Choosing the best spots in the world for snorkeling is difficult as there are so many to choose from. We are listing our picks for the top snorkeling destinations by what we liked best about it. Some spots will appeal more to some than others, and may partly depend on your level of snorkeling experience.
For instance, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef may not be on your list of first snorkeling experiences. But if you are a seasoned snorkeler it may be on your ‘bucket list’ of must-see destinations.
Bonaire, Venezuela – Best Underwater Caves
A world-renowned spot among professional SCUBA divers, Bonaire is also a perfect snorkelers destination. Offering crystal clear pools and over 200 fossilized coral caves, a different kind of snorkeling adventure awaits. Make sure you wear your water shoes for hiking into these caves and exploring the amazing sea life that calls these secret hideouts home.
Bay Islands, Honduras – Awesome Large Fish Experience
A very different snorkeling experience can be found in the Bay Islands. Home to the 40-foot plus whale shark, usually found in these areas from February to May. These giants of the sea only eat tiny plankton and pose no threat to humans. Swimming alongside these behemoths is truly awe-inspiring. If you are in for this humbling experience make sure you visit during these months for a remarkable, and once in a lifetime adventure.
Maui, Hawaii – Looking For Sea Life Interactions?
A pristine and uncrowded spot, best in the calmer winds of the morning off the coast of Maui, this will sure to be one of your top favorite spots to snorkel as it has with us. The massive coral gardens are something to be witnessed first hand. This combined with the playful aquatic life of sea turtles, butterfly fish, and the Hawaiian Triggerfish or as the Hawaiian affectionately call them, the Humuhumu nukunuku apuaa.
Laughing Bird Caye – Belize Best Educational Experience
Designated as a World Heritage site and protected by stationed rangers, only small groups of snorkelers are allowed to visit these shallow reefs. One visit to this unspoiled ecosystem of tiny islands located 11 miles off the coast of Belize will have you in awe of the aquatic life. Your appreciation of this area will grow as you swim with the hundreds of unusual species of spiny-finned fishes and angelfish that live on a delicate mix of both hard and soft living coral.
Catalina Island California
Only 23 miles off the coast of California sits Catalina Island, with Avalon Bay at its heart.
This quaint little island has been a destination for celebrities and world leaders for decades. The diving offers something for everyone because of the depth of the water and the accessibility from shore. Known for its brilliant orange-colored Garibaldi, only found here and its gigantic kelp forest, this area is perfect for the snorkeler or seasoned diver.
Galapagos Islands Ecuador – Best Collection of Uncommon Sea Life
For an unusual collection of sea life, the Galapagos offers animals so different that it inspired Darwin to start his theory of evolution. The animal encounters are as plentiful on the surface as underwater. You may encounter penguins and playful sea lions along with dolphins and turtles, all uninhibited due to the remote access of the area.
The Blue Hole, Palau, Micronesia – Stingless Jellyfish Encounters
The biggest attraction here is the awesome experience of swimming with thousands of golden jellyfish without the fear of a single sting from them. The beautiful blue water of this lake is also home to manta rays, turtles, and rare tropical fish.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Reef Variety for Snorkeling
Last on our list, but certainly, not least is the largest coral reef in the world. Almost 3,000 reefs make up an ocean shelf that is almost 1,500 miles long. Home to the largest array of fish in the world the Great Barrier Reef should not be missed and is a great destination for snorkelers.
After reviewing our list, we encourage you to begin creating your own list of favorites destinations on your bucket list, or those you would list as having been your best experience too.