So the basic difference is snorkeling is seeing life undersea from the surface of the water, while scuba diving as the name suggests we dive deep in the ocean and live a life undersea.
But before that, you need to keep few pointers before you lock any destination. I advise you to take a notebook & pen to jot down your best options.
First and foremost the budget of the destination.
No. of days in total to spend.
Sightseeing places nearby.
Best Time of Year
This will help you to plan out the best snorkeling experience.
Let’s begin our snorkeling experience
1.The Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
The first name will always be on the minds of Aqua Lovers. The best part about this activity is that you get to witness the beauty of underwater life and admire colorful & textured coral reefs. Havelock Island is the most famous beach destination in Andaman and is also known for water activities like snorkeling in Andaman. Elephant beach is one of the most pristine beaches on Havelock Island and an amazing spot for snorkeling.
Average Cost: ₹ 1200-₹ 1500 per person for 1/2hr session
Best Time to Visit: October to May
Others Things to do: Corbyns Cove – Sea Karting is popular among adventure seekers, scuba diving, swimming, Angling, sunbathing, and surfing.
Places to visit:
Wandoor Beach- The beach is the gateway to the Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park – a perfect place to spot exquisite corals and marine fauna.
Radhanagar Beach- Best Beach in India and 7th best beach in the world by Times Magazine.
Elephant Beach- 1/2hr Jungle trek to explore exotic bio-diversity
With its name which means 100,000 islands, the islands of Lakshadweep are surrounded by living coral reefs and abundant marine life that dwell in the waters of the Lakshadweep Sea.
Agatti Island and Bangaram Atoll, Lakshadweep
This teardrop-shaped island with the airport, Agatti is easily accessible via flight or ship from Kochi. The resort of Bangaram offers a snorkeling tour to the Princess Royal shipwreck site, which speaks on behalf of the battle between the French and British. Another snorkeling site is Manta Point where you will see mantas, reef fish, and other aquatic creatures like sea cucumbers within the coral formations.
Average Cost: ₹1000 per person for 1/2hr session
Best Time to Visit: From November through March, best in January
Places to visit: Japanese Garden, Stingray City, Soft Coral Garden, Classroom, Dolphin Reef, Fish Soup and Lost Paradise, the colonial lighthouse
Other places to snorkel: Kadmat Island, Amindivi, Kalpeni Island, Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island
3. Grande Island, Goa
Spectacular beaches, fantastic surf, and hilly forests make Goa the most-visited beach destination among youngsters. However due to cloudy murky water snorkeling is always tricky in Goa, but still, Grande Island makes top sites for snorkeling in Goa with various underwater shipwrecks. Sites to consider Cove of Shelter (cuttlefish and squids are abundant in this sandy site during mating season), Umma Gumma Reef, Bay of Bounty, and the Wreck of Suzy (the sinking site of the ship named SS Rita)
Average Cost: ₹2000 per person for 1/2hr session
Best Time to Visit: Mid-October through April. Avoid the rainy months as the tides are unwelcoming and the water remains very murky.
Places to visit: Dudhsagar Fall, Basilica Bom Jesus, Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Fort Aguada, Casino Cruise, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Lamgau Caves, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, etc.
Things to do: Parasailing, Jetski Riding, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Flyboarding, Ringo Ride, Banana Ride, Surfing.
Netrani Island also called Pigeon Island due to the abundant pigeon population, on the Arabian coast of Karnataka is known to very few travelers as a snorkeling spot. While the site is still being developed as a proper snorkeling spot, the number of parrotfish, clownfish, butterflyfish, barracuda, manta ray, stingray, etc. depicts the potential of the place. The island considered as “the heart of India’s diving” is flanked by a jagged rock bed and therefore, the launching of all the snorkeling expeditions takes place from a boat.
Average Cost: ₹1000 per person for 1/2hr session
Best Time to Visit: November and December are the best months
Places to visit: Statue of Lord Shiva (murudeshwara), Jali Beach, Mirjan fort, Wildlife Site-seeing
5. Tarkarli, Malvan
A well-known spot among aqua lovers, Tarkarli is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, is one of the most beautiful diving locations in India and a great place to go and encounter amazing marine creatures.Located near Sindhudurg fort, the snorkeling site in Maharashtra remains functional from 9 AM till 4 PM. I find this as one of the affordable places for water-sports activity.With clear visibility through the bluish-green water up to 20 feet depth of the ‘Queen Beach’, you will also catch a glimpse of the submerged remnants of the Sindhudurg Fort.
Average Cost: ₹500-750 per person for 1/2hr session
Best Time to Visit: October to March is the best period.
Places to visit: Sindhudurg Fort, Rock Garden, Rameshwar Temple, Wageshwar Temple, Malvan Marine Sanctuary, Sea-Food restaurant, Vengurla Beach.
Tips and Requirements :
In these covid times, it’s better to have your snorkeling gears like a google, snorkel tube, and fins.
If you know swimming can be a plus point as you don’t have to worry about breathing but non-swimmers this Easy-Breathe Snorkelling Mask is the best of its kind, you do not have to worry about breathing or fogging.
Acclimatize yourself to the environment and surroundings before setting out for snorkeling. So I went out snorkeling on 3rd day of my tour. First two days you can practice floating in the swimming pool or get a life jacket and float near the beach.
Never go on a snorkeling tour in the rainy season as visibility is low. Best time if you ask me will always be pre or post-monsoon, as there will be less crowd.
Last but not least get underwater photos and videos recorded. As for most of us, this will be once in a Lifetime. So cherish every moment.
I hope you have got detailed information about your future snorkeling tour. Once you return from your tour I request you all to spread awareness for the conservation of aquatic life it is a need of the hour so that our coming generations can too experience this moment and not just read about them.