Category : Diving
Let’s Shed Some Light on a Question

There is certain equipment in the scuba category that is necessary for any diver to have, maybe a few extras. Over the years, you know what you need and you collect assorted items for different conditions. There are masks, snorkels, fins, etc. If it is icy cold water, you may want a wet suit as well but in Mexico this isn’t much of an issue. It pertains to trips we take as a group to test other climates and picturesque fish-laden locations.

Any diver worthy of the name also has a group of flashlights in different sizes. Without it, the sea and plant life you are among are not bright. If you use a camera with a flash, you can get some good photos good enough to post on Facebook or Instagram. But if you are just exploring about, you want to light your way and also to bring to life whatever interesting creatures you might see. Get a durable long-life battery operated flashlight small enough to do the job so it is lightweight and compact. If you want a broad reach of the light, try different models. The joy of diving is revealed more fully when you carry a waterproof diving flashlight like these.

Despite diving near the same reef, sea life is not uniform and each time is a new adventure. It is by no means routine. You look forward to discoveries each morning and it keeps you going. You share what you find with your companion divers and sometimes we form a group when something really beautiful is at hand. Life in Akumal on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is glorious indeed. It is a charming tourist town and we enjoy guiding visitors to the wonders of the deep. Some people are expert divers and some are new at the sport. We divide people into assorted groups and assign a guide as a leader. We check their equipment to make sure it is functioning and we are off on a boat.

Spread the word if you can. This is a virtual Mecca for divers. Sure, there are other spots but they tend to be more crowded and dozens and dozens of boats populate the water. There is something special about being alone under the water as you maneuver yourself about in search of photo ops. You feel a certain pleasurable isolation and imagine yourself as a creature of the deep in search of small prey. Of course, you don’t want to imagine yourself as prey but only as safe and secure. I like the time by myself to think and ponder and to glory in new discoveries. Each and every day is an opportunity to encounter the miracles of nature. For me, nature is sea life in any form. I am not as happy on dry land. A day off of diving is not a vacation day.

If You Stand too Close to Fire, You Will Get Burned

All the divers in Akumal love a nighttime bonfire on the beach. It is part and parcel of living in a coastal town. It is not just for the tourists either although they often come. Locals love gathering on the sand and warming themselves near the flames although the evenings are less than frigid. It feels good in any case. We drink beer, chat, share stories, and relax; but don’t get too close or you will get burned. By now we know this cardinal rule. We have seen many guys parading around town with no eyebrows or eyelashes. We know what happened. I read on http://www.eyelashestodiefor.com that eyelashes do grow back after getting burnt but it takes quite a long time and we don’t exactly monitor the fire’s victims.

Divers are not big on roasting marshmallows and there usually aren’t many kids around. The bonfire is a symbol of our craft and a salute to the paradise that is our town. You might think about it as a tribute, but it is also a great excuse to gather, acknowledge one another, and let the god of fire guide us another day. So, a bonfire is a glorious sight but it is also a harbinger of danger. Thus, as divers, we ponder the need for personal vigilance and care. We look out for one another on land and in the sea. A big bonfire lasts almost all night and it is a chance for us to relax and luxuriate in the comfort and softness of the pristine white sand. What a contrast to diving by the reef or exploring every inch of the bay. We live in a world of contrast, opposites, and dualities. It makes for an energizing and exciting life.

It isn’t easy to build a bonfire and it takes many men to carry the wood and other combustibles to the designated sight. The group effort is not unlike our diving time. We swim side by side and watch each other’s backs. Someone is always there for assistance. It is the same with the bonfire. If people stand too close, we take it upon ourselves as fire builders, to advise them to move back. While it is a powerful sight, as fire this size often is, it is also a warning to respect all the elements of nature: earth, fire, air, and water. Standing in awe of the enormous bonfire, you can certainly wax poetical.

Hours into the night, the bonfire still ablaze, we contemplate our good fortune and we thank the god of the sea. We ask for protection but also insight. We never take our diving for granted. It is a sport, a hobby, a source of income, and an obsession. Let the bonfire light our way into the future so we may enjoy many more days of exploration and adventure. You never tire of the practice and you are reticent to leave the water, even for a break. You belong in the sea by nature.

The Cost of Doing Business

Ah! The beauty of the land and the glory and magic of the sea. You can wax poetic when you live in the splendor of nature on the Yucatan Peninsula. Each and every town like Akumal has its particular assets that attract tourists seeking aquatic adventure in droves. We divers are at the heart of the activity, leading groups of people to the most scenic spots. We identify undersea life, take photos, and share the wealth that the area has to offer. We are lucky to be able to do it year round. We are born and break to snorkel. That doesn’t mean that everything is always perfect, but close to it.

Some divers who are inconsiderate violate some basic rules of life. This means not rinsing your sandy gear in anyone’s kitchen sink. I know a fellow who invites himself over for a post-dive beer, not just for the companionship, but because of the amazing pull down kitchen faucet that I have. His fins and snorkel parts fit right below. Let’s put it this way. He is no longer welcome. The sink becomes clogged with sand and needs a plumber to snake the pipe. No one needs this kind of aggravation. After diving, we want to get together for sure, but it is to listen to music, play cards or a video game, speak with friends on our cell phones, or watch TV. We don’t want to wash someone clean their stuff in our sinks. There is such a thing as common respect. It is like rules of the road for bikers. It is an unspoken code so to speak among us that applies to all. A diver who defies the code is immediately ostracized.

The diver who was rude enough to fill another fellow’s sink with sand had to pay for the repair costs. This was the least he could do and he accepted his responsibility. In fact, now he is one of the strongest advocates of proper post-diving manners. He counsels people to use garden hoses or sinks largest enough to accommodate gear. You do want to clean your snorkeling equipment regularly and keep it in shape as much as possible, but you must do so at the right place and the right time. I know someone who contracted toe fungus from dirty fins, so this tells you the consequences of neglect. Diving is not all fun and games. There is a protocol for the sport.

I don’t want to give divers a bad name, particularly those in the Akumal area. If it is a kind of shore paradise, we must act as if we resided in the promised land. Our best behavior is commanded at all times. We have other rules like no drunken and disorderly demeanor in front of the tourists. We are to answer questions to help guide people to their desired destinations as required. We represent a unique and exciting sport that we want to share amiably with others. This means acting the part.

Getting Your PADI certification

Scuba diving can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. With the proper education and training, scuba injuries are infrequent and minor. That’s why it is always recommended that you dive with an instructor or—if you are qualified—diving with a buddy. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors keeps people safe and makes it easy for you to learn. A PADI certification is the most widely recognized certification. That means it will be easier to book a diving trip or rent equipment. It also means that there are more certification classes out there and courses you can take. Before you take a course, you must be a good swimmer and able to handle the physical task of scuba diving.

There are two beginner types of diving certification through PADI. They are Diver and Open Water. The Diver class is better if you are short on time or if you always want an instructor around. The Open Water course takes longer but you get more diving freedoms once you have successfully completed it.

Both courses start with education. You can do this online, in a classroom, or at a dive shop.  If you have never done it before and are not familiar with the oxygen tanks, masks, and respirators needed to dive it is better to do in person. You will learn all about the gear, safe diving procedures, and other information regarding diving in these classes. The Open Water course will go into more depth.

Next, you will complete confined water dives. These are often in a pool or very shallow water. You will do more of these if you are doing the Open Water course. During these confined dives, you will put into use the information you learned in the education class. This is an excellent time to get all your questions answered and to practice safety procedures. It allows you to get familiar with the gear through experience instead of just reading about it while keeping you in a safe and controlled environment.

After you perform well enough in confined water dives, you will be ready for open water diving. These dives give you the opportunity to explore and practice your skills in a typical dive situation. You will be diving in real water, with real currents and sea life. You will still have the security of a dive instructor who will step in and help if you have any problems or concerns. It is a great way to determine whether diving is something you want to pursue. The Diver class does about half of the diving required for Open Water diving certification.

The Diver course will allow you to do open water diving up to 40 ft with an instructor. You will be able to rent air tanks, fills, and participate in dives as long as you are supervised.The Open Water diver class allows you to head deeper, between 60 and 130 feet. You will also be eligible for other courses—Advanced Open Water, Adventure Diver, Rescue Diver, and so on.

If you aren’t sure which course to pick, start with the diver course. You can always add the additional training later.

Not Quite a Ton

It is a distinction among tourists to be a diver of Akumal. They come to work with them as guides or watch them in action. You get your photo taken quite a lot. It is shared around the globe which always makes me surprised. I suppose it is a responsibility to represent a vacation spot, one of the most scenic in the world. As such I can spread the word while I enjoy my favorite avocation under the crystal waters of the sea. I would never change locations or mode of employment. Diving can be lucrative if you know how to parlay it into a business.

Once I decided to treat what I do, and love, as a business and source of income, I started to keep a kind of inventory of my equipment including its age, specifications, and how much each item weights. It is easy to use the bathroom scale to do the weighing part. You can weigh the gear alone, or you can weigh yourself with and without the gear and deduct the difference to verify if you are in doubt. I personally was surprised how light everything is—nowhere near a ton! You want to have an accurate scale so if it requires a new one, then so be it. You will have it for a long life so it is a one-time expense. Get a state-of-the-art digital scale that interfaces with other devices.

As a diver and an athlete, honed by swimming in the glorious waters of Mexico, I am not worried about body fat although most scales include that function along with your current weight in kilos or pounds. If you want to measure your progress if on a diet, it is easy to do so with the modern scales that report the results to your computer or smart phone. I think I will monitor body fat just because the scale can do it. After all, I don’t have to weight my gear that often unless I get a new part. Tanks, of course are another matter but I am more concerned about their capacity and reliability than actual weight. Weight is a concern if you are small and on the weaker side. You want to know when buying one that you can carry it with ease.

Some divers on the portly side use their scales regularly to help them stay on a diet. We do get a lot of exercise, so your only recourse to dropping pounds is to increase time in the water, work out in the gym or job along the shore, or to eat less and drink no beer (one of the great culprits of all time for belly fat). So, if you have need for a scale for any reason at all, by all means buy, beg, borrow, or steal one as soon as possible and begin your designated program. Like me, you may want to treat diving as a business if not a full-time pastime.

Get More Out of Snorkeling

The most basic beginner snorkeling gear is a mask, fins, and snorkel. It seems obvious but when starting out you still want to know how to use each item before buying it and to look for quality and not focus too intensely on price. Snorkeling is more fun when everything is in proper working order. No one wants broken tubes, straps, or fin cracks. It is a sport that can challenge you so why not put the odds on your side. You can pay under fifty dollars so it won’t break the bank. This means you can also replace parts at little cost, but if you buy right the first time, you won’t have to.

When you get more advanced and want to spend a bit more, you can opt for a full-face snorkeling mask that enables the diver to breathe through both the nose and the mouth (a feature of superior functionality) allowing for a more congenial underwater experience, so I highly recommend it unless you are a one-a-year practitioner. Some brands like HEAD have innovative designs that eliminate fogging (the bane of any diver’s existence) and enable you to see the underwater world with clarity and precision. It is an experience like none you have ever experienced before, so let the equipment do a lot of the work and let you have a clear field at all times. Most people like that the mask covers the entire face and thus keeps it perfectly dry. The top is engineered in such a way that water will not enter. What could be better than that?

It doesn’t end here. Snorkeling gear can get increasingly fancy as you commit to the diving sport. Buying some fins will allow you to power through the current with ease, saving your muscles from unnecessary strain. I personally love the durable design and adjustable heel strap for a customized fit. If you want comfort, you can have it. Those with latex allergies can buy them 100% latex-free. Don’t take your choice lightly. Some models with vented blades are conceived to reduce leg strain so you can conserve energy and stay in the water longer. Unless you are mighty man, these are important considerations.

A snorkel is not just a snorkel by the way. I like a low-profile shape for better vision and drag reduction. I want a consistent fitting so fit-point markets help. The material I trust is medical-grade silicone with a soft and flexible headband. I like to be able to pullout and unclick the device, then press the side button to separate the parts. I always want to maintain the proper head position and body alignment using the right model. Some snorkels come with good goggles that help you focus on your stroke technique and tempo. It is your choice. I also want to breathe without rotating, also an issue that pertains to body alignment. I don’t want to end my day with a headache so all these features matter. It is all about comfort and eliminating any pinching. You want the snorkel to sit close to the face for stability. Meanwhile, look for a streamlined shape that will help you cut efficiently through the water. Last but not least, ask about warping over time and discoloration. You get what you pay for.

What Diving Means to Us

It is true that we have all met and become friends through diving. Now we even hang out together socially. It can be a great bonding experience with friends you already have.It is also an excellent way to meet like-minded people. For us, scuba diving is so much more than just a hobby or a job.It is a source of camaraderie and friendship. You know that you are with people who care about you and have your back. It is an easy way to put aside your troubles for a moment and experience something few people get a chance to see while having your friends right there with you.

When you scuba dive, you have access to this whole other part of the world. 70% of the earth is covered by water. That makes it accessible to nearly everyone.However, not everyone takes advantage of all that water and bothers to check it out by diving. People have plenty of reasons. They think it is hard work, too expensive, mistakenly believe it is dangerous, or they don’t want to “bother” with the certification process. That means more dive time for us but we also don’t want people missing out because they are uneducated about our favorite pastime.

As a group, we can honestly say that some of our best memories have happened underwater.We put on our tanks and investigate the sea life inside some coral. Or we can swim with sea turtles, dolphins, and other sea creatures. There are caves and caverns to explore. You really do feel like you are a part of Nature. While you are an observer, it doesn’t feel passive in any way. You do not just feel separate from your environment at all. Nature gets up close and personal. You experience things underwater that other people don’t get to.You get to be part of something that other people have no idea about.We love to scuba dive because of moments like that.

Life is so short. There are so many opportunities that pass you by when you’re just existing in your own world and not actually taking part in the life around you. That’s one of the reasons why we dive, why we are instructors, and why we started this blog. We want to help people feel like they are part of the world through scuba diving.We think that it’s one of the most amazing things that you’re ever going to do.One of our goals of this website is to be able to show people what it means to scuba dive.We want you to know how to do it safely.We can tell you what you need to do in order to progress in the sport.You should also know how to participate in an ocean habitat without disturbing it.

Scuba diving changed our lives for the better and we hope that you feel the same way.

Pack Smarter

We live in a great place to live and dive in Akumal, Mexico. Some call it a virtual paradise and they would be right. We can spend every day on the spot poised for action, sometimes with tanks on in the water for some undersea exploration. I don’t call variety the spice of life when the one basic thing you do is so gratifying. The variety comes not from the diving or snorkeling, but from what you see under the surface. In case you don’t know about our lovely area, it is a small town on the Yucatan Peninsula about an hour’s drive from glorious Cancun. Our beaches are unsurpassed in beauty and kissed by the sun.

We are called the land of turtles, which is actually the name of Akumal in Mayan. A wealth of other marine animals are to be sighted. If nothing else, you can enjoy a spectacular bay with crystal clear waters. It is protected by a shallow bay, a secluded beach, and a nearby reef ideal for snorkeling. If peace and quiet is what you want, you have come to the right spot.

When we are out diving to our heart’s content, we carry our waterproof backpacks in a small boat so we can stop for a rest and something to eat. Thus, we needn’t go ashore unless we want to at the end of the day. After all, the town is picturesque with quaint restaurants dotting the main street. If you pack smart, you have other things you need at all times. Thus, spotting a boat full of backpacks is not an unusual site. The person who forgets one, goes hungry. Just kidding! We willingly share. We are a team out to practice our craft and have a good time. No ones’ personal needs go unmet.

Visitors abound in our part of the peninsula. There is as mentioned Akumal Bay, but also Half Moon Bay and Yalki Lagoon—the three major destination points. We are known of course for the famous divers, but also for tourist snorkeling. It is among the best in the world because sea life is rife on the reef. No one would want to miss an opportunity to see the magic that lies beneath. You can go alone or take a guided tour. But remember, you will need guidance about where to go. You can rent a glass-bottomed boat for a special treat and the snorkeling equipment comes with the deal. If you are lucky you will get to see our famous sea turtles among the corals and fish. So, get those flippers on and get ready for some fun.

If you are on your own, beware of the “fire reef” with its red coral that stings. You won’t want to touch any kind of coral at all as it dies on human contact. Respect our area and you are destined for adventure and an incredible experience. You will want to visit us again for sure.

Don’t Be Gross

Life in Akumal is quiet and serene populated with days of incredible water recreation and excitement. When you dive into the depths of the ocean, you often spot things you have never seen before. If someone could see your face, they would see eyes lit up with excitement. Sometimes you get to capture it all on film if you are lucky and have the time. You want to share it with others, especially potential tourists that provide the town with valuable revenue. As divers, we represent our bay and we want to crow about what it has to offer. It is an incredible vacation spot for those who love the sun, the sand, and the sea. Who doesn’t? I am not one to ski in frigid climes for my days off. Give me the Yucatan Peninsula any time. There are numerous spots, each more glorious than the other. Come and stay for a week or more and have the time of your life.

As a diver, I am not immune to requirements of cleanliness. It doesn’t seem like something you would worry about when you frequent the sea. In point of fact, you want to keep your scuba gear moisture free when out of the water, particularly the regular and of course the flippers. I know more than one diver who has been infected with foot fungus from the mold that grows inside these swimming aids. Most people wouldn’t know it unless it happened to them at least once. Since toe fungus is gross—smelly, black and yellow, and icky—you want to be vigilant about drying everything out.

I remember one new diver who hadn’t gotten the word yet and was parading about town in flipflops and shorts. He was seated at a café table with legs crossed so you could see his feet bobbing up and down in the air. You could see more than that. You could get a close-up glimpse of a terrible toe fungus that lurked in between his toes. I immediately thought to myself, don’t be gross. Now who was going to tell him this was not cool? Who was going to remind him about taking care of swimming gear? Sure, it might be embarrassing, but telling him was the only way to stop this malady from spreading to the rest of us. I know he belonged to a gym and I wasn’t about to walk around or take a shower in any place where he might have been. Fungus is highly contagious so getting rid of it is a must.

Well, he did respond to several complaints and sprayed his feet with anti-fungal powder which did the job in two to three days. We now felt safe to walk in his footsteps wherever he went, apart from the water. You aren’t going to have a problem there unless you wear his unclean fins. After this incidence, it never happened again as no one wanted to be the next fungus victim. Our feet were now squeaky clean.

Last One In… Doesn’t Freeze Anymore

After a vigorous day of diving and snorkeling, the guys gather at the shop to rinse off and spare their showers at home from a load of sand down the drain. More than one of us has had a bad clog and needed to call an expensive plumber. No wonder some of us have tried to learn that trade. We don’t have much free time as you can imagine, but it became necessary and over time a few of us became proficient. Not only unstopping drains, but we can install a new tankless water heater as well. This we did at the shop to ensure that the water for rinsing off is at the optimum temperature—not too boiling, and not too tepid. We don’t expect the perfect temperature, just a decent one that works for most of us. It was a good decision and also turned out to be economical by using our own labor. I love upgrading appliance anywhere I go because it means you are being modern and up to date at heart. Plus, no cold, freezing water for the last diver who needs to rinse off before going home.

The shop has several owners and they honestly professed their inability to buy a new tankless water heater to replace the old warhorse. So, we pooled our tips from conducting tourist tours and found that we had enough for the best advanced model. After all, we were the ones that were going to use it. We are used to cold water although the ocean here in Akumal on the Riviera Maya is not like the Atlantic. But why suffer sudden spurts of icy water if you don’t have to. We are creatures of the sand and the sun and not one of us has set one foot in the Arctic. We are not about to in the form of an afternoon shower.

The life of a diver is not difficult and while intense, it is the life of ease. You have no sets of managers lurking about a corporate office. Your time is your own. You run your diving business according to your own needs and income requirements. You live in a paradise that is the envy of most. You could brag to almost anyone who would listen and they would agree. I have no complaints and taking a cold shower is low on the list to be sure. But when we did something about it and replaced the water heater, a lot of guys were mighty happy. Just one more little pleasure to add to the many that makes up our day. We are a tough bunch as divers go—real outdoors types. A hot shower is therefore a treat and not a must. Now it is our common practice thanks to our tips. In tourist season, we can do well. It is nice to put the money to good use. Even when there is a winter off season hiatus, there is always going to be more.

Beginner’s Tips for Gear

There are lots of equipment required for scuba diving.There are also a lot of cool gizmos that make it easier or more fun. So we have written up some info as a shopping guide to let you know what we use.Also what we think is fun to have.

Must have stuff: regulator and BC. Do some research online before you head out to make a purchase. Talk to dive store employees and other divers. You will get a better idea of what is good and what is right for you.

A regulator is your mouthpiece. It takes the air out of the tank and makes it breathable. These can get complicated.We will not go into all the different features. For beginners, a simple regulator without too many switches or controls is fine. Get something that feels comfortable. Being underwater will be a totally different situation and something that felt fine in the dive shop might not feel great when you’re on a dive. It happens to all of us. Have a professional determine how long your hose needs to be.

Your BC is the most important thing you will put on when diving. BC stands for buoyancy compensator (some people say buoyancy control device and call it a BCD). It is like an underwater backpack slash lifejacket. A good BC will keep your gear in place.It will also make moving around with that bulky oxygen tank easier. It will keep you floating on the surface and keep you where you want to be (neutral buoyancy) when you’re diving. When you’re trying these on, make sure that it is both the right size and that it fits well. All valves must be easy for you to reach. A great BC can last a long time so get something good.

More necessary stuff: Mask and fins.Fit is the most important thing here. Fins must be comfortable. Snug so they won’t fall off but you can still move your toes. As for your other end: you need a mask that will fit your face with a watertight seal. Bring your regulator with you when you buy a mask to make sure it still seals when you have the regulator in your mouth.

Good to havestuff: exposure suit, watch, camera.

You may need a wetsuit or exposure suit. The deeper you go, even in warm water, the colder it will get. Buy something rated for the temperature you need. It should be snug but not too tight. If it is loose, the suit won’t work. If it is too snug, you won’t be able to move.

If you have a dive instructor, you won’t need a dive watch. Otherwiseit is great to have. Dive tables can be hard but you need them for safety reasons. A dive watch makes things much easier. Get one that gives you the info you want quickly and easily. There are models with lots of bells and whistles but who wants to be searching for life-saving info?

This last one is pretty straightforward: if you want to record memories, you’ll need an underwater camera. Check the pressure rating before you buy one of these.

That’s a basic list of what you need and is good to have. Some people always take a dive knife but for us, it depends on what we’re doing and where we are going. Same with a dive light. You can rent these kinds of things as a sort of try before you buy so that you know what works for you. We also recommend talking to experienced divers, including the employees at dive shops. Get as much info as you can before putting down your money.

Diving in Akumal

Most of us started out as visitors to Akumal. We heard stories about it being a diver’s paradise. We were lured here by the promise of great dive sites, the sea life, and the Cenotes. Some of us now live here full time and others stay longer and longer every year. Some of us even make a living by being dive instructors here. It is a great place to dive. The more you dive here, the harder it is to leave. Trust us!If you don’t have your certification, Akumal is a great place to do it. With an open water diver referral, you can take the education portion at home and your dives here to complete your dive training. It is definitely worth a visit.

Akumalis a truly special place. It has the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It provides a home to all kinds of sea creatures. Most dive sites are a short boat ride from land, so you can spend more time diving and less time traveling. The reef is a great place to start your adventure. We are known for our sea turtles and if you are lucky you will see some therealong with other cool things. Be sure to give them space because it is illegal to touch the sea life. It is for their safety as much as your own. You will be required to wear biodegradable sunblock or you can wear a wetsuit to protect the turtles from chemicals.

As you get better and more experienced as a diver, Akumal also offers caverns and caves.These are called overhead environments because you cannot just swim directly up to the surface if you have any problems or run out of air. That is why you need more experience and understanding if you dive in caves or caverns. You should always go with a buddy or a dive instructor who is familiar with the area so that it is easy to find your way out again.Most dive shops and resorts will set you up with a dive instructor to help you navigate these caverns, as there are a lot of them.

The caverns and caves (called Cenotes) offer a unique diving experience. It is a beautiful and interesting underwater landscape.The Mayans thought they were the entrance to the underworld. You will find lots of interesting sights and beautiful landscapes in these underground freshwater rivers. The limestone formations are very cool to look at. In a cavern dive, you will stay within sight of the entrance at all times. If you are up for it, you can go even deeper and explore our cave system. Be careful that you are not claustrophobic! We have lines that we leave to help you find your way back out but you will need a light and a buddy to be safe.

When you get here, visit a dive shop or talk to your hotel about dive trips. Go with an experienced and certified diver as your guide and you will have an amazing time. The experience will last your whole lifetime.

Diving vs. Snorkeling

People often argue about which is better: diving or snorkeling. There is no right or wrong answer. Although we say diving is way better of course. It is a matter of opinion. Before you book an excursion or dive trip, we highlight the differences here for you:

One main differences is investment. Scuba diving requires more of an investment—in money and time. You don’t need any education or training in order to snorkel. You just have to be able to swim. However, if you want to scuba dive, you need proper training to do it safely. That means you have to take an education class and perform practice dives. That costs money and it takes time.

Snorkeling is done with a mask, a tube, and fins. You breathe in and out through the tube so you need to stay near the surface. Scuba diving, on the other hand, requires more gear. You will need a pressurized gas tank, a hose, a regulator, and a mouthpiece in order to breathe. You will wear something to help you with buoyancy and possibly weights. This means that scuba diving is going to require renting or purchasing more equipment.This is typically more expensive. The equipment is also much heavier.

Snorkelers usually prefer shallow reefs.The deepest being about 12 feet. You hold your breath if you want to fully submerge for something like spear fishing or to get closer to marine life that are at a lower depth. You are limited in that you can only stay down as long you can hold your breath. Depending on your scuba diving experience and certification level, however, you can go much deeper. You do not have to worry about holding your breath because you have your own air. You can stay fully submerged longer and see thing that are further down in the water or on the ocean floor.

There are safety hazards in each activity. Because you tend to stay near the surface, people can get sunburned while snorkeling. There is also the risk of not being seen by jet skis, boats, or other watercraft and being hit by something. Without instructors or education, snorkelers are more likely to touch poisonous coral or be unable to clear their breathing tube when it becomes submerged. Diving, on the other hand, can cause decompression sickness or oxygen toxicity when you disregard safety procedures.

Snorkeling tends to be done in warm waters that are clear. Scuba divers, however, can dive just about anywhere. Wetsuits or exposure suits enable divers to experience dives just about anywhere–cold or warm water. Because you bring your own air, you don’t need to hang out near the surface. You can get down to where the sea life really is, in deep blue oceans or crystal clear waters.

It depends on where are and what you want to see. We’re not going to tell you which one is right for you. Only you can decide that. But we will always recommend giving diving a try. The only thing limiting you on a dive will be the amount of air left in your tank.