There is no denying the underwater world is a unique and beautiful place. There's just so much to see and do between the exotic fish, the colorful coral reefs, and the sunken shipwrecks. There are many options for exploring underwater, from glass-bottom boats to submarine rides. But if you're willing to get wet to see what's underneath, snorkeling or scuba diving is the way to go. Not sure which activity is suitable for your family? Here are some of the basics of each activity to help you decide.
Snorkeling is done with a mask and breathing tube, called a snorkel, and you stay on the surface of the water, allowing you to take in a full panoramic view of the waters below. Snorkeling requires little to no training. You just need to know how to swim. Even if you're not the best swimmer, you can snorkel if you know the basic swimming strokes. Snorkeling can also be done using a life vest or flotation belt.
Snorkeling is great for the whole family since no special training or equipment is involved. It's also a great start towards scuba diving. You can start young children with snorkeling and then move on to scuba diving.
Scuba diving is done with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, hence the name SCUBA. Scuba diving allows you to fully immerse yourself in the underwater world while breathing comfortably. Unlike snorkeling, scuba diving requires formal training and certification. But don't worry, to become a certified scuba diver is not as complicated as it may sound. You can even become a certified diver while on vacation.
If you have younger children, you can start them getting ready for scuba diving as young as age 8. Children can become certified divers as young as 10, with restrictions. For more information, check out PADI's website.
Whether snorkeling or scuba diving is suitable for your family, or maybe a little bit of both, here are some great places to experience these activities:
Anilao, Philippines - full of reef fish, these shallow waters are excellent for beginner divers to practice their skills. You can stay immersed for more extended periods since you are at such shallow depths.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia - this is probably the most famous dive site in the entire world, and that is for a reason! The shallow waters and immense wildlife are perfect for snorkeling and any level of diver.
Bonaire - this Caribbean Island is home to over fifty unique shore-access diving sites and will provide a wealth of diving experience to new and experienced divers alike.
Hawaii - the Hawaiian Islands are spectacular for snorkeling and diving. Places like Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, and others provide breathtaking views, and Hawaii is one of the best places to see tropical fish, sea turtles, and manta rays.
Roatan, Honduras - the gentle currents surrounding the bay islands, as well as perpetually warm waters and unparalleled visibility, make this one of the best places in the Caribbean for diving and snorkeling.
Now that you have a list of amazing destinations to choose from for your underwater exploration, contact me for more information on planning your next vacation to one of the best dive and snorkel spots!