Gently gliding along the water’s surface while viewing a magical underwater world beneath the waves is one of the most memorable experiences of a tropical vacation. In fact, spending the day at sea exploring super snorkeling spots while in destination is often a trip highlight for many travelers.
With about 71% of the planet covered by water, the only question is, “Where will you explore next?”
Many of the world’s most spectacular snorkel and dive sites are close to home in the United States and Caribbean, so the hottest spots for the coolest experiences are easily accessible during your next resort vacation or cruise.
Here are seven super snorkeling spots to seek out during your next vacation:
1.) Cozumel, Mexico
The waters off the island of Cozumel are so clear you can see up to 250 feet underwater, which provides a breathtaking view of this underwater kingdom. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef surrounds the island, offering snorkelers and divers an array of marine life at a variety of snorkeling spots. Palancar Reef is the most popular because of its high visibility, deep waters, and many fish, but beginner snorkelers might prefer a shallower destination.
2.) Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Snorkeling sites abound in the Cayman Islands, but if evening snorkeling captures your imagination, book a tour to float around in Grand Cayman’s Bioluminescent Bay. Disruptions in the water cause plankton to emit light which creates colorful sparkles beneath the surface, an effect experienced in few places around the world. Shallow and calm waters, a setting sun, and the promise of viewing a bit of science magic make this snorkeling experience a must-do.
3.) Peanut Island, Florida
When visiting West Palm Beach, spending time as a family on Peanut Island isn’t just about the incredible snorkeling: active families can paddle around in kayaks, go camping, or get a paddleboard workout. A snorkeling lagoon and artificial reef provide excellent locations for even novice snorkelers. Manatees are drawn to the warm waters around the lagoon during the cooler winter months, so keep your eyes peeled for these captivating creatures.
4.) Bimini Islands, Bahamas
In the western Bahamas lies the tiny island of Bimini, which boasts stunning coral reefs and an abundance of wildlife drawn to its location in the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. Bimini offers snorkelers a glimpse into some intriguing underwater stories – Are the large stone monoliths that form a sort of road part of the city of Atlantis? Is the Healing Hole the Fountain of Youth? Explore for yourself and get lost in the mystery.
5.) Isla Holbox, Mexico
Casually swimming alongside the massive but harmless whale sharks of the Caribbean is a travel bucket list item for many tourists who visit Mexico. By following a few simple rules under the watchful eye of a guide, snorkelers can admire these fascinating creatures remarkably close-up. The encounter is often defined as “magical” and one of life’s most amazing opportunities for getting close to wildlife.
6.) Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
Humpback whales breed in the warm waters of the Dominican Republic, making Silver Bank one of the few locations in the world for snorkeling with humpback whales. Between 5000-7000 whales pass through the sanctuary each winter, giving visitors the truly moving experience of observing the whales above and below the ocean’s surface. The country has gone to great lengths to protect the animals, and tours are only available through three government-approved boats.
7.) Molokini – Maui Nui, Hawaii
The iconic crater of Molokini, located about an hour away from Maui by boat, is a must-do activity when visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Spot majestic birds from your seat, then submerge yourself in the islet’s waters to observe reef sharks, moray eels, and assorted tropical fish. A Molokini snorkeling tour often includes a stop at Maluaka Beach’s “Turtle Town,” where the Hawaiian green sea turtles prefer to spend their time.
If you love underwater exploration, be sure make plans to visit one of these super snorkeling spots during your next vacation!