The Big Island, Hawaii
The entire Hawaiian archipelago is surrounded by incredible snorkeling spots, but the Big Island—with more square footage than all the other islands combined—has the most to offer. The underwater state park at Kealakekua Bay not only has technicolor coral and colorful fish, but it a good dose of history, too, as it marks the spot where Captain James Cook landed on the island. Hit the water near the Captain Cook Monument to see dolphins, turtles and more. For more underwater adventures, head to the crystal waters of Honaunau Bay to explore its coral gardens alongside dolphins and tropical fish.
Palawan, The Philippines
While the Philippines may not seem like the most obvious snorkeling destination, the waters surrounding the 7,000 islands in the archipelago make up a diverse eco-system filled with breathtaking wildlife. There is no shortage of snorkeling opportunities from diving into the Bay of Donsol for the chance to swim with whale sharks or visiting the coral reefs outside Noa Noa Island. The stunning Palawan island offers something for every underwater explorer though. Visit the island’s fish-filled lagoons, dive into Honda Bay, explore Tubbataha reef, and plan a daytrip to meet the underwater inhabitants of Starfish and Cowrie Island.