Snorkeling Report and Resort Snorkeller have got together to come up with their Top10 Snorkeling Resorts in the world. These were selected from over 370 locations which have been visited by our experienced contributors from both Snorkeling Report and Resort Snorkeller.
Several criteria were included in the selection including location of the resort on the beach, initial “wow” factor, clarity of the water, spectacular habitats, as well as diversity and overall health of the marine life. Of the top ten all scored high on these criteria with the difference between them determined on the basis of how much the resorts contributed back to the marine environment, in terms of conservation, education and sustainability, including to the benefit of the local community.
Several of the possible top three candidates would have faired better if they had shown evidence of giving something back, to what is potentially their most important asset, and which is a clear requirement of many current and future travelers.
Lady Elliot Island, known the world over as « the home of the manta ray », is a coral cay located at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. The shallow lagoon fringing the eastern side of the island and the house reef located at its western side provides two very different snorkeling experiences. It allows snorkelers to easily encounter extraordinary marine life, including blacktip sharks, manta rays, turtles, and even dolphins, above an unspoiled coral reef.
With its reef flat covered with seagrass and its stunning reef drop-off full of coral, Wakatobi Resort’s house reef is a top snorkeling spot. Here, at the heart of Wakatobi National Park, snorkelers will discover vibrant marine life, including angelfish, green sea turtles, Maori wrasse, anemonefish, sea snakes, and around 150 easy-to-spot colorful reef fish species.
Denis Island is a must for any travelers visiting Seychelles. This natural sanctuary, planted with coconut, takamaka and casuarina trees, and fringed by white sand beaches, have a taste of paradise. Surrounded by pristine waters and vibrant coral reefs, where it’s usual to come across hawksbill sea turtles, blacktip sharks, and eagle rays, Denis will bring you wonderful snorkeling adventures.
Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort’s house reef displays the extraordinary underwater life of the Coral Triangle. The reef flat and reef wall host vibrant marine life where hundreds of bright-colored fish swirl above the corals. Lucky snorkelers might also come across a sea turtle, a manta ray or a crocodilefish on the drop-off.
A white sandy beach, palm trees, and colorful boats on a crystal sea – West Bay is an enchantment. But the show is at its finest underwater: multi-colored coral cascading in the deep blue water, parrotfish in abundance, shoals of tang and several species of angelfish, and all in exceptional visibility. West Bay is a must for snorkeling in Roatán, and certainly one of the most beautiful snorkeling locations in the Caribbean. The Grand Roatan Resort is just footsteps from this fantastic spot.
Siladen Island is part of Bunaken National Marine Park, one of the oldest protected areas in Indonesia. This tiny island located north of Sulawesi is entirely fringed by coral reefs offering fabulous coral drop-offs where soft corals, sea anemones, and sponges thrive. Siladen Island is in the heart of the Indonesian “Coral Triangle”, one of the world’s hotspots for biodiversity: the number of species inhabiting the reef is unparalleled and each snorkeling session will show you different wonders.
The small Velidhu Island is a concentrate of the more beautiful that the Maldives has to offer. His lavish reef has everything of a natural aquarium. Around this island paradise bathed by crystal clear waters, you will swim surrounded by rays, sharks, and hundreds of fishes, over a profusion of corals.
The Jaz Fanara Resort is located on Ras Um Sid, a small cape fringed by a narrow coral reef. With its reef flat colonized by dozens of giant clams and its spectacular reef drop-off on the Red Sea, is one of the top snorkeling spots accessible from the shore in Sharm el-Sheikh. On the reef, you will find Red Sea clownfish, angelfish, several species of butterflyfish, and clouds of sea goldies living above an exceptional coral wall.
Le Tahaa by Pearl Resorts is just footsteps from the Coral Garden, the most renowned snorkeling spot of Tahaa. This crystal clear water channel, which separates two motus (small coral islands), is located in an idyllic setting in the middle of one of the largest lagoons of French Polynesia. While let yourself drift over colorful and preserved corals, you will spot schools of butterflyfish, lionfish, brightly colored wrasse, clownfish huddled in their anemones and giant clams sunbathing right under the surface of the sea.
Looking to explore a single spot with a nice barrier reef that is well preserved and teeming with fish, and with seagrass beds full of green sea turtles and stingrays? Then head for Akumal Bay, the most famous and busiest spot in the Mayan Riviera. Facing a white sandy beach lined with coconut trees, the crystal-clear waters are the guarantee (despite the high visitor numbers and the restrictive turtles’ sighting rules) of great underwater sightings.
This top10 has been selected only from the +380 locations already on our map. If you know a snorkeling spot that is not yet on the map, send us your report and it may be selected to appear on this page!
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