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Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

Moore, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
10 posts
17 reviews
Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

I'd like to take a trip in December 2017 primarily for snorkeling. I am much more interested in vibrant coral than fish, rays, whales, etc. There is a lot of information on the internet and this forum, but I'm worried the global bleaching event has made most of it irreverent.

My question: can anyone make a recommendation as to the best snorkeling anywhere in the world for vibrant coral, given the bleaching event?

What about if I focus only on Southeast Asia, to include Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papa New Guinea, etc.

Thank you in advance.

9 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations
Level Contributor
1,935 posts
25 reviews
121 helpful votes
1. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

Welcome to TripAdvisor. I hope you get some responses to your post suggesting some places where coral has not been affected by bleaching, but unfortunately, I can only offer some general comments and note some places where I have noticed a deterioration in coral vibrancy given my most recent visits to places where I had snorkeled before.

While asking a question like yours in a general, worldwide beach forum is a good starting point, I would strongly recommend that for any destinations that you are considering, that you post specific follow-up questions on the destination specific forums, to get the most current conditions from people who are knowledgeable about the destination. That really is the best way to get the kind of comparative analysis that will allow you to determine if coral bleaching has been an issue in a particular destination, or if the historic reputation remains valid.

My experiences from personal travel are as follows:

1) The Maldives (specifically the house reef at the Conrad Rangali Island) have experienced coral bleaching based on my observations in February 2017 v March 2011.

2) The coral was disappointing in the Turks & Caicos Islands (specifically the off the beach snorkeling near Coral Gardens on Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales) during my December 2015 trip, compared to previous trips between 2007 and 2012.

I also have read on travel forums and other internet sources that coral bleaching is a problem in other areas in the Maldives, in a lot of the Caribbean, and at the Great Barrier Reef.

Hagerstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
2,660 posts
79 reviews
96 helpful votes
2. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

It's been a few years since I've been, but I am heading back to the Cozumel area soon. I took a resort diving course years ago and loved it! I snorkel now whenever I go to the Cancun/Cozumel area. It is still the 2nd largest reef in the world and I doubt I will ever make it to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
48,162 posts
49 reviews
41 helpful votes
3. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

I googled this site - it may help in selecting areas OR keep googling until you get more up to date information . . . as it really does change each year.


Level Contributor
2 posts
41 reviews
4 helpful votes
4. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

Take a look in Indonesia. I have been in Karimunjava and it was wonderful

Kuala Lumpur...
1 post
5. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

Hi @claudia, when did you last visit karimunjava? can you share your travel itenary there please?

Level Contributor
17 posts
25 reviews
17 helpful votes
6. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

Have you been to the Red Sea at the northern end? Taba Heights has a gorgeous reef with lots of fish, rays and some dolphins. Last year (2017) there were mini signs of bleaching, but on the whole the reef was still wonderful with lots of color. The reefs at most of the islands of the Seychelles were all bleached.

Level Contributor
2 posts
41 reviews
4 helpful votes
7. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

You have to go to Jepara and take a fast boat from there to Karimunjava but better to go in September/ October because in December it rains more

Destination Expert
for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
Level Contributor
12,116 posts
585 reviews
270 helpful votes
8. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

NO body noticed that this trip was to be in December 2017???

9. Re: Best coral snorkeling in December anywhere?

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