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Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
29 posts
4 reviews
Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

I want to snorkel when me and my husband go to Bonaire for our anniversary. We're beginner snorkelers so I'm a little nervous. I don't want to miss out on a great experience so I'm trying to be prepared. I'm looking for some tips on how to make the most of it. I have heard that you can snorkel right off of several beaches, but I've also heard that you have to watch out for fire coral. I know that sometimes things can happen, but I would like to try to prevent injuries if possible. Any tips? Thanks so much!

9 replies to this topic
St. Catharines...
Level Contributor
42 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

If you are beginners you should talk to a dive shop and see if they will take you out to train you. It will be money well spent. There are plenty of tours you can book also and if you tell them you are beginners they will work with you to get you going.

This I was told is the best snorkeling tour there https://www.woodwindbonaire.com/ I have been snorkeling for years so didn't use them but heard nothing but good about them. You can prebook before you go if you want.

Wherever you stay there will be a dive shop onsite or close by.

You are headed to one of the best Dive/snorkeling Islands I have ever been to.


Marietta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
Level Contributor
4,748 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Although we have snorkeled for most of our (rather long) lives, we have also taken the WoodWind tour twice and enjoyed it very much both times. It lets you see things you might not otherwise see.

As beginning snorkelers, I would suggest that you initially stick to sites with relatively easy sandy entries. This makes it easier to get in and out of the water and provides a good place for you to rest and survey the area.

You should not touch any coral, whether Fire Coral or otherwise. As long as you follow this rule, the FC is no issue. Some guides will tell you not to touch any coral because it might be Fire Coral; this is just using a scare tactic to make sure you don't touch any coral since touching coral can kill it. FC is not really that common and can usually be easily identified by the color, so very easy to avoid. But please, for the sake of all coral and yourself, don't touch any live coral. Most snorkel sites will also have large rocks/boulders and, as long as there is no coral on them, you can safely touch them.

Napanee, Ontario
Level Contributor
458 posts
57 reviews
3. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Maybe consider contacting Renee or h20 visions(Brenda) for a guided trip. We have taken night snorkels with both and they are both very good.

Level Contributor
6,111 posts
134 reviews
4. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Have a good fitting mask-essential.

You will be best with water shoes and open heel fins for Bonaire. There are mostly rocky entries and sea urchins hiding in the crevasses, though they can puncture your boot, you do get protection.

As said, make it a habit to touch nothing and you will be fine. Even things that look like plain rocks have life in or around them. Fire coral is a baby diarrhea color and smooth, google a pic, but you can touch other things besides that and get stung.

Pay attention to your surroundings: you might dive down to look at something, turn your head and bang into something that you didn’t see, so try to be circumspect in your approach. If you need to pop upright, do not stand on or kick the corals/sealife. You can easily break or kill it.

Don’t feed or harass any wildlife.

Get the booklet Bonaire shore diving made easy. Lists all shore dive sites, entry tips, things to see and rates it on snorkeling too.

salsa savant
Level Contributor
1,213 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Before your vacation you might want to contact an AZ dive shop for snorkel lessons in a pool. This way you can get comfortable with your equipment before coping with the sea. Also if you try a pool noodle you may feel more comfortable floating and enjoying the scenery stress free.

Mason City, Iowa
Level Contributor
50 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

My advice is to RELAX when you are in the water. No need to swim hard or make a big effort to stay afloat. You will be very buoyant in the salt water. If you are nervous rent or buy a snorkeling vest. Breath at a relaxed rate. Woodwind is great for any level of snorkeling. they give lots of attention to beginners. Just be honest about your skill level.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
93 posts
198 reviews
7. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Here are three simple tips for beginner snorkelers...from a dive instructor and 29 year Bonaire visitor:

1. Avoid any area wherein you must enter on and over any exposed coral. There are a few areas for sandy or beachy entry...use them. There'll be plenty of time for more adventurous entries later.

2. Don't snorkel in water that is deeper than your neck until you become totally comfortable with constant variables such as wave and surge

3. Be sure your mask fits properly. Do the hands-free face-suck to test. Ill fit means leakage which will drive you crazy bobbing up and down to clear the thing.

Countless more suggestions, but those three are absolutes for any beginner.

Enjoy !!

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
29 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Thanks so much to all of you who replied! I appreciate it. Any favorite spots for beginner's that you'd recommend?

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
93 posts
198 reviews
9. Re: Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

With my 3 basic suggestions in mind, consider Windsock, Bachelor Beach, and of course, No Name Beach at Klein Bonaire.

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