When you search for best snorkeling destinations online, there are dozens of articles about top or best snorkeling destinations. But sometimes, you just need to find snorkeling spots that are not too far from you. How do you select your best snorkeling destinations? Which element do you value most? The location, the fish species, or the sightseeing? Leave a comment and let us know your ideas. The article tries to collect word’s best snorkeling destinations for you. You are welcome to add your favorite snorkeling destinations.
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Best Snorkeling Destinations in America
A number of fun and popular snorkeling sites are located in America. Snorkeling in America is relatively easy. The introduction starts from Florida. There could be some good snorkeling destinations not included in the article. Welcome to add:)
Key Largo is located at the first and northernmost of the Florida Keys. It’s only a one-hour drive from South Florida’s two major airports. The best time to visit Key Largo is summer.
If you plan to go Key Largo for snorkeling, you’ll need to get on a boat. There are tons of options to go with snorkel companies. Snorkel gear is available for rental. Here are some main snorkeling spots:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has beautiful coral reef and diverse living communities.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of the 15 national marine areas. The marine sanctuary lies spectacular, unique, and nationally significant marine resources. The world’s third largest barrier reef, over 6,000 species of marine life, and some archeological treasures are protected here.
White Banks Dry Rocks Reef or Molasses Reef offers shallow water snorkeling, beautiful views of the corals and over 500 species of fish.
Christ of the Abyss
You can see brain corals, barracuda, parrotts, fish and huge quee conch shells. The Christ Statue stands 9.5′ tall in 27′ of water surrounded by a breathtaking reef. You may see dolphins, manta rays, and turtles.
Dry Tortugas National Park
You will have an amazing snorkeling experience in Dry Tortugas, which is only 70 miles from Key West. You can get there by boat or seaplane. Dry Tortugas is popular for its shallow waters, 5-15 feet, making snorkeling easier and interesting for everyone. It’s enjoyable for beginners and experts to observe the colorful tropical fish and live coral. In my opinion, Dry Tortugas is one of the coolest snorkeling destinations, especially for novices. You can access the white beach through Fort Jefferson snorkeling areas. The park’s corals and seagrass are the most vibrant in the Florida Keys but you must remember not to disturb coral or shells! Make sure you have all the snorkeling equipment before you start off.
Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park now is open, but with limited park activities due to the effect of the hurricane. They are offering the following service: snorkel boat tours, beach rental equipment, food service, and the gift shop. Bahia Honda State Park is located at 37-mile away from the Florida Keys. The park covers over 500 acres and an offshore island. It’s a popular snorkeling spot in Florida. You can visit the fabulous Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary while you are here!
Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
One of the most outstanding characteristics is the refuge to be created for the protection of the threatened Florida Manatee.
People from all over the world visit Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge to see the amazing creatures. Crystal River is very stunning and perfect for relaxation. Snorkeling in such a beautiful place benefits your health.
Sombrero Key Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs)
Sombrero Preservation Area is famous for the Elkhorn coral, and is 3.5 nautical miles away from Boot Key. You must follow the preservation regulations when you dive, snorkel and boat inside these zones. SPAs are critical to sustaining marine species and habitats. SPAs also offer mooring buoys for boaters in order to prevent anchor damage to corals.
Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
If you are interested in man-made reefs, wrecks, and shells, Sanibel Island is right for you. The Edison Reef is created from the rubble of a former mainland bridge. The Belton Johnson Reef is named after a famous local fishing guide and constructed of concrete culverts. Pegasus/Charlie’s Reef is formed by a large tugboat and now is the home to barracuda, cobia, nurse shark, grouper, amber jack and moray eel. Sanibel Island is well-known for its premier shelling beaches. After snorkeling, you would have an enjoyable and relaxing walking along the fabulous shelling beaches. It’s easy and interesting to explore the island by bike with 25 miles of bike paths. Lighthouse Beach Park in Sanibel Island owns “get away from it all” beach in the state.
Read more: 7 Best Beaches in Florida
Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa is a remote and romantic island, only accessible by private boat or ferry. With nine miles of unspoiled Gulf beaches, the barrier island is a slice of paradise. You may see manatees and dolphins. Summer is the best time to swim or snorkel on the island. You can enjoy your snorkeling in the pristine, blue waters from the Gulf of Mexico. Be prepared to bring your own gear though, because there are no rentals available. A Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel mask is a good choice. If it’s your first time snorkeling, you can check here to discover what to prepare for snorkeling.
West Florida – Gulf of Mexico
If you are tired of the crowd South Florida, West Florida is a smart choice. It’s often referred to as the “Emerald Coast”, due to the beautiful green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a popular resort destination. The water temperature is a little lower than South Florida. The best snorkeling time is summer when the water temperature is about mid-80s Fahrenheit. Although there is no reef, various fishes and crabs can be found.
Destin – the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”
Destin is known as the Panhandle. As one of the best snorkeling destinations, the transportation is convenient; Destin Executive Airport (DTS) and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport are centrally located. You can visit Destin-Fort Walton Beach or Okaloosa Island easily. This area is one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America”. No matter if you are fond of fishing, golf, boating, or snorkeling, you can find what you are looking for. Besides the stunning sightseeing, this area has one of the widest arrays of marine life in Florida.
St. Andrews State Park
The sugar-white sand beach and emerald green waters offer fabulous snorkeling conditions. Snorkeling is allowed in the swimming areas. Take advantage of the extensive shoreline and rock jetties to study marine life. You can rent your snorkeling gear in any concession stores or bring your own. Enjoy a leisure vacation with a breeze and diverse coastal plants, or a dolphin tour on Panama City Beach.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Gulf Island National Seashore extends 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Cat Island in Mississippi to the Okaloosa Area in Florida. You are free to visit Florida areas or Mississippi areas. No matter if you spend one day or a week, you have many activities to take advantage of and different places to explore. The water temperature ranges around the mid-80s in summer. Snorkeling reefs are on Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach.
Devil’s Den is near the small town of Williston, having unique fern-draped sinkhole setting. It’s thought of as the den of hell. It’s definitely a unique experience! They offer snorkeling 7 days a week. They do not take reservations for snorkeling. Children under 6 years are not allowed to access to Devil’s Den. You can rent a snorkeling equipment locally. Admission fee is $15/person (Monday-Friday), and $20/person (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays).
Santa Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island located in the Gulf of Santa Catalina, which is also called Catalina Island or Catalina for short. It’s just 45 minutes in a high-speed ferry from the coast of Los Angeles at Long Beach. According to “World Healthiest Marine Environment” by Scuba Diving Magazine, the water is clear and clean. Water temperature is varying around 55-72 degrees. You can find snorkeling rentals or book guided trips locally. They have professionals and well-equipped dive boats to help make your experience great. If you are new to snorkeling, the top 10 advanced snorkeling tips can help you.
Lover’s Cove Marine Reserve is in Avalon. It’s about an hour ride from Newport. You can take Catalina Island Express to be there. Lover’s cove is a little cove. The water is calm and peaceful, which are attractive qualities for many tourists. The peaceful waters are suitable for first-time snorkelers. You may see turtles, specially Garibaldi, and various fishes. You can even feed them! Fish food is available at the Cove Cooler. You need to be careful not to get bitten though, because they aren’t afraid of people! It’s rocky beach, so you may need water shoes to walk on the shore. Only swimming and snorkeling are allowed in the cove. It’s better to wear a wetsuit because the water is a little cold.
Casino Point (Avalon Underwater Park)
Casino Point is a popular diving spot. The water is a little choppy and freezing than lover’s cove. Mainly, scuba divers are fond of Casino Point, but snorkelers are able to snorkel at the surface. Marine life is abundant and easy to approach. It’s close to Lover’s Cove, just in case you are interested in snorkeling at both locations.
As an archipelago, Channel Island consists of 8 islands off the coast of southern California. Channel Islands National Park includes five islands. The water belongs to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. There is a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species and subspecies. Snorkeling is allowed on Santa Barbara, Anacapa, and eastern Santa Cruz Islands. Pay attention to the weather, especially windy conditions. People without proper training, who are in poor health, and who are unequipped are not allowed to snorkel.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is in San Diego, surrounded by the Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, meaning there is plenty of marine wildlife. You can find orange Garibaldi and kelp forest in this water area. The unique creature and scenery make La Jolla Cove be one of the best snorkeling destinations. There are three main spots for snorkeling: the immediate Cove area, South of the cove(near the kelp forest), and along the caves to the north. You should check the water conditions with locals or lifeguards before you snorkel. At La Jolla Cove, you have opportunities to swim with Leopard Sharks from early June to the end of September or October. They are harmless and beautiful.
Shaw’s Cove is the most secluded place to snorkel in Laguna Beach. It’s at the base of Fairview Street and almost 500 feet in length. The north side is a place to find beautiful plant and sea life, including Garibaldi, perch, rockfish, and sand bass. The beach is very rocky, so wear your water shoes or fins. Besides Shaw’s Cove, you can also snorkel at Diver’s Cove and Treasure Island.
Snorkeling in Hawaii
O’ahu has 1,200 miles of coral reef on the brink of the Hawaiian Islands. Discover colorful coral and the state fish of Hawaii, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. On the North Shore, here is Shark’s Cove. It has a rocky bay with shallow, crystal clear water, which makes it one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. Sharks come here very rarely. As there is much wind in winter, the best season to visit is summer.
The Island of Hawaii is also a snorkeling paradise, especially the east side of the island. Thanks to the massive slopes of Maunaloa, South Kona’s calm and clear water is perfect for snorkeling. Snorkeling with manta rays on Kona is a must; it’s a great way to discover these gentle and amazing sea creatures.
Hulopoe Bay, the perfect spot for novice snorkelers, is located on Lanai’s southern coast. Besides the white sand and blue waters, one of the most attractive spots of Hulopoe Bay is its large tide pools in the eastern side of the bay. The tide pools keep the waters calm for snorkeling. Many small organisms dwell there including hermit crabs, sea stars, and small fish. Acrobatic spinner dolphins can sometimes be seen and the humpback whales can be seen in winter. Along the cliffs, it takes 15-20 minutes to reach the Lanai landmark Puru Pehe (Sweetheart Rock). To protect the eco-environment, visitors are required to leave every stone and shell in its place. A little contribution can make a big difference.
Snorkel on Maui to see colorful fishes, sea turtles, and the most popular reefs. Snorkelers can go to West Maui and South Maui. The northernmost part of Kaanapali Beach nearby Puu Kekaa warmly welcomes snorkelers as well. You can also visit Molokini island, a small moon-shaped island, off the southwestern coast of Maui. Molokini Crater is an underwater volcano islet, which is a very rare occurrence. Molokini is only accessible by boat tour. Over 250 species of tropical fish and various coral are waiting for you to explore. Many snorkelers consider Molokini island as a primary snorkeling destination.
Moloka’i owns Hawaii’s longest unbroken fringing reef, home to natural coral, stony coral, and reef fish. Snorkeling at Molokai is great because the waters are calm. Kumimi Beach, known as 20 Mile Marker Beach, is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Hawaii. Here you can find honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles).
Kauai attracts people with its flourishing gardens and rainforests and offers a wide range of snorkeling locations. You can snorkel on the north shore, including Kee Beach and Haena Beach Park. You can also snorkel on Anini Beach, having a lagoon more is suitable for beginners. On the east side, Lydgate Beach Park is great for children snorkelers. If you go snorkeling on Poipu Beach State Park, you should pay attention to the ocean conditions and currents to ensure the snorkeling safety.
There are a series of festivals celebrated in Hawaii in June. For now, the above sites are some popular snorkeling spots in America. There may be some amazing snorkeling sites not included. You can leave a comment to let more friends know.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in Central America
Isla Mujeres, “Island of Women”, is a Mexico island, just 13 kilometers from the coast of Cancún. It’s a small and peaceful island with beautiful beaches. It’s named for the abundant statues of Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of love, fertility, and medicine. You can explore this gem island by a golf cart or by foot. Playa Norte (North Beach) has calm, clear and shallow waters that are perfect for snorkeling. You can find some good beach bars and restaurants over there.
MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) in Isla Mujeres is a spot you can’t miss. Over 500 permanent life-sized and monumental sculptures are in MUSA. It is one of the largest and most fabulous underwater artificial art attractions. The layout of MUSA includes Salon Manchones, Salon Nizuc, and Punta Sam. Snorkeling is the best way to visit Salon Punta Nizuc and Salon Punta Sam. Punta Nizuc is at the south of Cancun’s hotel zone, only 4-meter depth. Punta Sam is in Cancún located at 3.5 meters at the reef. The famous sculpture, Blessings, created by Cuban artist Elier Amado Gil is at the sea floor where you can swim with sea turtles. If you’d like to snorkel with whale sharks, Cancun is the best destination from June until August.
It’s easier to get Belize from North America than you would imagine. You can check your flights and airlines. Belize is a significant part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor due to its abundance of terrestrial and diverse marine life. There are hundreds of snorkeling sites scattering around the Belize Barrier Reef that is the second large barrier reef. Each snorkeling spot has its own unique characteristics, and even the same site shows differently every time. The Belize Barrier Reef comprises 7 main marine reserve zones, more than four hundred cays, and 3 atolls. Belize must be one of the best snorkeling destinations. The Best Snorkeling in Belize gives you more detailed information about the below popular snorkeling sites.
Discover some popular snorkeling sites in the table:
|Belize Reef||Ambergris Caye||South Water Caye Marine Reserve|
|Lighthouse Reef||Hol Chan Marine Reserve||Tobacco Caye|
|The Blue Hole||Shark-Ray Alley||Billy Hawk Caye|
|Half Moon Caye||Mexico Rocks||Carrie Bow Caye|
|Clover’s Reef Atoll (Southwest Caye)|
Best Snorkeling Destinations around the Caribbean Sea
Buck Island – St. Croix, USVI
If there was a snorkeling bucket list, Buck Island would be on the list. Buck Island Reef National Monument or Buck Island is an uninhabited island, preserved as “one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea. Buck Island is one of the best snorkeling destinations. There are no facilities or restaurants on the island. If you plan to visit Buck Island, it’s better to prepare lunch and some snacks or you can choose a one-day tour including lunch. Over half of the island is surrounded by the elkhorn coral barrier reef, over 250 fish species and various marine life. On the western edge of the island is Turtle Beach, characterized as a purely white sand beach and voted as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic. In the spring Leatherback turtles nest on the beach, and in the summer Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles come. Snorkelers, including beginners, are able to go snorkeling after a short lesson from the boat crew. The deepest water in Buck Island coral grottoes is about 12 feet, so always snorkel with a buddy and stay in a safe distance from the tour boat. As a marine protection area, visitors must follow the regulations, not moving the rocks, shells, plants or artifacts. No fishing or collecting is allowed in the entire monument.
Caribbean Sea Islands
Surrounding the Caribbean Sea, there are so many wonderful snorkeling sites. You can visit Pigeon Caye in Honduras, Rockhouse in Jamaica, Cayman Island, Dominica, Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or Dean’s blue hole in the Bahamas. Read the best snorkeling in the Bahamas to learn more. Thanks to the unique and amazing geographic location, Caribbean Sea is a paradise of snorkeling. Here is a list of Caribbean Sea islands, each one of them deserves a visit.
|The British Virgin Islands|
|U.S. Virgin Islands|
|St. Kitts & Nevis|
|Antigua and Barbuda|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
There will be specific descriptions on these island snorkeling destinations in our blog later. Thank you for reading and being patient!
Best Snorkeling Destinations in Brazil
Now let’s come to Brazil, a country with passion and vigor. Brazil has a long coastline offering some amazing places for snorkeling. The northeast waters, with warm temperature, offer the best snorkeling experience. Pack your snorkel mask and fins, here is one of the best full snorkel masks 2018, and start your journey now.
Seabeast AF90 Full Face Snorkel Mask – “especially good visibility“
Ilha Grande is the largest island in Green Bay, located at the west-side of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Lagoa Azul is at the north of the island Ilha Grande. The crystal clear water and large shoals are perfect for snorkeling. The water temperature is around 68-77°F. It’s a delightful island with forests, waterfalls, beaches and small villages. Besides local amazing marine life, you can also find some old European galleon-wrecks. There are no cars or banks on the island, so you’ll need cash.
Maracajaú is the best snorkeling area in nearby Natal. The water temperature is an of average 26°C. The scenery, including the enormous and natural aquarium is ideal for snorkeling. Parrachos de Maracajaú is big scale reefs, with a depth between 1.8m and 3.2m, which is great for snorkeling.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in Australia
Queensland (QLD) is the second largest state in Australia. Great Barrier Reef almost covers the entire coastline of Queensland. There are about 900 continental islands and coral cays. As one of the world’s natural wonders, Great Barrier Reef is home to over 3,000 separate reefs, 1,500 fish species, and other marine life. Exploring the world’s largest and longest coral reef is every snorkeler’s dream. Many snorkelers consider Great Barrier Reef as one of the best snorkeling destinations.
Fraser Island is a heritage-listed island along the southeastern coast of the state of Queensland. Fraser Island is renowned for its fresh lake water, lush rainforest, and rolling sand dunes. Visitors are impressed by the diverse scenery. This island is right there with the famous Great Barrier Reef. Kakadu and Uluru are popular tourist attractions. There are many freshwater creeks and lakes, which are quite safe and perfect for snorkeling with dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fishes. Do not miss the whale migration season.
If you would like to get closer to the Great Barrier Reef, Low Isles is definitely your choice. Low Isles is the closest part of the Great Barrier Reef to the Australian mainland. The reef can be accessed directly off the beach. Low Isles is as beautiful as a postcard, pristine blue water, colorful reefs, and an adorable island. You can take a short cruise from Port Douglas to snorkel and explore the small island.
If you like artifact scenery, Moreton Island is right for you. There are 15 purposefully sunken ships, forming Tangalooma Wrecks since 1963. The wreck is not far from the beach, so snorkelers are capable of exploring them. The wrecks are the home to over 200 species of tropical fish, as well as soft and hard corals. You will have an incredible snorkeling experience. You may lucky enough one to see dolphins. Good luck everyone.
Green Island is a coral cay making it one of the most welcomed snorkeling destinations. You can explore this island in various ways, but snorkeling directly off the beach is absolutely one of the most popular choices. The last snorkeling spot that must be mentioned in Queensland is Lady Elliot Island. Lady Elliot Island is known as the “Home of the Manta Ray” with over 800 resident manta rays. Novice snorkelers are able to start easily at the eastern side of Lighthouse and Coral Gardens or the Lagoon to explore the coral reefs.
Western Australia (WA)
Western Australia (WA) has the largest fringing reef. The World Heritage marine parks cover 12,500 kilometers with Australian sea lions, wild dolphins, turtles, reef sharks, gentle manta rays and cute whale shark. This World Heritage marine park can be one of the best snorkeling destinations.
A must-go in Western Australia is Ningaloo Reef, which is the only place on earth where tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks all settle together. Ningaloo Reef has the second highest number of marine species in the world. Rottnest Island, off the southern coast of Western Australia, has a Class A marine reserve. You can meet the quokkas on the island. The weather and water temperature are perfect for snorkelers thanks to the Leeuwin current. With hundreds of tropical fish and coral reefs, with turtles, dolphins, and seals, it’s an enjoyable and memorable snorkeling experience.
Lord Howe Island, a World-Heritage location, off the New South Wales is a good snorkeling destination for families. There are many popular snorkeling spots, such as Lagoon Beach and Old Settlement Beach. The waters are calm there, and safe for beginners and children to snorkel. You can rent snorkel gear from nearby dive stores. Lord Howe Island is an only 2-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane. If you prefer dolphins, penguins, seals, and whales, Jervis Bay must be your destination.
Up until this point, it’s only been part one! Have you found your snorkeling destination, yet? If you’ve your perfect destination, you can’t miss your best snorkeling partner, Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel mask. It is one of the best snorkel masks in 2018. Featured with 100% anti-fogging, Seabeast AF90 full face mask optimizes your snorkeling experience. If you have not found your ideal snorkeling destination, don’t fret. We have more! Stay tuned for part two.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in Southeast Asia
When we talk about southeast Asia, we are talking about thousands of islands. For example, there are world-famous islands, such as Phi Phi Islands, Ko Tao or Bali. You can find clams, angelfish, turtles and small sharks among the coral reefs and shipwrecks. Southeast Asia is definitely a paradise for snorkeling lovers. You are welcomed to add your favorite snorkeling destinations in the comment.
There are two main marine areas for snorkeling in Thailand: to the east, including the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, and to the west, there are the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. Traveling or snorkeling in Thailand is also cost efficient. Overall, Thailand is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.
The Andaman Islands are along the Andaman Sea. The best time to visit is from November to April. However, the waters of Andaman Sea, apart from Similan Islands, are a little choppy and not very clear. Similan Islands have been a natural reserve since 1982 that is a world-class snorkeling spot. What’s more, you can try Koh Phi Phi and Khao Lak all year around. The water temperature is on average 82°F. December and January is the peak of tourists. For a more peaceful snorkeling experience, avoid this season. Phi Phi is the best beautiful island in Thailand with an array of marine life. You have chances to see Leopard sharks and black tip reef sharks. If you are interested in other nearby locations, you can visit Monkey beach or swim at Maya Bay.
Gulf of Thailand
Along the Gulf of Thailand, there are snorkeling sites around Ko Chang Marine National Park. The weather in Koh Chang is quite different from the south. From October to April, it’s arid. Besides Ko Chang, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao are all good snorkeling choices. Ko Tao is definitely a mecca snorkeling destination. Shark Bay and Tanote Bay are also good snorkeling destinations.
Tourists from all over the world visit Thailand every day. It has made a huge impact on the marine environment, causing the rapid deterioration of coral reefs. Some diving spots have had to close temporarily.
Malaysia is a country owning hundreds of islands and over 3,500km coastline. As a part of the Coral Triangle, this region has abundant marine biodiversity. About 30% of the coral reefs and 35% of the reef fish species on earth are living in this region. The temperature in Malaysia ranges from 20°C to 30°C, and during the monsoon seasons (April to October in the southwest, and October to February in the northeast) it rains quite a bit.
Sabah is on the northern of the island of Borneo. It’s a Malaysia state. Sabah has nearly four hundred of islands, and over 75% of Malaysian reefs are found there. Some living reefs are quite close to the water surface. It’s easy to access for snorkelers. You can sometimes see green turtles, clownfish, angelfish, and reef sharks and manta rays at times. Sabah is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Asia. The best time to visit Sabah or Borneo is in April. The water temperature is around 26 to 30°C.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is located in front of Sabah and consists of 5 islands. Each island has its own characteristics. Which one do you prefer?
- Pulau Manukan & Pulau Gaya – easiest to access
- Langkayan – coral reefs, sea turtles, rays and sharks
- Selingan – “Turtle Island”, nesting beaches
- Mataking – white sand and blue water
- Sipadan – “Untouched Piece of Art” by Jacques Cousteau
Indonesia is in the “Coral Triangle”, including Malaysia, the Philippines and the Salomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It’s quite easy to see green and hawksbill sea turtles, clownfish, angelfish, giant clams, or “mola mola” in Indonesia. The best time to Indonesia is the dry season in May, June, and September. Try to avoid the tourist peak, during Christmas and other holidays, as well as July and August.
Bali is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Indonesia. There is the famous USS Liberty that is located in Tulamben. It’s near a small coastal village in Bali. The site can be crowded in the daytime. The wreck is located at 5-30 meters deep underwater. You need to swim about 30 meters offshore to see the ship. The wreck is home to corals, sponges, sea anemones and various fishes. Away from USS Liberty, there is the Coral Garden that is also a great snorkeling spot. The overwhelming amount tourists unfortunately out a huge amount of pressure on the local marine ecosystem and cause the deterioration of the coral. Another place you can’t miss is Palau Menjangan or Deer Island. Although the reef is disappearing, you still can find angelfish, clownfish, and chormis. Palau Menjangan can be one of the most stunning places in Indonesia. You can only visit it by boat or guided tour. Perhaps you will even go on a full day excursion!
Best Snorkeling Destinations in the Maldives
The Maldives consists of 22 coral atolls, including over 1,200 discrete islands. Less than 200 of the Maldives islands are inhabited and permits tourists to visit. Every resort island is surrounded by its own reef, which is called as “house reef” in the Maldives. The shallow lagoon nearby the house reef is a natural swimming pool to keep the vertical drop-off away, and snorkelers are able to swim with surgeonfish, tuna, parrot fish, eagle rays, turtles and even hammerhead sharks. Most resorts provide dive boat services. It’s conducive to snorkel in shallow water, such as Sunlight Thila, Rasfari, and the preserved marine sanctuary of Kuda Haa. The Maldives must be one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.
Baa Atoll is one of the most stunning islands. Soneva Fushi Resort is located here, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Soneva Fushi also has the longest and most fabulous house reef in the Maldives. There are luxury villas and tree houses. The superb white sand and crystal blue waters must give you an unforgotten snorkeling vacation. Another resort I’d like to mention is Kihavah Huravalhi. By a seaplane, it only takes 30 minutes from Male International Airport to be there. Flying over a string of glowing coral islands and turquoise water is an exciting and unique memory. You can experience an underwater dining or experience other forms of fine dining. The colorful and stunning underwater is waiting for you to explore. Snorkeling in the Maldives is like a fairy tale.
Like some popular snorkeling destinations, Maldives faces the deterioration of coral reefs. Because of the extreme weather conditions, the Maldives lost nearly all its shallow coral reef in 1998. The coral regrows, but the temperature fluctuations are still a threat to the survival of coral reefs. There is a Coral Adoption Programme, which involves environmentally friendly frames to be designed to encourage coral to grow faster. Join and protect our ocean together.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in the Red Sea & Middle East
When we talk about the best snorkeling destinations, the red sea must be listed. There is more than the charming desert in the Middle East. The Red Sea is also a natural snorkeling destination. You can access the locations through Egypt and Jordan. The waters in the Red Sea are warm, calm and clean. Far from the ocean currents, it’s home to abundant marine life.
Jordan may be forgotten by many people, but its 20km coastline along the Red Sea offers snorkelers plenty of chances to explore the fantastic underwater world. The warm water temperature and peaceful water conditions create an ideal environment for marine life. There is soft coral, and 8% of them are unique. Besides that, fish species and invertebrates inhabit this area. You can discover distinct scenery in the waters of Jordan. The calm water and excellent visibility makes snorkeling there very pleasant. The best time to snorkel in Jordan is April, May, September, and October when the weather is not too hot or too cold.
The outstanding geographic location makes Egypt be one of the best snorkeling destinations. Over 1,400km coastline along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the Red Sea Riviera, including the resort cities on the western of the Gulf Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh all deserve to visit. The best to visit is same as Jordan.
Many popular snorkeling destinations are located on Red Sea Egyptian coastline. Dahab is famous for Blue Hole. Blue Hole is a world-famous dive site, and one of the most dangerous dive sites on earth. Snorkeling on the edge of the Blue Hole is an attractive experience. The snorkeling area is known as “the saddle”, where the seabed is well protected, and water is calm and clear. Security comes first. Many brave divers have lost their lives in Blue Hole. There can be numerous scuba divers, free divers, and snorkelers in the water at once, so don’t snorkel alone and keep an eye on your friends!
Sharm el-Sheikh is a wonderful Egyptian resort town, well known for its reserved sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and coral reefs. There are snorkeling spots in Ras Muhammad National Park and Nabq Protectorate. It’s easy to book a snorkeling trip in Sharm el-Sheikh. You can find many shops, bars, and restaurants in Naama Bay. The weather is dry and comfortable. There is a small chance to meet with turtles, rays, and sharks, but other acute and interesting marine life are abundant.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Sea has no coral reef, but it has unique Neptune Grass seabeds forming a matchless ecosystem. Nearly 25% of the Mediterranean Sea life depend on this unique ecosystem. It’s known that the Mediterranean Sea contains plenty of marine species that you can’t find them in other regions. Around the Mediterranean Sea, there are so many fantastic snorkeling destinations. Here are some spots that could be considered the best snorkeling destinations in the Mediterranean. One more tip, you should pay attention to the wind in the Mediterranean before you go snorkeling. The wind could cause drops in temperature and unsafe conditions.
As the biggest country in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has over 2,000km coastline. There are some fabulous snorkeling destinations containing hugely extensive marine life. Neptune grass contributes to abundant biodiversity. It’s easy to see wrasse, sargo, bream, and starfish in the Spanish waters. The weather in Spain is generally temperate. The tourist peak occurs in July and August. You may need a wetsuit if you are not planning to snorkel during the summer.
Costa Brava – Medes Islands Marine Reserve
Medes Islands consists of seven islets and is famous for its Neptune grass seabeds. The National Protected Natural Park here was established in 2010. Medes Islands become one of the most popular snorkeling destinations. The waters are calm and beautiful, but it has a rocky coast. There won’t be too many swimmers, boaters or fishermen. You can see giant groupers and barracudas. It’s a great resort for the family. Many National Protected Natural Parks are available in Spain. You can also try Cabrera Archipelago National Park off the southeast coast of Mallorca, or the Masia Blanca Marine Reserve off the north of Tarragona. Book a tour in advance.
Columbretes islands are uninhabited and remote. They are about 25 nautical miles away from the coast of Castellón and nearly 50 nautical miles from Valencia. You’d better book a full-day tour. There are boats to set off from Castellón and Valencia. You will spend a peaceful and relaxed day on the beach, seeing the crystal blue water and footloose animals (land and sea). Snorkeling in such an amazing place could benefit you in every aspect.
You can visit Cape Palos and the Hormigas Islands in the south region. They are both great snorkeling destinations. There are charming creeks in Gata Nijar Cape, and you may swim with Mediterranean moray or the flying gurnard.
Now let’s take a look at the other country of Iberian Peninsula, Portugal. This is a country with picturesque scenery and nice people. In the south of Portugal, it’s a paradise for snorkeling and vacation. You can easily find a dive store and book a guided tour.
Caneiros – Algarve
Caneiros is a popular vacation destination. Tourists from home and abroad go there in summer, so you may need to book your plan in advance. Caneiros is a romantic place with sunshine, beach, and Sangria. You can explore the large rocks in paddle boats, kayaks, or by snorkeling. When the tide is low, it’s awe inspiring to snorkel and explore the underwater caves. Don’t forget to try Portugal paella, which differs from traditional Spanish paella.
Now let’s go to the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Sardinia is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. There are millenary trees, small desert areas, and marshes. You can find deer, wild horses, and grasping birds.
Isola Rossa – Sardinia
Isola Rossa is located in the northwest of Sardinia. It’s named because of the red color of a small isle opposite the fishing village. Now, this granite village is one of the most stunning destinations in Sardinia. There are serial inlets with sugar-white sand and red granite rocks making it one of the best snorkeling destinations in Europe. It’s a paradise for photographers and snorkelers. Its shallow water and colorful fishes make it perfect for children to snorkel. You will marvel at the seabed and rich underwater life. There are mooring boats with well-equipped facilities at the tourist marina, or you can bring your own equipment. You can easily find hotels, bars, and restaurants in the village. Enjoy traditional Gallura cooking and visit the fascinating sites. Buon Viaggio!
Makarska is one of the great tourist destinations on the Croatian coast, but it’s actually not very known. It’s the perfect place to avoid the crowds! It has the rocky coast and clear water. The most common underwater life is the Golden Sponge. You can find octopi and crabs in the coral and rocks. The best of all are seahorses, but you need to search for them carefully.
Cyprus is famous for its rich culture and history, as well as its idyllic scene. There are secluded bays, sandy beaches, rocky beaches, and resorts. The water is full of mystery as well. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was born of the sea form in Pafos (Paphos).
There are many beautiful sandy beaches in the Paphos area. However, the most popular snorkeling destination is the Paphos lighthouse with a rocky beach and rich marine life. The water is transparently clear, perfect for photos. There is a cute small fish called pipefish. Its body is long and straight. But it’s not suitable for beginners to snorkel, because the wave is a bit rough. You can find more sandy beaches hidden around the shoreline, which are fine for beginners and provide a relaxing experience.
Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The islands are made of limestone. Most of its beaches are rocky. Most snorkeling sites are hidden in creeks and small bays. The weather is good all year along with over 300 sunny days a year. The waters are warmer than in the northern Mediterranean Sea. However, it rains a lot in winter, which is not ideal for snorkeling
Ghar Lapsi is a small and hidden bay, and is very popular among local swimmers and divers. Ghar Lapsi has rocky coast with aqua blue water ideal for snorkeling. The shallow water can extend about 40 meters off the shore. Blue Grotto, one of the best diving spots in the world, is about 1km away.
The south of France is one of the best snorkeling destinations. You can find rocky coasts, such as the Calanques range, or sandy beaches like Languedoc-Roussillon. These two snorkeling destinations are a must.
Plage de La Palud
Palud Bay is in the Port Cros National Park that is a small island with well-protected seabeds. Port Cros National Park is the oldest National Marine Park in the Mediterranean. Palud is popular among both novice and experienced snorkelers. It can be very crowded during the holidays. The snorkeling areas have been marked by buoys. Each area has its unique marine environment. You can find an underwater path and read this information underwater. It takes about 40 minutes to get Palud beach by walking from Port Cros. You’d better wear water shoes. From June to September, the water is super calm and crystal clear with a perfect temperature. The Park offers snorkeling education service. Even beginners can snorkel for the first time after a brief snorkeling lesson.
Corsica is called the Island of Beauty. Its crystal water, moderate water temperature, and rich marine life make it one of the best snorkeling destinations. It’s possible to snorkel off some rocky coasts, or small hidden beaches and creeks. In the southeast, there is Palombaggia beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica. Its red rocks, stone pines, white sand, and density of fish attract a number of people to visit. It’s just a little annoying in the traffic jams and over-crowded people during the tourist peak. Be patient, relax and enjoy.
The climate is fine and sunny in Corsica. The temperature is little higher than on Mainland France. The best snorkeling season is from June to October. In other months, the water can be cooler. You may need a wetsuit. “Indian summer” happens in September and October in Corsica every year. The water temperature is about 25°C. Visiting or snorkeling during this time is perfect and avoids the tourist peak.
You are warmly welcome to add your favorite snorkeling destinations in the comment. The article is irregularly updated.
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