BUCKiTDREAMERs have conquered just about every inch of land on our beautiful planet, so it’s no wonder that we’ve gone aquatic on the search for our next adventure. Sure, you could go the whole hog and invest in scuba diving lessons and equipment (which come with the added cost of those ridiculous baggage fees for traveling with ’em), or you could just run down to the local shop, pick up a snorkel and mask for $5, and enjoy the spoils of the underwater world without any financial woes.
Better get that waterproof cover on your phone, BUCKiTDREAMER, because with a BUCKiTDREAM planner this full of aquatic adventures, you’re bound to get wet. So grab your sunscreen, mask, and snorkel as we dive into the best snorkeling spots in the world.
Heaven Is a Place on Earth, and It’s Baa Atoll, Maldives The magnificent Maldives are formed by more than 1,200 heavenly tropical coral islands — each one more awe-inspiring than the last. This coral is home to all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures, such as sea turtles, (friendly!) sharks and mega-monstrous manta rays. Weaving your way through these BFGs in the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a mythical world. The Reethi Beach Resort to the north of Baa Atoll certainly lives up to its name (reethi means “pretty”) and will provide you with the perfect snorkeling base for your time on the island. Like everywhere else in the Maldives, Reethi Beach Resort is heaven on Earth, and the best thing about this resort is that it doesn’t come with the exuberant price tag of other Maldivian resorts. Your Sherpa through the underwater world of Baa Atoll comes in the form of Reethi resident Robert Schneider, manager of the Sea Explorer Diving Center, who’ll bring you on a free snorkeling trip to get you accustomed to exploring this subaquatic wonderland.
Play Hide-and-Seek in the Marieta Islands Rumored to be the result of deliberate bombings on the uninhabited Marieta Islands, the hidden beach of Playa del Amor is straight out of a fantasy. The beach is essentially a gaping hole in the middle of an island where the Pacific rushes, providing the area with a symphony of sea life — a snorkeler’s dream! Getting there is a bit of a trek, so you’re best to make the most of the whole set of islands while you’re there. Nayarit Adventures offers day excursions where you visit a couple of the best snorkel spots in the island group, including Playa del Amor. The tour operator provides lunch and snorkeling equipment, which means you have nothing to worry about — except which killer swimsuit you’ll bring with you!
Face Your Fears in Palau The next spot on our snorkeling bucket list is not for the scyphophobics among us as we head to Jellyfish Lake in Palau. Although the thought of sharing some personal space with thousands of jellyfish might not be everyone’s cup of tea, thrill seekers from across the globe are flocking to the tiny island of Eil Malk to get up close and personal with the squishy creatures. If you think you can handle it, Sam’s Tours offer excursions to the lake year-round. Snorkeling gear and lunch are provided.
Enter the Dragons’ Lair on Komodo Island Home to the creature that gives it its name, Komodo Island boasts some of the most spectacular underwater treasures in the world. Pink Beach to the south of the island is not only one of the most Instagram-friendly spots in the world — yes, there is bright pink sand! — but it’s also residence to more than 1,000 species of fish; 260 types of coral; and 14 kinds of endangered dolphins, whales, and sea turtles. If you’re feeling adventurous and are traveling with a large group, forego typical accommodations in favor of staying on a phinisi boat. The boat sleeps 10 and can be privately chartered, enabling you to take your snorkeling adventure just about anywhere in the region.
Say Aloha to Waiala Cove in Maui Waiala Cove is a veritable treasure trove for the first-time snorkeler. The rock formations, created by thousands of years of lava flowing into the cove, gives curious explorers innumerable amounts of nooks and crannies to discover. About 330 feet into the nature reserve on Makena Road, Waiala Cove is an easy enough area to explore solo as a beginner, which means you’ll save a bit of money on snorkeling excursions. Masks and snorkels can be bought at dollar stores across the island, so this is the perfect snorkel spot for thrifty BUCKiTDREAMERs.
Dive Into the Behemoth of the Great Barrier Reef Encompassing a whopping 132,973 square miles, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some of the most spectacular snorkeling spots in the world. Although taking in every square inch of the reef would overload even the most expansive BUCKiTDREAM planner, we suggest you start small and head to what is thought to be the most beautiful snorkeling beach in Australia: Whitehaven Beach. Big Fury offers great deals on snorkeling excursions to Whitehaven, taking you to the heart of the Whitsundays Islands. At $130, this may seem expensive to some, but trust us, for Australian prices, this is actually quite good.
Snorkeling adventures such as these are made for GoPro footage, so try to invest in a waterproof model before you embark on your journey to make your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts even more enviable. Hashtag #BUCKiTDREAM so fellow BUCKiTDREAMERs can be inspired by your life aquatic and build a snorkeling BUCKiTDREAM planner of their own.