Snorkeling involves swimming in the ocean, using a mask and breathing tube (or snorkel) so you can see and breathe underwater. Read on to find out more about this activity and the best spots for first-timers.
Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the marine life that’s on your doorstep in this archipelago, which has some of the richest marine environments on the planet. You can swim with ocean giants like whale sharks or float above coral reefs to gaze at the multicolored fish below.
What gear do you need?
What skills do you need?
Before you go snorkeling, practice swimming to make sure you’re comfortable in the water. You can take some lessons at your local pool or just focus on the freestyle technique: kicking your legs is exactly what you’ll do as a snorkeler.
Swimming with fins is very different to swimming without them, so take the time to practice swimming with fins. It’ll help strengthen your leg muscles and allow you to swim over the reef at a pace that suits you, so you can cover as much of the reef as you want.
You don’t need to hold your breath when you’re snorkeling, as your snorkel allows you to breathe as you swim just beneath the surface of the ocean. If you learn how to dive under the water while snorkeling, you can get closer to the corals and fish below. Being able to hold your breath comfortably will make it easier for you to learn to duck dive.
You can practice holding your breath and even ask your snorkeling instructor to teach you to duck dive. Whatever you decide, the most important thing to remember when snorkeling is to slow down, relax, and let your fins do the work. You want to conserve your energy as much as possible so you can enjoy all that incredible marine life you’re seeing.
Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi
Wakatobi has an incredible array of snorkeling opportunities. Shallow house reefs and seagrass b are literally just off the beaches, where you can go snorkeling with sea turtles and explore reefs teeming with fish.
Cenderawasih Bay, Papua/West Papua
If you want to snorkel with friendly whale sharks, make sure you visit Cenderawasih Bay. The bay is known for its whale sharks that local fishermen feed for good luck. The sharks are very tolerant of snorkelers and divers in the water.
Komodo National Park is another top destination for snorkeling, and you can also see the Komodo dragons there. The waters host a variety of marine species including manta rays, seahorses, dolphins and plenty of big fish.
Raja Ampat, West Papua
If you visit Raja Ampat, you’ll also have a chance to see manta rays, turtles, dolphins and plenty of smaller sharks. The many beautiful islands are dotted with reefs, which also make Raja Ampat an ideal place for taking a snorkeling and dive cruise.
Menjangan Island, Bali