Discover the world's 7 best places for snorkeling

1. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

A fiercely protected eco-wonderland, favored by naturalists and marine biologists

Photo: Michal Staniewski / Shutterstock

It's renowned for its undeveloped beaches and unparalleled snorkeling.

With visibility reaching up to 40m in its warm, emerald waters, you can spot sea turtles, rays, lemon and reef sharks.

The beach also has the highest concentration of resident spinning dolphins in the world.

At Baía do Sancho, considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Brazil, the sandy seafloor allows for boats to stop without damaging the coral.

2. Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Best known for its manta rays, nesting sea turtles and eco-credentials.

Photo: Michael Smith ITWP / Shutterstock

Explore a seabed of coral gardens and abundant marine life, including giant manta rays, barracudas and leopard sharks.

The shallow lagoon fringing the eastern side of the island is best for families and beginners, while the coral gardens on the western side have deeper waters ideal for the more seasoned snorkeller

3. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

One of the most scenic and popular snorkeling spots in Hawaii.

Photo: Pung / Shutterstock

Arrive early to beat the crowds, then don your snorkeling gear and wade right into the calm, shallow waters: hundreds of neon-colored species of fish, corals, eels and sea turtles await not far from the dreamy white-sand beach.

Beyond the reef, you can also explore crevices and caves teeming with yet more sea life.

4. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

With its fine white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons and impressive diversity of marine life and coral reef systems.

Photo: Marius Dobilas / Shutterstock

The quantity and variety of marine life here is so astounding, in fact, that scientists have described Raja Ampat as a biological hotspot.

They believe its reef systems restock reefs throughout the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.

5. Tofo Beach, Inhambane, Mozambique

Warm turquoise waters, which lap dune-fringed beaches, abound with shoals of colorful fish and well-preserved corals.

Photo: demerzel21 / Getty Images

The waters off Tofo Beach, in the southern province of Inhambane, are particularly rich in marine biodiversity and most famous for their large whale shark population.

It’s one of the few places on the planet where these gentle giants can be found year-round.

6. West Bay and Mary’s Place, Roatán Island, Honduras

Fringed by an incredibly diverse coral reef rich in tropical fish, the island is a diving and snorkeling paradise.

Photo: John A. Anderson / Getty Images

Roatán is the largest and most developed of the Honduran Bay Islands, and one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean.

7. Abu Dabbab Bay, Marsa Alam, Egypt

The shallow waters, protective reefs and abundant seagrass attract and sustain a small population of dugongs

Marsa Alam in southern Egypt is one of the few places in the world to spot the elusive dugong, a rare, lesser-known cousin of the manatee that’s long inspired mermaid myths and legends across cultures.

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