Snorkeling Destinations – Helpful Information for Deciding Where to Go

There are many snorkeling destinations in the world, some great, others not so much. This page aims to help you decide where to go on your next trip. It includes a listing of the places we have been, highlights of the places our snorkeling community recommends, and opportunities from our trips partner for guided snorkeling travel.

Find snorkeling destinations with healthy colorful corals teeming with fish like this

Snorkeling Destinations We’ve Been

Unique hard coral with damselfish hovering above in Indonesia

We’ll start with snorkeling destinations we’ve been. We are only two people and travel a couple times per year, so we certainly have not seen all the destinations possible, but we have visited a good number of them.

Please click the links below for much more detailed information about these destinations. We have written full descriptions of what the snorkeling is like there and have included pictures we have taken.

Coral Triangle

Most recently we have been lucky enough to be able to travel to snorkeling destinations in the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area of the world are the most abundant in the world for corals, fish, and various creatures. And we have been blown away by how alive the reefs are there. Probably our favorite so far is Misool, in Raja Ampat Indonesia. We stayed at an outstanding eco-resort which supports a successful marine protected area. We highly recommend visiting there if you can.

Another of the extraordinary destinations we have visited in the Coral Triangle is Alor, Indonesia. This is a really special place and easy to recommend. Varied and beautiful reefs teeming with colorful fish await you on every snorkel.

We also loved snorkeling in Komodo, Indonesia. It was much more discovered than either Misool or Alor, but it had fantastic snorkeling in a national marine park.

Hawaiian Islands

As snorkeling destinations go, Hawaii has a lot to offer. Primarily accessed from shore, you can guide yourself on these islands, and see a lot of great sea life. Our current favorite Hawaiian Island for snorkeling is Maui. You can see some healthy coral and the island has a massive population of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles you see nearly everywhere.

Three Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles at a cleaning station in Maui

The Big Island of Hawaii is a close second. From numerous shore spots you can see many fish, some corals and other interesting creatures.

Kauai and Oahu have a few good shore spots, but the snorkeling is more weather dependent.

We have eBook snorkeling guides for Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, and all Hawaiian Islands combined, to help you have a great time on these islands.

Snorkeling Sunburns Suck!

Check out the snorkeling rash guards and reef safe sunscreen we use to protect ourselves and to protect fish and coral from sunscreen chemicals.

Caribbean

The Caribbean Sea is full of snorkeling destinations. We have visited a number of them and our current favorite is Curacao. It is a Dutch island in the south near Venezuela. It offers good shore snorkeling and has some sandy beaches.

Elkhorn coral and purple sea fans Caribbean

Bonaire is Curacao’s neighbor and it used to have great snorkeling. Many factors have reduced the number of shallow reef snorkeling spots in recent years. That coupled with weather challenges, have lowered our opinion of snorkeling there. We visited in October 2022.

We also visited St John in the US Virgin Islands, and it became our new favorite in the Caribbean. But only two years after our visit, it was hit by two large hurricanes. We have not been back since, so cannot say it is our favorite anymore.

We have written eBook snorkeling guides to Curacao and St John. You can use them to find the best shore snorkeling.

Belize is another Caribbean destination we have visited. Most of the snorkeling there is done by boat out to the barrier reef.

St Lucia is a small Caribbean island with some good snorkeling. You can do it either from shore or by boat tour. There are some resorts with house reefs there if that’s your thing.

Finally, Aruba is another destination we’ve visited. It is near Bonaire and Curacao. There are a few snorkeling spots on the island, most of them accessed from shore.

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Mainland USA

We have snorkeled two places in the Mainland USA. The Florida Keys have a long barrier reef that is reached and snorkeled from boat tours. Southern California has a few cool water spots that offer some unique sights.

Other Snorkeling Destinations We’ve Been

Since Bermuda is out in the Atlantic Ocean, it does not fit into our Caribbean list, but it has a lot of the same sea life you see there. This is a great destination for shore snorkeling and we have an eBook snorkeling guide to the island to help you find the best spots.

The Maldives is a country made up of many atolls in the Indian Ocean. This was our first foray into the Eastern Hemisphere. It has a lot going for it, but the unfortunately many of the corals have died due to repeated bleaching events.

Clown Triggerfish in the Maldives

There are many snorkeling destinations we have not yet been. But, some of our snorkeling community have shared their experiences snorkeling in these spots. You can see the full list of destinations the community posts cover on our main Community page here.

But, here is a list of links to the ones with the most standout information:

School of fusiliers in blue water, Indonesia

Snorkeling Destinations With Guided Travel Opportunities

We partner with a wonderful company that offers snorkeling specific guided travel to some of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. They are a great way to go to a place that might be challenging to travel to yourself, or a unique opportunity to get on a snorkeler only liveaboard boat. Click the links below for a full list of trips on offer to those areas of the world, or click here to see all of their trips.

Their primary focus is travel in the Coral Triangle, to the best snorkeling locations in the countries of Indonesia and the Philippines. We highly recommend a visit to the Coral Triangle, you will not be disappointed!

Moray eel in soft coral reef in Indonesia

The also offer guided trips to places in the Caribbean Sea and some Pacific Islands. These are outstanding destinations to visit for an avid snorkeler.

More Snorkeling Information