Snorkeling is the easiest and cheapest way to get a good close-up view of the underwater wonders of the Caribbean. Quite a lot of people can wear scuba masks and snorkel breathing; add a pair of swimming fins (flippers) and you really don’t need to do more than float on the surface and look down at life in the sea. It is very simple, even small children can do it.

You might be surprised at how much you can see when snorkeling, even off the beach in your Caribbean resort. During a visit to the Little Dix Bay resort, for example, I was able to cruise right on stingrays and sea turtles as well as the usual colorful fish and reefs.

Most resorts will lend you free snorkeling equipment, making snorkeling both the cheapest and simplest way to explore the underwater world.

You can also join a diving charter, where a boat will take you to the top scuba diving and diving spots around the island you are visiting. Charters often allow you to see unique attractions such as sunken submerged reefs and healthier reefs than you usually see around the resort, meaning more colorful fish and corals, as well as sharks and other large residents.

Scuba divers also pay attention to your safety, and of course there is usually free beer and lunch on offer, in addition to a scenic boat trip. What’s not to like?

A few tips on scuba diving

If you are renting or borrowing equipment, make sure it is clean before you stick it in your mouth. Most dive shops will soak your gears in a mild detergent bath, but if that’s not good enough for your peace of mind, bring some alcohol cleaning pads along. Or, just buy your own device and pack it – a mask and tube really don’t take up a lot of space.