Snorkeling does not require much equipment, but you shouldn’t overlook its importance. Swimfins are indispensable in areas of current or waves. Protect your skin from the sun with an anti-UV sunscreen with a high index and / or clothing of the rash guard type. The equipment page is available to help you choose. You should protect your back, the back of your neck, your forehead, your forearms and the back of your legs, which are parts of the body that will be strongly exposed to the sun during your exploration.
Snorkeling is an activity that can prove tiring, depending on the current or the waves. Some places are reserved for good swimmers. When you set off on a long swim, remember that you will need even more energy for the return trip. Don’t let yourself drift, except when you are taking part in very specific excursions organized by professionals. Generally speaking, don’t go alone to areas that are far from the shore.
Tides, wind, atmospheric pressure, weather, temperature – all these elements can change sea conditions quickly and dramatically. A completely peaceful spot can become more turbulent in a matter of minutes. Not all the dangers are visible, and a calm sea can hide strong currents. Tides can carry you far away from the shore, and you can be projected against the rocks by the waves. Always get some information before entering the water, and if in doubt, postpone your exploration.
Swimming is sometimes forbidden in areas without lifeguards, or because of the weather, the seas conditions or the presence of jellyfish or sharks. In areas exposed to the risk of sharks, it is generally recommended not to swim at dawn or dusk, near river mouths or after heavy rain. Don’t go into sailing areas or watersport areas (surfing, windsurfing, jet-ski, etc.) to avoid the risk of a collision.
More and more countries are aware of the need to protect their coral reefs and so set up regulated areas. Respect the regulations and don’t enter the totally protected areas. We do our best to point them out in our destination pages, but ask for more information on site. Similarly, the access to some areas listed as marine parks or reserves is subject to payment of an entrance fee. By respecting this obligation, you are helping to preserve the undersea world.
Depending on the area you visit, you might come across jellyfish, red lionfish, stonefish, fire coral, sea urchins, stingrays, sea snails, etc. These species are generally not aggressive but can cause stings, bites, burning sensations or electrocution of a more or less serious kind. Learn to recognize them and, generally speaking, you will avoid most accidents if you do not put your feet on the seabed and if you refrain from touching or picking anything up.

Remember that, fortunately, the ocean is still a natural and wild environment, and so is always unpredictable.

(On each Snorkeling Report destination page you can see the dangers that have been recorded by our members. This information is not exhaustive).

Snorkeling levels

We have defined a snorkeling level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) for each spot published on the website. These levels are based on different parameters, as water depth, currents, waves, water entrance and potential hazards.

snorkeling-beginner
Beginner

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

snorkeling-intermediate
Intermediate

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

Snorkeling freediving
Advanced

These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important – up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.

These levels only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. They are not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.

Disclaimer

The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.