In order to see the underwater world, it is not at all necessary to learn scuba diving and buy expensive equipment. Snorkeling is a type of outdoor activity that requires a minimum of equpment: a mask, snorkel and flippers.
Places for snorkeling are most often found in tropical latitudes, where there is a species diversity of corals, fish and other wild inhabitants of water bodies. Therefore, often snorkeling is possible in the same place as diving.
Anyway, in addition to the new Dive Weather Profile in the Windy.app, we have compiled a list of ten great snorkelling spots all over the world.
Important: Given the still difficult travel situation in the world in 2022, check separately the possibility of going to a particular country, its regions, and local outdoor spots for you before the trip on the official tourist and other sites.
Thanks to the clear and clean water, snorkeling in Jamaica has a separate place in the tourist program. The nature of this island nation is impressive, both on the surface and underwater. The hills flow into magnificent beaches with many palm trees. Snorkeling in Jamaica is a great pastime in which you can enjoy everything at the same time: the view of the hills, beaches and the sea, and the reef underwater.
The most popular diving area in Jamaica is Montego Bay. Montego Bay is the first marine park in Jamaica, and efforts are being made to protect coral reefs and marine life. Therefore, in the waters of the bay snorkelers expects a wide variety of colorful fish.
In Montego Bay, there are incredibly beautiful corners of the underwater world that you have to explore. There are several pristine beaches that offer warm, not deep and quiet waters that are ideal for children and beginners who love snorkeling.
Phu Quoc Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand, between Vietnam and Cambodia. Today it is one of the most popular places for tourists who like fishing and snorkeling.
Phu Quoc Island is famous for its amazing underwater world. You can go snorkeling right on the shore. South of Fukuoka is the An Thuy archipelago. This archipelago is surrounded by picturesque coral reefs, where you can see a simply amazing underwater world. Among more than 300 species of coral, colorful tropical fish, crabs and nudibranchs live.
Fukuoka has many natural attractions, each of which has its own special marine relief, and it can be explored with a tube and mask. Just 20 meters from the coast, you will see extraordinary representatives of the Asian tropical flora and fauna.
Near the island there are several plantations of pearls located directly in the sea. It is mined at depth from seashells. Some tourists may be lucky, and they will find their beautiful gem.
Fiji Islands are part of the eponymous archipelago, which spreads in the Pacific Ocean. This young state is located on 332 islands of various sizes, and only about 100 of them are inhabited. All Fiji islands are of volcanic or coral origin.
The main feature that brought the Fiji islands worldwide fame is the abundance of coral reefs off the coast of each island. The water around the islands is ideal for snorkeling — the temperature is all year round from +25 °C in winter (May to November) to +30 °C in summer, and it is stable at depths of up to 15 meters, and visibility reaches 40 meters. Brightly colored corals begin literally from shallow water, literally overflowing with the same colorful fish. You can find flocks of squid, octopus, moray eel, barracuda.
The most beautiful reefs are located in a remote region called the Blya Waters. Here, the incredibly beautiful seamounts rise hundreds of feet from the bottom of the ocean, ending at the surface of the water and creating oases of marine life.
Snorkelers delight in the colorful plumes of soft corals, schools of rainbow fish and the macrocosm of multicolor invertebrates, which constantly compete for your attention. The site is quite far from the coast, there are strong currents, so good water behavior skills are required.
Snorkeling is one of the most popular entertainment and leisure activities in the Bahamas, thanks to clear azure water, fancy coral reefs, rich marine life and exciting underwater attractions. Self-study of reefs and special snorkeling tours to the tourist places of the islands are available here.
The clear blue sea is always calm. Small waves roll onto white-sand beaches. Near each island stretch kilometers of gorgeous coral reefs. All this makes snorkeling in the Bahamas easy for beginners and delight experienced snorkelers.
Exuma Cays is a shallow snorkeling spot, one of the best in the Bahamas. Exuma is a real treasure with corals, sea fans and a white sandy bottom. At this place you will meet groupers, turtles and lobsters enjoying the warm sea waters. Each coral peak is surrounded by fish and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the real treasure of the world — the beauty of the coral reef.
The Philippines consists of more than 7,100 tropical islands, most of which are surrounded by reefs. It has very warm water almost all year round. This fact contributes to the development of algae, coral and exotic fish in coastal waters. Most beaches in the Philippines go under the water quite smoothly, so the depth near the coast is not at all great. That is why the Philippines are in the top global destinations for snorkeling enthusiasts.
The underwater world is striking in its diversity of coral gardens, so that within the same island you can immerse yourself in completely different worlds. Visibility of water reaches 30–40 meters in good weather. Among the coral reefs, underwater islands, caves and sunken ships live the rarest marine life, such as manta rays and whale sharks, which can be observed here in the natural environment.
The coast of Donsol is a place where you are guaranteed to meet a whale shark. This place is called the "capital of whale sharks", since in the migration season you can meet up to 15 individuals. The size of these fish reaches 9 meters. Sharks are held here from the end of November to mid-July, but the largest number of representatives of the gigantic fish can be found in March-April. Diving is prohibited by law, but is allowed to snorkel with the group.
Timo Wagner / Unsplash
The Maldives has such favorable conditions for snorkeling that here absolutely all tourists begin to get involved in it. Indeed, for successful snorkeling in the Maldives you do not need to swim far! Most islands of the archipelago have their own "home" coral reefs just a few meters from the coast. Visibility in the lagoons formed by “house reefs” near the islands reaches 40 meters, the water is clean and comfortable. The year-round warm climate of the Maldives with insignificant seasonal fluctuations in air temperature and a stable water temperature of 26–29 °C allows you to engage in fascinating observation of ocean life almost continuously!
The islands of the Maldives archipelago have incredibly diverse underwater territories surrounding each island. It is impossible to find two identical reefs — in color and shape. Researchers have more than 200 species of coral in the Maldives archipelago. And the number of fish species of all possible colors and sizes is at least 1200!
The authentic pearl of the Maldives - Baa Archipelago consists of 51 island reefs. All formations have been a biosphere reserve under the protection of UNESCO since 2011. Almost every small island is surrounded by an underwater reef barrier with a rich variety of underwater world. Dozens of species of sea turtles, whale and reef sharks, dolphins, hammer fish and many other marine animals.
Sipadan Island is an object of admiration for thousands of snorkelers from around the world.
In coastal waters you can meet the most unusual sea creatures that you have ever wanted to see under water. Reef, leopard, gray sharks and even hammerhead sharks live here. The sea goes deep into 600 meters and attracts a large number of pelagic species of marine animals and plants.
The unique nature of Sipadan is under the protection of the Government of Malaysia. Recently, an access system has been introduced to protect the island, which limits the number of visitors to 120 people per day. Also, since January 2005, there are no more hotels on Sipadan Island. Now all hotels are located on the islands of Mabul and Kapalay.
You can catch a dive boat that will take you to the island so that you can swim there. However, remember that the number of places is limited.
Vanuatu is a Pacific island nation whose visit will give you an unforgettable experience. The Republic of Vanuatu consists of 83 islets scattered across the expanses of the Pacific Ocean in Melanesia.
If you are interested in wonderful corals, large fish or historical sunken ships, Vanuatu can offer everything, providing an unforgettable adventure. Huge grottoes and rocky dumps, an abundance of marine life, magnificent vibrant coral gardens and sea fans, as well as world famous wrecks, all this is Vanuatu. In Vanuatu, there are some of the best places in the world for snorkelers who want to enjoy the dugongs — very beautiful and peaceful creatures.
One of the most interesting snorkelling spots is Lonnoc Beach. The advantage of Lonnoc Beach is its location near the famous Champagne beach and amazing corals, which together with exotic fish species make snorkeling in these places unforgettable. Accommodation on the coast is organized in a bungalow, small authentic houses completely convey the original culture and mentality of local residents. Among local residents, the beach is better known as "White Sand", it is located on the island of Espirito Santo. There really is white sand, warm water and gentle sun.
Going to Zanzibar in search of outdoor activities, you will not be surprised that the most popular activity is snorkeling. You can do snorkeling either independently or buy excursions. Not every beach is suitable for independent swimming, but on each beach you can buy this excursion. Snorkeling in Zanzibar is an unforgettable experience, as you can see more than 350 different species of fish and sea creatures near this island.
Some of the most common marine animals include butterfly fish, lionfish, stingrays, turtles, dolphins, lobsters, squid, crabs, starfish, shrimp, sea urchins and many other colorful and interesting creatures. The deep water around Zanzibar attracts some giants of the Indian Ocean, so sometimes you can see amazing humpback whales in the immediate vicinity of the beaches.
Mnemba is the pearl of this part of the island! Mnemba is a round reef resembling an aquarium, because its surroundings are surrounded by a natural barrier — a coral atoll, extending to a depth of 800 meters.
The most beautiful Mnemba Atoll is a gorgeous beach on the one hand and an amazing underwater world for snorkeling on the other. Dozens of boats from all the nearest beaches are constantly cruising to this atoll.
Cayman Islands is another paradise on the Caribbean. If you are looking for a quiet place where you could completely relax, as well as fine restaurants, exciting nightlife or amazing underwater attractions, then you need to visit these three islands — Grand Cayman, Cayman Braque, Small Cayman.
Snorkeling is considered the most magnificent and easy occupation of all, that you can do with the whole family. If you have always dreamed of diving and taking a walk underwater, nowhere is there a safer and more exciting place than the calm coasts of the Cayman Islands.
Among the chain of Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman Island is especially good for snorkeling. Visit the legendary Devil's Grotto — snorkeling in this place you will never forget! Also here you can see the wreckage, caves in the rocks, colorful reefs and picturesque bays. And an excursion to the city of Skatov — a unique strait where you can see these amazing creatures close by — will make you the most powerful impression. There are various programs for beginners and experienced underwater athletes.
This post was originally published on the Windy.app blog on January 13, 2020.
Cover photo: Israel Gil / Unsplash