Our top10 best snorkeling spots to see sharks

Sharks are the most powerful fishes in the oceans. They have a reputation as dangerous predators, but in many areas of the world, you can safely spot them when snorkeling. An underwater encounter with a shark is always a unique and fascinating experience. Check out our top 10 snorkeling spots for fascinating encounters with sharks!

1. SHARKS SANDBANK, MOOREA

Blacktip sharks at the Shark Sandbank, Moorea
Dozens of blacktip reef sharks visit the Sharks Sandbank daily. – picture by Guillaume from Snorkeling Report’s team

On this shallow sandbank located in Moorea lagoon, in a few feet of water, you’ll just have to jump in the water from your kayak to swim with dozens of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus). An experience of a lifetime, in one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

2. SHARK RAY ALLEY, BELIZE

Nurse sharks in Shark Ray Alley
A group of nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) swimming above Shark Ray Alley’s seagrass beds. – picture by Guillaume from Snorkeling Report’s team

In Shark Ray Alley, off Ambergris Caye, you won’t need to search for sharks, because they will come up to greet you! Less than 10ft of crystal-clear water and dozens of inoffensive nurse sharks swimming around your boat – do you feel like jumping in?

You will also spot nurse sharks at Hol Chan Cut. If you’re staying in Caye Caulker, you might like to know that this small island also has its own “Shark Ray Alley”, which is less crowded.

3. PETITE TERRE, GUADELOUPE

Lemon shark in Petite Terre, Guadeloupe
Petite Terre is one of the rare locations in the Caribbean where it is possible to swim with lemon sharks. – picture shared by Fabien

When you arrive by boat in Petite Terre, you’ll soon see their fins breaking through the surface of the water. Sit down on the beach, put on your mask, and enter the water: you’ll see dozens of small lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) slowly coming and going above the sandy seabed around the visitors. Nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) are sometimes also seen in the channel.

4. SHARK BAY, THAILAND

Blacktip shark in Shark Bay, Thailand
A blacktip reef shark and its shark sucker at Sharks Bay. – picture shared by Anne

At Shark Bay, south of Ko Tao, even the most experienced snorkelers are impressed. Dozens of blacktip reef sharks, some measuring 6 to 9ft, swim above the seabed, a few feet below the surface. Even though visibility is rarely perfect at this location, the experience is still great.

5. LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

Blacktip reef shark in Lady Elliot Island
Blacktip reef sharks are a common sighting in Lady Elliot coastal waters. – picture shared by Charmayne Kocsis

Lady Elliot Island, known as « The Home of the Manta Ray », is also a great snorkeling location to spot sharks. If the blacktip reef shark is abundant on the reef flat and the drop-offs, lucky snorkelers may also spot a hammerhead in the blue.

6. DENIS ISLAND, SEYCHELLES

Nurse shark in Denis Island
A tawny nurse shark at Denis reef. – picture shared by Tinoumer

Denis Island offers some of the best snorkeling in Seychelles. Surrounded by a pristine sea and vibrant coral reefs, this location boasts great shark sightings. Two species, the tawny nurse shark (Nebrius ferrugineus) and the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) are easy to spot in the area.

7. VILAMENDHOO, MALDIVES

Blacktip in Vilamendhoo
The blacktip reef shark is abundant around Vilamendhoo, both in the lagoon and the outer reefs. – picture shared by Dominique

Vilamendhoo is a small resort island located in Ari Atoll’s south-west side and a great snorkeling destination in the Maldives. This spot will fulfill many snorkelers’ dreams, including the “snorkel with sharks” experience. Two shark species are common at this location: the blacktip reef shark and the whitetip reef shark.

8. LOS TÚNELES, GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS

Whitetip sharks in Los Tuneles, Galapagos
Young whitetip reef sharks huddle together in Los Túneles “pools”. – picture shared by JC Mara

Imagine fantastic series of lava tunnels and volcanic arches bathed in turquoise water, where dozens of whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) congregate: welcome to Los Túneles, an otherworldly site located on Isabela Island. A spectacular snorkeling spot, not to be missed if you visit the archipelago!

9. THE BLUE LAGOON, RANGIROA

Sharks at the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa
The Blue Lagoon’s blacktips seen from the boat. – picture by Guillaume from Snorkeling Report’s team

Small palm tree-covered islets border this natural pool, sometimes described as a “lagoon within a lagoon”. The waters surrounding Rangiroa’s Blue Lagoon are perfect for a snorkeling encounter with blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and -rarer- sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens).

10. ILOT SIGNAL, NEW CALEDONIA

Whitetip at Îlot Signal
A whitetip reef shark photographed over the shallow coral reef of Ilot Signal. – picture shared by Fongi

Îlot Signal is, with Îlot Amédée, one of the most beautiful islets accessible by boat from Nouméa. While many green sea turtles visit the shallow seagrass beds that stretch out in front of the beach, you will also spot on the reef whitetip reef sharks.

Fascinated by sharks?
➡ Check out our shark species online identification guide
➡ Discover our selection of fish ID books

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!