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The 10 Best Places to Snorkel in the World

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With today’s article, we want to make an exciting trip to the best places for snorkeling in the world. A snorkeling trip through the most spectacular locations where to live unique experiences, give pleasure to the senses and unveil some of the many mysteries the seven seas keep. Yes, we know, scuba divers can explore the underwater treasure freely but snorkeling is easy enough for children, and exciting enough for the most demanding travelers.

If you want to know where the best places to snorkel in the world are, this article is of interest to you. We gather some of the best countries, islands, and beaches for snorkeling. So, if you want to get the most out of your mask, snorkel, and fins for the next snorkeling vacation. Keep reading!

Take a look at the table of contents.

best places to snorkel in the world - holbox

A. The Best Places for Snorkeling Features

We are sure you have read other articles about the best snorkeling in the world, but I would bet even my shirt that none specify what characteristics have been valued to include some sites and exclude others from the best places in the world to snorkel.

According to Dressel Divers, these are the snorkeling spot features to be on our list of the best in the world.

  1. The abundance of marine life and biodiversity.

We know more about the moon’s surface than about the sea bottom. So, we humans get a lot of enjoyment just taking a slight look at the bottom. Well, now imagine what it’s like to discover snorkeling places where the world’s greatest coral reef formations and their inhabitants are.

  1. Being a unique place in the world

Migrations of pelagic animals that occur once a year, unique locations in the world, concentrations of a single animal like you don’t see anywhere else, and wrecks that can be visited in a single snorkel session. That’s what we mean by the world’s best snorkeling.

  1. Visibility

A site can already hold the greatest underwater treasures, but if there is no visibility and the water is murky, with strong currents, or dangerous, forget about it.

  1. Minor swell and nice water temperature.

You can see little if you can’t stay in the water long enough to enjoy it. That is why these have been two of the characteristics we have taken into account when compiling this list of the best snorkeling spots in the world. These places have to have calm and warm water

B. What Countries Are Good for Snorkeling?

According to our ranking criteria for the best places to snorkel, Australia and Mexico are the countries with the best snorkeling in the world. With the two world’s largest barrier reefs, a breathtaking census of plant and animal species, and tropical water, they more than meet our main criteria. The third country in the ranking is Egypt on the shores of the Red Sea.

The Best snorkeling in Australia

Probably the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is the best-known snorkeling site in the world. Not for nothing, it being the largest coral formation on the planet. Its extension of more than 2,300 kilometers / 1429 miles, more than 2,900 reefs, and more than 1,000 different species of corals, are in themselves attractive enough to enjoy snorkeling.

Snorkeling the great barrier reef means having the opportunity to see around two hundred different species of fish, turtles, crustaceans, and cephalopods, in addition to the aforementioned corals, that make up this idyllic natural environment. UNESCO declared the Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage Site, but pollution and climate change threaten it. For this reason, great barrier reef snorkeling trips can only be made in some locations and in a controlled way.   There is a downside to these snorkeling locations. They are far from shore. So, the snorkeling excursions take all day on a boat with the inconvenience for families with children.

The best time to visit is during the dry months of the Australian winter, from June to October.

Some stunning Australian snorkeling places are:


1. The Low Isles are among the world’s best snorkeling

They are two small coral cay islands where you can enjoy a full-day tour admiring the 150 different species of hard corals.

Snorkeling in the waters surrounding the isles you will swim with a large variety of fish and even sea turtles because the islands have a prolific population.

2. Green Island is one of the most stunning coral reef locations

It is a full-day or half-day tour from Port Douglas or Cairns. Green island is a 6000-year-old coral cay Set on a seductive stretch of the Great Barrier Reef. In it live more than 120 species of native plants and impressive natural wildlife.

3. Busselton Jetty in the Australian best snorkeling spots list

Busselton is not near the Great Barrier. It is on the west side of the island continent. It is only 3 hours from Perth by car.  The Jetty is 1.84 km long, 150 years old, and held up by huge pylons that are home to more than 300 animal species. Snorkeling there is a fabulous experience, but it does have a downside. If the waves rise, you will not be able to enter the water.

best places to snorkel in the world - Australia

Where Are the Best Places to Snorkel in Mexico?

4. Cozumel, One Of the Best Places In The World To Snorkel

If Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS), is the second one in the ranking. It extends over more than 1,000 km/ 621 mi. of coastline. Its crystal-clear water makes Cozumel one of the best places to snorkel in the world. In Cozumel, visibility is generally over 30 m/100 ft, and on some sites, reaches 60 m /200 ft.

Did you know Cozumel is home to over 500 species of fish? Therefore, snorkelers will enjoy watching a great variety of marine animals during their snorkeling activities.

We recommend booking an organized tour in order to find the best places to snorkel in Cozumel. The large and comfortable boats of Dressel Divers leave from the pier of the Iberostar hotel, located in the Marine Park. After a short 15 minutes trip, our clients arrive at fantastic reefs full of life and the most famous in the area. There, they always go with our expert guides who show them the local marine life.

It is always a good time to visit Cozumel as the water temperature remains fairly constant between 26º and 30º Celsius.

5. Cenotes, Among the
Best Places to Snorkel in The Caribbean

Have you ever snorkeled in the fresh waters of a cenote? It is an experience you cannot miss. There are a lot of these caverns with amazing ponds suitable for snorkeling in the Rivera Maya.   Cenotes are underground rivers that have formed impressive flooded caves over time. Cenotes visitors loves the possibility of seeing these cathedrals of the bowels of the earth from a unique perspective, the one offered by their transparent waters.  You can learn more about the cenotes by reading the article: The 7 Best Cenotes in Mexico for Diving and Snorkeling

Any month of the year is perfect to visit one of these cenotes and enjoy one of the best places to snorkel in the world. Get to know the best Riviera Maya snorkeling sites in one single half day excursion with Dressel Divers.


6. Include Holbox, Mexico in your snorkeling vacation

Snorkeling with the biggest fish on the planet is perhaps, one of the most incredible experiences a snorkeling lover can enjoy. Holbox, in the Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the best places to snorkel with whale sharks in the world.

These animals, which can reach up to 18 m/59 ft long, are as beautiful and impressive as harmless. Although, they belong to the shark family, their diet is mainly based on plankton. In fact, it is the reason that brings them year after year to visit the Mexican coast in the summer months.

Dressel Divers submit to Holbox’s eco-friendly practices, so the animals are treated with total respect and consideration during our excursions.

You can snorkel with whale sharks with Dressel Divers from mid-May to mid-September

best places to snorkel in the world - cenote

Coral Reef Snorkeling in Egypt, Red Sea

Egypt is one of the best places in the world to snorkel, and many people don’t know. So, it is not so overcrowded by tourists.

However, believe us when we say the Red Sea is one of the best places to snorkel in the world. Beautiful coral reefs populate the seafloor and are home to brightly colored fish that will delight any snorkeling enthusiast. Besides, the dolphins are plentiful on these shores, and they can be your swimming buddies.

7. Mahmya Island, one of the best spots for snorkeling in Egypt!

Mahmya in Arabic means “Protected Area” which points out that the area is a National Park. So, it is super exclusive and only Mahmya boats are allowed to enter the area and bring guests. Pristine and vibrant reefs are teeming with all the popular inhabitants of the Red Sea.

8. El Quseir has amazing beaches for snorkeling

El Quseir is a city with more than 5,000 years of history where you can feel as Cousteau from the shore.

Some areas of the shallow reef flat host a high density of hard coral, and are home to the most spectacular underwater life at this spot. They are home to colorful maxima clams and impressive endemic Red Sea fish, such as the Red Sea bannerfish, and Arabian Picasso triggerfish, among dozens of other species.

best places to snorkel in the world - red sea

C. Which Island Has The Best Snorkeling?

9. Galapagos are the best islands for snorkeling in Ecuador

When you go to the Galapagos Islands, forget about coral reefs and colorful fish. There, sea lions, marine iguanas, dolphins, turtles, and even penguins are the attraction. They make the Galapagos Islands one of the best places to snorkel in the world.

If Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution based on the natural wealth of these islands, there is a reason for it. An explosion of animal life covers both the surface of the islands and the underwater world. Just keep something in mind. In 1978, UNESCO declared the archipelago Natural Heritage of Humanity to preserve its flora and fauna, seriously threatened by the actions of man. That means if you want to enjoy snorkeling there, you will have to follow some basic eco-friendly principles. Our advice is to book your snorkeling excursions with professional centers. In this way, you will have guides who will explain the requirements and take you to the best places.

The ideal time to snorkel in the Galapagos Islands is the hot season, from December to May.

best places to snorkel in the world - ecuador

10. Maldives are the very best snorkeling islands and one of the best places to snorkel from the beach

How can a snorkel lover miss out on a country that is 90% water? Yes, in the heart of the Indian Ocean it is one of the best places to snorkel in the world. There You will see underwater sights that would make your jaw drop if you weren’t breathing through a snorkel, of course.

With more than 1,200 islands and 26 atolls there you will find the three main attractions for snorkelers:

  1. Crystal clear waters.
  2. Beautiful reefs: there are more than 70 different species.
  3. Very rich sea beds and their biodiversity. You will find more than 700 species of fish, including endemic species such as the Napoleon fish.

Although there is no bad time to visit the Maldives, snorkelers prefer traveling from November to April to avoid the rainy season.

You already know our selection with the 10 best places to snorkel in the world. Which one is yours?