Snorkeling is one of the most rewarding and fun activities available. With the worlds reefs in decline, it is definitely an activity to consider joining sooner than later. So how do you get started?
Choose Where You Will Be Snorkeling
The snorkel gear you decide upon will depend on where you are diving. Will you need fins? Could you potentially be scuba diving as well?
If you are set on visiting, or have already booked, a vacation with snorkeling involved, I would highly recommend bringing your own snorkel gear. Now I do run a snorkel gear review site so I may be slightly biased….but trust me when I say the rental gear most resorts/cruises/etc provide can be iffy at best. I have dealt with leaky masks, moldy snorkels, none fitting, and who knows how many people have used the gear before you…yuck!
With Kids New To Snorkeling
If you are just heading to the pool, a basic combo for the kids and just a mask for the adults should suffice. Learning how to snorkel in a pool is a great idea for kids. Learning in the ocean will work, but taking away waves, fish, and the other uncontrollable elements is a great way to get them started. Learning to breath through snorkel gear can take some time so just be sure to monitor!
Heading to the beach first? Just be sure to keep a close eye on the kids and start from the beach if possible. For kids new to snorkeling, this is MY BIGGEST TIP. Starting from the beach eliminates any panic that can occur from all of the new sensations, sites, and new feeling of breathing through a snorkel. Jumping off a boat usually entails starting in deep water an then swimming over to the shallower reefs…so a newcomer may not be too thrilled at seeing 30 feet of water below them with fish, sharks, and other unknowns swimming below. Starting at the beach will allow them to control the pace and get used to breathing.
Without Kids or Experienced
The possibilities of where to go are really endless. My personal favorites include:
- Amergris Caye, Belize
- Grand Cayman
- Crystal River, FL
- St. John, USVI
The best snorkeling I have ever experienced was off Ambergris Caye in Belize. We dove as well, but I have never witnessed so much sea life in one area. Sharks, eels, and every coral you can imagine. However, for those new to the sport I would recommend heading to the Cayman islands or planning a day trip off Jamaica or St. John areas.
Feel free to email or leave a comment for any advice on where to go! I have been lucky enough to snorkel in hundreds of place across the world.