5 Places To Go Snorkeling on Catalina Island
Catalina's marine environment is made up of glorious undersea gardens. These waters are home to plentiful sea life such as giant black seabass, bright orange garibaldi, swooping bat rays, elusive octopus, spiny lobster, shimmery barracuda, and an array of other plants and creatures.Snorkeling on Catalina is a simple way to explore the local waters. Catalina Divers Supply offers a snorkel package for renting masks, fins, and wetsuits so that you and your group can discover all of the underwater paradise on Catalina. Here are 5 great places to go snorkeling on Catalina Island:
Casino Dive Park
You don’t need to dive deep to observe the rich community of sea life just steps from the famous Catalina Casino. The Casino Point Underwater Park was designed in 1962 and formally established in 1965. Carl & Maggie Koehler, the original owners of Catalina Divers Supply, were the original designers of this scuba and snorkeling haven. In the dive park, visibility ranges from 40’ to 100.’ Here, snorkelers are surrounded by local aquatic life and kelp forests. Book an guided snorkel tour to rent your mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit. This is a great family activity, so Catalina Divers Supply offers kids sizes for ages 8 and up.
If you make your way along Pebbly Beach Road, a few minutes from the center of Avalon, you’ll reach Lover’s Cove. Perhaps one of the most fun things about this marine sanctuary is that the fish can be friendly; Tour boats often come through the cove to observe and feed the sea animals. This makes for opportunities to see schooling swarms of fish. This clear, clean cove right next to Avalon Bay is a great place for snorkelers to see sea life close up.
Descanso Beach is well known for its beachside bar, cabanas, and resort-like setting. If you spend a day in Descanso, you can do it all. From the beach here, wade into the water with a mask and snorkel. It’s likely that you’ll see at least a handful of sea creatures right along the beach. Or, you can swim around to the best snorkeling spot in Descanso, just around the point to the left of Descanso Bay. Grab your gear from Catalina Divers Supply and make a day of it. Say hi to some California Sea Lions who love to hang out around the nearby boat moorings and little rocky coves. Descanso’s restaurant and bar are there to provide refreshments once you return from snorkeling your way through the bay.
The Isthmus of Santa Catalina Island is an ideal place for some fantastic snorkeling. Two Harbors offers a lot of ways to adventure: you can snorkel straight off the sandy beach or kayak with your snorkel gear out to a secluded cove or local landmarks like Bird Rock, Ship Rock, Eagle Reef, or Sea Fan Grotto. Be sure to tie your kayak to some kelp while you snorkel around to see spotty leopard sharks or slithery moray eels.
From a Boat
If you aren’t quite a scuba diver, but you want to explore some deeper ocean waters, snorkelers are able to join a Catalina Divers Supply boat tour. This company offers discounts on gear rentals when booking boat trips. Tours head out at 9 a.m. and return by 2 p.m., and they include lunch, snacks, sodas, and water. These tours launch from the Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon, and a knowledgeable boat captain and divemaster accompany you on the SCUBA Cat. Snorkelers, free divers and scuba divers can all come aboard this tour to seek out some of Catalina’s greatest sea life spots around the island.