What Is The Point Of Snorkeling? Let’s Explain!


A fair question if you never tried it or if you’re a newbie. We once discussed the questions “Is snorkeling a sport?“, after which we concluded that it should be categorized as a hobby.

However, a hobby can be new to some people. Which is why we wanted to dedicate a little time to explain why people like us enjoy it so much. Or why you might like it as well.

In this article we list some popular reasons why people are so excited about snorkeling. We also share links to some of our other guides in case you want to read more about a certain topic.

Top 9 Reasons To Snorkel

Marine Life And Corals

Let’s start with the most obvious reason: Observing life below the ocean surface. In most cases that will be fish. The estimated amount of different fish species around the globe is set to be around 30.000. Depending on your snorkel location, you might come across a few or even a bunch.

Some people select their holiday destination in order to try and spot that specific fish they like so much. But it’s not only fish, it could be other animals as well. Snorkeling with sea turtles is an amazing experience. That’s why some enthusiasts travel all the way to Cancun, Costa Rica, Zanzibar, Jamaica, Maui, the list goes on.

Another appealing and sometimes brightly colored appearance is coral. Just like fish, their presence depends on the location. An example would be brain coral or staghorn coral. Specific corals can also attract specific fish.

Unfortunately a lot of coral areas are damaged by human activities. Some countries have introduced a protection and/or a restoration project. Their lovely sight is almost every snorkelers dream.

Feel One With Nature

This might sound a little surprising, but it’s definitely a reason to snorkel. Sure, if someone like’s to watch fish you could suggest a fish tank. But that’s not the real deal. In the ocean you are a visitor, you enter their domain and you should behave like a guest.

This being said, floating in the ocean and experiencing it’s currents can be a fantastic experience. It requires some effort, however, you should definitely avoid any dangerous weather conditions. If you take no risks and stay in shallow water, you could be “flying” over an amazing “underwater world”.

Some experience teaches you how to move in the water, which in returns makes snorkeling even more fun. If you wear fins for snorkeling you might even feel like a fish in the water. You can head in any direction or dive down if you’re able to do that. Just maintain a good distance, don’t touch the marine life, and (again) take no risks. The ocean can be unpredictable.

Leisure And Relaxation

In addition to the above, we have to add leisure as a prominent feature. Hobby’s are usually built around having fun, and that’s what snorkeling can be for sure.

Maybe you enjoy swimming or cooling down in the ocean whenever you go on a holiday. Well, in a way, snorkeling isn’t that different. However, you get to see all the beauty below the ocean surface in case the water is clear and there’s actually a marine life present.

You don’t need to spend all your energy, you can simply take it easy. And if floating is an issue you could opt for a life vest.

It can be very relaxing to take a glimpse at a few fish. It’s one of the reasons why people get a fish tank in the first place. We all relax according to our personal wishes, but watching a few peaceful fish can be a good distraction from everyday work. At least, for some of us.


Yes, some people find a lot of joy in educating themselves, their friends, or their children. For them, the point of snorkeling could be to learn more about a specific fish species. For instance, the black and white Moorish Idol we talked about in our “Top 10 black and white fish” is pretty rare to spot. Or maybe they read about a certain type of yellowtail fish that they’d love to observe in real.

Teaching friend or kids about what’s below the ocean surface can be a great experience too. Many kids love to go snorkeling whenever they reach a certain age. The introduction to snorkel gear or spotting that sea turtle can be exciting.

Snorkeling can tell you a whole lot about mother nature and all it’s life. Exploration through snorkeling can bring new secrets to the horizon. But it’s not just that. It’s also to warn us about how well fish and corals are doing down there. Like we said earlier, especially corals disappear because of human interference. Signaling these changes is important, even though preventing them is always better.

Tip: Education and excitement can be enhanced by learning some basic and surprising facts about fish.


This could be for educational purposes as well, or simply for fun. If someone wants to take some impressive underwater pictures or videos, snorkeling can definitely help. More and more people share their videos online. There even are competitions, like for example the one by the GoPro company.

Tip: If you’re curious about snorkeling with a GoPro, feel free to read our full guide here. It’s packed with tips and tricks.

Photography can also work really well for future memories. Maybe you want to make a picture collage for you and your loved ones when you get back home. Even if other people don’t snorkel, you can still do so in order to capture that perfect moment.

There are dozens of reasons why people take pictures. Your child’s first swim, that nurse shark near a reef, your favorite “Finding Nemo” clownfish, the list goes on. It’s definitely a point for some (more and more actually) to give snorkeling a go.

Gadgets (Simply Having Fun)

Some people like gadgets, no matter where they go. One example could be an underwater scooter. Wearing snorkel gear whilst your new gadget moves you through the water should be a whole lot of fun. But there’s way more to list here, like the snorkel walkie talkie or the full face snorkel mask.

In a way you can say that using new gear is not a “real” reason to go snorkeling. However, trying something new could be a reason to enjoy a holiday to it’s fullest. If lying on the beach is boring for you, maybe you’ll end up snorkeling as well if there’s just some motivation?

The point we’re making is that fun is a part of life. Fun can make people feel happy. So if a mask and a snorkel do the trick, why not? There doesn’t always have to be a “big” reason to simply enjoy yourself a little.


We already touched on this argument, but kids usually love adventures. If all is safe and as long as you keep an eye on them, they could be having the time of their life. Sometimes they just need to get rid of all that energy, so who knows snorkeling is just the perfect match for them.

For us parents it can also be a good reason to grab that snorkel gear. We want to keep an eye on them at all times so why not join the fun? If you’re curious, here’s our giant guide for snorkeling with kids.

Body Limitations

Exercising can be beneficial for our human bodies. Unfortunately we’re not all in the position to do certain spots or hobbies. Not everybody, but a good amount of people are able to snorkel. Since you’re floating in the water (with or without accessories), snorkeling is a very common way to enjoy some exercise.

Let’s say you’re not the weight lifting kind of person, or maybe your condition isn’t good enough to run a marathon. Why not try snorkeling? You can stay in shallow water and quit anytime you wish. Even if you’re not the best swimmer, there are a few ways to snorkel. If you’re interested, here’s our article about this topic, together with some tips.

In other words, if you have any physical or mobility limitations, who knows you can still snorkel. It can be a great combination of fun and exercise. If it keeps you fit, why not? Just make sure you stay safe and understand the risks.

Who knows you’ve been scuba diving in the past, but for some reason you can’t do it anymore. Snorkeling can still be fun! Or what if you don’t dare to scuba dive but you’re so curious about the underwater world? Well, snorkeling could be your answer as a good alternative.


Never snorkel alone is the most important rule to understand. Therefore, another point of snorkeling could be to keep an eye on someone else. It could be your partner, your kid, a friend, or any snorkel buddy for that matter.

Check on each other or maybe even practice a few signals in order to communicate. Make sure you agree on an exit point and to stay close to the beach. Maybe it’s even best to stay in shallow water.

This doesn’t only apply to the ocean but also to swimming pools or any other water area. Maybe you wonder why people snorkel in a pool? Well, maybe they are practicing or keeping an eye on their child while he or she is practicing. A good reason to grab your gear.


Final Thoughts

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to go snorkeling. The most common ones are exploring the marine life, relax and float on the ocean surface and staying fit. However, there are more reasons why people enjoy this hobby.

The being said, the point of snorkeling varies from person to person. You could just as well enjoy it for educational purposes or to keep an eye on someone to ensure their safety.

If all of this sounds interesting but you’re a total newbie, start with our article “What is snorkeling” in order to get all the details.

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