Top Snorkeling Destinations

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Snorkeling is an easy sport to learn, and it’s a great way to get under the water and explore beautiful ecosystems without having to get certified in SCUBA. If you’re starting to plan your summer vacation and snorkeling is on your list of “must-do” activities, here’s a list of some of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.

Ambergris Caye

Belize

Belize has hundreds of cayes along its coastline that help make up the second largest barrier reef in the world. Those cayes offer some of the most colorful coral on the planet, and one of the best spots to see it is Ambergris Caye. Specifically, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is a snorkeler’s dream. Here, you can swim with nurse sharks in the aptly-named shark-ray alley.

Ilha Grande

Brazil

This snorkeler’s paradise is located off of Brazil’s coast, halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. The Blue Lagoon provides snorkelers with the opportunity to swim with turtles, sea horses and angelfish through underwater coves and multiple shipwrecks.

The Big Island

Hawaii

You can find amazing snorkeling opportunities all throughout the Hawaiian islands, but the largest—the Big Island—offers the best. Kealakekua Bay is an underwater state park where you can see plenty of colorful fish and coral, not to mention dolphins and the Captain James Cook Monument.

Palawan

The Philippines

The Philippines have plenty of snorkeling opportunities, but the waters around Palawan island are the most diverse. Here, you can snorkel lagoons filled with colorful fish, paddle around Tubbataha Reef, dive Honda Bay and swim with the underwater residents of Cowrie and Starfish Island.

Buck Island, St. Croix

U.S. Virgin Islands

Buck Island, an actual U.S. national park, allows snorkelers to swim along with parrot fish, octopi and three different species of sea turtle. The coral and brilliant blue water will give underwater photographers plenty of photo opportunities and the shallow, calm water is perfect for those just getting into snorkeling.

Komodo Island

Indonesia

There’s more to this amazing island than dragons. Head underwater at Komodo National Park and swim among 260 different types of coral, 1000 species of fish and 14 different endangered animals like giant turtles, whales, and dolphins.

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