SCUBA diving isn't the only way to get up close and personal with marine life. You may not get to go as deep without a tank, but if you know where to dive, a snorkel, mask, and fins are all you need to see the underwater world of coral, fish, and even whales and sharks. The best part: snorkeling requires minimal effort, time, equipment, and no certification. Here are thirteen of the best places in the world to mingle with sea creatures — no training necessary.
This narrow, deep finger of the Indian Ocean boasts high biodiversity, with more than 1,200 miles of coral reef and dozens of fish species found nowhere else – plus great visibility and calm seas. Just off the shore from Eilat, the Coral Beach Nature Reserve's three-quarter-mile long coral reef, one of the northernmost in the world, is home to 100 types of coral and 650 types of fish, including butterfly fish, parrot fish, lion fish, and groupers, as well as rays and marine turtles. A number of designated underwater trails are marked by buoys. Hotels in the Coral Beach area, a few miles south of Eilat proper, offer easy access to the near-shore reef.
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