4 Amazing Snorkeling Spots for Families
Remember your first time snorkeling? Entering a completely different world just under the water’s surface is unlike any other encounter. Somehow, floating amid the underwater wildlife can be soothing, exhilarating and alarming all at the same time. It’s the kind of experience you want to share with others — to reveal to them the mysteries of the ocean floor. But finding a location that’s safe enough for beginners and still enchanting to experienced snorkelers can be a difficult balance, so we’ve curated a list of tried-and-traveled locations that are perfect for all ages and all experience levels. Have your pen and paper in hand? Get ready to start planning your next family vacation.
Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Belize
Glover’s Reef lies at the heart of the longest spanning coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere. Shallow waters and minimal winds make it ideal for first-time snorkelers while a huge biodiversity ensures a captivating experience for all members of the family. Thousands of patch reefs speckle the area, each of them characterized by bright, colorful coral and home to an array of wildlife, including rays, sharks and turtles. You may even spot a whale shark if you go during the springtime. And when you’re tuckered out from the long day on the water, settle in for a snooze in your luxury treehouse — a Crusoe-like accommodation little ones are sure to love.
Canouan, The grenadines – Tobago Cays
Calm waters and 12-feet-deep coral reefs aren’t the only things making this spot a fun family vacation. The park is also a turtle sanctuary, so you can get up close to green and hawksbill turtles in their natural habitat. You’re likely to spot stingrays and eagle rays too, soaring through the turtle grass that spans the area. Plus, kids will love seeing the isolated beach where Captain Jack Sparrow was stranded in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”!
Known for its shallow reefs and plentiful coral formations and sponges, Cottrell Key is an island in the Florida Keys chock full of fun history tidbits. It’s named after the captain of a lightship who anchored just beyond the beautiful coral reef, protecting the area from passersby hoping to ground there. Additionally, you’re likely to see the old fishing platform where American author Ernest Hemingway spent his days fishing in the 1930s. For kids who might not find the historical significance as interesting, there’s also plenty of parrotfish, stingrays, giant grouper fish and sea turtles.
Malmok Beach, Aruba
For especially adventurous souls and curious little ones, Malmok Beach offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else. Just about 150 feet offshore lies the Baboo wreck, a sunken ship that washed up onshore in 1999 after Hurricane Lenny hit the area. The maximum depth of the shipwreck is only about 10 feet and the majority of it is visible from the surface. Since it’s settled there, the ship has become home to tons of fish and other wildlife. You’re sure to get a good view no matter what you’re looking for.
Snorkeling is the perfect vacation activity to introduce kids to the miraculous underwater world. Whether you’re looking for adventure, serenity or an interactive ecology lesson, a set of snorkel gear is all you need for everyone to have a good time.
Credit: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
- Watersports Staff