By Expedia Local Expert, on October 18, 2016

5 crazy things you can see while snorkeling

Outfitted in neon flippers and a snorkel mask, you hop into the water. You know that just beneath the surface lives a secret world, and the fish and coral are waiting to usher you in. There is something about dipping beneath the cool waters of the ocean that lights your senses on fire and soothes your soul.

Maybe you’ve never had this sense-tingling experience before, so the notion of floating above a colorful underwater world is only in your imagination. Now is a good time to check out the Expedia guide to snorkeling, which will tell you everything you need to know before you go. Even if you’re a seasoned snorkel aficionado, and you’ve already been to the best snorkeling around, our guide is sure to inspire your next foray beneath the surface.

If you’ve seen one clown fish, you might feel like you’ve seen them all. How about giving yourself some new scenery during your next underwater adventure? Here are some of the best places to snorkel with the most unexpected sights.

Tectonic plates

Via Flickr/Shriram Rajagopalan

Snorkeling in freezing cold temperatures? That sounds counterintuitive, but you don’t want to miss the chance to snorkel at the Silfra Fissure in Iceland. Here, the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia meet. All of those geology lessons from high school will finally come to life! Crawl into a dry suit and snorkel through the crystal clear water, marveling at the colorful caves and carving your way through the water in between the plates.

Stinger-less jellyfish

You’ve been taught to avoid jellyfish in the water, lest you suffer the consequences of a sting. But what if you could peacefully cohabitate with them in one of the world’s best snorkeling destinations? At Jellyfish Lake in the South Pacific, your eyes will hardly believe the size of the jellyfish bloom. Isolated from the rest of the sea, millions of these creatures have lost their potent sting after generations of swimming in predator-free water. Swim amongst golden jellyfish, and you can bump into them without fear.

Bubbling Volcanos

Via Flickr/cisc1970

Not all volcanoes spew hot flowing lava; despite what the movie Joe Versus the Volcano taught you. From the inside of your snorkel mask in Dominica, you can witness the geothermal activity of underwater volcanoes. Let the bubbles tickle your skin at Champagne Reef for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and some of the best snorkeling


Via Flickr/Katie Thebeau

Getting your eyes on most of the world’s shipwrecks requires an air tank and a scuba suit—or a robot diver with a camera attached. After all, they come to rest on the ocean floor. Some underwater ships are close enough to the surface of the water to see without diving, though. Just your snorkel mask and sense of adventure will do. In Key West, Florida, the Tile Wreck is under only about 15 feet underwater, and the Cayman Islands has a shipwreck just 20 feet beneath the surface. While you’re in the Caribbean, you can also snorkel over a shipwreck in Barbados.

Underwater museums

Via Flickr/Andy Blackledge

Trade your trip to the MOMA for the MUSA, an underwater museum in Cancun. Statues on the ocean floor create a truly unique art experience. Book a snorkeling package, put your face in the water, and marvel at the intricate cement figures. In Grenada, West Indies, another sculpture garden lives in a reef just north of St. George’s.

Bonus: something you didn’t know you could hear

Whale songs

Via Flickr/Buck

Your sight isn’t the only sense with some surprises in store during snorkeling vacations. When the whales are migrating near places like Manitoba, Canada, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, you can hear their songs from miles away while your face is in the water. That means you can snorkel near the shore and hear them crooning from their migration path out at sea.