A diver snorkeling by a coral reef.

Where are the Best Places in the World to Snorkel?

Beneath the ocean’s surface is a world of vibrant biodiversity. Sleek rays glide through the waters of the Galápagos, tropical fish flit playfully along the coral gardens of Wakatobi, and humpback whales gather just off the coast of Tonga. Snorkeling is the perfect way to experience all of these natural wonders.

Our carefully planned itineraries balance aquatic adventures with the thrill of land excursions, making the most of your time in these stunning locales. Whether it’s your first time snorkeling or you’ve seen hundreds of coral reefs, life under the sea never ceases to amaze. Check out our list of favorite places to snorkel around the world!

A coral reef.


Indonesia’s Coral Triangle is known for healthy reefs and the highest marine biodiversity in the world—some of the best snorkeling sites here include Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat, and Cenderawasih Bay. There is also the rock island nation of Palau, which is home to healthy reefs in shallow waters and lots of marine megafauna. And of course, we can’t forget the Great Barrier Reef, which still has some healthy reefs you can visit despite experiencing coral bleaching.

Sea lions underwater.

The Galápagos

The Galápagos Islands has all kinds of amazing wildlife encounters, both underwater and on land. From penguins, sea lions, and cormorants to blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises—it’s home to some of the most unique species on earth.

An aerial view of a boat.

Central America and the Caribbean

Belize has extremely healthy reefs due to government protections, plus the unique Blue Hole, Baja is home to the Blue Triangle—one of the best places in the world to see blue whales, sperm whales, and whale sharks, and the Bahamas are great for sharks and shallow reefs.

The Indian Ocean and Africa

Madagascar, Zanzibar, and the Seychelles all have remote snorkeling areas that are great for all levels. Madagascar is even known to be a seldom-visited destination where you can swim with whale sharks. The Maldives is home to a lot of fish, though the coral reefs are not as pristine as the Pacific.

It is important to note that the best snorkel sites are different from the best dive sites because many dive sites are too deep for snorkelers to enjoy. Nonetheless, when the conditions are right (i.e. great visibility, calmer water), these places are frequently optimal for both snorkelers and divers.

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Talk to an Expert

Our Area Specialists know every detail about our snorkeling tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!