Peek beneath the surface: Some of the world’s best snorkeling destinations - United Hub
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Peek beneath the surface: Some of the world’s best snorkeling destinations

By The Hub team, August 09, 2016

There are so many places on land to discover, but even more that are underwater, just waiting to be seen. Once you take the plunge beneath the surface and open your eyes, what you see can transform your perspective. Snorkeling is an activity that most anyone can enjoy, even those who don't necessarily like being completely underwater. It provides an opportunity to see what's below the surface, along with a chance to dive deep down to the depths of the ocean. Next time you find yourself in one of these top snorkeling destinations, grab a mask and have a look for yourself.

Florida Keys in Florida

Florida Keys, Florida

Home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the Florida Keys are your best bet for spotting colorful and diverse marine life close to home. Reef sharks dominate the area, but there is no need to panic, as these local sharks are both common and harmless. Additionally, snorkeling in the Keys will give you the opportunity to see turtles, stingrays, eels, barracudas and tons of tropical fish. Don't miss Key Largo, where the Molasses Reef is located, and Islamorada, which is a bit more secluded. It's also where you might see hammerhead sharks.

Sunset in Punta Mita, Mexico

Punta Mita, Mexico

Travelers that fly into Puerto Vallarta airport are often completely unaware that one of the best kept secrets in the country is less than an hour away. Punta Mita is a small town that provides a very high-end resort experience, with some of the best hotel chains in the world dominating the area. Many of the resorts have exclusive, private beaches with access to crystal clear waters and rock formations near the coastline. The topography provides an opportunity to see and swim with all sorts of marine life, including eagle rays, moray eels, starfish and seahorses. Punta Mita is also home to underwater caves, which invite exploration. While out in the ocean, keep watch for the dolphins that occasionally swim by.

Sunset in Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii

Maui has something for everyone, including great snorkeling spots all around the island. Between the lava rocks, coves and sandy beaches, it's no wonder Maui's reputation is renowned among snorkelers. Make sure to drive out past Big Beach to the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve to enjoy this very unique spot for where no fishing is allowed. Experience memorable sea life encounters by taking a boat near Molokini, just off of Wailea Beach. Trips here are usually available via tour boats that take you to the best dive locations around the island and offer an amazing experience in the open waters.

Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

There are many reasons to visit Bali, or the “Island of the Gods" as it is commonly referred to. But when you come to Bali with plans to snorkel, things are done a bit differently. What makes Bali such a cool experience is that in some spots, jumping in the waters and riding the water current provides a special way of snorkeling. Drift snorkeling, as it's called, can be a little intense. But what can beat letting your body flow with the current while your eyes spot all sorts of biodiversity? Once you have had your share of the fast-paced snorkeling, hire a boat for a short ride to Nusa Lembongan where the waters are calmer, making it an ideal spot for snorkelers of all levels.

Vie of Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

With more than 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest and, hands down, the most desired coral reef in the world. A visit to Heron Island will provide you with the opportunity to swim next to and see approximately 60% of the species of fish that live along the reef. Beyond beach snorkeling, boats are available for hire from most coastal cities and can take you to some of the better locations for snorkeling. Popular reefs are located near the cities of Cairns, Port Douglas and Townsville.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your snorkeling adventure.

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