Diving and snorkelling holiday ideas
Plunge into the ocean and discover a whole new world beneath the waves, packed with colour and life. From tiny tropical islands in Thailand to castaway corners of Cuba and rainforest beaches in Costa Rica, you’ll find clear waters bursting with shoals of rainbow fish and bright corals. Each destination is dreamy in its own unique way, so wherever you choose to get your underwater fix, you’ll be diving headfirst into a real adventure.
Discover shipwrecks in castaway Cuba
Sleep in a beach cabaña tucked away on the westernmost tip of Cuba and explore clear waters crammed with colourful marine life. Maria la Gorda is a remote patch of Cuba’s tropical coastline and home to a handful of top-notch diving spots. Explore sunken Spanish galleons, glide through bright coral canyons and find yourself surrounded by hundreds of skittish colourful fish.
After a day spent floating beneath the waves, you can head back to shore for a killer sunset.
Snorkel secret lagoons in Thailand
Escape to the hidden nooks of southern Thailand, a sleepy and seriously beautiful area surrounded by jungle-topped peaks poking out of the sea. Still untouched by mass tourism, it’s brilliant for a tropical breather and dip beneath the tropical waters. You’ll sleep in a rustic beach bungalow, take a boat trip to a secret lagoon, explore caves packed with swallows and snorkel amongst dozens of darting rainbow fish. Crammed with castaway feeling, you’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe in no time.
Explore snorkelling coves in Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park is an untamed corner of Costa Rica with crashing waves, tiny islands and thick jungle. Here, tucked away from the rest of the world, you can snorkel with sea turtles, swim with dolphins and glide over perfectly intact coral. Staying in a lodge on the edge of the rainforest, you’ll sleep with the sounds of nature all around you. It’s a natural playground where you can hike, swim and snorkel the days away, feeling a million miles from home.
Dive with dolphins in sunny Brazil
Plunge into the blue between the tiny castaway islands of the Fernando de Noronha, scattered off the coast of Brazil. Dive amongst shipwrecks and coral reefs bursting with tropical marine life, from dolphins to sharks, stingrays, barracudas, and sea turtles. It’s a pocket of paradise just begging to be explored. Snorkel over coral carpets, hike to hilltops with sweeping views and take a sailing trip to see dozens of bottlenose dolphins leaping in the waves.
Grab a snorkel on the Gili Islands
The Gilis are a cluster of tiny tropical islands where time seems to standstill. With no roads, Gili Meno is a traffic-free tropical gem with a laid-back pace and translucent waters packed with colourful marine life. Just a few footsteps is all it takes to start your own private snorkelling adventure. Grab a mask, pull on some flippers and simply wade out into the waves, where you can swim with sea turtles, glide over bright corals and watch shoals of rainbow fish whirl through the water.
Meet Malaysia’s marine life
Langkawi is a heady cocktail of sugar-soft beaches, swaying coconut palms and clear, calm waters. Above the water, it’s a postcard-perfect paradise and below the waves, you’ll find a whole new world to explore. Take a boat trip to pocket-sized islands surrounding Langkawi, where rainbow-coloured fishes dart in and out of bright coral reefs. Back on solid ground, take a barefoot wander along the tropical shoreline, soak up the sunshine and grab a cocktail at sunset. For a totally different take on the island, hop in the cable car to the top of Gunung Mat Chinchang and watch the whole archipelago spread out before you.
Soak up some rays in Belize
Yes, there will be plenty of those rays (bring the suncream), but it’s under the water where you’ll find spotted eagle and southern stingrays. All the real action happens in Belize’s diving and snorkelling mecca – Caye Caulker. You’ll take in true Caribbean culture above the waves while having the opportunity to see manta, nurse sharks, reef sharks and a whole other plethora of magnificent sea life under them. Fancy more than a couple of hours out at sea? Take our 2-nights sailing trip including snorkelling, camping… and probably some rum.
More on snorkelling
Take one look at Lankayan Island and you'll see why Emma chose it for her Borneo beach getaway. Here's her 5 reasons to visit (it's not all about turtles!)