Scuba diving is a technical sport, requiring a lot of time in learning and practicing. Also, it’s quite expensive, and not everyone is comfortable being 18 meters and more under the sea surface. So, if one of the above is your reason not to be a scuba diver, it’s alright! What about snorkeling though? The worse that could happen is that you fall in love with the underwater world and then want to explore deeper. It happened to me!
Snorkeling is easy, no need for hours of studying and practicing in a pool. Plus, it’s inexpensive and can be done any time, even on short trips when you wouldn’t be able to dive because you need to fly the next day. All you need to have is a snorkel mask with a tuba, and fins. Of course, you also need to be a good swimmer, in fit condition. If you are not so sure about being that much of a good swimmer, use a life jacket and don’t free dive – stay on the surface.
Best Snorkeling Sites in the World!
Now let’s make a quick list of the best snorkeling places out there. Some I’ve personally tried and others I’m dying to try.
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is a huge playground for divers, and snorkelers along! Indeed, the area has an impressive biodiversity and shallow reefs are all over the places! A trip to Australia is quite expensive in general, but if there’s one thing I would save my money for and it’s to splurge it on a snorkeling or scuba diving trip to the GBR, anytime!
My Snorkeling Review of the Great Barrier Reef // It was my first time out in the blue, and the boat moored quite far away (for a beginner I guess!) from the shallower reef in order for the divers to be right on their site. So, I had to jump off the boat into the deep blue, and I was SO scared. You have no idea. I swam super duper fast to get to the reef. Once there, I forgot all my fears and worries as I discovered a beautifully breathtaking new world. Colorful corals and fishes were dancing all around me and I felt peaceful and confident all of a sudden. As we say, you never forget your first time… so make it worth remembering!
This list could have easily turn out to be a top 50 of the best snorkeling destinations, and if so, one third of the destinations would have been in the Caribbeans! Indeed, it’s a huge area to cover, but the bottom line is that almost anywhere in the Caribs, you’ll get amazing snorkeling spots! The different islands are all unique, some are more famous than others, and some are hidden gems being discovered! The Cayman Islands are probably the better known snorkeling and diving islands, if it’s not Bonaire. Otherwise, if we include the Bahamas in the Caribbeans, that’s definitely another well known group of islands. What’s you best Caribbean snorkeling spot ? Tell us in the comments at the bottom of this page!
My Snorkeling Review for the Caribbean area // The Mayan Riviera, on the east coast of Mexico, is just amazing. Most reefs are accessible from the beach, and I swam along with many huge turtles, out of nowhere on sand patches. Plus, the fresh water rivers and lagoons around Xel-Ha are incredible. I was there on low season and it was quiet, with not too many tourist, but I’m not sure I would recommend in high season. Otherwise, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres are definitely to be put on your snorkeling or scuba diving bucket-list.
The fringing reefs surrounding the Islands of Aloha make it a perfect snorkeling destination. Indeed, the rugged coastline often forms secluded bays, where the surface conditions are superb for the snorkelers, beginners or experimented. The Big Island of Hawaii and Maui are often named among the favorite snorkeling destination of Hawaii.
The reputation of the Maldives is quite well established. Indeed, it’s among the best, and most picture perfect vacation destinations in the world. Plus, the Maldives have a great deal to offer in term of scuba diving and snorkeling! Endless miles of clear water reefs are ready to be explored. Often, you can snorkel on house-reefs, straight from shore, but sometimes not. Either way, almost every island or atoll has an outstanding snorkeling site, or more!
Also, the Seychelles are another destination that would easily get it’s spot on this best-of list! Much alike the Maldives geographically, the Seychelles are more natural, less occupied by major resorts. Among the best snorkeling spots of the Seychelles are Anse Lazio, Petite Anse, Anse Severe, La Digue, La Reserve, and much more.
5. French Polynesia / Tahiti
The French Polynesian archipelago is in many people’s dreams, and should definitely be in every divers mind! The myriad of islands offers outstanding scuba diving, and great deal of snorkeling opportunities! Huahine is probably the best snorkeling destination in French Polynesia.
Julien’s Review on diving in French Polynesia, it’s right here!
Your favorite snorkeling destination is not on this list ? Please tell us some more about it in the comments below!