While dipping below the ocean's surface and venturing into the silent world has become an addiction for many of us, there are times and circumstances when simply grabbing a mask, snorkel and fins is enough to allow us a glimpse of the majestic marine life below. Whether it's age restrictions, medical conditions, local laws or an impending flight that prevents you from scuba diving, there's often a top snorkelling site on hand where you can get your fishy fix from the surface. From a WWII wreck in Bali to the unique Jellyfish Lake in Palau, our team of experts have duck-dived and blast-cleared our way around some of the world's best destinations, to pinpoint where the snorkelling is just as epic as the scuba diving. It doesn't need to be a scuba diving vs. snorkelling battle; there are plenty of idyllic locations where you can happily enjoy both...
Scuba Diving vs. Snorkelling in Egypt
When weighing up the pros and cons of scuba diving vs. snorkelling, one factor to consider is the water clarity. One place in the world that is consistently praised for having exceptional visibility is Egypt. Whether you're 30 metres deep or being gently lapped by the surface ripples, you will be sure to appreciate the cobalt-blue waters of the Red Sea Riviera. Hurghada is one place for which you should pack both your regs and your snorkel. Epic shallow reefs with clouds of colourful anthias and the chance to snorkel with dolphins, together with deep walls and the wreck of the Thistlegorm, make Hurghada a special location for scuba divers and snorkellers alike.
Scuba Diving vs. Snorkelling in Bali
The paradisical island of Bali, at the heart of the sprawling Indonesian archipelago, is another location where a snorkel will come in handy. There are few places in the world where you can snorkel a WWII wreck, and Tulamben, in Bali's north-eastern corner, is one of those places. Wake up with a kopi luwak and a dawn snorkel to see the resident bumphead parrotfish leave their sleeping quarters inside the wreck as they embark on a tough day of coral munching in the shadows of Mt. Agung.
Scuba Diving vs. Snorkelling in Palau
While Palau's sharks and manta rays draw in divers from across the planet, this tiny Pacific island nation is home to one of the best-known snorkel sites on the planet - the iconic Jellyfish Lake. In the marine lake, which is isolated from the ocean, the jellies have evolved in a world free from predators and are virtually stingless. A short hike through the jungle will bring you to the lake's shore, and as you gently paddle towards the centre of the lake, more and more jellyfish appear until jellyfish are all you can see. The lake is off-limits to scuba diving, and with Palau also offering the chance to snorkel with mantas and reef sharks, make sure you pack your snorkel alongside your reef hook.
Scuba Diving vs. Snorkelling in Mexico
Mexico's Caribbean coast, on the eastern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, is another location where you can conduct your own research into the scuba diving vs. snorkelling debate. From drift diving with bull sharks at Cozumel to snorkelling with whale sharks at Isla Mujeres, there's ample opportunity for you to gather your evidence on both sides of the fence. Throw in the chance to dive and snorkel the infamous cenotes and to take in the world-renowned Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, and you have a truly epic holiday in the making.
Scuba Diving vs. Snorkelling in Australia
With the Great Barrier Reef on one coast, and Ningaloo Reef on the other, Australia is home to some great diving and snorkelling experiences. While the Great Barrier Reef needs little introduction, its lesser-known cousin on the west coast may well do. The Ningaloo Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Marine Park and every spring it plays host to hundreds of whale sharks and manta rays. Head out on a whale shark swimming tour, and be sure to bring a snorkel. To protect the whale sharks, which are spotted by plane, scuba diving is not allowed, but you are pretty much guaranteed to snorkel alongside these spotty giants. With epic diving on both coasts, we can ensure that your itinerary takes in the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo whale sharks...