Dominican Republic: one of 10 best snorkeling destinations


Tammy Kwan (CNN) recently listed 10 of the world’s best snorkeling destinations. As Mark Stachiew reports (Caribbean 360), Kwan was assisted by a number of marine experts in determining the top 10, with the assistance of Lee Goldman, marine biologist and snorkeling guide of Coral Triangle Adventures; Jim Sano, vice president of travel, tourism and conservation from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); and Ted Martens, vice president of marketing and sustainability with Natural Habitat Adventures.

The only two spots from the Caribbean were the Dominican Republic, with Silver Bank (photo above), and Mexico’s Isla Holbox (photo below). Here are excerpts from the original article:


[. . .] Silver Bank is one of only a few places in the world where humans can swim and snorkel alongside humpback whales. It’s in a relatively shallow stretch of the Caribbean Sea, making it off limits to large ships. This makes it a safe haven for the North Atlantic humpback whale population to mate and give birth. Snorkelers can catch up with the humpback whales between December and April, when they pass through the area.

A sleepy island off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Holbox is the world’s top destination for whale shark swimming, says Ted Martens, vice president of marketing and sustainability with Natural Habitat Adventures. “These giant creatures are actually harmless,” he adds. During the summer months, the whale sharks swim near the surface and feed on plankton. This is when snorkelers can swim next to the gigantic fish — some of which can reach up to 18 meters (60 feet) in length. As for the island itself, it’s famed for its sound eco-tourism practices. There are no cars here — only golf carts. [. . .]

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