Grab your sunglasses and put on your flip-flops, the coral reefs and sandy beaches are calling for you! There is no better time to treat yourself with a Caribbean getaway or an international adventure. And what is not better than adding snorkeling to the mix. Just imagine swimming in the ocean looking down at a bright coral reef filled with a diverse population of marine life. Below you will find the same and hopefully one will inspire you to get away for an unforgettable snorkel vacation:

Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West, Florida

71 miles off the coast of Key West is where you will find the island of Fort Jefferson (built in 1935) then was renamed and turned into a National park in 1998. When the fort was being built, a moat was placed on the exterior to protect those who were inside from intruders.

Over time, a coral reef grew on the outside of the wall attracting more travel lovers. When you travel here, try to snorkel the moat first before making your way out into the water. Farther out, you will find several sights where you can snorkel and scuba dive around the fort. Aside from the fort, there is the main island where you are welcome to camp and enjoy Florida’s nature.

Key West, FLorida

Photo: John Wise via Flickr

While snorkeling around the fort’s moat make sure to look out for squid and sea turtles swimming in the open water or hiding within the reef. Many recommend snorkeling the wall at night, giving you the opportunity to see nocturnal creatures like octopi and starfish. Next to the island is Bush and Long Key’s where you can also find more places to snorkel/ dive and explore.

Key West, Forida

Photo: NPS via Flickr

Little Salmon Bay, Rottnest Island, Australia

This unique location has a special trail, underwater! Located around the reefs are 10 plaques that give you information on the marine life and coral that you see; common sights here are king wrasse, bream, and morwongs. The center of the bay is the best place to start if you would like to do a short snorkel. If you like to explore the reefs some more, there is plenty more to see as you swim out farther from the beach.

Rottnest Island, AUstralia

Photo: Pedro Szekely via Flickr

Kerama Islands, Okinawa, Japan

Off the mainland of Okinawa is a set of small islands that make up Kerama. A common sight amongst the islands are the humpback whales during breeding season from January to March. Amongst the two dozen islands that make up Kerama, only 5 of them are inhabited: Tokashiki, Zumami, Aka, Maejima, and Geruma.

The first two islands on that list are the most visited by divers and snorkelers where the islands are lined by white sandy beaches and surrounded by large coral reefs. When you travel here, make sure to also stop by the Kerama Shoto National Park located on Zumami where you will find more beaches and reefs to explore.

Okinawa, Japan

Photo: keiyac via Flickr

Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii

Travel to the north of Kapalua in the western part of Maui for a long, sandy beach, rocky surroundings, and a coral reef that is full of marine life. Many people travel here to snorkel and explore the reefs while others come to surf the calm waves or tan on the beach. It makes for a dream snorkel vacation.

While exploring the coral reefs make sure to keep an eye out for sea turtles swimming by. More common sights you will see are parrot, damsel, and drum fish. Come by car or by boat, you can visit this bay for a day in the sun!

Maui, Hawaii

Photo: hawaii savvy via Flickr

Akumal, Mexico

Akumal beach is the main area where you can snorkel off the beach as well as find shops for booking boat excursions. Here, you will find colorful reefs as well as an abundance of sea turtles swimming around, making for a perfect snorkel vacation.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can hop in a car or on a bike and make your way to Half Moon Bay. A sandy beach awaits you along with a lively reef full angel and parrot fish with brief sightings of turtles and stingrays.

Akumal, Mexico

Photo: dronepc via Flickr

A common sight in the area is the sea turtle. As a group or alone, the sea turtles can be seen on a snorkel excursion off the beach or even on the beach itself basking in the sun. Please, remember to respect all marine life by not making contact with them and or feeding them anything; all of this can be harmful.

Akumal, Mexico

Photo: nosha via Flickr

L’Ametlla de Mar, Tarragona, Spain

Family friendly and surrounded by amenities, the beaches in this town are white sanded and filled with marine life – perfect for a snorkel vacation. Playa Sant Jordi, Cala Forn, Cala Calafato, and Playa de l’Alguer are some of the common beaches travel lovers and locals go to; these are amongst the dozen beaches L’Ametlla has to offer.

The beaches are not only perfect for reading a book in the sun but also exploring the coral reefs that are right off the shore. While snorkeling make sure to look underneath ledges of the coral to see if an octopus is hiding!

Tarragona, SPain

Calla Forn. Photo: Jorge Franganillo via Flickr

Bunaken National Marine Park, Indonesia

On its own island, Bunaken can be found off the coast of the North Sulawesi region. To get to the island, it is only a 30-minute boat ride from Mando Bay (located in the northern part of the region). The island is surrounded by clear blue waters and coral reefs perfect for daily explorations in new areas.

While snorkeling look for the abundant sea life that lives within the coral reefs. Diving is also recommended in this area for the reefs that are out of snorkelers reach. Come, relax and enjoy the sandy beaches Indonesia has to offer.


Photo: namipus via Flickr

El Nido, Palawan, Philipines

The coral reefs in this location are abundant, opening the opportunity for snorkelers and divers to explore. With crystal blue waters and a golden sandy beaches, El Nido is a small piece of paradise within the Philipines.

Clown, parrot, and angel fish along with barracuda are commons sights in this area; keep an eye out for stingrays, eagle rays, squid, and sea turtles swimming by too. After a day in the sun and water, it won’t be hard to find a place to accommodate you for nice Filipino dinner. How’s that for an idyllic snorkel vacation?

Palawan, Philippines,

Photo: Jerick Parrone via Flickr

We hope you enjoy a fab snorkel vacation!

Also read:

Snorkeling in Tioman Island: A Malaysian Ecoparadise

11 Gorgeous Swimming Holes Around the World to Take A Plunge