Maui, Hawaii

Where is the Best Snorkeling in the World, you ask?

Want to jump into warm waters and enter into a spectacular underwater world? Get dazzled by immaculate reefs, tropical fish and a variety of other marine life? Wondering where the best snorkeling in the world is? Well, here is my list of 10 best places to snorkel in the world. 

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Cuba

This amazing island destination in the Caribbean is heaven for snorkelers. It offers you plenty of fish, dolphin, turtles, and sharks (yikes!) to get up close and personal within the color reefs. Two beaches especially stand out – Jibacoa Bay and Playa Esmeraldan.

Jibacoa Bay is great for beginners and for those who prefer to snorkel in shallow waters (me). With a small reef close to the beach, you can observe the several species of fish, crabs, and eels.

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Playa Esmeralda is a beach resort that is ideal for families. Located on the northern coast of Holguin, it provides direct access to the water where schools of squid, colorful fish, and fantastic coral reefs will entertain and astonish your kids endlessly.

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Aruba

Like Cuba, Aruba is located in the Carribean Sea but unlike Cuba, it’s climate is dry and visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather – my type of weather!

With its powder-fine white sand and turquoise water, Eagle Beach is considered the most beautiful beach in Aruba. Unfortunately, there is no coral formation in this area so you may get to see some fish. The upside is as a beginner you can master your snorkeling skills. This beach is ideal for relaxing and sunbathing with a variety of water sports.

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If you are looking for something more, then head down to Boca Catalina a.k.a Catalina Cover. It is very popular due to its top snorkeling conditions – rich marine life and shallow water. About 30 meters from the shore, the sea bottom is covered with seagrass which is turtle food. So if you want to swim or see the turtles, this is the place to be.

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Cayman Islands

Best Snorkeling in the World: Cayman Islands #travelclans #snorkel #snorkeling #cayman #seekmoments 
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Okay, this is a bit touristy, but seriously, what other place on this beautiful planet offers the same snorkeling opportunities as Stingray City? As the name implies, the resident rays (dozens of them) are friendly and gently brush up against you if they feel safe. This series of shallow sandbars just of the coast of Grand Cayman is a true haven for snorkelers and divers alike

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Florida

Over 1,600kms of coastline, the Florida Reef is one of the largest barrier reef systems. Besides this coral reef system, many beaches and state parks feature smaller natural and artificial reefs that are also perfect to explore the marine life

Bahia Honda State Park is an ideal place for the entire family! Its shallow water offers easy snorkeling with different coral species like brain, fire, and staghorn. Naturally, this encourages many species of fish like angelfish and barracudas to live among it.

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The John Pennekamp Coral State Park in Key Largo is the most popular snorkeling place as you can explore nature while walking around or kayaking. Snorkeling tours are available at Christ of The Abyss, Banana Reef or Grecian Rocks. 

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Hawaii

Hawaii is famous for its surfing and its scenic landscape but snorkeling isn’t that far behind. The best snorkeling is located in Maui on the south and western parts of the island.

The best snorkeling Maui beaches are located on the south and on the western parts of the island. The reason is simple, these part of Maui is protected from the wind. The Hawaiian “trade winds” are blowing from the northeast, so the water on south and west stays calm and clear.

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Kapalua Beach’s shallow and clear water makes it the best snorkeling beach on Maui. The bay is protected by two reefs making it ‘C-shaped’ resulting in year-round safe snorkeling and swimming. Snorkeling in the shallow water and around the reef, you will get to see butterflyfish, boxfish, parrotfish and many other interesting tropical fishes and crustaceans. 

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Mexico

Best Snorkeling in the World: Isal Mujeres, Mexico #travelclans #snorkel #snorkeling #mexico #seekmoments 
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Isla Mujeres in Mexico is just off the spring break capital of the world Cancun and here you will find some amazing snorkeling conditions, crystal-clear visibility, and seas as warm, calm, and turquoise as the South Pacific. If you visit between June through September you will see whale sharks who can grow up to 40 feet long. 

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Bali

With its varied landscape, Bali is a unique island paradise above and below the water. The best snorkeling beaches are on the East, West, and Northeast of the island. The Best time to go is between April and September as it is the dry season.

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Amed is the best locality for snorkeling as you will find healthy reefs, shipwrecks and a sea teeming with various sea creatures including stingrays and turtles. The best beaches for Amed snorkeling are the reef at Ahmed Beach, Jemeluk Bay, Bunutan Reef, Lipah Beach, and the Japanese Shipwreck. 

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The Maldives

The Maldives is a top tourist destination and most probably will come at a cost but it is worth every dollar spent. It has everything you need for a perfect snorkeling holiday.

Fihalhohi Island is an ultimate paradise escape. This dazzling coral reef is teeming with vibrant marine life – rays, eels, turtles and even the occasional octopus can be spotted in the shallow waters. The resort is an exquisite beachfront property with comfortable rooms at affordable prices.

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Another great family resort is the Vilamendhoo Island Resort on the island of Vilamendhoo in South Ari Atoll. It is surrounded by a beautiful lagoon with long stretches of white sandy beaches. It offers an excellent house reef, where you can snorkel with mantas and whale sharks. 

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Thailand

Known mostly for the Full Moon Parties, Koh Phangan in Thailand has vibrant coral reefs with good snorkeling under the sea. 

Koh Ma by far is the best place to go snorkeling. It is a small island that is joined to Mae Haad beach by a sandbar and is walkable at low tide. On a sunny day, you can easily spend two to three hours in the water, while swimming over multicolored corals, watching fish and other sea creatures swim and scuttle away. If you want to observe big shoals of fish, blue spotted rays or Spanish dancers, try to get over the very shallow section full of sand and seaweed to reach the coral reef area. 

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Due to crowds and the weather, consider going between April and June, as there fewer tourists and more affordable accommodations. 

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Malta

No holiday cannot be complete without snorkeling in Malta! This tiny archipelago in the heart of the Mediterranean is one of the best summer destinations in Europe and offers perfect conditions for water activities!

The main tourist beaches can be overcrowded during the Malta holiday season, so head for the quieter beaches and bays. With Malta’s long diverse coastline, it should be easy to find these places.

Best Snorkeling in the World: Malta #travelclans #snorkel #snorkeling #seekmoments 
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No child should miss the opportunity to visit The Popeye Village while in Malta. Anchor Bay is a protected spot for swimming where you can see different species of sea life. Moreover, how often do you get to swim with a famous musical set in the background?

The rocky beach Bahar ic-Caghaq is situated at the mouth of the island’s longest valley. Popular with locals for hanging out with friends and having a barbecue, this is a great place to spot crabs, stingrays, moray eels as well as other typical Mediterranean fish.

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8 thoughts on “Where is the Best Snorkeling in the World, you ask?”

  1. This comes at a perfect time! I love getting in the water in the summer and really want to try some snorkeling. I’ve done the underwater sea trek but have never done snorkeling yet! I will probably be in Florida this summer sometime so I will start there! Otherwise, I am also very interested in the Maldives :). I appreciate your review of the best places to snorkel!

    1. Hi Sherry,

      thanks for the comment and glad you liked the post. I hope you checked out the other post – How to choose the best snorkeling gear as well?

      hope you had a good trip to florida.

  2. What an awesome list!

    I have always wanted to go snorkeling and I am hoping to make it a reality in the near future. I had only even considered the Caribbean until this point. You have opened my eyes to the great options all over the world! I am especially interested in taking a summer trip to Mexico to see those whale sharks! 

    really enjoyed reading this! 

    Hannah

    1. Hi Hannah!

      You are right, most people think of only the Caribbean when it comes to snorkeling and that’s mainly cos its the most advertised, but there are so many other places we can go…i really enjoyed Thailand, can’t wait to do maldives later this year!

  3. Mahin Al Banna

    Hey Tarun,

    This is an unique and informative article I must say. I am a adventure lover and that’s why I love snorkeling. Exploring the world under water getting dazzled by immaculate reefs and topical fish is always interesting to me. I was thinking to go on a trip on my next vacation and have fun snorkeling with my friends and I liked that you have suggested some great places for that. I think I will go for Hawai as I haven’t visited it. Moreover after reading your article I am very curious to go on those Maui beaches.

    Thank you for writing this helpful article.

  4. I have always been fascinated with snorkeling.

    The ten locations you wrote about  are very beautiful locations  above sea level anyway,  and I’ve seen photos  of them taken  underwater. The photos that you added really enhanced what you wrote about each one. The photos are beautiful. I think it would really be enjoyable, vacationing in an area like the Caribbean and spending time snorkeling.

    For some reason I had not even considered Florida, even after living there for a year. But I can still recall some of the beautiful areas that I saw. Quiet and secluded. 

    Overall your post is very well presented with some very beautiful places to visit.

  5. Hi Tarun, thanks for sharing so fascinating places for snorkeling! I’m glad have a read.
    I visit Sabah Island (also a good place for snorkeling) in Malaysia last time, but miss to snorkeling due to lacking experience and fear of losing myself under the sea… But my friends enjoy so much. It is pity..
    Definitely will try snorkeling next time if have the chance the visit the places that you mentioned in your post.

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