Snorkeling has always been popular among tourists who prefer the activity over diving for various reasons: no training and no heavy expensive gear. Snorkeling may be the more economical choice, but it also offers deep experiences to swim along wild marine life. If you were going to take a round the world snorkel tour, these are the Top Ten Snorkel Spots.
Some snorkeling spots are well-known and it would be great to rediscover them. Others are a great opportunity to have an adventure for the first time.
1) Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef by Flickr/Kyle-Taylor
When you hear “snorkeling,” Australia is sure to come to your mind first because of its beautiful scenery. Truly, the wild and virgin marine life is simply breath taking. The Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest coral reef system where clear water opens a wide window into the colorful home of incredible vibrant creatures.
As much as the Great Barrier Reef represents a leisure and snorkeling spot, it is under the threat of coral bleaching, so be a responsible tourist at all times.
2) The Maldives
Kuramathi – Photo by flickrtickr2009
The Maldives are literally a thousand coral islands. The white sand and clear blue water add up to create snorkeling spots everywhere in the Maldives at incredibly affordable prices. The colorful fish and marine life vary widely.
Meeru Island is almost uninhabited – with only one resort, making for great snorkeling experiences and the opportunity to swim freely around the schools of fish. Kuramathi Island is a very popular snorkeling spot; the resorts on this island are fancier and snorkeling services are always highly rated.
3) Komodo and Gili Islands, Indonesia
Diving at Gili Islands by Flickr/Francesco
Indonesia is the home of many ethnicities (and volcanos). Recently, the snorkeling activities have increased and it now boasts an impressive marine legacy composed of not only colorful fish but it also a fabulous coral reef and beautiful sea turtles.
Komodo and Gili Islands are reputed to be the best snorkeling spots in the country; the coral reef, which is home to many other marine life species is very easy to reach and offers magnificent views.
4) Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Ko Phi Phi Leh, Flickr/Vyacheslav Argenberg
Phi Phi Islands are a group of islands in Thailand. Many islands have a very small population while others are bouncing with day and night life, but the common trait among them is being great snorkeling spots. The island of Ko Phi Phi Leh was even used as the backdrop of the film The Beach, it is a great choice to have a nice snorkeling experience. The coves surrounded by cliffs add a great deal to the snorkeling experience because it supplies delightfully flamboyant marine life and makes the wild experience even more eccentric.
5) KwaZulu Natal coast, South Africa
Sodwana Bay by Flickr/Hayden
The ever-warm water of KwaZulu Natal coast, make it a great place at any time of the year. Sodwana Bay is actually ranked among the 10 best snorkeling destinations in the world. This is no surprise as the variety of marine life is so big that both experts and amateurs are speechless at the diversity swimming in the virgin coral reef.
6) Fommir-Rih Bay, Malta
Scorpionfish and Bristleworm by Flickr/Silke Baron
If you want to combine adventure and snorkeling, try Fommir-Rih Bay in Malta. This Mediterranean snorkeling spot takes effort to reach but once you are there prepare for that exotic feeling of being lost in untouched blue treasure surrounded by great fish diversity and spiky flamboyant sea urchins.
7) The Big Island, Hawaii
Photo by Flickr/Hiroki ONO
Hawaii is very well known for its beautiful beaches, the Captain Cook monument and of course, the mesmerizing and glittering fish. Beware: swimming there will make you lose all notion of time and space.
The Big Island is not the only island where you can enjoy snorkeling in Hawaii, indeed, if you prefer a place with less rocky cliffs try Waikoloa Village for a more calm and soothing place to enjoy the marine life without too much effort.
8) The Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
Caye Caulker is located in the beautiful world heritage Belize Barrier Reef by Flickr/Falco Ermert
The Caribbean nation of Belize is for you if you truly wish to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Caribbean seashores. The Belize Barrier Reef is certainly going to amaze you as it mixes the beautiful colors of the reef with the fishes’ colors and creates the best living mosaic you have ever seen.
9) Eil Malk Island, Palau
Jellyfish symbiots, algae live in their tentacles. Note that they flip upside down and present their tentacles, with the algae, to the sunlight. These are not hunters, they are stingless, like the endemic Golden Jellies in Jellyfish Lake – Photo by Flickr/Bill Abbott
Ever heard of the Republic of Palau? If not then take the opportunity to visit Micronesia and discover Eil Malk Island, where you can experience swimming with light, gracious, stingless jellyfish.
10) Pigeon Island National Park, Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Coral Reef by Flickr/Artur Kuliński
Sri Lanka is one of the countries we only hear of when we talk about yoga and historic temples or elephant shelters but the island has more to offer with radiant sandy beaches and the Nilaveli marine national park.
All these places around the globe are truly a magnificent combination of eccentric, exotic and paradisiac beauty all offering soothing and relaxing experiences. However, each one of them has its own little specific characteristic worth taking a snorkeling tour.
About the Author
Tim Fox co-founder and writer for The Elite Blog. He enjoy seas in the summer and mountains in the winter.
Featured Image by Flickr/Shriram-Rajagopalan
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