Plan Your Trip, Get the Right Gear, See Amazing Underwater Life
We are Galen and Nicole, avid snorkeling nuts who take several trips a year exploring the best snorkel spots around the world.
Really, could there be anything more luscious in life than floating on warm salty waters and watching the beautiful sea life below flow by?
Unfortunately, as snorkelers, we kept running into the same annoying problems. It was difficult to find detailed and honest information about where the best snorkel spots were when planning our trips. And we kept being treated like second-class citizens by dive shops and tour companies. Frankly, it drove us nuts.
So over 15 years ago we decided to help solve some of those problems for snorkelers like you, and started this website, so you have the best snorkel trips of your lives.
The Problems We Encounter as Traveling Snorkelers, That You Have Likely Experienced
- Not being treated respectfully or seriously at dive shops because we are snorkelers
- Boat tours that take us to dive spots that are too deep or in rough water
- Guide books that don’t help us find shallow, healthy reefs with lots of fish
- Dishonest or ignorant resorts and tour companies who all claim they have the “best snorkeling in the world”
- Endless websites recommending snorkel gear they have not used or that is for divers
- Finding healthy reefs that have not been damaged by climate change, storms, or warm water bleaching
Here You Will Find Honest, Highly Useful Snorkeling Information, for Planning Trips, Fitting Equipment, and Being Safe
When we started this site, we set a goal to snorkel the best spots in the world, and report back to you completely honestly about what we found. We are very systematic in how we evaluate snorkel spots. If the reef is dead, or lacks fish, or has currents or other dangerous hazards, we say so. And for those places we love and recommend, you will find all the details and pictures you need to easily find and enjoy it yourself. We have also written eight popular eBook snorkeling guides.
We still have many places we would like to visit, but between where we have been, and the stories shared on this site by our huge community of snorkelers, you will find some great snorkel spots to visit. When you start to connect with our group you will find a very warm welcome, and lots of support from other snorkelers.
There is also a cornucopia of snorkeling gear tips, sunscreens, sun clothing, and camera suggestions on this site. We test new gear on every trip and report back.
And you will find lots of safety tips, because snorkeling is fun, but you need to take the ocean seriously.
Join Our Community – Two Ways to Stay Connected
Excited to dig into what is on this website and plan your next trip? Before you jump in and get lost looking around this big website, make sure and sign up for our free monthly newsletter Snorkeling Explorer.
Next, bookmark our news page. Any new posts on this site can be found there, as well as fun pictures and videos from our trips, and interesting snorkeling news from around the world. While we do have a Facebook page, we don’t use it much.
Exceptional Guided Snorkeling Trips to the Best Spots in the World
We have a wonderful snorkeling tour company partner who offers many extraordinary guided snorkeling adventures each year to some of the most remote and special snorkeling destinations around the world.
What a joy it is to have an entire liveaboard yacht or resort filled with snorkelers, and to have the entire trip be focused on perfect snorkeling spots everyday. Some of the best experiences of our lives have been on these trips, and best friends made!
Start Planning Your Next Snorkel Trip
Explore the destinations that we have visited below. For locations with lots of shore or free beach access we provide a general overview, some suggested spots, and a highly detailed eBook guide that you can take with you. For destinations where the locations are accessed by boat, where an eBook guide would not be as useful, we make everything we know available on this website.
Coral Triangle – Indonesia
We have visited three areas so far in the Coral Triangle, in Indonesia, the epicenter of marine biodiversity and abundance in the world. If you can swing it, you have to get yourself to this part of the world, as it is really the best snorkeling in the world.
- Misool, Raja Ampat – Our favorite snorkeling location on Earth so far.
- Alor, Indonesia – A very close second to Misool. Simply an astounding place to snorkel.
- Komodo, Indonesia – Excellent snorkeling, with big creatures.
- Guided Coral Triangle Trips
The beautiful islands of Hawaii continue to offer very enjoyable snorkeling, most of which you can access for free from beaches, with a rental car.
- Maui – Currently our favorite
- Big Island Hawaii – Still a great option
Caribbean and Bermuda
While not as diverse or as abundant as the Coral Triangle, the Caribbean still offers some enjoyable snorkeling options.
- Curacao – Our favorite in the Caribbean
- Bermuda – Not technically Caribbean, but good
- St John
- St Lucia
- Guided Caribbean Trips
More USA Locations
- Maldives – Corals not very alive after multiple bleaching events
More Destination and Equipment Information Shared by Our Community Members
In addition to all the places we have been, our community members have been to more! And they share their stories, questions, and answers in the community posts area of this website.
Compared to snorkeling social media groups and forums, our community area is highly organized, making it easy for you to find what you are looking for. And we moderate and edit every single post and comment, to ensure useful information.
See Our Popular Snorkeling Guide eBooks
For many of the locations we have snorkeled we have written PDF eBook guides that are available in our eBook store.
These well-reviewed guides offer you the most detailed information available for a location. The most common complaint we have heard about our eBooks is that we don’t have more of them.
Snorkeling Equipment Tips
Have you ever had a leaky mask? No? It’s miserable! Or gotten blisters from fins that don’t fit? Or suddenly realized your electronic rental car keys are in your pocket, after you got in the water? Ouch! And did you know that waterproof sunscreen, really isn’t?
We have experienced all of that and more, and know that good equipment makes a huge difference in our enjoyment. So read our highly detailed equipment tips. Even experienced snorkelers will likely learn a thing or two. Click the headline above to see all of our equipment tips, and find links to some of our popular pages below.
- Best Reef Friendly Sunscreens – that we have tested while snorkeling
- Rash Guard Sun Protection – we wear full length clothing
- Snorkel Mask Buying Guide
- Full Face Snorkel Mask Guide
- Snorkel Buying Guide
- Fins Buying Guide
Underwater Camera Buying Tips
Want to bring home some beautiful underwater pictures from your next trip? It is really not as hard or expensive as it may seem. Small digital cameras just keep getting better, and cheaper, unless you keep buying new ones, like us. We take thousands of pictures underwater each trip and share with you some buying tips in the pages below.
- Best Compact Cameras (housing needed)
- Waterproof Cameras (no housing needed)
- GoPro for Snorkeling
- iPhone Housings for Snorkeling
Important Snorkeling Tips and Safety
We see news of a snorkeling death at least once a week. The ocean is a powerful moving thing that deserves great respect. To snorkel safely you need to learn some basic skills, gain experience, and evaluate each situation in the moment yourself. Click the link above to see all our snorkel tips, and the links below for more info.
Snorkeling Travel Tips
We do a lot of snorkel travel, and have put together some suggestions on what we have learned about favorite luggage, packing snorkel gear, travel insurance that actually covers snorkeling accidents, and more.
Even More Information
In addition to the linked to pages above, there are many more valuable resources around this website. Please use the navigation bar at the top to explore, and if you are looking for something in particular click the search icon on the navigation bar.
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More about Galen and Nicole and the history of TropicalSnorkeling.com.