This sport is the perfect marriage between beauty and nature; not to mention that it will help you keep some pounds off you while on vacation. Up next, you can have a quick look at the eleven best places to go snorkeling around the world:
Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most accessible reefs. If you have not snorkelled before, give it a go and you will be richly rewarded. Many of the sites on the Great Barrier Reef are shallow enough that once kitted out and shown where to go, in no time at all you will find yourself mesmerised by the beauty below you. The water is warm and you simply will not notice how long you have even been swimming.
Seychelles Islands, Africa.
These boast a wide variety of snorkeling sites for all levels of ability. You can explore the shallow lagoons (Baie Lazare, Anse Royale) and the reef drop-offs near the shore (Anse Soleil, Anse Major), the barrier reefs a little further out to sea or the very rocky underwater seascapes made up of granite rocks all along the coasts.
Mahe Island, like the other granite islands of the archipelago (La Digue and Praslin in particular), enjoy a tropical climate and pleasant temperatures all year long. Unlike other groups of islands in the Seychelles (Aldabra or the Farquhar islands), they are not in the path of cyclones.
The Red Sea is a popular snorkeling destination. It is known for its untainted vibe, black sand dunes and mineral springs. Its astounding reefs are simply surrounded by some unique views, which are also another good motive to go and take the whole place in. It’s not just about the snorkeling, it’s about what you can do before and after it.
San Blas Islands, Panama.
In here you will find one of the most untouched coral reefs by mankind. The reef holds its beauty for decades now since people do not pollute the waters around it. Since most of the reefs in San Blas are pretty shallow and just beneath the sea surface, snorkeling suits it perfectly. The rich sea life and the crystal-clear water will give you plenty enough time to drift away from the world above water. One of the easy places to get in touch with this sea life is the shipwreck near Isla Perro. This place is perfect for people not used to snorkeling or scuba diving but also gives people that have done it before a nice challenge to spot all the sea life around the ship.
Huahine, French Polynesia.
Huahine has some of the best – and least-known – places to discover in Tahiti. The reef that surrounds the islet ripples with life, from clownfish to eels to gangs of yellow and white saddleback butterflyfish that love to crowd in front of your camera. It's like getting caught in a whirlwind of fall leaves. Take a bit of French bread underwater with you, and they'll swirl around you for hours. Also, nothing's more decadent in the snorkeling world than drifting along effortlessly over coral gardens alive with as much movement and color as a sprawling urban city. Keep your eyes peeled for green sea turtles napping under the coral ledges and stingrays hidden in the sand.
Kealakekua Bay, the USA.
It is an underwater marine sanctuary where you can often find dolphins and sea turtles. The center of the bay is deep, and you can often find a pod of spinner dolphins playing around here. The local ecosystem in Kealakekua Bay has recently suffered greatly under its own popularity, and getting to the other side of the bay on your own is difficult now. Nevertheless, big efforts are being made in order to better preserve the area for future generations, so that they get to enjoy its beauty as well.
Uepi Island, Solomon Islands.
Imagine floating through Grand Central Terminal in NYC during a fire alarm at rush hour: you're still not really close to the amount of action, color and movement that awaits mere steps off the beach at Uepi Island. This snorkeling hot spot is nestled in the life-rich tropical haven of the Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands, and at almost any spot along its coast, you can wade in and explore one of the most captivating and bio-diverse underwater ecosystems on the planet. Above these colorful Seussian forests of hard and soft coral, sponges and seafans, legions of wildly colored reef fish flow over the reef like living rivers. You'll find snowflake morays, nudibranchs, jittery clownfish, vivid giant clams and even a gang of zippy blacktip reef sharks.
Plaza Sur, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Plaza Sur offers gentle waters to observe diverse marine life. Snorkelers at Isla Plaza Sur are delighted by the abundant sea lion population. While snorkeling Isla Plaza Sur, you’ll noticed that the juvenile sea lions are quite curious and may come right up to you. You may also encounter plenty of damselfish, triggerfish, hogfish, sea stars and urchins covering the rocky seafloor. The depths range from 0 to 25 feet deep and the visibility is from 5 to 30 feet. While snorkeling in Galapagos Islands, you may encounter diverse marine life including Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, marine iguanas, stings rays, manta rays, eels, reef sharks, parrotfish, damselfish, yellow-bellied triggerfish and hawkfish.
Laughing Bird Caye, Belize.
Laughing Bird Caye National Park is distinct from the other islands as it is a part of the famous Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and it is a snorkeler’s paradise. The natural beauty surrounding this island is sumptuous. Snorkeling around the island, you will encounter a diverse and abundant marine life living below. The area is covered with a variety of coral reef habitats that sparkle and give life to other marine species. As a result of its geography, there is a central lagoon, which gives Laughing Bird Caye National Park its shallow waters surrounding the island.
Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia.
This west Indonesian archipelago contains more marine bio-diversity than anywhere else in the world – more fish, more corals. The survey brought Raja Ampat’s total number of confirmed corals to 537 species — an incredible 75 percent of all known coral species. In addition, over 1,300 fish species were found. Another good reason is it is isolated; no divers, no snorkelers, no anybody. The only other humans seen were natives in the few villages. Located off the northwest tip of the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat (translated, Four Kings) is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo.
Silver Bank (Dominican Republic).
Swimming with humpback whales in their natural environment is an ultimate wild animal interaction and spending a week in this exceptional sanctuary is a journey unlike any other. Visitors arriving on the Silver Bank quickly realize they are in one of the truly special wild places on earth, a feeling that deepens as days go by. The humpback whale behaviors you witness from above and the face-to-face experiences you have with them in the water will leave you feeling joy, awe, humility, gratitude, and respect.