Snorkel Boat Tours – A Day of Sun, Wind & Sea Life

11/11- We have heard that some of the boats are no longer selling beer, or are limiting the supply. If having beer during the trip is important to you, please call and make the operator you choose will have it available.

Snorkel Tour Boat

There are a number of snorkel boat tours that leave out of the Fajardo area and visit reefs and the out-islands. The boats are all very similar, follow a similar schedule, serve a similar lunch and beverages, go to the same snorkel spots, and are the same price – give or take a few bucks. Some of the boats are newer than others, some have water slides, some are larger (so there are more people per trip), etc. But rest assured, we have always had a fun time no matter which boat we chose.

Most of the operators have catamaran sailboats, but depending on the wind and water conditions, they may motor to the destinations. Some are high-speed catamaran motor boats that get you to and from the snorkel spots much quicker. Being that they are all catamarans, we found they rock less, so sea-sickness is usually not an issue.

These pictures are from one time when we went on the Spread Eagle II sailboat. It was Christmas day and we had a wonderful time. This is a run down of what we found on that and other trips on these boats : The drinks start (usually) as soon as they launched – pina coladas or rum punch (both with or without rum). Some boats do wait with the alcohol until after the snorkeling is done.

Snorkel Boats at Icacos

The sail over to the first snorkel site is lovely, and they pull right up to a beautiful white sand island. The crew gives a quick lesson on snorkeling, and gets you set up with snorkel gear that will fit you, and lets you off. You can snorkel or beach comb or just hangout on the boat. Ask the crew where the best/safest snorkeling is – we like to go a bit further out, away from where all the people are standing on, and damaging, the coral. The other snorkel boats all show up about the same time, so there are lots of people trying out the snorkeling all at once. We found that if we waited a little bit before going snorkeling, most people get tired quickly and return to the boat, so we get fewer people around. Or we just go early and quickly swim past the others.

Lunch is served on the boats – usually a nice lunchmeat buffet with lots of fresh fruit. The boats all leave this first stop after lunch and make a quick move to another snorkel spot. This second spot is usually in open water – it was kind-of deep water, but they supply floaties to help you float if you are not confident of swimming.

You are at the first site for about 2 hours, the second site for about 45 minutes, and then you have to head for home. We find it a nice relaxing day, enjoying the blue water and sealife of Puerto Rico.

Reservations are required and the cost is about $75 – $99 per person, children are usually less. There is a $3 Department of Natural Resource fee and 11.5% taxes- check to see if they are included in the price quoted or are extra. Some operators can provide transportation from your hotel for an extra cost (usually about $20-30 per person round trip)- contact the tour operator directly.

If you're happy, let them know it — Don't forget to tip your your bartender, tour guide or trip operator if you enjoyed yourself. Gratuities are appreciated and typically aren't included in the price they charge you.

Most leave at 10:00am and get back to the marinas at about 3:30pm. They usually want you at the dock for check in at about 9:15-9:30am

Spread Eagle II, (888)523-4511, www.snorkelpr.com, 49 people max, leaves from Villa Marina. Free snorkel!

Getaway,787 860-7327 , smaller boat, so fewer people. www.sailgetaway.com, leaves from Villa Marina

Salty Dog, (787)717-6378 or (787)717-7259, www.saltydreams.com, leaves from Villa Marina

Traveler, (787)863-2821 or (787)396-0995, www.travelerpr.com, 48 people max, leaves from Villa Marina. One of the less expensive options.

East Island Excursions, (887)-WE R 4 FUN, (787)409-2485 or (787)860-3434, www.eastwindcats.com, 78 people max, leaves from Puerto del Rey Marina

Barefoot IV from Castillo Tours, (787)791-6195 or (787)726-5752, 45 people max, leaves from Villa Marina

Kayaking Puerto Rico “Fun Cat”www.kayakingpuertorico.com, leaves from Puerto Chico Marina

All of these boats go out of 1 of 2 marinas – either Villa Marina or Puerto del Rey. Double check which one, because these marinas are in different locations in Fajardo.

For Villa Marina – Highway 3 to Fajardo. Pass the Kmart and once past the overpass, turn left at the Route 194 gas station . Follow this road an few miles – continue straight through the light and a few miles more . Turn right at Villa Marina Shopping Center. Turn left on the street after the shopping center. Park on the street by the gated marina entrance (they may let you park inside) .

For the Puerto Del Rey Marina – Highway 3 to Fajardo. Stay on 3 until the road becomes Route 53. Take the first exit (it is marked Puerto Del Rey). Go under the highway. Go through 2 traffic lights and the marina entrance is on the left. Park inside the marina – there’s plenty of parking.

Both marinas are about a 30-45 minute drive from our vacation rental in Rio Grande.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

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Even though the article is a few years old, it gives great information, thank you!! I can provide an update, having done the Icacos snorkel trip this week with Spread Eagle. Their website also describes the tour well. Not having a reservation, we just showed up at Villa Marina at 8:30 am (later would've been ok too - the tour didnt start until about 9:50). The Marina is a very large place and the tour companies are not that close together. First stop was Fun Cat at Dock D: no one there. 2nd stop, dock J(?): found the Spread Eagle crew, who confirmed there were free spots left. 2 more boats were directly across (right side of the marina): Barefoot and Salty dog. We decided to just go with the first one we found. $ 78 pp. It was a good choice, there were only about 20 people (capacity: 50) plus the captain and 2 crew members serving drinks and food all day long. Pina Colada, rhum punch, water were included, other drinks like beer for sale. 2 snorkeling sites, as described above, with lots of people from other boats (not 27 like the above post; more like 5). East wind is the biggest party boat, more full and louder. Not the best conditions for snorkeling, but because many people quickly lose interest or prefer drinking on the boat, it was ok after waiting 20 min (first stop) or going a bit further (2nd stop, more interesting and much larger reef).

Comment by Julie on 06 Feb 2015

We wanted Snorkeling - We got Partying. NOT IMPRESSED! We just moved to Puerto Rico, and were looking for a way to get out to the reefs for some nice snorkeling. We were sold a day of snorkeling, with a stop at an island for some beach combing, but you could snorkel there too. Sounded great for my family of 4, with everyone but my 12 yr old daughter a certified SCUBA diver. I am not going to mention any tour operator, as they were all doing exactly the same thing, going to exactly the same places, at the same time. Unless you find a 6-pack (limited to 6 paying passengers) where it is more of a private affair, below is all you will find in Fajardo. But once we got on the boat, it was Party TIme! I guess I should have known what to expect when I saw the sign that said "Rum: Its not just for breakfast". After coughing up $81 each after taxes, we made the 20 minute passage to the first stop. The beach was beautiful, the sand soft, it was almost idyllic......EXCEPT FOR THE 27 OTHER BOATS THAT WERE IN THE SAME 100 YARDS!! Yes, I counted them. It seems every tour operator goes to the same spot. And there was no coral or reef, just sandy beach. But the rum was flowing, and the language was getting rougher by the drink. We had a very nice sandwich lunch there. We then moved to a pretty nice little reef. It was about 200 yards long, and rose to nearly the surface in places from about 25 ft. It appears they limit it to two tour boats at a time, so our slot was a whopping 40 minutes with only one other boat there, for a total of about 70 swimmers. After that, we anchored just off of Palaminito, a tiny little islet, of course sharing the residential lot sized island with about another 25 boats, and no snorkeling. Look, I like to party as much as the next guy. But when I book a snorkeling trip, I want snorkeling. When I want a booze cruise, I will book a booze cruise. Sure, we had a fun day, but as an avid snorkeler I could not be more disappointed.

Comment by Ben on 11 Aug 2013

I just got back from a trip to Puerto Rico with a group of girl friends. We booked our tour through Traveler ( www.travelerpr.com). We had the best time on this trip! Our crew Paco and Brian were awesome. All the boats go to the same places, so it's really up to the crew to set the tours apart. We played music on our boat and some people sang along and danced to the music. My group laid out in the sun on the top of the boat. We did the combo catamaran, bio bay excursion and this company is the only one that I know of that combines these two tours for a reasonable price. Our guides were great on both tours and I would sail again on the Traveler any day!

Comment by Shanna on 16 Sep 2011

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