7 Unexpected Snorkeling Spots Around The World Mary Zakheim July 13, 2016 Adventure Travel, Travel Guide Tired of the same old lists with the same old tropical snorkeling spots? Yeah. We are too. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of unique diving spots — from exploring the continental divide off of the coast of Iceland to gazing in awe at the underwater museum in Cancún, there’s so much more to snorkeling than just spotting Clown Fish in crystal clear waters (though that’s fun too)! And because snorkeling is perfect for beginners and requires little to no training (unlike scuba diving), it’s an ideal activity for curious travelers. The Highlands, Scotland Yup, you read that right. The Scottish Highlands — known for its verdant green and chilly rolling landscapes – just announced the creation of their very own snorkeling trail. Snaking along the country’s northwest coast, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has set up a trail that lets brave snorkelers dive right into the chilly Atlantic to see the fascinating marine life that inhabits this interesting ecosystem. With dive locations meant to cater to beginner as well as advanced snorkelers, visitors can spot lobsters, bright corals, and jellyfish along this unexpected but beautiful snorkeling vista! Churchill, Manitoba, Canada Every summer around June, beluga whales escape the cold Hudson Bay for the warmer climes of the Churchill River, located at the northeastern part of the Canadian province. Tour guide company Sea North Tours lets you suit up and snorkel with the ghostly white whales — it only requires an icy plunge and an adventurous spirit. Once the surprise of the chilly waters subsides, the peaceful song of dialogue between the whales will serve to enchant you – and help you forget how cold you’ll likely be. Plus, the Wapusk National Park is nearby, so you can hike, spot more wildlife, and camp out while you enjoy Canada’s natural beauty. Crystal River, Florida How do you know winter is coming in Florida? You wait for the manatees to swim up the Crystal River from the Gulf of Mexico. The waters in the Gulf drop to a chilly 68 degrees, causing the manatees to head into the warm springs of the Crystal River (located in a national park on the western side of Florida). Florida tour company American Pro Diving leads divers into to visit and play with the manatees. Just be ready for an early wake up call! The manatees, fresh off of a mostly solitary summer will be playful and active, eager to interact with their fellow sea cows and snorkelers alike. Cancún, Mexico It boasts 517 sculptures, three different galleries, six different artists’ contributions, and, oh yeah, it’s all underwater. Off the coast of Cancún lies the 2009 brainchild of Marine Park Director Jaime González Cano, who was looking for a way to curb the negative effects of massive tourist travel to local coral reefs. By creating the Underwater Museum of Art, Canto hoped to divert some of the large amounts of tourists away from the precious ecosystems. The galleries are meant to show how humans and marine life can positively coexist together. Plus, it features some really spectacular works of art. Bláskógabyggð, Iceland The fact that Iceland, the land of volcanoes, elves, glaciers, and thermal springs, plays host to an incredible snorkeling experience should come as a surprise to no one. At Bláskógabyggð’s Thingvellir National Park, intrepid snorkelers will find themselves swimming between a continental rift. That’s right, this snorkel and dive site is located where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates converge! Not only will you be swimming between continents, but you’ll also have visibility of an unheard of 100 meters and get to see the craggy volcanic rocks that make up much of Iceland’s foundation.There are plenty of snorkel and dive companies like Arctic Adventures that will give you the necessary equipment to brave the 35 degree waters and experience what it’s like to be between two continents. Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica If you’re willing to swing the expensive journey to the southern tip of the world, you simply have to snorkel there, too. Dive companies like Expedition Trips lead travelers out in the Antarctic Peninsula on a research ship where they dive under thick sheets of ice and along icy walls, reveling in the array of colors that the collision of the sun and the crystalline waters produce. Dive from a beach or a small inflatable raft – and even try your hand at kayaking in the chilly waters after your dive. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of an emperor penguin diving for its dinner! Cooper River, South Carolina Tired of all this crystalline visibility talk? Good, because when you snorkel in Cooper River, you won’t have any of it. With visibility at just under a foot, divers need to tie themselves to their posts just to find their way out of the river. Referred to as “blackwater diving”, snorkelers go through this sort of blind dive for the ultimate prize: a fossilized Megalodon shark tooth. Though divers have found other sorts of fossils, the aim of a dive in the pitch-black waters of Cooper River is to find a tooth from the ancient fish that roamed the Earth’s oceans up to 23 million years ago. Plenty of companies offer tours around the area — all of them claiming to be the best in being able to find shark teeth. Check out Cooper River Dive Charters and try to snatch an envied fossil! Which snorkeling spot are you itching to get to? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!