Off the southwestern shore of Antigua in Cades Bay, the snorkeling off Cades Reef is well known. It is one of Antigua's most popular off-shore snorkeling dive sites. It is now partly contained in a designated underwater park known as Cades Bay Marine Reserve. An offshore reef formation runs parallel to the southwest coast of Antigua and extends for over 2 miles. When ...
Off the southwestern shore of Antigua in Cades Bay, the snorkeling off Cades Reef is well known. It is one of Antigua's most popular off-shore snorkeling dive sites. It is now partly contained in a designated underwater park known as Cades Bay Marine Reserve. An offshore reef formation runs parallel to the southwest coast of Antigua and extends for over 2 miles. When snorkeling at Cades Reef, you will find a variety of reef fishes and diverse coral reef formations. The abundant marine life includes tangs, snapper, bermuda chub, hawksbill turtles, chromis and occasionally a nurse shark.
The Cades Reef snorkeling site is located about 8.3 miles south-southwest of St John, which is about an hour ride.
To reach the snorkeling on Antigua by air, you will want to fly into VC Bird International Airport (ANU) located on the northeast corner of Antigua. Most of the flights are coming from San Juan, Puerto Rico, from St Martin, from Barbados and from Trinidad. There are some smaller inter-island airlines that service other nearby Caribbean islands. In addition, there is the Barbuda Express ferry service to nearby Barbuda (1.5 hours) that runs five days a week. The best way to get around Antigua is by renting a car since taxis are very expensive and the public transport is not ideal. When leaving the island, there is a $28USD departure tax and a $51USD airport tax that must be paid (most airline tickets have included both, but you will want to confirm since the payment lines at the airport can be quite long). While snorkeling Antigua, there is very diverse marine life around the island including hawksbill turtles, sergeant majors, spadefish, batfish, moray eels, barracuda and nurse sharks among the sea fans, sea grass, sponges and colorful coral reefs. There are numerous snorkeling boat tours that access the most popular snorkel dive sites including Treasure Island Cruises, Pirates Of Antigua and Adventure Antigua Day Sails. If you happen to be snorkeling in Antigua on a Sunday, make sure to head up in the evening to Shirley Heights, which is located on a hill that overlooks English Harbour. There is a Sunday evening BBQ and rum punch along with fine reggae music.
Overall, Cades Reef is the 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 15 snorkeling dives in Antigua.
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