Snorkeling is one of the exciting sporting activities you can do with your children as you travel the world. It allows you to enjoy and explore hidden underwater sceneries like reefs, cayes, islands, atolls, and magnificent aquatic life. For the best family snorkeling vacations, here are 10 extraordinary destinations to visit.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
If you are looking for kid-friendly snorkeling spots where you can witness the world’s most vibrant marine life, then visit the Great Barrier Reef on your next family beach vacation. Apart from being the largest reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is also home to thousands of fish species and various other sea creatures including 6 sea turtle species.
The Great Barrier reef is located in Australia, within the Coral Sea along the Queensland coast. Due to global warming, the warm waters are having a bleaching effect on the corals, which makes scientists predict that the Great Barrier Reef could become extinct by 2050, so better see it with your family as soon as possible before it disappears.
The best time to visit is between May and October when the temperatures are warm and rainfall is less, and no stingers (Box and Irukandji jellyfish) are around. However, remember that June and July are the winter school vacation months in Australia which means higher flight and accommodation rates, so consider arriving at the beginning (May) or at the end of the dry season (September/October) when the weather is good and there are fewer travelers.
Bay of Donsol in the Philippines
If your kids like snorkeling among the world’s most beautiful sea creatures, then you should take them to swim with whale sharks in the Bay of Donsol? Located in the northern Philippines, this is one of the best places to encounter the ocean’s largest fish. The interaction doesn’t harm the animals; the whale sharks are not fed and the tours are strictly regulated to protect them.
The best time to visit Donsol Bay is between November and June when these endangered creatures -which are typically 4-10 meters long- congregate in the area to feed on the rich nutrients from the river’s mouth. This will be an incredible snorkeling experience for the whole family!
Madang in Papua New Guinea
Looking for a warm tropical snorkeling destination to take your family? Madang is the place to be. Not only will you be swimming with sea turtles, but you will see barracudas, reef sharks, tunas and colorful coral reefs. If you are more into water sports, you can also go diving to explore shipwrecks.
Madang is among the best family friendly snorkeling spots in the world because it is not overpopulated with tourists. It is located in the Coral Triangle, northeastern New Guinea. Although this destination is not easy to reach but is worth the effort because of its extraordinary marine life and laid-back, family-friendly vibes.
Bora Bora in French Polynesia
The breathtakingly beautiful tropical destination of Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of the best places to snorkel with kids. This French Polynesian island destination is in the central zone of the South Pacific Ocean and is the best to visit between May and October which is the dry season.
You will get the chance to swim alongside stingrays and if you would dare get close to sharks, you can have an exhilarating experience in the warm, crystal clear shallow Bora Bora waters as you snorkel with lemon and blacktip reef sharks.
Additionally, you can enjoy tons of beach activities with your family on sandy shores. With turquoise waters, lush, tropical vegetation, picture-perfect beaches and fantastic marine life, Bora Bora will make you fall in love at first sight!
Maui in Hawaii
Take your kids on an exciting snorkeling adventure to the lush island of in Hawaii on your next family vacation. The island has peculiar lava rocks as well as coves that you can explore and get the experience of a lifetime.
On Maui, the snorkeling options are endless. You can see brilliant coral formations, a variety of colorful tropical fish, sea turtles and monk seals. One of the best spots for snorkeling is the Molokini Crater where you can come across manta rays and white tip sharks too. The best time to visit Maui is the summer, the months between May and September when the water is calm and warm and the visibility is good.
Grenada in the Caribbean
Looking for the best Caribbean snorkeling for families experience? Then you might want to head to Grenada right away. Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in the north of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada has a hot climate, making the period between January and May the most ideal time to visit the island.
Grenada island is famous for its lush mountains, spices, and breath-taking cliffs as well as the Molinere Sculpture Park, where you can enjoy a scenic marine garden. Here lies the well-known ring of kids holding hands and coral cement sculptures designed by the British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, which provides a playful ground for colored fish that will offer you an unforgettable underwater experience.
SeaSpiration Tip: If you are looking for the best all-inclusive family resort for snorkeling in Grenada, consider booking the Royalton Grenada An Autograph Collection.
Silver Bank in Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is one of the most beautiful snorkeling destinations not only in the Caribbean but even worldwide and is also among those few places where you can swim with whales. If this adventure is on your family bucket list, then add visiting Silver Bank to your travel itinerary.
Located only 80 miles north in the Caribbean Sea in the Dominican Republic, this is one of those only 3 places on earth where people are allowed to snorkel next to North Atlantic (humpback) whales. The best time for this lifetime adventure is between January and April when the sea creatures migrate to the waters to mate and give birth.
Devil’s Den in Florida
Florida has many excellent snorkeling destinations for families, but if you want to take your kids to a unique spot, then visit Devil’s Den. The privately-owned snorkeling spot offers an experience unlike anywhere else.
It has a small entryway that leads down steep stairs to a dry cave with a spring. The waters in the Devil’s Den are blue and usually appear to be glowing thanks to the lighting within the cave.
Only scuba divers and snorkelers are allowed inside. Therefore, ensure that you carry your snorkel gear and equipment if you want to have a great time at Devils’ Den. This snorkeling property is located in Williston Florida and can be visited anytime all year round.
Ustica in Italy
Those who spend their family vacation in Europe and looking for the best snorkeling in the Mediterranean should go to Ustica in Italy. Not only does this island has interesting sea creatures to see, but also has hiking trails and beaches, which make it the perfect holiday destination spot for families.
About 50 percent of the Mediterranean Sea’s marine life are found in the protected waters surrounding Ustica island. This makes the island the perfect snorkeling spot where you can watch in marvel for hours as you witness the myriad of aquatic species beneath you at the ocean floor. Ustica has ideal weather and water conditions from the beginning of June till the end of September.
What can be a better adventure than visiting the world’s best destinations for wildlife-viewing with your family? This volcanic island archipelago is known for its rich array of animals and plants, and many of them are not found anywhere else in the world.
Because of its diverse underwater community, the Galapagos has earned its spot on this list as one of the best snorkeling spots for families. You will encounter here sea turtles, reef sharks, fish, rays and even marine iguanas while snorkeling. Although the Galapagos is a year-round destination, for the best visibility and most comfortable water temperatures, schedule your trip between December and April.
Hope you had enjoyed this list of the world’s most extraordinary places for snorkeling with kids and you’ve managed to pick your next vacation destination!
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When it comes a beach vacation, Vic is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, peaceful seaside getaway or a family trip to the ocean. She enjoys exploring new places, trying out various water sports and most of all, loves sharing her tips with those seek out their next adventure.