5 Of The Best Snorkeling Destinations In The World

Recently I have fallen in love with paddle boarding. However, it’s not the only water-related activity that I love to do. As I grew up in Florida, there were many different options I had to pick from. One of my favorites though? Snorkeling.  There is nothing more relaxing to do in the water then snorkel. It’s a fairly easy activity to do with your friends or family as well. Not only is it a fun bonding activity, it gives people a glimpse of the lives that live below the water. Looking at the fish, the different types of coral and various other sea creatures can be educational and interesting.

If you have traveled to any coastal country with warm waters, chances are that you have had the chance to snorkel. Most hotels in these areas will offer guided snorkel tours or the chance to rent the correct equipment – that is if you don’t already own your own gear. So what are some of these places then? I’ve listed 5 of my favorite snorkel destinations around the world below.

Silver Bank, Dominican Republic – Silver Bank offers an incredibly unique snorkeling experience. As one of the only breeding grounds for humpback whales, these waters can see up to seven thousand whales pass through them during migration. During these migration times, Silver Bank holds the largest population of humpback whales in the Atlantic. Since the area has been declared as a whale sanctuary, this region of water offers a rare and unique close up to these beautiful creatures.

Snorkeling

Komodo National Park, IndonesiaKomodo National Park offers some of the most unique, and untouched coral reef in the world! With crystal blue waters, all levels of snorkelers can explore the beauty of this park. Snorkelers will get the chance to see such a variety of marine life as well. The park boasts over seventy species of sponge, schools of different fishes like groupers and fusiliers, manta rays, sharks and dugongs. These animals are only a small fraction of the wildlife that life there. Another bonus of the National Park is that it’s home to the Komodo Dragon. The Dragon only lives in two parts of the world and the National Park is one!

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – Due to the long distance between the islands and coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands offers a rare and specific type of animal and sea life. The Islands are home to different types of whales, coral, fish, sea snakes, dolphins and sea lions – who might just give you a bump while you snorkel! With so many islands, it’s hard to know which one to snorkel off of so here is a list of the different islands and what you could find when snorkeling there.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Everyone has heard about the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. As it’s one of the seven wonders of the world, it has become a sought after tourist destination. Larger than the Great Wall of China, the reef is the only living thing on Earth that is visible from space. Needless to say with such a vast space, the reef is home to over four hundred types of coral, giant clams that over a hundred years old, sea turtles, dolphins and many other sea and land creatures. With plenty of different places to stay as well, the Great Barrier Reef is not something to be missed.

Isla Holbox, Mexico – The Yucatan Peninsula has always been a draw for tourists from all over the world. With its warm climates and rich history, it’s a no brainer as to why people want to visit the region. Isla Holbox offers a different type of snorkeling for tourists as well. With no coral reef, the sea floor is dominated by seaweed and sand. So what is the appeal of this place? The chance to swim with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. As they are plant eaters, swimmers pose no risk to them. Besides a unique swim, Isla Holbox is a small local island where no cars are driven!

If you snorkel, what are some of your favorite places? Let me know and enjoy!

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PADDLE BOARDING – ONE OF THE BEST BODY WORKOUTS

Paddle boarding is a sport that I recently fell in love with. In my previous blogs, I did my best to explain some tips to stand up on the board and why I chose the board I did. In this blog post, I will explain why paddle boarding is one of the best exercises for your body. Since it’s a fun activity, a lot of people of all shapes and sizes love to participate in this sport. I mean come on, it’s so much more fun to be outside in the water, looking at the beautiful outdoor space that surrounds you then be in the gym staring at a television! Besides the benefit of beautiful views, stand up paddle boarding is a complete body workout. As a low impact exercise you won’t put any strain on your knees or ankles, while increasing balance, endurance and strength.

Of course the number of calories you burn depends on the amount of energy you put into it. You will burn more calories if you push yourself for an hour rather than a nice, relaxing paddle. SUP Fitness have broken down the level of paddle boarding into five categories, but I’ll be listing three below. Enjoy!

Surf Paddleboarding

Recreational Paddling – This is the most common type of paddle boarding people partake in. It’s an easy paddle as the weather is often beautiful. With light winds and calm waters, it’s similar to a slow walking pace but you will burn twice the calories. For paddling close to an hour, most adults will burn three hundred and five to four hundred and thirty calories.

Racing – Racing is the most intense out of the five categories. There is no slowing down in the hour and your cardiovascular system and heart rate are at maximum speed. Depending on how quick you paddle, the conditions of the water and the wind speed, the amount of calories burned can range. After following the Dana Ocean Challenge, a five mile paddle boarding race, doctors discovered that the majority of racers burn between seven hundred and thirteen to one thousand one hundred and twenty five calories. Often people get a bonus work out as they do their best to stabilize the board in choppy waters.

Surfing –  Many surfers pick up this type of paddle boarding because it helps to cross train and improve their board surfing skills. As waves get bigger and more powerful, the harder your body works which directly correlates into more calories burnt. They discovered that you can burn six hundred and twenty three to seven hundred and thirty five calories in the hour.

With so many different options for types of paddle boarding there, it’s not wonder this sport has really taken off in the past couple years. I hope this has helped to open

STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING

In recent years, it’s become nearly impossible to take a trip to the beach or drive on a bayfront road during the summer months and not see someone out in the water, standing up on a giant board, swinging a singular paddle across their body, gliding across the water.

Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP for short, marries the best parts of surfing and kayaking into one core-stimulating activity that hardly seems like exercise. Utilizing a longboard and outrigger paddles, SUPers stand up on the board and paddle. The challenge comes in that you’re standing on an unstable platform, forcing you to tap into your core strength while improving your cardio fitness, balance, and flexibility.

stand up paddleboardingAnd consumers are picking up on the trend. It’s become the fastest growing water sport in the world, as Cody White, certified PaddleFit instructor and co-founder of Finger Lakes Paddleboard pointed out that SUP gear sales have increased by approximately 200% in the last year. And it doesn’t discriminate: paddleboarding welcomes all ages and fitness-levels, and the community of paddleboarders is only growing, offering races, meetups, and classes across the United States.

Originating in Hawaii in the 1960s as a method for the Beach Boys of Waikiki to get a better view of the surf, the sport didn’t really take off until the 2000s, when pro surfers started utilizing the activity to remain active in the water when the ocean was too calm to surf. And the best thing about paddleboarding? You don’t need an ocean to do it.

“The beauty of paddleboarding is that you can do it on an ocean, lake, and even a river,” said White.

Another great thing about paddleboarding is that you don’t need to be a seasoned athlete or insanely fit individual to try it out. In fact, the key to paddleboarding has nothing to do with strength or level of expertise, and rather technique. Stance, knowing how to correctly interact with the board and paddle in conjunction with the water, as well as knowing how to both dis- and remount the board are all more valuable than if you were a professional athlete.

The best advice for beginners? Invest in a lesson. You will be taught the fundamental basic techniques to get you comfortably moving on your paddleboard, and in no time, you’ll be practicing paddleboard yoga!