World's Top 10 Snorkeling Destinations

By: Stuart Smith
A man with scuba glasses taking a picture underwater Ruben Earth / Getty Images

One of the most enjoyable ways to spend a vacation is snorkeling. It allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the water and all of the undersea life. It is an amazing way to spend some time, and the workout it provides helps travelers to avoid putting on any weight while they are on vacation. Here is a guide for travelers to the top ten places for snorkeling around the world.


1. Norman Reef, Australia

Overlooking view of the Norman reef in Great barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia
Getty Images / shen weixin copyright

The Great Barrier Reef is widely considered to be the ultimate snorkeling destination in the world. Norman Reef is perhaps the most spectacular part of the entire expanse of the Great Barrier Reef. It is full of the most beautiful tropical fish as well as giant clams.

2. Seychelles Islands

Over and underwater shot of tropical island
alxpin / Getty Images

These 100 islands that lie off the coast of Kenya are full of some of the most fabulous snorkeling spots on the planet. The coral reefs in this area are very full of marine life, and they are absolutely gorgeous as well. The best way to explore the Seychelles Islands is to rent a boat and hire a guide to take you to all of the best snorkeling spots around the island.

3. Safaga, Egypt

Anthias shoal over the wreck of the Salem Express, Safaga, Egypt.
Getty Images / Mark Webster

Most snorkelers have a visit to the Red Sea on their bucket lists. There are lots of great places to snorkel in the Red Sea, but none is any better than Safaga. This is one of the least crowded resort areas with good snorkeling along the coast of the Red Sea. As an added bonus, it is only a few hours’ drive from Safaga to Luxor, which is the home of the most famous pyramids in Egypt as well as the Great Sphinx.

4. Bonaire

Coral reef scenery with Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) swimming past a stove-pipe sponge (Aplysina archeri) and an elephant-ear sponge (Agelas clathrodes). Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean.
Getty Images / Georgette Douwma

Bonaire is sort of an afterthought when it comes to the islands of the Caribbean, but it is home to some splendid snorkeling opportunities. The coral here is very healthy and home to an abundance of tropical fish.


5. San Blas

On nice sunny day, Senior woman enjoying sea water on shipwreck close to Island Isla de Perro on San Blas archipelagos in Caribbean See, Panama. In background is blue sky, turquoise water and another island.
Getty Images / davor lovincic

San Blas comprises an archipelago made up of more than 360 islands. The two biggest of these islands are claimed by Colombia, and the rest of them are held by Panama. Both countries offer gateways to get to the islands, and there is a small airport on San Blas itself. The water here is amazingly clear, offering some of the greatest visibility for snorkeling of any spot on Earth.

6. Huahine

Getty Images / &#169 Maureen Lawrence/Stock Image

The islands of French Polynesia all offer good snorkeling locations, but Huahine is particularly nice. There are both coral reefs and lagoons to explore around the island, and it is less overrun by tourists than many of the other islands in French Polynesia.

7. Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Marine turtles photographed on the beautiful Ningaloo Reef of western Australia.
Getty Images / Migration Media - Underwater Imaging 2015

Although the Great Barrier Reef gets all the accolades, the Ningaloo Reef off the northern coast of Australia is spectacular in its own right. It is located in a very sparsely populated and remote part of Australia, which makes it a bit of a chore to get to. However, that also means that snorkelers will have an uncrowded atmosphere in which they can bask in the splendor of the reef.

8. Kealakekua Bay

Female snorkelling at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Getty Images / ©2012 James R.D. Scott

There is never a bad time to go to Hawaii for snorkelers. There are great snorkeling locations all over the islands. Kealakekua Bay, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, is perhaps the best place for snorkelers in the islands. The bay is very isolated, requiring a kayak paddle or hike to get to it. However, once visitors are there, they will be rewarded with lots of large marine animals like sea turtles, whales and dolphins.

9. Fiji Islands

Bat Fish -- Maldives
Getty Images / © 2008 James R.D. Scott

It is hard to go wrong with any spot in the Fiji Islands to go snorkeling. The Jean Michel Cousteau Resort offers visitors the chance to have guided trips to all the best spots for snorkeling in Fiji, including the chance to go on night snorkeling adventures.


10. La Jolla Cove, USA

Underwater Photo Shoot
Brandon Colbert Photography / Getty Images

Snorkeling does not have to be all about hopping on a plane and flying halfway around the world. La Jolla Cove, right off the coast of San Diego, offers some great snorkeling action. Though visitors won’t see any tropical fish, they will find a diverse array of marine life.