Snorkeling is swimming with a snorkel – a mask and a tube –, which allows you to breathe through your mouth when floating on the surface of the water. One of its advantages is that it’s far more affordable than scuba diving, where you need a complete diving suit, an oxygen tank, and other diving equipment.
Tips you don't want to miss
The best time to go snorkel is between 11:00 and 13:00 because in this time of the day the sunlight provides the best visibility. The most ideal conditions to go snorkeling would be during a high slack tide and a cloudless sunny day.
Sunscreen is a must! Remember that you are floating on the water’s surface. Hours go by quickly when you observe the beautiful underwater world, but your skin can suffer severe consequences, such as burns.
Look, but don't touch! There are two reasons for that:
- First reason is that you don't know all the species – some can be dangerous and can even cause an infection.
- The second reason is that you are an intruder, not an invader. You came for an experience, not to bother or hurt “underwater citizens”.
Some of the best spots in the world for snorkeling
We know that there are hundreds of places you can snorkel and have a great time. However, we don’t want you to think that these are the only places. This is just a list of a few most popular snorkeling destinations – to give you some ideas where to go and what to expect.
Mukul Beach (Nicaragua)
This is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you love sea turtles, you have to visit this place, because here you can observe them in their natural habitat. A truly magnificent experience! Best time to go is between December and May, but you can also have a blast throughout the whole summer.
Raja Ampat (West Papua, Indonesia)
This is home to 75% of all known coral species. This means that you can discover something new every single day. At Raja Ampat you can meet fish face to face and explore the richest coral reefs on this Planet. That being said, you can be certain that this is one of the best places for underwater photography.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This is the go-to spot, if you want to snorkel with Whale sharks. Every year from June to August, you can swim with hundreds of these giants. They are harmless, so you can snorkel around them as much as you want. This is something you will never forget.
Apo Island (Philippines)
The Philippines as a whole could be described as a paradise for divers, but Apo Island is especially beautiful. It’s a very small volcanic island in Negros Oriental, south of Cebu, which offers you a great snorkeling experience for a low price. For approx. 1000 Pesos (US$ 22.30) you get to swim at three different snorkeling spots around the island, as well as have some food & drink on the boat. The underwater life is colorful with plenty of corals, sponges, and algae, fish and turtles. If you should decide to stay in Apo Island Resort, note that electricity is turned off after 10 pm, so bring a flashlight.
The Medes Islands (Spain)
Being a protected marine reserve The Medes Islands offers a wide range of sea life. A string of seven islands created a protected underwater paradise. Fishing is not permitted, so the sea creatures have grown intensively. Here you can snorkel all year round, but the best time is from April until October. The sea surrounding the coastline is almost tideless which means that visibility can easily be 35 meters in depth. Medes Islands are both accessible and affordable, therefore we had to include this great location among our top snorkeling destinations list!
Lover’s Cove, Catalina Islands (California)
Besides the romantic name, this rocky shoreline is a unique snorkeling destination. The water here can be a bit chilly, but you’ll get some good views of the orange garibaldi and other local species of fish. Lover’s Cove is a bit more adventurous place, because of the rocky shore, but once you get past the rocks, visibility is great, and there is a large variety of fish, which are accustomed to people, meaning you can get pretty close, without them swimming away.