If you love snorkeling (Or diving!) but are tired of overcrowded groups scaring away your fishy friends, or paying outrageous prices for a toilet sized room in Maui, these sites might be perfect for you. Not always easy to get to (but isn’t that half the fun?), here are 5 of our favourite snorkeling sites where you won’t have to elbow your way off a boat to see anything.
5. Los Tuneles- Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos is famous for its remote location, it’s incredibly diverse wildlife, and of course, it’s the inspiration of Charles Darwin. It’s the wildlife that’s the attraction for snorkeling in the Galapagos islands, however. It may not have the most stunning reefs you’ll ever see, and if you’re unlucky, the visibility can be patchy, but the opportunity to get up close with sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, sharks and more in one snorkeling site is a fantastic opportunity. If you visit the islands, a snorkeling or diving excursion is a must.
4. Red Sea- Saudi Arabia
For those in the know, Saudi Arabia is rated highly for it’s snorkeling thanks to its coral reefs and incredible marine diversity, with a wide variety of sharks, turtles, whales, and so much more. There’s excellent snorkeling to be found, and if you dive, it’s even better with some great wrecks to explore. With tourism to Saudi Arabia finally becoming a thing, it’s a great time to come and see for yourself, while they remain relatively unspoiled.
3. Bonegi 2- Solomon Islands
There aren’t many shipwrecks you can snorkel, but this is one of the best. The site is accessible and combines a wreck and reef. Bonegi 2 is what the locals call the shipwreck of the Kinugawa Maru (A Japanese Navy Transport ship from World War 2). This is one of two wrecks that are very close together (Bonegi 1 AKA The Hirokawa Maru is not so suitable for snorkeling though and requires dive experience). The wreck is still clearly discernible, despite the best attempts of the local coral to smother it, and the tropical fish on display among the reefs make this one of the best snorkeling sites in the region when the water is clear.
2. Jellyfish Lake- Palau
If you’ve ever thought snorkeling among swarms of jellyfish would be beautiful but also absurdly painful/potentially life-threatening, then Jellyfish Lake in Palau is a must-see. This 12,000-year-old Marine lake is the only one open to tourists of the many marine lakes on the islands. It features two types of Jellyfish, Golden Jellyfish and Moon Jellyfish. While these jellyfish do still have stinging cells, they’ve evolved to become generally unnoticeable to humans due to a lack of predators in their isolated environment. It is recommended to wear protective clothing if you’ve shown any allergic reaction to jellyfish in the past however.
1 .Pok Pok Island- Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea receives a pretty minuscule amount of visitors. Official 2018 statistics put it at under 200,000, and that includes people going to the islands for work. The upside of this is nearly untouched coral reefs with hardly any crowds, which makes for great snorkeling. Pok Pok Island is part of the Bougainville region of Papua New Guinea and has the potential to one day be the world’s newest country having recently voted for independence in a non-binding referendum. Practically untouched, this is a beautiful part of the world to explore, and you absolutely have to get into the water. Chances are you’ll be the only visitors there!