Mona Island Snorkeling
The MOST popular snorkel dive spot in Puerto Rico.
Sunday 4 December 2016 06:21 GMT
West of Puerto Rico, the snorkeling on Mona Island is well known for its 270 different kinds of fish and dazzling coral reefs. The 13,000 acre Isla De Mona Nature Reserve has nesting leatherback turtles from April thru October. The waters surrounding the Isla Mona is home of over 270 species of fish and endangered Leatherback and Hawksbill sea turtles. Some species are so rare or endangered elsewhere on Puerto Rico that these islands can be considered their last significant refuge. The crystal clear water offers visibility up to 150 feet. During the winter humpback whales, usually several at a time with their young, are regular visitors. While snorkeling Isla Mona, you may encounter turtles, sharks, dolphin, grouper and snapper.
Many snorkelers consider Playa Carmelita to be the best snorkeling site on Mona Island. Coral reefs surround the South coast offering a palette of the brightest colors and the most complete reef styles such as the brain-type, the common sea fan, the finger coral, the fleshy and the stony corals. Colors vary from intense dark violet to yellowish mustard.
To reach Puerto Rico by air, fly into Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU). Mona Island is located 42 miles west of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Camping is allowed only in the three beaches located on the South and South West of the island. Trails join the three beaches up to the eastern point of the island where the lighthouse is located.
TIP: A permit is required for the Isla De Mona Nature Reserve. There are day trips leaving from Boqueron heading across the rough waters for the several hour crossing. Keep in mind that trips are often cancelled.
Overall, Mona Island is the 1st most popular snorkel dive spot of all 17 snorkeling dives in Puerto Rico.