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You can get a basic snorkel for a few bucks, which comes as a relief to parents paying for airfare to get to the best snorkeling destinations. Calm, clear waters in warm climates are the best places to snorkel, and these destinations aren’t always low-cost. The best places are Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, the Caribbean and the Red Sea. To commune with whales, try Tahiti’s Rurutu.

However, many snorkeling enthusiasts will tell you that the experience of observing exotic flora and fauna in its native environment is worth the cost. Learning to snorkel is easy and requires little experience and minimal equipment, so even the smaller members of your family can join in. Ancient divers breathed through hollow reeds so they could remain under the water longer, and snorkeling hasn’t strayed far from its roots. A modern snorkel is simply a hollow tube with a mouthpiece. Usually a mask and swimming fins are also worn to aid the underwater sightseeing.


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