Hi. I'm wondering about how good the snorkeling is from the beach at the Buccaneer.
Good Afternoon Scott, thank you so much for reaching out to us. The Buccaneer has excellent snorkeling! We have three beaches, each with a different kind of snorkeling experience. The Grotto beach has reef right along the shore which offers convenience and also an array of fish and beautiful coral to see in the clear blue water along the beach. The Mermaid beach has an really amazing reef and it takes just a little swim to get out to it, but it's definitely worth it because the reef is very vibrant and there is a lot of variety in the marine life out there; you might even see a sea turtle or octopus as other snorkelers have in the past. For guests of The Buccaneer snorkel gear is complimentary. If you are new to snorkeling or just want to learn more information about the fish and coral that you see while snorkeling, we offer snorkel tours of the reef at Mermaid beach on Mondays as well which is also complimentary for guests. There are also snorkeling trips, both full day and half day, available to Buck Island National Park. If you need anything else, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at the hotel. Warm regards, Erin - Concierge at The Buccaneer
Totally agree with the Hotel's answer. There's decent and best of all, free, snorkeling on any of the three beaches at the resort; the water wasn't very clear in the grotto area and there was a lot of seaweed, but as you get a little further out, the experience improves. I do recommend taking the hotel guide up on the reef trip--he's very flexible and will basically do it anytime you want, regardless of the posted schedule. If you're serious about it, though, Buck Island is worth the trip and what we'd recommend for the full experience.
If best in class snorkeling is your objective, you won't find it here. If you're a novice, this is a great place to practice.....easy access and no crowds. The side trip to Buck Island is worth it.
We were at Grotto beach.
Many people snorkel off the beach at the Buccaneer! There is a coral reef just steps from the sand. As a matter of fact, you can only enter the water from a certain area because of the reef. It is a beautiful place!
Snorkeling is ok if you want to do something while besides swimming and kayaking. If you can get a guide, that would be better. Buck Island is better but not as somewhere like Cabo or Hawaii. You might get lucky and spot a sea turtle like I did.
We enjoyed snorkeling off Grotto beach because of the reef. We also took a trip to Buck Island which, itself, is unbelievable! The snorkeling is great with a underwater National Park. Highly recommended! We will be returning to this resort.
Our experience snorkeling off Mermaid Beach was that the water wasn't quite as clear as we would have liked, but it is an easy swim out to the reef, and the young man who "mans" the snorkeling equipment is very helpful. I would have liked to taken him up on one of his reef tours. There was a nice variety of coral and quite a few fish, but we didn't see anything incredible. I am sure if we went out multiple times and were patient, we would have seen a lot more. I think the boats that shuttle the hotel guests to and from Buck Island off the dock in Mermaid Beach stir up the sand, as well as the current from other boats passing by. On our snorkeling trip to Buck Island, the most interesting fish we saw were cuttlefish and a barracuda. The reef around Buck Island, by the way, is not in the greatest shape. I'm sure it's due to the heavy tourist traffic snorkeling the underwater national monument.
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