What is Snorkeling?
Snorkeling is an underwater activity that involves swimming on the surface of a sea or ocean with a snorkeling mask, a snorkel, and fins in order to observe the beautiful underwater creatures, canyons, and whatnot. A wetsuit may also be used in colder waters. Using snorkeling gear enables the snorkeler to swim with their head in the water while exploring the underwater views for prolonged times while still breathing with assistance from the snorkel gear.
Snorkeling gear can typically be rented, or one can participate in a snorkeling tour in many top destinations. The benefit of a tour is that the activity providers will have scouted out the top locations to snorkel, and will take you there directly. Renting snorkeling gear can also be very rewarding, especially if there are clear, marine life-filled waters nearby.
TripOutside lets you book snorkeling gear and tours in many top snorkeling destinations quickly and easily.
How to Snorkel Tips
Even if you are a beginner or a professional snorkeler, these tips will help you throughout your snorkeling journey!
- Learn the Appropriate Technique to Breathe: Learning to breathe with the gear you selected is necessary, especially in shallow water where you can stand. You must be able to breathe and remain relaxed even if some water gets inside the snorkel (which can easily happen). If you wish to eliminate the water from your snorkel, just exhale sharply through your mouth. Such a situation will not arise in calm waters as the water does not normally enter the snorkel.
- Practice Positioning: When the head is slightly turned upwards during this water activity, it will also avoid the entry of water in comparison to looking down and letting the water in.
- Learn to Float and Swim: Floating and breathing when you are submerged in the water will let you stay comfortable. You can glide through the water using your arms or legs, or both. If you use fins you probably won’t need to use your arms.
- Enhance Your Swimming Skills: Consider taking some swimming lessons, or practicing in a nearby lake or pool before your trip. Even if you are a great swimmer, getting even better at it will definitely benefit you in the water. Concentrate on freestyle to be specific, as the kicking technique from this style can really help you during this water sport.
Choosing the Best Places to Snorkel
- Practice in Shallow Waters: Practice swimming in shallow waters at a pace that lets you breathe through your snorkel steadily and comfortably. Your snorkel can restrict your breathing so keep your movement level at a pace that doesn’t require heavy breathing. Learn to float along effortlessly.
- Choose a Spot with Good Conditions: Choose a spot with calm waters. When snorkeling, strong waves should be avoided, particularly if it’s your first time. Waves also stir up the water, making it less clear for observing marine life. They also require more swimming effort. Also, understand the tides, waves, and surges of the ocean. The ocean is alive, and the water is flowing, often carrying you along with it. Make sure you keep track of which direction and how far you are swimming. Pick a vibrant beach spot, with plenty of fish, corals, and other views to see in the shallow waters.
- Choose a Tour: If this is your first time, or you are looking for the absolute best snorkeling spots, booking a guiding tour is a great option. Experienced outfitters have spent years scoping out the best spots, so let them guide you!
How Does a Snorkel Work
A snorkel enables you to breathe while you are immersed in the water. It is a plastic or a rubber tube approximately one-foot long, with a mouthpiece at the bottom, it lets you breathe air from the surface while your head is in the water. It is connected to goggles that allow you to watch the underwater world.
Best Snorkeling Gear
To enjoy your trip, thoroughly ensure that you have the right snorkeling equipment. A snorkeling mask, snorkel, and fins are the three common types of gear. Additional accessories include a snorkeling vest, a waterproof camera, lycra safety, and a mesh bag.
The mask helps you view the marine world beneath the waves. It allows you to keep your eyes open and see clearly underwater. Your nose also fits into the mask so that you are able to respond to pressure changes.
By using a snorkel, you are able to breathe with your face in the water. The snorkel mouthpiece should fit comfortably, and the tip will extend up from the crown of your head, so it is above the water pulling in air when your face is in the water.
Fins (or flippers) offer a larger surface area for propelling you through the water as you swim, as well as extra flotation capabilities. They are optional, but many people prefer to use them for these reasons.
Best Places to Snorkel
Looking for the best places to snorkel? Searching for the best snorkeling near me? We feature some of the most amazing snorkeling destinations across North America – read on!
Best Snorkeling in Florida
With hundreds of miles of beaches, there are infinite spots to explore the waters of the sunshine state. You can witness manatees in the crystal clear waters of Florida’s Crystal and Homosassa Rivers while snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming. Book your snorkel rental gear or tours on TripOutside.
Best Snorkeling in Mexico
Mexico is an ideal place to explore the underwater world. With 5,800 miles of coastline, snorkeling is a pretty incredible activity. You can find snorkeling gear rental and guided tours on TripOutside and explore the underwater world of Mexico’s shores.
Best Snorkeling in Puerto Rico
From exploring the beautiful beaches of Rincon to spotting sea turtles and colorful fish and other marine life, snorkeling in Puerto Rico is an incredible experience. Whether this is your first time or you are a pro, TripOutside has the snorkeling tours and rental gear for you.
Best Snorkeling in Hawaii
From volcanic eruptions to hidden waterfalls, outdoor adventure activities to amazing nightlife, the Hawaiian islands offer endless fun opportunities and places to explore. Snorkeling is one such activity that will allow you to relax on the calm waters while enjoying its stunning sea life. TripOutside features the best snorkeling tours and snorkel rentals in Honolulu and Maui snorkeling.
Big Island, Hawaii Snorkeling
Big Island snorkeling is one of the greatest experiences of the Hawaiian Islands. The shoreline on the island’s western side (Kona side) is made up of many volcanic bays, where corals, reef fish, and larger sea life prosper!
Best Time of Year to Snorkel
Florida sees beautiful weather throughout the year and the water is mostly warm due to its subtropical climate. The visibility in the water is often up to 30 m. Although September and October should be avoided as hurricane season can put a damper on water sports. January sees strong winds so snorkeling is not suggested and can be unfruitful.
Mexico has year-round beautiful weather, and one can fully explore the stunning reef ecosystems. The best season for snorkeling in Mexico is between October and April wherein the coolest months are November to January (72-79F) and the warmest June to August (79-86F).
Puerto Rico Snorkeling
Puerto Rico has amazing temperatures throughout the year though surf depends on the wind conditions. Winter seasons can be busy and crowded, so the best time to visit is mid-April through June, just before the rainy season. Spring season is also pleasant, with most days reaching only the mid-80s.
Summertime is a great time of year for snorkeling in Hawaii – from May through September – although Hawaii is a popular destination year round due to its climate.