Sipadan is located in the Celebes Sea off the coast of Sabah (Malaysia's easternmost state on the island of Borneo—Google-map it!). Best known for world-class diving, and described as an “Untouched Piece of Art” by Jacques Cousteau himself, the snorkeling here is equally stunning with easy viewing of otherworldy coral formations, sea turtles, and Bumphead Parrotfish.
I came to this beach numerous times during my trip to San Francisco and each time, it was fairly quiet and super clean. During the day, we walked down the hill from Land's End (couldn't hike it since it was closed off due to the govt shut down) passing the Cliff House. On separate visits, I was able to enjoy the sunset and long walks along the water. This isn't something I do often (or ever, tbh) since NY beaches are pretty filthy and cannot compare at all. If you're lucky, you'll get to see all of the sand dollars on the shore. Parking spaces around here are tough to snag, but not impossible. You'll just need a bit of patience, but its worth it.
While this is not a tropical island, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in central America, so it made the list anyway. Located on the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera offers stunning Caribbean views, powder-fine sand, warm azur water to swim in and some of the best all-inclusive beach resorts in the world. You’ll find incredible snorkeling and diving just off the coastline, and a plethora of adventure sports and activities, not to mention a very active nightlife. There are dozens of Mayan archaeological sites, like Tulum and Chichen Itza, as well as hidden underground cenotes to explore.
Seychelles is an archipelago made up of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa, located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and about 990 miles east of Kenya. Most of these islands are uninhabited, and many are protected as nature reserves. Full of color and beauty, the white sands and turquoise sea create a tranquil setting for a relaxing vacation.
Close to this island is a little island that provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may even spot a few reef sharks. Bathtub-warm water and fine sand beaches kept me here for over three weeks. It will do the same for you. Visit between November and March for the best weather and the fewest people. May through October sees a harsh monsoon season that shuts the island down. The best way to get there is by boat from Pak Bara.
In a vast ocean dotted with infinite lagoons, perhaps the most striking of them all is to be found in Aitutaki. A short flight from the main island of Rarotonga brings you to a quiet little ‘half island half atoll’ – where nothing seems to happen and where the word ‘rush’ simple doesn’t exist. The main reasons to visit Aitutaki is to detach from the stresses of life and to explore its magical lagoon. Once you’ve completed a circle island tour on a rented scooter, head to the small motu (islets) that hug the outer reaches of the lagoon. Out here, you’ll snorkel in coral gardens and make landfall on beaches where fine white sand simply blinds your eyes on a sunny day. If you’ve always wondered where pictures of that perfect beach you see in travel magazines, posters and screensavers were taken – the answer probably lies in Aitutaki!
Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard
Though this country has some 322 islands, less than a third are inhabited. Most of the action happens in the western islands, but no matter where you go, this is heaven. Any time the name Fiji is heard, visions of beaches and tropical ocean dance in people’s head. There’s a good reason for that – because this place is one of the best places to go in the world, and with so many islands, you’re bound to find one you like.
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.
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.

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In this section, usage of the term "snorkel" denotes single or multiple tubular devices integrated with, and opening into, a swim or dive mask, while the term "snorkel-mask" is used to designate a swim or dive mask with single or multiple built-in snorkels. Such snorkels from the past typically comprised a tube for breathing and a means of connecting the tube to the space inside the snorkel-mask. The tube had an aperture with a shut-off valve at the top and opened at the bottom into the mask, which might cover the mouth as well as the nose and eyes. Although such snorkels tended to be permanent fixtures on historical snorkel-masks, a minority could be detached from their sockets and replaced with plugs enabling certain snorkel-masks to be used without their snorkels (see Figure 10).
Lounging by the water is great but at some point you'll want to take a break, so be sure to throw a cute cover-up and sandals in your bag, too. If you're planning a jaunt to the beach as part of a longer vacation, you'll be glad to know that we also have a great selection of resort looks perfect for keeping cool and looking hot at dinner, a show, or on the deck of a cruise ship. Lulus is where to buy cute bikinis and everything else you need to look fabulous for any occasion--and in any location. Get Instagram-ready looks for the club, polished and professional styles for the office, and pretty formal dresses for special occasions.
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