Photos: BonitoWeb.com.br, DiveQuest.co.uk, Slackadventure.
The summer is coming and the mind starts wondering about vacation plans. While it's always better to consider a staycation, if you're thinking about traveling, you may think about snorkeling destinations: places where you can appreciate nature, reflect about the real danger of dirty waterways, and have fun with just a pair of flippers and a mask. Here are some of the most breathtaking spots around the world, from closest to most far away from the U.S. (more or less).
1. Bimini, Bahamas
Photos: Best Bahamas Vacation, Hasslberger.
If you're more into exploring history, this is the spot for you. Apart from dozens of places to practice snorkeling around marine wildlife, this island in the Bahamas has another attraction: the Bimini Road, a 0.5 mile long rock formation of rectangular limestone blocks to the north of the island which is believed to be part of the lost city of Atlantis. Is it? Make your own decision snorkeling the place.
2. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Photo: Erman Akdogan.
Located in the south of the Hawaiian island of O'ahu and inside a volcanic cone, Hanauma Bay is a paradise of wildlife.
First a beach park, it's now a Nature Preserve and Marine Life Conservation District, so as a visitor you'll be required to avoid mistreating animals and coral. But you'll be free to carefully wander the amazing underwater scene with your snorkel steps from the beach, to find green sea turtles, triggerfish, tang, surgeonfish, moray eels, butterfly fish, parrotfish, goatfish, jellyfish, and urchins.
3. Curaçao, Antilles
Marine Life at Kalki Beach in Curacao. Photo: Curacao.com.
This island located a few miles off the Venezuelan coast boasts more than 40 different sites for diving, many of them perfect for snorkeling as well.
With over 80 miles of coral reef, tropical fish, sponges, sea turtles, seahorses, eels and dolphins, it has an average visibility of 80 to 140 feet.
Some of the snorkeling spots include Tug Boat, Klein Curaçao, Halfway, Playa Lagun, Sandy's Plateau & Boka di Sorsaka, and Playa Kalki, also known as Alice in Wonderland (with that name, it's got to be good).
4. Jardim, Brazil
Probably one of the least known places, this Brazilian destination has been growing over the past years and its two main sites offer amazing snorkeling opportunities.
Lagoa Misteriosa is a lagoon of blue waters with a visibility superior to 40 meters, with vertical walls that reflect streams of light. At 8 meters of depth, the lagoon divides itself into two tunnels, each one about 10 meters in diameter. Says the site BonitoWeb.com.br: "The vision of the two blue abysses that form the bottom of the lake is impressive. The vertical rock walls, the fallen trunks, the deposits of white sand, the golden branches with leaves, the small fish that glow in the light beam, all this transforms the Mysterious Lagoon in an unique scenario. When snorkeling the sensation you have is as if you were floating on water, as if you were flying."
Rio Olho D'Ãgua. Photo: BonitoWeb.com.br.
The other site is called Olho D'Ãgua river in Rio da Prata, and is a big 'natural pool' of crystal-clear water with tons of marine animals and plants.
Both sites, close to each other, are located in Jardim, and surrounded by nature and forests to continue the trip off the water.