Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling: The Great Debate

So you’re going on vacation, and aren’t sure if you should be going snorkeling, or making that extra effort to scuba dive. Snorkeling is so much easier, doesn’t require the extra training you’ll have to do (and keep doing), and costs a lot less. But everyone makes it seem like you’re missing out if you don’t scuba dive! Well, we went to the Great Barrier Reef, and went snorkeling and scuba diving for almost a week; here is our experience!

If you don’t care to read or see more, here’s our one-line verdict: ideally do both, but if you can only do one, we’d recommend snorkeling IF you go to the right places. Scuba diving and snorkeling give you such different perspectives, you should try both if you have the time.  You can watch both our Great Barrier Reef snorkeling and scuba diving videos below to decide for yourself! And keep reading if you want more details.

Pros for scuba diving:

  1. A fully immersive experience.
  2. You don’t get pushed around by the currents as much and can position yourself.
  3. You may get to see things you can’t see while snorkeling.
  4. There are more tour options and dive spots.

Pros for snorkeling:

  1. If you are at good spots, the coral reefs near the surface are spectacular.
  2. You can see a rainbow of colors compared to scuba divers where everything is blue (unless you are lighting things up).
  3. A large variety of visible sea life that may be hidden away deeper in the water.
  4. Much cheaper.
  5. Doesn’t require any training.
  6. You can stay in the water longer than if scuba diving (or go back early).

Again, if you can, try both! Otherwise, in the right places, the snorkeling is spectacular. Obviously, your actual experience will depend on the specific places you go, the time of year, and your luck.

Happy travels!


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