Do’s and Don’ts

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  • Tips To Remember When Tropical Snorkeling
  • What to Avoid When Snorkeling in a Tropical Region

Snorkeling is an adventure for all water-loving travelers, especially those visiting tropical locations. While some places in the Caribbean offer full snorkeling excursions, there are many other places where visitors are free to snorkel on their own, with or without an excursion. In this case, it is important to remember that freediving involves a set of guidelines that apply in the same way as diving. While no supplemental oxygen is necessary, things like being comfortable with a scuba mask and learning to read water currents can make the difference between a good dive trip or a bad one.


When it comes to tips to remember when snorkeling and what to avoid when first time in the water, we’ve got it all.

Tips To Remember When Tropical Snorkeling

Unlike beach or lakeside snorkeling, tropical snorkeling includes the wilderness of an offshore reef or marine ecosystem. This is particularly popular in parts of the Caribbean, where many reefs are located easily offshore or tours are offered to reefs in deeper water. No matter where the dive spot is, the advice to remember remains the same.

Avoid renting cheap equipment, now is not the time to save money

Renting cheap scuba gear can not only lead to malfunctions, but also a bad scuba experience. Whether it’s a leaky goggle or a fogged up lens, neither of those things are desirable when swimming in 15 feet of water. Beginner freedivers, in particular, will benefit from using a mask fitting guide. It’s also worth splurging for a “dry mask” or one with a splash guard, which will keep water from spilling out of the spout in the event of a wave or accidental drop. A properly fitted mask will create a suction-like seal around the face to prevent water from entering the mask.

In addition, choosing the right fins is also worthwhile. There’s nothing worse than losing one while swimming or having to flip fins that are too big or too tight, as this can lead to awkward maneuvers underwater.

Practice makes perfect, even above water

It’s a good idea to be comfortable with scuba gear before trying it out in the water. Learning how to fit a scuba mask correctly – because they are adjustable – can be the difference between having an effortless experience or having one full of bumps. Trial and error is part of the learning process, but it takes on a very different meaning underwater. Practice wearing the mask on land and getting used to fins in shallow water before diving into deeper reef territory.

Choose a snorkeling site based on your skills

Not everyone is a born diver and according to, it’s much easier for beginners to start from the beach than from a boat. In order to keep your bearings, starting from the beach offers a progressive introduction to water and snorkeling. While from a boat, snorkelers go overboard which leaves room for fear and doubt when it comes to floating and the feeling of weightlessness in the water. Beginners will find that snorkeling from the beach and swimming to a spot is much easier – and less scary – than starting out from a boat for the first time.

Related: Here’s What It’s Like To Snorkel At Lake Tahoe (In Pictures)

What to Avoid When Snorkeling in a Tropical Region

When diving for the first time in a tropical location, there are certain things to avoid, especially for beginners. The experience may be new, but it is also an experience that can be very rewarding if you know what not TO DO.

  • Be very aware of marine life. It goes beyond simply not touching fish, shellfish or reefs. Interacting with marine life can be disastrous for a delicate underwater ecosystem and, in some cases, can also be harmful to humans. According to the defenses of everything from coral to poisonous fish, divers should always keep their hands to themselves.

  • Do not dive if you are uncomfortable. This applies to everything from an ill-fitting mask to continuously slipping fins. If the comfort level underwater is not there, return to the surface or shore to resolve the issue.
  • Look at those fins. Whether a diver realizes it or not, fins can cause more damage than anyone could imagine. All it takes is a quick kick to destroy a piece of coral, which could take years to regrow – and could mean the destruction of a marine home in the process.
  • Avoid cloudy water and overwork. This happens more often than you might think, and it can lead to disorientation, even in shallow water. Avoid murky conditions and turn around if water visibility becomes poor. Plus, the second a diver feels tired, it’s a good queue to turn around and call it a day.
  • Keep hands out of crevices and cracks. It might seem safe to place your hand on a rock or inside a crevice to help navigate, but it’s a great way to unintentionally get stung by a sea creature that doesn’t realize what’s going on.

  • Pay attention to water currents. Even underwater, the currents can surprise swimmers. If the current seems too strong or begins to be exhausting for swimming, avoid it.

All of these tips will help beginners have a safe and fun snorkeling experience. When visiting a tropical location, snorkeling is a must, so knowing what to do ahead of time makes all the difference.

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