Diving deep underwater gives you the unique experience of exploring a mysterious unknown world that’s filled with beauty. However, not everyone can go diving or are willing to learn diving, even if it meant missing out on the stunning scenes from nature.
That doesn’t mean all hope of exploring the sea world should be abandoned because there’s always the option of going snorkeling. Going snorkeling doesn’t require you to go through a medical exam or expensive training and gear. With your snorkeling mask and fins, you can simply have an enjoyable encounter with marine life. Here are some of the world’s best snorkeling spots.
1. Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico
Head to Baja California, Mexico for the World Heritage site, the Sea of Cortez. More species of marine mammals like dolphins and whales have been spotted here compared to other diving spots. Sea of Cortez is also known as the Gulf of California and is the breeding ground for magnificent sea creatures.
2. Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
It’s not easy to locate this beautiful place in Western Australia but that’s what makes it spectacular. You can explore the reefs without anyone else in the area. Tourists visit Ningaloo Reef only from April to September, which is the whale shark season.
3. Great Astrolabe Reef, Fiji
Its remote location makes it a great spot for scuba divers and snorkelers of all ages and skill level. Fiji is not crowded with tourists. What that means is that you get more space to explore the underwater gardens and all the colorful schools of fish. Since there’s not a lot of people around, you also get to enjoy snorkeling in more clearer waters and undisturbed coral formations.
#4. Vava'u, Tonga
The majestic humpback whales can be found in Tonga’s Vava’u islands and what’s awesome is that you can meet them face to face and swim side-by-side with them. The secluded bays in this island group are a place where the giant mammals give birth, rest and play after their migration from the Antarctic.
Swimming with the whales is permitted but only four people at a time should do it. This way, snorkelers can experience intimate encounters with these giants – and if you’re lucky, you get to hang out with the calves.
5. Crystal River, Florida, USA
Among earth’s most enigmatic creatures, the gentle manatees, swim the waters of the Crystal River, Florida. A close encounter with the manatee would make for an unbelievable experience but swimming with these endangered giants is illegal in Crystal River. Instead, you get to have guided tours to see the manatee, including riding on a pontoon boat that navigates the twist and turns of the river. The creatures are definitely shy but once they’ve overcome their shyness, they can check humans out too.
6. Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Have you always been fascinated with manta rays? Hanifaru Bay is the place where you can feed that curiosity. Between May and December each year, you get to see manta rays – about 200 of them at a time. These creatures are also curious, so many of them might even get near humans just to check them out.
7. Kicker Rock, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
What’s fascinating about Kicker Rock is that it is formed from the remnants of an extinct volcano cone. While Galapagos Islands offer several snorkeling spots, Kicker Rock is, without a doubt, one of the best.
Exploring the waters will give you a chance to encounter large sea animals for that unforgettable experience.
8. Misool Island, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia
Misool’s offer villas on stilts where tourists can relax and wake up to a breathtaking view of turquoise lagoon. It’s every snorkeler’s paradise to have vibrant marine life right out the doorstep.
9. Vilanculos, Mozambique
This coastal town in South Africa’s Mozambique may not be known as a great spot for diving and snorkeling but it certainly has beautiful unexplored beaches to offer. Look out for marine animals such as the clownfsh, snapper, moray eels and even whale sharks and manta rays that visit the reef.
10. Bimini, The Bahamas
When it comes to big fish encounters, The Bahamas is undoubtedly the best spot in the diving scene. The government was able to preserve the populations of these magnificent creatures, imposing strict bans on shark exploitation. Need a thrilling shark encounter, head to Bimini for that experience.
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