Explore the unseen side of Maui on an adventure beneath the sea. Snorkel off of Maui’s pristine beaches or scuba dive around Maui’s most popular reefs to see colorful fish, sea turtles and coral formations. Most resort beaches along West Maui and South Maui offer opportunities for snorkelers. The northernmost part of Kaanapali Beach near Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) is known for great snorkeling.
2 of the best ways is enjoy the warm waters of the Kadavu Archipelago is to snorkel or scuba dive. If you’ve spent any time planning a trip to warmer climates, you’ve undoubtedly heard and read about snorkeling and scuba diving a lot — sometimes interchangeably. So what is the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving, and which activity is best for you?
The reefs of Indonesia are everything any Blue Planet watcher might expect: nonstop riots of colorful coral obscured by curtains of fish. Top of the list for snorkelers would be Kungkungan Bay Resort, in the Lembeh Strait, just north of the island of Sulawesi. This hideaway resort is favored for a house reef accessible from shore, where water babies can spy scads of exotic life, from blue ribbon eels to cuttlefish. Plus, this resort practically invented the scuba phenomenon known as muck diving, aka checking out the wild, unusual critters that live amid the black sand muck. If you can get past the ugly factor of the bottom, as a snorkeler, you can also behold seahorses, leaf fish, pipefish, bobtail squid, flamboyant squid, blue-ringed octopi — the list goes on and on.
Nice reviews. I’ve spent a couple weeks in Bocas and it was a great place despite the crazy partying til 4am at Heiki. I’m more of the exploring, mild social drinking. Panama is amazing. Last summer, I spent 2 weeks on St John, USVI and had a great time. The main exploring takes place in the water. Most of the land isn’t that hike-able, which I like a mixture of both. Super expensive. Just a small carton of orange juice (8oz) was $3, a 1/4 pineapple was 4 dollars, etc. Most everything is imported and their electric runs off a diesel generator and averages $200-$400 a month for electric alone.
One of the highlights of this beach is Sunset Cliffs further down the road. These rocks provide a phenomenal view of the coast and a panoramic shot of the Pacific. I can see this as a popular place for people to get married against the backdrop of a setting sun. The best part of walking along these cliffs is the feel of the ocean spray on your face and the sound of the crashing waves as well as the seagulls flying overhead. There is no shortage of local activities as this beach seems to be crowded all day until sunset. This is definitely a place worth visiting if you're from out of town and want to spend the afternoon getting your tan on.
A major part of marine conservation has to do with restricting the number of snorkelers. Established cruise operators enjoy near-exclusive access to many of the most iconic sites. For example, not every cruise itinerary stops for a snorkel at Kicker Rock off San Cristobal Island. Nor do certain cruises stop for snorkeling with penguins and octopuses over at Bartolome island. It’s only on a multi-day cruise that you experience the complete enchantment of the Galapagos marine world. And with an excellent guide to visitor ratio, it might even feel like you have your own private Galapagos snorkeling guide.
Rent equipment before you go to the beach, and give yourself time to adjust it and get used to it. Practice putting on your mask. Adjust the strap so it is lightly snug, but not tight. With a light inhale, your mask should suction to your face. That is what mostly holds it to your face. Now the snorkel. How does it feel in your mouth? Is it pulling awkwardly? Normally you can adjust the angle and height of your snorkel. You can adjust where it attaches to your face mask strap. And on some models you can rotate the soft silicone bottom for a better angle to your mouth. Practice putting on your fins.
As the sun began to set, I suddenly realized that most of the light would go with it. Before my visit, I’d imagined T.I. would simulate the long days by the equator. Instead, because most of the dome is opaque, it’s darker inside T.I. on a sunny day than outside the dome, and when the sun goes down IRL, it also goes down inside the cavernous air hanger. But first, a faux sunset—courtesy of magenta and orange stage lights—that made the rock grotto lagoon pool look ripe for a Bachelorette taping.
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It always amazes me how so many people think travel and living abroad is expensive. That’s simply not true. If you stay long-term and rent a villa (or try housesitting) you can live for a fraction of what you would pay to live in a European or American city. Additionally, when you’re working remotely in a tropical paradise you can make a clean break from debt-fueled consumerism and the corporate rat race.
Swim Slowly! Exhaustion is a common problem for first time snorkelers. Swimming takes a good bit of energy. The trick with snorkeling is to stay relaxed and calm. You can wipe yourself out quickly if you are not careful. Only swim at a speed that allows you to breathe slowly and easily through your snorkel. Your snorkel does limit your breath, so keep your activity level at a pace that does not demand heavy breathing. Your fins will make it much easier. Learn to just float without effort. Only swim rapidly if necessary for safety.
Mask & Snorkel- There is nothing worse than having equipment that don’t fit. This can cause panic and hysteria as bubbles and water seep in your mask. When renting equipment, make sure that your mask fits you. A general test is if you hold the mask to your face and breath in through your nose. If the mask seals perfectly and stays in place without you holding it then you have yourself a mask that fits perfectly.
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Ocean beach has San Diego's biggest pier! I sware it's super long to walk back and forth lol. Ocean beach is hippie and hipster central! Everyone is cool in OB! And the people usually are Narley. You have your supports (heyyy) you have your homeless (which are usually trying to at least make an effort to sell something for a quick buck. )You have the college students (the grungy loud looking ones who are wearing sandals when it's raining outside.) and just the white boys (the ones usually surfing) lol OB has it all! Most chill beach to come smoke a blunt to and hide a beer inside a red solo cup if you ask me
The ocean’s most impressive creatures spend most of the time at depths, that are often only accessible to scuba divers. However, in the case of the Galapagos, there is iconic marine life that feasts on nutrient-rich reefs found all throughout the archipelago. Take for example, the Galapagos green turtles, which nest on the beaches and are a frequent sight at most snorkeling sites (December to March is a great time to see pregnant females very close to shore). Blacktip reef sharks also love the shallow coastal waters. While they might appear threatening at first, these small and sometimes inquisitive sharks are very safe to swim with and make for some beautiful moments in the water.
Bait Reef has some of the most eye-popping coral formations in the world. Most famous are The Stepping Stones, made up of nearly 20 flat-topped pinnacles lined up like soldiers in formation on the southwest side of the reef. Each rises from a depth of 80 feet and stop only three feet from the surface. They are completely covered with coral. Be on the lookout for the small tropical fish that swarm around the tops of the stones.
Many people don’t get the chance in their lifetime to encounter dolphins in the wild. By boarding "Shumba," or another of our many personalized Wild Dolphin Encounter and Snorkel boats in Key West, you not only get a unique view of the ocean from under an extended bimini top, you also get the chance to encounter the wild dolphins up close and see how these happy mammals play and interact with each other, and with you! Along with a clean vessel and an energetic crew, this will make for lasting memories and stories to share for years to come.
Great list Matt! Indeed, there obviously there are some spots on this globe I have to visit. Can confirm the Maldives though. Has changed over time, but then again, the first time they were still “exploring” their “tourist economy” potential. Been there twice now and although definitely more crowded still holds its appeal. Be prepared for culture shock though. If you return to the “civilised world” you will wonder about the rest of the grubby world and catch yourself day dreaming regularly. 😉
I really liked the atmosphere in Kaohsiung and Kenting, Taiwan as well as Yeosu, South Korea. I enjoyed their beaches, fast wi-fi, and laid back vibe. Kaohsiung is a larger city, but is artsy. Kenting is a tad touristy and expensive, but made up for it with it’s beautiful secluded beaches. Yeosu also has a lot of tourists, but totally unique rock formations and numerous islands along the coast.
Even though most people go to the Galapagos to see wildlife and take boat tours, they are indeed tropical islands. Some of the best beaches we've ever been to are on the Galapagos and you can stay on islands there and have a proper beach vacation. So, it may not be your typical island vacation, but the Galapagos totally deserve to be in our list of best tropical island pictures. Check out 27 Photos the will Transport you to the Galapagos
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