Channel Your Inner Mermaid At These 6 Snorkeling Hotspots This Summer

by Jordyn Kraemer

There is something truly incredible about swimming through crystal clear water and gazing down at the bright, colorful marine life casually bustling below the sea. Snorkeling always allows me an inside perspective on the life of fish, coral, turtles, and other sea creatures. With flippers on my feet and goggles on my eyes, I truly believe there is nothing I can’t see or do. Whether it’s because I feel like Ariel or because it makes me care so much more about what we, as humans, put into our ocean, snorkeling is one of my favorite pastimes when on vacation. I created a list, so that you too can channel your inner mermaid at these six snorkeling hotspots for summer 2018.

From the Caribbean to the Maldives, there are so many beaches lined with coral that are filled with the unthinkable flora and fauna of the ocean. Besides, what's cooler than chilling with an adorable sea turtle for the afternoon? You can catch some rays, get awesome exercise, and snap the best Instagram pics your followers will be so envious of. Overall, snorkeling is just the greatest, so here are the best spots to hang with the fishies, all while getting a rejuvenating workout.

El Nido, Philippines
Derek Keats/Flickr

A destination speckled with hundreds of small islands and teal blue water is naturally going to have incredible spectacles under the sea. I stayed at a resort that's on its own private island, which was a cross between The Beach and Castaway. It has a naturally untouched bay that is absolutely epic for snorkeling.

While free diving down, I saw a coral reef overhang. Upon swimming up to it to get a closer look, I saw an electric green and bright blue spotted stingray that was just as surprised to see me. After losing all my air at once and swimming back to the top, I realized just how otherworldly the ocean can be. I didn’t even know those kinds of colors existed on animals in the ocean. My mind was blown.

Koh Samui, Thailand
Jordyn Kraemer/The Blonde Vagabond

I found some worthwhile multi-stop destinations in both Koh Samui and Koh Chang. The great thing about doing a handful of hotspot via a boat tour is that you get to mix up the coral, schools of fish, and chances of spotting different animals based on the temperature and ecosystems of the surrounding areas. Not to mention, the added benefit of snacks and drinks in between stops is a major highlight.

North Eleuthera, Bahamas
Jordyn Kraemer/The Blonde Vagabond

This is such a unique place to go snorkeling. When you take a kayak tour to northern Eleuthera, there is what's known as "Current Island," which got its name because of the extreme current that rushes between two isles. So, what does this mean for your snorkel game?

Essentially, once you tie up the kayaks, you enter into the current, and without having to swim, you are carried through the ocean over some of the most beautiful coral reefs imaginable. It was the easiest and coolest way to snorkel. After the current subsides, there are plenty of coves and bays to find local fish. We even ran into an entire school of eagle rays!

Zanzibar, Tanzania
Wiki Commons/Jordyn Kraemer

Honestly, this is probably one of the best-kept secrets regarding encounters in the wild. When I was in Zanzibar, I kept hearing about the dolphins. The chance to see them was exciting, but the ability to potentially swim with them in the wild?! Now that was something I couldn’t miss.

We went out on a tiny metal boat (picture a bathtub with a motor) that had broken wooden planks for seats. This was not the most glamorous, I’ll admit, yet none of that mattered as soon as I saw the large pod gliding through the water.

With my snorkel and flippers on, I jumped off the boat and swam as hard as I could in the direction of the dolphins. I got to them, and swam right next to them. Of course, they would swim down and come up at their leisure, and they were much faster swimmers, but the best part is they don't even notice you. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life, and is an absolute must-do.

The Maldives
Jordyn Kraemer/The Blonde Vagabond

Honestly, who needs an excuse to go to the Maldives? Once you’re there, snorkeling is a great way to stay active and see the marine life. I went about 20-30-feet deep near a drop-off with hopes of seeing sea turtles. Sure enough, I saw three. I got to practice equalizing and free diving to get a closer look. It was so fun to do something other than lay on the beach and get my tan on.

Saona Island, Dominican Republic
theblondevagabond on Instagram

Snorkeling in the Caribbean is always entertaining. There are plenty of shipwrecks and boats at the bottom of the ocean that have become home to coral and fish alike. While Saona Island has plenty of boats to see, it’s also home to UNESCO East National Park. This is truly a beautiful exploration, complete with unbelievable beaches to lay out on once the goggle mark on your face is just too real to continue.