided snorkel. Later, enjoy the buffet lunch provided along with a nice cold piña colada (rum optional). Then you’ll head to the beach (which is one of the more popular destinations), where you can go and explore the small island or kick back and enjoy the open bar.
From $108/ per person
Another way to enjoy Icacos island is on this catamaran trip from Fajardo. Cruise out to Icacos, the largest island in the Cayos de la Cordillera Nature Reserve, perhaps with a cocktail in hand. This tour, when weather conditions allow, may also head for a quieter island, such as Palominitos. Look for starfish and turtles in the clear water. Lunch and most drinks from the bar are included, as are hotel pick-up and drop-off from the Old San Juan, Isla Verde and Condado areas. Please note that snorkeling equipment is not provided on this tour.
From $135/ per person
The other major snorkeling site accessible on a long half-day trip from Fajardo is Culebra, a wilder and less touristy spot with excellent snorkeling. This tour is similar in layout to the others: cross the waves at speed on a catamaran, then moor over the clear water and snorkel to spot rays, turtles and fish. A bar on board will keep you hydrated and/or liquored up, as is your wont (always drink responsibly on a boat tour), followed by a buffet lunch. At the time of writing, this tour was unable to provide snorkeling equipment, due to Covid.