Is Snorkeling Better in the Morning or in the Afternoon?

snorkeling morning or afternoon


If you love to go snorkeling, chances are you asked yourself the question if you should enjoy this hobby in the morning or in the afternoon. Yes, many people seem to be curious about the topic so we did a little research.

Even though the answers you get may vary because they’re subjective, most people are of the opinion that snorkeling during the morning hours generally produces the best results. Why? For numerous reasons, and they are all described below.

Why Snorkeling In The Morning Is Better


On most beaches, the waves are calmer during the morning hours. This means that the physical act of snorkeling won’t be nearly as severe as it would be if you head out after lunch time. Not only that, but the sun is probably less sharp. If you’re a newbie, and if you’re wondering what snorkeling is and whether or not it’s a fun thing to do, make sure to avoid a sun burn at all cost. A good first experience is crucial in order to stick with it in the long run.


You are also more likely to experience squalls in the afternoons, which means less light and a lot less visibility. Naturally, bad weather can happen at any time on any given day. But, as a general rule, you are much less likely to experience squalls, choppy waters, and low visibility in the morning hours than in the afternoon. Even though you can snorkel in the rain, and visibility can still be good, shallow water might not be fun anymore. And that’s exactly where many of us prefer to stay.

Water Activities

Yet another reason the water is much stiller and the fish are less disturbed is because (let’s face it) people rarely go fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or participate in any other water activity. Thanks to this reason alone, you’ll be able to enjoy so much more than you would if you tried snorkeling later on in the day. Windsurfers, jetski’s, paddle boats, you name it. Yes, they can be annoying even though they don’t mean it that way. This is especially the case with children. They love to play and to have a great holiday, which they should off course. It’s what makes being a child so cool. But if you plan a quiet snorkel trip, chances are they’re in your way and scare the fish away.

Tip: In case your child is interested in snorkeling, make sure to read our guide for snorkeling with kids.


In addition to all of this, fish tend to be a little more active during the morning hours. Bright sunshine and heat are definitely not their favorite circumstances. Therefore, if you snorkel in the morning you’ll find them enjoying the “cooler” water temperatures when chasing for breakfast. Once the heat starts to kick in, they’ll most likely hide. One last thing though: Never bring any snorkel fish food, no matter how tempting it sounds. Let them find their own in order to maintain a natural ecosystem.

Tip: Feel free to also read our Top 25 surprising facts about fish.


When you schedule a snorkel boat trip during the morning hours, you get a fresh crew who’s ready to show you some of the most beautiful waters in the area. The water is undisturbed, which means it’ll be both cleaner and clearer. If you go out in the afternoons, other tours have gone out before you and the water could be less still and a lot dirtier. Going out first thing in the morning prevents that from happening. Therefore, you should be able to see a more interesting marine life.

Tip: In case you experience motion sickness easily when joining a boat trip, make sure to read our article about snorkeling and seasickness.


The fact that the water is less disturbed in the morning hours, is one of the main reasons to schedule your snorkeling at that time of the day. You can enjoy cleaner water, less-choppy conditions, and a much easier way to actually see the fish and other underwater creatures. Of course, a lot of this depends on where you’re going snorkeling plan to snorkel. Different places have different conditions. Check out our snorkel locations category for more details.


Currents tend to pick up in the afternoon. Again, this could depend on your location. One important thing to understand is safety. Currents can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. Even a life vest for snorkeling won’t help you out enough. Inquire with the local life guards about currents and other weather conditions. Sure, snorkel fins make you more flexible in the water, but they’re not resistant to heavy currents. If you stay in shallow water that you can exit at any moment, combined with quiet waters, things should be more fun and especially safer.


Maybe not your first thought, but taking pictures or making videos is a big deal for some of us. A quiet morning with calm water, a silent beach, birds singing, fish looking for food, what’s not to like for a photographer? If bringing back home some amazing footage is your goal, the morning could be your best friend. Just make sure you never snorkel alone, even if the water seems quiet. The number 1 rule for all snorkelers, but still worth to mention.

Tip: In case underwater photography interests you, feel free to read our giant guide for snorkeling with a GoPro.

Renting Gear

In case you don’t own your own equipment, maybe renting your snorkel gear is a necessary thing to do. Obviously the rental shops should have more options for you in the morning, especially when it’s a crowded during the day. Having more options when it comes to masks, snorkels, fins, or maybe even snorkel rash guards could be a big advantage. If you don’t have your own equipment and you wonder whether or not to get some, make sure to first read our article called “Should you buy your own snorkeling gear?“.


We’re well aware that not all of us have the strength to swim for a longer period of time. Sure, calm water helps, but a crowded shore doesn’t. For some of us it’s simply more enjoyable if there aren’t too many people around. The underwater snorkel scooter has already been of help for people with mobility restrictions, or for those who simply want to observe a large area. But do you feel comfortable to use one when the beach is crowded? Maybe you’re ashamed, or maybe you still need to practice. Being with only a few fellow snorkelers and guides can make you feel more confident. Again, only try snorkeling together with more people of which at least one can come to help when necessary. If you need observations, make sure this is arranged.


Final Thoughts

Snorkeling is a super fun activity but one that requires you to take note of the weather conditions before entering the water. Because weather conditions are normally better in the morning hours, most snorkelers find taking part in the activity before lunch time or early afternoon provides them with the best results. Although it’s not necessary to go in the morning because bad weather can happen at any time, many snorkelers simply go out at that time as a matter of preference.

We hope the list above provides you with some useful information. From personal preferences to expeditions, all the way to observing fish and renting gear. Oh, and about that w’d like to add one more thing. These days the snorkel face masks are a hot topic. And yes, they can be cool and awesome. Just make sure you understand their pro’s and con’s from our article full face snorkel masks.

Wherever you go, always inquire with the local lifeguard about weather conditions and possible marine dangers. When things are fine, never snorkel alone and make sure someone is able to help you in case of need. If there are no lifeguards around, wait for them. Enjoy your snorkel adventure and who knows bring back home some awesome pictures as a souvenir.

Snorkel safety tips can be found at this website.

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