Recommendations For Best Shore Snorkeling

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lostsol95

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Because of recent damage to my ears, I can no longer dive, so snorkeling is my new passion.

I'm looking for the best of the best, possibly something with fringing reefs, and healthy abundant coral life with a kaleidoscope of colors. Pelagic fish and sharks would be nice, but I know they aren't usually found with the micro world of endless coral.

My favorite snorkel destination so far has been Koh Tao in Thailand. I could walk out of my beach bungalow and jump in to immediately swim above the reef, which was just 5-10 feet below. Giant clams, black tip reef sharks, hammer coral, anemone's and so on. But I know there are even better places out there.

That's what I'm looking for... a relaxing, remote, and simple accommodation, to be able to get in the water any time and swim above the reefs, in and out of coves.

I've read about waikatobe, raja ampat, maldives, palau, philippines, cook islands...

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
 

Pedroinspain

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We have snorkelled the Caribbean (G. Cayman; Yucatan/Cozumel; Bonaire; Aruba; Curaçao; Keys), Red Sea, East Africa, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. There is one hands-down winner ... Indonesia, specifically north-west Sulwesi (Bunaken and Siladen islands). They will tick all of your boxes. Parts of Bali are also good, but less accessible from shore. Going to try Bangka next year.
 

cwodtke

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Try Koh Tao... amazing.
Koh Lipi on the west side of Thailand as well was extraordinary. It's hard to get there in summer, but I did and I had the place mostly to myself and it was incredible. From the shore straight into clownfish town.

I also recommend Belize, but you have to head out to the Cayes. Take the Ragamuffin three day sail from Caye Caulker, then stay at Tobacco Caye instead of continuing on...
 

Trucha

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The best place I have ever been snorkeling is in Komodo National Park. I took a boat trip through there and they dropped us on this tiny unnamed island which had the most amazing underwater reef I have ever seen. Plus huge tuna, mantas and sharks swimming right off there in the blue. The island right next to it was nowhere near as good it was just this one spot. I also went scuba diving in Komodo which was awesome and nothing compared to that one island. I have no idea exactly where it was though.
Other than that, the Gili islands were decent for a resort type place. Bali and Lembongon not so much except for tulamben.
And in the Caribbean, Curacao and Bonaire are great.
 

Adelaar Cruises

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Raja Ampat and Komodo National Park consistently rank among the top 5. Kanawa is laid back and has beach bungalows. It's not the BEST snorkeling in Komodo, but is still nice, and you can easily take day trips. There is also Scuba Junkies house reef, they offer budget to moderate accommodations and then there is Sereya's house reef . Pink Beach is magnificent, Tetawa Besar and Pulau Siaba Besar, but you need to go by boat the reach these areas.

Raja Ampat has many home stays that you can snorkel from, but be cautious of the mangroves, unless you are with a supervised group, stay away from them on your own. Divers and snorkelers still explore them, but be with a group and a guide who knows the area. There are still plenty of shallow reefs away from mangroves that can be explored, but depending on where you are you may have to go by boat.

As PedroinSpain said, Bunaken and Siladen are also very nice, and easier to get to than Raja. large fringing reefs with rather shallow hard corals. Swim out to the walls and see if you can see any tuna or spotted eagle rays gliding by. I've even had friends see Dugong in the shallows. There are are a range of accommodations to choose from.

Murex Bangka has an amazing house reef and little bungalows on the beach. They are in a little bay, so access to other snorkel sites would be by boat, or you can take a small hike over the hills and explore. Currents in this area can be strong though, so it's usually best to take a guide with you on these outings or join their dive boat for a snorkel trip.

Have a wonderful trip wherever you end up.
 

DivemasterDennis

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Don't overlook Maui, Hawaii. Shore snorkeling at Mala Pier is likely to put you in view of some white tip reef sharks, and the macro life is excellent. You will, absolutely, hang with sea turtles on every dive. For outstanding colors, snorkel Olawalu, about 10 miles south ( or less). Both sites are on the West side of the Island. There are other sites, but these are exactly what you are looking for.
DivemasterDennis
 

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