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.
Gran Cenote, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Collapsed, water-filled caves dot the porous limestone of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The Mayans viewed these cenotes as gateways to the underworld, and the ethereal light of reflected sun makes it easy to believe. The fresh water is so clear that swimming through it feels like flying. Explore around floor-to-ceiling columns that formed inside Gran Cenote when it was a dry cave and venture beneath the overhang toward the darkness, with a clear view to the bottom 36 feet below. Xibalba Dive Center in Tulum provides outings to Gran Cenote and others in the area.
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