The 6 Best Beaches And Shores For Snorkeling In Barbados

Snorkeling off the luxurious coast of Barbados sounds like a great activity for a vacation. So what are the best spots to go to in Barbados for snorkeling?

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What are the best places to snorkel in Barbados?

Carlisle Bay Marine Park, Paynes Bay, Heywoods Beach, and Gibbes Beach are great places to start. There are many places to go snorkeling in Barbados with great coastlines on the island. Dover Beach and Folkstone Marine Park are also good choices for those wanting to go snorkeling.

We’ll discuss a few of the locations for going snorkeling in Barbados in addition to why they are the best for snorkeling.

Where is the place to go for Barbados snorkeling?

Let’s talk about a few places to go for the best places for some snorkeling in Barbados

Paynes Bay

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Let’s start with a location that is great for kids and beginners. The calm waters off Paynes Bay on the west coast feature a shallow reef that doesn’t require much diving to get to.

Like many beaches in Barbados, Paynes Bay is known for the presence of many species of sea turtles and tropical fish, as it teems with marine life. 

The bay also has many trees near the beach, so you can find a shady spot to sit and cool down if you aren’t already under the water. 

There are actually a few shipwrecks located not too far offshore if you want to visit the ruins of old ships.

Heywoods Beach

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Located on the west coast of Barbados, one of the best parts of Heywoods Beach is that you won’t likely feel too crowded, as it’s known as one of the more peaceful and quiet parts of the Caribbean. Much like Paynes Bay, Heywoods Beach is a great place for starters and for kids. With calm tides and shallow pools, this is an ideal place to go snorkeling.

There is one thing to keep in mind.

With the quiet and relative seclusion of Heywoods, you should be prepared to bring your own snorkeling gear, snacks, and water as there may not be vendors available for any of the above.

Dover Beach

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We wouldn’t call snorkeling boring at all, but if you add some waves, you have the options for surfing and doing other water sports too. 

Dover Beach offers slightly bigger waves which can help you with surfing, windsurfing, and boogie boarding. 

The beach itself is also located within St. Lawrence’s Gap, so you can readily access Barbados’ best resorts, hotels, restaurants, and anything else you might need while out and about on your way to and from your snorkeling trip.

Dover is located off the south coast of the island.

Folkestone Marine Park

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Folkestone is located off the west coast of the island and is known for having plenty to do. There is plenty of marine life here at Folkestone marine park, including green sea turtles and lots of other sea life. 

The waters here can get a little riled up, so snorkelers who aren’t too confident in their skills may want to prepare with some extra gear so they feel safer. 

Otherwise, the beach has coral reefs and artificial reefs that are developed in part through shipwrecks.

Folkstone also has lots of amenities, including showers, bathrooms, storage lockers, and picnic tables, making it an ideal place to spend a whole day without having to worry about your stuff.

You’ll find this marine park located right in the middle of the west coast of Barbados.

Carlisle Bay Marine Park

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Carlisle Bay Marine Park is somewhere between the west and south of Barbados.

As a full on marine park like Folkestone, Carlisle Bay has many lots of amenities – and is located right outside of the capital city of Bridgetown, so there is plenty to do in addition to snorkeling.

Carlisle Bay is picturesque, and when you get under the water, it is teeming with marine life. 

There are several shipwrecks in the area where you can see older and newer historical ships that didn’t quite make it in addition to colonies of tropical fish that inhabit the places now. 

Carlisle Bay naturally offers the best of the many worlds with much to do, crystal clear water, and beautiful coral reefs at multiple depths.

Worthing Beach

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Worthing Beach is on the south coast of Barbados. 

If you keep walking west from the beach you’ll end up in a bit of deeper water, but the area is overall great for beginners and kids who want to “get their feet wet” with snorkeling.

What makes for good snorkeling?

That really depends on who you ask! Kids and adults both tend to enjoy being able to see marine life, like sea turtles. 


The water itself does matter to some snorkelers. After a few dives and some training, a snorkeler might be comfortable swimming in water that has a higher potential for waves and currents. 

Kids and young snorkelers will probably feel this more and want to stay away.

Nearby Amenities

Compared to some vacation spots, Barbados can be hot. Having access to a place to many things, like restaurants, or just shade, can be very helpful for someone who isn’t used to the sunlight provided by Barbados and the Caribbean.

Of course, amenities don’t make the entire experience and if you prefer solitude, you might value that quite heavily over having things nearby so you aren’t packing a whole cooler.

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Not every beach has reefs that are easy to access for everyone. 

Some beaches will have a reef that is further away from the mainland or further down and more difficult for a beginner to get to. Barbados snorkeling places offer plenty of reefs.

Key Takeaways

  • The best places are Carlisle Marine Park and Folkstone marine park.
  • Heywood’s Beach is a great place if you want some more quiet and seclusion
  • The beaches have varying levels of tide, currents, and difficulty.
  • Most places you go will likely provide you with a glimpse of sea turtles
  • Many other marine life species can be spotted while snorkeling in Barbados.