The best places for snorkelling are in Admiral Bay (Bahia de Almirante), where the coral reefs are more protected, waters are usually clear and there are no waves. Some of the snorkelling sites are also scuba diving sites, because many of the reefs go down up to 60 feet (20 meters). Notable are HOSPITAL POINT and THE GARDEN, at the tip of Solarte Key; MANGROVE POINT, BIG BAIGHT and BOCA DEL DRAGO, on the Bay coast of Colon Island; the reefs surrounding CRAWL KEY; CRISTOBAL LIGHT and CRISTOBAL ONE, on the shore of Cristobal Island and ZAPATILLAS KEYS, in the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park. The reefs in this sector of Bocas del Toro islands are very healthy, with a great population of corals and colorful sponges. Most of the reefs drop very gently to the bottom. On the open sea side of the archipelago, visitors can snorkel in the small coral reefs of Bastimentos Island, that lie beyond the beaches, such as OLA CHICA, and nearby WILD CANE KEY. The outer part of the ZAPATILLAS KEYS reefs are not so easy to snorkel, because of the prevailing north wind which creates large waves that break on the reef. These reefs, facing the open sea, form walls from 10 to 40 feet high, with small caves which harbour fish and crabs. This form of reef makes it difficult for the snorkeller, to have a good view of the corals, which in any case aren’t so healthy as those on the bay. A different and unique kind of snorkelling attracts some visitors to the mangrove islets of the Marine Park. Due to the clear of the waters, snorkellers can see the beauty and colors of the life on the mangrove roots: sponges, fire corals, casiopeas, starfishes, crabs, crawl and swim on or between the roots. Other fish find refuge in this impresive underwater forest, that is also the nursery of many species.
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