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Snorkeling in Bora Bora

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Matira Beach
Matira Beach is a mile of exquisite white sand at the southern tip of Bora Bora Island. When you visit, you will understand why it is Bora Bora's most popular public beach. It stretches from Hotel Bora Bora (currently closed for renovations) to Matira Point and is framed from behind by lush palms and green hills. To each side, there are more long strips of privately owned beaches. Often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, Matira Beach is actually the only public beach on the main island that is worth a visit. It is so gorgeous that it is in our list of the best things to do in Bora Bora! Everybody is welcome on this expanse of sand. There is a fun atmosphere that offers natural shade from palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling.
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Anse Vata Bay
Formerly named the Duck Bay (like the island located just opposite) because of its swampy side, the Anse Vata neighbourhood now has the same name as the adjoining bay and the 2-kilometer long sandy beach bordering it. Located between the Lemon Bay (Baie des Citrons) and Val Plaisance, it is bounded by the “Rocher à la Voile” on the one hand and the Pointe Magnin on the other side. This South neighbourhood of Noumea, part of the living heart of the city, really looks like a real see side resort. There is a holiday atmosphere and this area is popular with tourists who find here all activities and infrastructure they need: shops, restaurants, water sports, most major resorts and two casinos ... all in one holiday setting at the edge of a wooded beach. Sea activities such as windsurfing are highly successful thanks to the exposure of the bay to the prevailing wind. Many sporting events also start from this place.
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Fraser Island
Say hello to Fraser Island - also known as the largest sand island in the world. You can gaze up at towering ancient trees in astonishing rainforests growing out of sand on this World Heritage-listed wonder, be amazed by the incredible sapphire blues and emeraldene greens in the stunning freshwater lakes and float down Eli Creek
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Manly Beach
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to Manly Beach. Whether you want to spread a towel out and enjoy the soft white sand all day, surf its waves or explore its depths while snorkelling or diving, there's something for everyone. For those that prefer to look at it, it also makes a great backdrop for picnics or walking and cycle tracks. Manly is where the world's first surfing contest was held in 1964, making it one of Australia's most famous beaches. The iconic beach curves from South Steyne to North Steyne and Queenscliff, where a submerged reef, or bombora, creates the waves that inspire the world's best surfers to travel to our shores.
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Bare Island Fort - La Perouse
Captain Cook first spotted the area now known as Bare Island in 1770, and referred to it in his journal as 'a small bare island'. The fort was built in the early 1880s to protect Sydney’s back door. It was in operation until 1908, after which time it became Australia's first war veterans' home.
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Murrays Beach
Known as the jewel in the Booderee National Park, Murrays Beach offers swimmers and snorkelers alike, pristine clear waters and pearly white sand. Perfect for families, Murrays Beach is situated in a protected bay which is sheltered by Bowen Island. Accessed via Jervis Bay Road through Booderee National Park, there are many self-guided walks around Murrays Beach from which to explore. From the Munyunga waraga dhugan (loop walk) to the various low tide walks, you are sure to leave with breathtaking views and sightings of Booderee's plants, animals, culture and history
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Catseye Beach
One of the main beaches on Hamilton Island, beautiful Catseye Beach is a perfect spot for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a whole range of fun watersports. Hamilton Island Beach Sports is located right on the beach, and has catamarans, paddleboards, windsurfers, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available for hire. The long and curved Catseye Beach is a beautiful place to while away the hours - soaking up some sun, enjoying a good book, or swimming in the turquoise water. At low tide, take a leisurely stroll out on the sand flats and see the island from a different perspective.
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Hardy Reef
Hardy Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near the Whitsundays, is home to thousands of spectacular reef fish including coral trout, travelly, snapper and smaller tropical species. Hardy Reef is also the location for the Reefworld pontoon, a permanent structure which has been in place for over twenty years. Visitors can experience excellent snorkelling and diving on Hardy Reef, and will see a myriad of interesting marine animals such as turtles, reef sharks, giant Maori Wrasse and even the two metre long Giant Queensland Gropers, which hang around the pontoon. Visitors can also view the stunning Hardy Reef from the air by seaplane or helicopter, including world-famous Heart Reef. The aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef and natural heart-shaped formation is a must-see experience for the Whitsundays.
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The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and longest coral reef system, stretching for 2,300km from the tip of Cape York in the north to Bundaberg in the south. Comprising 3,000 separate reefs and some 900 continental islands and coral cays, it’s one of the world’s great natural wonders. Home to over 1,500 species of fish, abundant marine life and over 200 types of birds, it’s also one of Australia’s greatest conservation successes. A World Heritage Area since 1981 (the world’s first reef ecosystem to be recognised by UNESCO), it is highly protected and one of the best-managed marine areas on Earth
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Lovers Cove
Lovers Cove is on Pebbly Beach Road just a short distance east from Avalon on Catalina Island. It is a short walk to this cove from town and even shorter from the Catalina Express ferry landing dock. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a beach between the road and the water at this location. This rocky shoreline is mostly a snorkeling destination. Inquire in town about nearby snorkeling spots and they might send you to this location. Snorkeling gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, bikes, golf carts, and more can be rented in town to explore the area. The Catalina Express operates boats daily to Catalina Island from the mainland in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Dana Point.
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Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island is one of the most unspoilt islands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Island National Park is a mountainous rainforest oasis surrounded by fringing reef formations. Enjoy the resort facilities and rainforest walks to white coral beaches and spectacular lookouts. Fitzroy Island also offers a wide range of water sport activities as well as snorkelling, introductory and certified diving and a learn-to-dive school. The island is 339 hectares in size, 324 of which is protected as Fitzroy Island National Park. The island is on the continental shelf and is within sight of the mainland; in fact, it’s a peak in a mountain chain which lies south of Cairns. The reef surrounding Fitzroy Island is a “Fringing Reef”. Fitzroy Island is located on the Inner Barrier of the Central Region of the Great Barrier Reef. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
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The Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The southern tip of Ambergris Caye is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for 'little channel." This sanctuary was officially established in 1987, and since then the return of all species of fish has been quite dramatic. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley is approximately 6.4 km south of San Pedro Ambergris Caye. It is the single most popular day trip from San Pedro, perfect for snorkeling or diving. The reserve covers approximately 7.8 sq km and is divided into three zones. Each one is clearly marked by buoys. The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef which is little more than 23 m wide and 9 m deep. You must hire a boat and guide out of San Pedro or Caye Caulker. The costs depend on the services offered. It is easy to mix diving and snorkeling. Trips usually run once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
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Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is the name of Belize's largest island. The history of the island goes back to the days of the Maya, European Pirates, and Mexican Refugees who fled during the Caste War. The descendants from Mexico make up most of the island's population today. The economy of the island was once dependent on the coconut industry, followed by the fishing industry, but it is now dependent on tourism. Ambergris Caye is the largest of some 200 cayes that dot the coastline of Belize. Ambergris is 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, in some places, and it is located in the clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Her coastline is protected by the 190 miles long Barrier Reef, the second largest living coral reef in the world. In Mayan times, Ambergris Caye was a trading post. San Pedro Town is the only inhabited area on the island. It's atmosphere is that of a small bustling, fishing village but with "hot spots" of events, restaurants, and entertainment.
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Contadora Island
Contadora Island is the only island of the Pearls that can be reached by flying from Panama City. The island is located near the coast of Panama, at around 50 miles away. Isla Contadora is well known for its famous resorts and hotels. The place is magical in every sight but still offers the luxury of home. The island of Contadora became world famous when in 1979 the Shah of Iran retreated there in exile. This put the spotlight on the islands as an exclusive and expensive island for the rich and the famous. Since then Contadora’s popularity began to grow and the first Hollywood stars started to invest in there private getaways. The reality show Survivor put the Pearl Islands and Contadora in many countries on the map as tropical paradise. Tourism became to flourish and the islands are not only for the rich and the famous anymore.
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San Blas Islands
The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir. You may ask yourself What is san blas? San Blas is an autonomous territory in Panama formerly called Kuna Yala. The San Blas Islands are the number #1 vacation destination in Panama and probably in Central America. The native people living on the Islands of San Blas call themselves Kuna’s or Guna’s. The district/region in Panama where you can meet the native inhabitants is officially named after them; Guna Yala or Kuna Yala.
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Cayman Turtle Centre
The Cayman Turtle Centre is the perfect place for families to learn about our islands’ history while having lots of fun at the same time. This award-winning wildlife park provides its guests with a chance to come face to face with some of the most remarkable and ancient animals on earth. Within the centre, there are a variety of interactive activities available – including, predator tanks and swimming or snorkelling in a saltwater lagoon filled with vibrant species of fish and green sea turtles. Another magnificent stop along the tour is the free-flight aviary, where guests can feed colourful birds as they soar around the room. Before you leave, take a stroll down the tranquil nature trail and admire the unique plant species and butterflies, or stop by Smiley’s Saltwater Lagoon and watch the nine-foot crocodile get fed. Guests can also learn more about the history of sea turtles and the centre’s on-going conservation efforts.
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Governor
Governor's Beach is a relaxing spot within Seven Mile Beach, located beside and in front of the Governor's home. With families visiting in the morning and games played in the afternoon, this shore sees all the action. Governor's Beach is excellent for snorkelling, a picturesque stroll or floating on the water with a cold drink. Beachgoers can enjoy the shade while snacking on the sea grapes that fall from the trees in June and July. And as with all views to the west here, you’ll witness the most memorable sunsets.
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Spotts Beach
Off Shamrock Road in the Spotts Newlands part of Grand Cayman is where you’ll happen upon Spotts Beach. Away from everyone else, Spotts Beach has homes and waterfront condos surrounded by iron-shore cliffs and white sand, while still providing plenty of space for a surfside walk. It’s a nice place to watch the sunrise since Spotts Beach faces to the south. There are cabanas along with some benches and tables available for barbecues or picnics. There is also great snorkelling due to the limited amount of watercraft.
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Stingray City
Stingray City is among the Cayman Islands’ most popular attractions. It’s where aquatic lovers can mingle with marine life by wading among friendly stingrays that congregate near the sandy shore. This once-in-a-lifetime Cayman experience invites adventurers to get up close to some of the most magnificent animals in the world. Experience the majestic southern Atlantic stingrays in only three feet of water as you brush up against these creatures. Stingray City is a group of sandbars located 25 miles off the shore of Grand Cayman, and offers tours ranging from 3 to 5 hours. During the tours, you can swim with, feed, and take memorable photos with these friendly rays.
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Rum Point
Located on the picturesque north side of the island, “Rum Point” is famous for its island atmosphere, white sandy beach and shallow clear waters. It is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. The beach hammocks, shady trees, picnic tables and delicious food beckon visitors and locals alike seven days a week. Rum Point also offers changing rooms, showers, huts, hammocks, snorkelling and volleyball nets. About 45 minutes by car from most hotels and the cruise terminal, Rum Point is well worth the day trip. Another option for accessing Rum Point is by ferry! With affordable prices and killer views, this is a great way to get here and relax or enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner.
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Playa Jibacoa
Playa Jibacoa area, mostly chosen by Cubans, is located on the north coast of Mayabeque. It has resorts and several camping sites of good quality. The area is notable for the beautiful typical landscape with a deep blue sea, surrounded by cliffs, on the side facing the land, and rocky hills where are located the hotels. The excellent beaches are famous for their clear and shallow water and is a local and tourist favourite for snorkeling from the beach. It is worth noting the scuba diving area opposite the shore, where you'll find coral reefs and a good amount of fish and shellfish. There is a wide range of activities to practice in the area, from small hiking to horseback riding or it may be good to rent paddle boats
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Bay of Pigs
The name Bay of Pigs immediately brings to mind the failed invasion by a US-backed army of counter-revolutionaries that happened here in 1961. Nowadays however, it is a destination that is increasing in popularity for tourists for its natural beauty, birding and variety of wildlife, and as a place where excellent diving and snorkelling can be done from the shore. The waters are warm, clear, calm, and brimming with sea life. Back from the shoreline is some dense forest much of which is protect in national parks. There are some interesting excursions that can be done through these forests with local park guides, to caves and natural swimming holes.
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Treasure Beach
Travelling on Jamaica’s South Coast, you’ll discover a treasure chest of coves and bays, where the Caribbean meets our sandy and sometimes rocky shores. A mixture of dark and white-sand stretches, rocky coves, fishermen’s enclaves and secluded swimming spots, the South Coast’s shores promise a range of possibilities. A favourite beach community of both locals and visitors alike is Treasure Beach (a spot that surely lives up to its name). Treasure Beach is a six-mile stretch of coral-coloured and sometimes black sands, private coves and rocky shores. For travellers who want to discover the South Coast’s vibrant local culture and people and are in search of untrodden beaches, a visit to one of Treasure Beach’s main bays – Billy's, Calabash, Fort Charles (also known as Starve Gut) Great and Frenchman’s – is a must. In Calabash Bay, friendly fishermen dock their brightly painted canoes and unload the day’s catch. Visitors swarm, waiting patiently at beachfront cafes and stands, so they can be first to enjoy it – soon to be seasoned and grilled to perfection. Other uniquely Jamaican dishes, such as curried goat, jerked meat and pumpkin soup are also available at roadside stands at Treasure Beach’s public beaches. All lovely, laid-back stretches are well-suited for swimming, snorkeling, biking, hiking, and of course, the mellow vibes of kicking back in the sun with a cold Red Stripe in hand.
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Doctor's Cave Beach
Today, the beach has been greatly improved. The facilities are excellent. The club has well kept changing rooms, showers and lavatories. Its new entrance, administrative office and shop are also quite inviting. Beach chairs, umbrellas and lilos can be rented daily, the beach is manicured every morning and the translucent waters which the doctors recognized as buoyant and invigorating have not changed. Although many other beaches have some of the qualities of Doctor's Cave, none have all of them. The Sand Restaurant and Bar provide a great variety of meals and drinks. Come and enjoy our great famous beach on your next visit to Montego Bay! Doctor's Cave is also a part of the Montego Bay Marine Park which has a wide variety of marine life among the coral reefs.
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Port Royal
One of the oldest and most historic regions of the country, Port Royal has maintained much of its independence as well as its heritage. Once the enclave of pirates and other outlaws, there is still a strong seafaring tradition. Much of the old city, described in the 17th century as the "wickedest city in the west", lies underwater beside the town, the result of an earthquake that in 1692 swallowed about two-thirds of the then-living space. Since then, another earthquake in 1907, numerous hurricanes, fires, and various population-decimating diseases have plagued the town. Despite all, the waters around Port Royal are a virtual archaeological gold mine, filled with pieces of history that tell of everyday life in the earliest days of English occupation. Port Royal is also home to the Archaeological Division of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which recently completed a sonar survey of the underwater city, revealing a sunken pirate ship in the Kingston Harbour. To date thousands of artefacts have been recovered, and there are plans to develop a local museum to showcase these items once the research on them is complete.
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Paradise Cove
Paradise Cove offers direct access to Deadman’s Reef on the island’s southwest side, which is rated the best reef on Grand Bahama Island. The reef is within swimming distance of the beach and teems with tropical marine life. You can explore the reef in a glass-bottom or ocean kayak. A snorkel tour is available that includes transportation, equipment and floatation belts. Available Equipment: Snorkel Gear, Wet Suits, Ocean Kayaks, Glass-bottom Kayaks, Sea Scooters, Floats with window, Lounge Floats. Amenities: Volleyball, Lounge Chairs, Beach Umbrellas, Covered Deck, Games, Bar and Grill, Gift shop, Rest Rooms, Fresh-water Shower. Site is available for exclusive functions.
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Leighton Beach
Leighton Beach is a popular beach just north of Fremantle offering lovely snorkelling, swimming or just an easily accessible spot for enjoying a trip to the beach. With low wave conditions it is suitable for young children. Laze on the soft white sandy beach and observe the skilled wind and kite surfers tackling the winds off the shore. Cool off in the refreshing waters of the Indian Ocean and try your hand at body surfing. On a calm day ensure you have a snorkel to observe the marine life under the water. For the more active, take advantage of the flat water to join some of the locals who swim daily along the coast. Complete a perfect day at the beach with the stunning Western Australian sunset against the backdrop of Rottnest Island.
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Blue Lagoon Island
Located just three miles northeast of Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island (also known as Salt Cay) is home to dolphins and sea lions at Dolphin Encounters, but it also offers everything that you would want on a private island getaway. You can swim in a hidden lagoon with clear blue water, snorkel right off the beach and see coral reefs teeming with numerous species of tropical fish, sunbathe on white-sand beaches surrounded by coconut palm trees, and walk through lush natural vegetation that is the habitat for nesting birds. You can purchase a package that includes round-trip boat transfer to Blue Lagoon Island, lunch, free access to the Inflatable Aqua Park, plus use of the facilities, beach sports and game equipment. Water sports equipment is also available to rent: paddleboards, kayaks, clear bottom kayaks, water bikes, underwater scooters, and snorkeling gear.
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Gaulding Key Beach
This long stretch of white powdery sand beach is a great place to pack a picnic basket and spend a relaxing day at the beach swimming and snorkelling. At low tide, you can walk or swim to Gaulding's Cay, a small island with a few casuarina trees. There is a place to park and shade is also available.
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Love Beach
This small beach, located just below the Stella Maris Resort on the Atlantic side, is partially protected by offshore rocks. Imagine sitting here on the pretty, coarse white sand, alternating with occasional natural rock pools, feeling the ocean breezes, and watching the wave action. Great for snorkelling! The rocks adjacent to the reef contain a wondrous assortment of marine life including parrotfish, gigantic spiny sea urchins, fan and brain coral, queen and grey angelfish, damselfish, grey and yellowtail snapper and butterflyfish.
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Labadee Beach
A horseshoe-shaped bay set into the northern coastline, Labadee is the beach of choice for the cruise ships that regularly call at Haiti. The beach stretches over a mile of soft, silky sand, and crystal-clear blue waters. Labadee is on the same coast as the beautiful Cormier beach, but offers a unique array of attractions catering to visitors who arrive on the cruise ships. You don’t need to join a cruise to get here though - while the Haitian government leases a portion of the bay to Royal Caribbean, most of the area is open to other visitors, and many of the attractions can be accessed by non-cruise guests for a fee. Labadee Beach is home to top-notch adventure attractions including coastal tours, water parks, kayaking, snorkelling and the Dragon's Breath - the world's longest over-water zip-line.
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La Caleta Underwater National Park
La Caleta Underwater National Park, one of the first in the region, is a popular dive site located close to Santo Domingo. It’s known for its multiple shipwrecks, but also for its abundant marine life ready to be explored by all levels of divers, from beginner to advanced. Depths go from six meters (20 feet) to 180 meters (591 feet), over an area stretching 10 km² (four square miles) from Las Golondrinas Cave to Punta Caucedo. La Caleta’s irregular topography includes three defined terraces, underwater caves, and well-known shipwrecks. A variety of corals and schools of colorful critters thrive here, using the reefs as shelter and food source, including grouper, balloon fish, rays, lionfish, octopuses, and turtles. Among the more popular shipwrecks is the Hickory, a 1984 ship located at about 18 meters (60 feet) deep, submerged in 1984 by a group of submarine researchers to create an artificial reef for the proliferation of marine life. Additional wrecks include El Limón and Capitán Alsina, located about 30 meters (100 feet) deep, and the Don Quico at about 58 meters (190 feet) of depth. Nearby, an impressive system of karst rocks creates a meandering network of underwater caverns and tunnels over 100 meters (328 feet) long—an ideal place for technical diving.
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Escambron Beach
Balneario El Escambron is the most picturesque beach in San Juan protected by a coral reef with soft golden sand and perfectly landscaped with tall palm trees providing cozy shaded spots. Be sure to block off much more than beach time, you’ll be walking into a recreational park with enough activities for a fun-filled day the whole family will enjoy. Escambron Beach is located in Puerta de Tierra within walking distance from Old San Juan and Condado. Escambron is the best public beach in the metro area offering much more than a great beach experience. Here you can snorkel, scuba dive, take a romantic walk along the scenic oceanside trail, visit the historic Bateria El Escambron, find quiet spots just for two, enjoy the green area at Parque Tercer Milenio (Third Millennium Park), eat great food and more. The city is vibrant, full of energy but once you get here, you’ll experience the relaxing and invigorating allure of this tropical city.
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Marigot Bay
Just under four miles south of Castries lies a place that has been called "the most beautiful in the Caribbean" by none other than James Michener, who wrote a sweeping chronicle of the islands in 1989. Marigot Bay is a hurricane hole, sheltered in the worst of weather by the steep hillsides that surround its small, deep harbour.