Although it is of course not exactly a 'type of diving' we would like to include it in the series because so often there is a member of the family or one half of a couple that doesn't dive so we like to cater for the non-divers just as much as for the divers.
Snorkelling has several advantages over diving: virtually no equipment, no specific qualifications needed and at times is better for viewing particular marine life. Almost anywhere you find good diving, the snorkelling will also be great which makes it a perfect activity for the non-divers in your party. If you have children that don't dive, snorkelling is a wonderful activity to keep them occupied while you are out diving with the added bonus of giving them a taste of the underwater world!
Some marine species actually come to the surface to feed on the plankton rich waters so at times, it can better to snorkel and often regulations allow you to only snorkel. Examples of these animals include whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays all of which provide unforgettable experiences.
The best snorkelling in the world
Although you can snorkel almost anywhere, there are definitely places we would recommend over others. Here are our top picks for the best snorkelling in the world:
The waters just off the Yucatan Peninsula are one of the best places on earth to spot whale sharks. At the right time of year, you are guaranteed to be snorkelling alongside these majestic creatures and sometimes up to 10 at a time!
Bang in the middle of the 'epicentre of marine biodiveristy', snorkelling in this archipelago is absolutely stunning particularly if you are on a liveaboard.
Between June and November, interplay between the lunar tide and the monsoon results in a massive concentration of plankton at Hanifaru Bay, in the Baa Atoll, in turn attracting hundreds of manta rays. New regulations mean that you can only snorkel however you can still witness a feeding frenzy from the surface. 40 or more mantas put on an incredible display of acrobatics while feasting on the plankton.
With arguably one of the best house reefs and some of the most pristine coral on earth, this is a fabulous location to snorkel. Many of the dive sites they visit are suitable for snorkelling so snorkellers can go along with the dive boat keeping divers and non-divers together.
January to late March each year you can join a trip to snorkel with humpback whales around Silver Banks. There aren't many experiences that come close to snorkelling just feet above a humpback whale calf playing with its mother.