When you love snorkeling, you begin to get a discerning eye for which snorkeling locations will never be forgotten and which are more run-of-the-mill. That’s not to say that every snorkeling location isn’t beautiful in its own right. Nevertheless, some locations simply stand out as the best places for snorkeling because of how extraordinarily stunning they are.
Best Places for Snorkeling
After you’ve visited one (or all!) of these locations, you will always find yourself comparing other areas to them while you recommend that all snorkelers visit them.
We get it, and for that reason, we’re going to share with you the best locations for snorkeling:
1. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Southeast Asia has some of the most beautiful snorkeling areas in the entire world. While most people think of the Caribbean or Hawaii when they think of snorkeling, it would be a shame to forget about the wonders of this part of the world.
The Komodo National Park is located in Indonesia along the Lesser Sunda archipelago. While this area was originally set as a preservation zone to help keep the Komodo Dragon population thriving, it also has amazing waters for snorkeling!
The protected status that was granted to the park in 1980 has ensured that the waters are thriving. There is a huge variety of undersea life—you may see manta rays, sharks, and many of the more than 900 different species of tropical fish that are found in the area.
This area, as rich in culture as it is in history, is a wonderful place to explore life both above and below the water, and you won’t be disappointed with a trip here.
2. Bay of Donsol, Philippines
There are more than 7,000 different islands in the Philippines, and that means that there is a huge number of snorkeling spots. Each location has its own claim to fame, but there is one place that we think deserves a bucket list nomination more than the others.
The Bay of Donsol is somewhere that all snorkelers should aspire to visit someday! This area is one of the only places in the world where you can get the chance to snorkel alongside a whale shark.
The whale shark is the largest fish that currently lives in our world’s oceans, and it has a protected status in the Bay of Donsol that keeps its population alive. Between November and late May, these fish congregate in the area to feed on the added nutrients in the water at this time. You can expect to see 10 or more whale sharks on your snorkeling expedition!
We’ve long considered Bonaire to be one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean, and we’ve also decided that it’s got to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the entire world! When you see what this small island has to offer, you’ll probably agree.
While this is an uninhabited island, it’s full of stunning sites and a lot of amazing conservation work that is helping to keep it a beautiful place to visit for future generations. Not every snorkeling location is as well preserved, and we love the efforts that are being made in this region.
The Bonaire Marine National Park has more than just amazing marine conservation; they also have amazing corals, fish, plants, and marine life to view! Every site around this uninhabited island is one that tops amazing vistas, so you won’t be disappointed by a visit to the area.
Additionally, the area isn’t visited as frequently as some of the other top snorkeling areas in the world, so you can have a more peaceful adventure here. Tourism remains somewhat limited in an effort to keep the ecosystems in the area healthy, and that can have a hugely positive impact on your visit!
4. Maui, Hawaii, USA
It is no wonder that Hawaii is home to many of the most amazing snorkeling locations in the entire world. In particular, however, the island of Maui has some of the sites that we think are worthy of today’s top list for snorkeling locations.
Maui, like the rest of Hawaii, has a lot of unique ecosystems. The area even has a lot of lava rocks that can set you up for a snorkeling experience like no other. By snorkeling along the beaches or even heading out to the reefs on a boat tour, you will see a lot of wonderous marine life:
- Rainbow colors of different kinds of tropical fish
- Sea turtles
And that’s not all you’ll see if you’re willing to go on a real adventure!
The Molokini Crater, in particular, is a snorkeling area that is worth the extra trip. This crescent-shaped caldera is half-sunken, and the visibility in the water is nearly 100 feet.
While it’s just a few miles from the shores of Maui, you can see a variety of marine life, such as monk seals and eagle rays, that you might not be able to find elsewhere on Maui.
5. Isla del Cocos, Costa Rica
Costa Rica owns an island and national park known as Cocos Island National Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but the above-ground features of the island are not any more important than the things that you’ll find underneath the water!
Cocos Island once had an active volcano. Today, the volcano is extinct, but it has left behind a series of tunnels, caves, and reefs that make for an amazing snorkeling location.
While exploring Cocos Island, you may even have the chance to see bottlenose dolphins, whale sharks, hammerhead shark schools, or moral eels. There are a lot of unique marine life creatures to see here, and it’s well worth the journey!
Snorkeling Around The World
As you can see, the best places for snorkeling are stretched out all over the world. While we highly recommend visiting each and everyone one of these suggestions in your lifetime, we also know that you can’t simply puddle jump around to all of them!
Remember that while these are our most recommended snorkeling sites, there are many other sites that are worth visiting located in each of these areas.
If you decide to plan a trip to one of these locations, don’t limit yourself to just our suggestions. Instead, explore everything that each region has to offer; you never know what you will find!