Opinions welcome from snorkellers and even divers who have seen some amazing sights from the surface.
As wonderful as it would be to dive, it is not possible for me, thus snorkelling is the closest activity.
After my aquatic epiphany off Cabilao Island in the Philippines in April, I am keen to visit more places. Any suggestions would be welcome!
Re-trying to post...big bug in the forum!
No worries if you don't dive, still few great places on earth...
Maldives, that's an easy pick!
Palau....well, you can swim in a lake with millions of jellyfishes....but also...snorkel in amazing places...
Philippines...go for the whalesharks...you just have to ask to Liliram!
And maybe the best, ask Leslie, we dived it, he snorkeled it...Kona, Big Island, Hawai, you know the video...yes, you can snorkel with the mantas at night too, amazing moments!
I have few friends who cannot dive, but it doesn't stop them to free-dive to 10 meters, they can see nearly as much as divers do!
Enjoy! Currently diving family way in Koh Tao!
Ningaloo - just across the top end Shane
You sometimes actually get more "value" out of snorkelling at Ningaloo than diving because of the whales (they dislike divers bubbles) and unlike the great barrier reef, Ningaloo is a fringing reef so you can find everything from blue ringed octopi to beautiful spanish dancer nudibranch in less than a metre of water. Its also a dual reef system so the fringe can often be totally exposed at low tide giving you great snorkelling in the channel between the two reefs. The outter reef has a sheer drop off on the furthest edges down to around 60m in most places and I probably would not snorkel there because when I worked there we referred to it as Shark Freeway...which it basically is
And of course, Ningaloo has the awesome whale shark to snorkel with and a quite well set up tourism industry based around the whale sharks so there are quite a few good whale shark spotting boats (with planes and choppers doing the spotting unfortunately). Accomodation in Exmouth leaves a bit to be desired but I would rate Ningaloo over the GBR for many reasons, not the least being less tourists due to its isolation and ..more whales and whalesharks.
We are divers and rarely snorkel and have found that can be a mistake. A few years ago we were on a trip with friends on Matamanoa Island, Fiji. We weren't diving our last day and had noticed a lot of people snorkeling in front of the hotel all week. We decided to grab our snorkel and fins and check it out. Oh my gosh! It was fantastic.
Some other great spots on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean.
Enjoy the fish!
Thanks to everyone so far, this is a great list - please keep them coming!
Another traveller I met in the Philippines said that Palawan has "outstanding" snorkelling opportunities.
My absolute favourite place is Pom Pom Island in Sabah/Malaysia!!!!!! You snorkel along in a great reef with turtles. Even from the pier you can see them. And the fishes are also simply amazing. Enjoy it!
I can only add that Dahab in Egypt and of course Great Barrier Reef was amazing as well ( in both cases we snorkelled with massive turtles and colourful fish);-)Also Unawatuna in Sri Lanka has great snorkelling spots. I just did my first ever dive in Dubrovnik, Croatia and did not enjoy it as much as snorkelling elsewhere;-) Maybe it was the stress of a first time or maybe Croatia does not do it for me;-) I have heard about Palawan as well so really looking forward to do this over there;-)Enjoy
It just came to me where you should go for some snorkeling. Xel-ha, Mexico is a wonderful place and then you can go visit many Mayan ruins. That would be a great trip! Shallow waters and lots of colorful fish.
Yeah...even i feel that Mexico is the best place in the world for snorkeling, rappelling and zip lining along with swimming with dolphins in the beautiful cenotes of Riviera Maya. The great ruin Mayan destiny must not be missed by the travelers who visits Mexico. For all this adventures ride and gathering more knowledge of Riviera Maya destiny one should take a complete vacation package from some trip organizing company like Aventuras Mayas.
We tried seeing the whale sharks in Donsol but there are certain season. We were there just at the end of that season (end of July) and were unlucky and didn't see them (see our first blog from Philippines).
We also snorkeled on Coron - decent, but loads of trash in the water. As well as in El Nido. Much better.
And if you are in Philippines, do go up north to the mountains. It is amazing!
I absolutely loved snorkelling in south Belize. You need to get out to the Cays, but they are only about 30 mins or so by boat from Placencia. Once there, magical! I think my favourite day was snorkelling around the Silk Cays, three little islands dotted in the middle of a marine reserve. One of the best days ever.
I'm not a diver (Sophie) but will spend hours and hours in the water snorkelling if there's enough to keep me there..
Our favourite places for snorkelling have to be the islands around Komodo, Derawan and Sangalaki, Perhenthian Islands and Bacuit Archipeligo...
gosh thinking back to our days spent in the water and what the things we saw and the experiences we had takes my breath away.. oh to be back there now
One of the most unusual and best places I snorkelled was in the crystal clear rivers of Bonito, Matto Grosso - southern Brazil - really amazing, tons of fish and a 7m anaconda! Blowing the Budget in Beautiful Bonito
I enjoyed the bay Islands of the coast of Honduras although known for scuba, I was more interested in snorkeling , also the clear waters off the southeast coast of Dominican Republic are awesome also lots of wildlife to see
Matamanoa Island, Fiji had some of the best snorkeling we've done.