We will be coming to Jamaica and CTI for the first time in early December. Recently, I had the opportunity to see an image of the CTI area coastline and near shore waters on Google Earth. An outer reef trend is clearly evident on the image, extending both east and west along an arc outboard of the island. Seeing the length of this reef trend and the size of the enclosed embayment where Couples CTI resides, I am prompted to ask this question: Do the snorkel trips from CTI all go to the same location (I read somewhere on the message board about a snorkel spot that coincided with the catamaran cruise destination)? Or do the snorkel trips go to different locations along the reef trend during the course of a week? In other words, if I went to on several snorkel trips across several days, might I see different locales?
I’m under the impression that the snorkel trips may last about two hours. Is that about right? How much time might we expect to spend in the water? Does anybody have any other tips or comments about snorkeling at CTI?
They go to different spots I think. We didn't do it this year as we are now divers. We do take our own gear and go around the island. If you have your own gear and have room I would bring it with you if you want to go off the beach. The place they stop on the cat cruise has a sandy bottom and there is nothing to see. Have a great time at CTI.
Thanks for the response. I have discovered where our personal snorkel gear has been hiding and it appears to be in good shape (it’s been seven years since we have used it). We will definitely pack it along so that we check out some of the waters around the resort on our own time.
I thought this question might generate a little more response than it has. Are there any other folks with helpful comments about the snorkeling options at CTI? We are less than two weeks away from being there.
I snorkeled once, the trip is about an hour. 30 or so minutes in the water, the site that we snorkeled on was just East of the resort down the coastline a bit. It was a beautiful reef, lots of brain coral and a lot of fish to see. It's pretty shallow where we went, you can see a lot.
I heard that they also go West towards Sans Soucci where there is another reef and a wrecked ship. I scuba dove at that site but didn't have time to see the reef. The ship is 45 feet down, so snorkeling on that won't be much fun, but I heard the reef is just as nice as the other one. There were lots of fish hanging out with me on the dive.
The diving takes longer than snorkeling but both were well worth the time.
We took our own masks and snorkels, and just borrowed fins from watersports.
In regards to snorkeling near the island at CTI... you "can".. but the watersports people will likely ask you not to go near the dock as they are going in and out of that area with the islander boat, the dive boat, and the ski boat, but that doesn't mean people listen. I saw people snorkeling out there often and it looked a bit dangerous to me. If you go out near the island, you are probably safe, but the reef there is VERY shallow, so be careful as it also looks pretty sharp!
I think your best bet would be to just take the snorkel trip a few times as you'll have better access and it will be more safe.
Thank you for the helpful comments. I will definitely try to do a couple of the scheduled snorkel trips at least.
It is understandable that they would not want guests snorkeling near the boat dock for the safety reasons you mention. I was curious about what kind of water conditions might exist laterally in either direction near the shore where the beach transitions into non-beach conditions. I realize that those areas are outside of the designated swimming area.