Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving – Underwater discovery

Maybe you are deciding between investing in snorkeling gear or paying for a good diving tour. Or maybe you are evaluating to get a PADI certification, but you have doubts if snorkeling may be enough for you. Snorkeling vs scuba diving. What are the main differences? Which of them brings a better experience? These are questions that we want to answer in this article.

Many of the top tourist destinations in the world have one thing in common which is an unbelievable underwater experience. One of those top destinations happens to be Costa Rica and it is located in the Americas and it is situated between South America and Central America.

Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving

It also lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. With its unique underwater terrain and nearby islands, it provides some of the best underwater experiences ever. Whether you prefer snorkeling or scuba diving, there is plenty to see.

Which is better Snorkeling or Scuba Diving?

In a snorkeling vs Scuba Diving battle, which practice wins? Both are brilliant sports in many ways. It is hard to compare the two.

Snorkeling is basically an underwater view from above and the scuba diving is an underwater view from within.

So, let’s dive a little deeper into the subject and learn somethings about both and you can decide for yourself. We will begin by talking a little about each and then get into more details a little later on.

What is snorkeling?

Snorkeling is the act of swimming just below the surface of the water while breathing through a tube that extends up out of the water. This allows you to see the underwater scenery from a very high level. A very good way to view very swallow reef formations and other areas closer to shore. Not a lot of equipment is necessary to buy in order to go snorkeling on a vacation.

What is scuba diving

Scuba diving is defined as fully submerged swimming underwater with the aid of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. This allows you to get a much deeper and up close and personal experience with the marine life in waters surrounding your vacationing destination.

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Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving, What are the similarities ?

When it comes to snorkeling and scuba diving there are some similarities and also some differences. Let’s look at the ways they are similar first.

Both snorkeling and scuba diving require you to be able to swim to some degree. You will be wearing swim fins to aid in swimming and there is a mask of some type that will be worn.

Practicing Scuba Diving

That is about it, the very short list of the ways that snorkeling and scuba diving are similar.

if you want to know more about scuba diving, this is also a good article to read.

What are the differences between Snorkeling and Scuba Diving?

While snorkeling and scuba diving share some characteristics, the differences are quite stark.

One of the main ways the two are different is that in snorkeling you are at the surface of the water and in scuba diving you are fully submerged and you can go down as deep as you feel safe going.

Snorkeling on top of the water

However, In order to go scuba diving on your own, you must first take a scuba diving class and pass a certification exam. Fortunately, this can be accomplished with the help of a local diving shop where you are vacationing.

Scuba diving gives you the feeling of being part of the marine life that surrounds you. Scuba diving brings you so much closer to the underwater world and you will be able to see the beautiful marine life and reef formations around you. This is more difficult to appreciate from the surface.

3 Reasons why Caño Island is a great Costa Rica diving destination

Drone footage at Caño Island, the best diving place in Costa Rica.

When thinking about snorkeling vs scuba diving, another important difference is the depth that can be reached. In diving you can go deeper and stay underwater for longer. Of course, you don’t have to hold your breath, unlike snorkeling.

The last way the two are different is in the equipment needed to snorkel and the equipment needed to scuba dive.

Required equipment for snorkeling

For snorkeling, the list of equipment needed to be able to go snorkeling is quite small.

  • A pair of swim fins.
  • One mask.
  • One Snorkel.

Those usually can be purchased ahead of time or simply rented from the dive shop.

Snorkeling Equipment

Depending on your buoyancy skills, you may need a floating vest, so you can safely stay on the surface and take in the underwater views. However, wearing a vest will not allow you to go a bit deeper to take a closer look at marine life.

Required equipment for scuba diving

The list of equipment necessary for Scuba Diving is larger and more expensive. Fortunately, you can rent all of the gear at your local dive center near you, during your vacations. The required items for scuba diving are:

  • The mask.
  • Wet suit.
  • Regulator.
  • Air tank.
  • Swim fins.
  • Weights.

Read also: How to choose the best scuba diving mask

If you are an experienced diver and you are diving with few partners or without a guide, we recommend using the computer. It is important that you have training and prior knowledge of how to use it. This will make your experience safer.

Scuba Diving Equipment wet suits


So, Snorkeling vs Scuba diving. Which is better?

We leave it to your discretion. What we can say is that both provide a unique and different experience. If you are a snorkeling enthusiast, we encourage you to try Scuba Diving.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are both water activities that allow you to experience something special when visiting a destination like Costa Rica.

If that is where you plan to vacation next, you will want to stop in at Costa Rica Dive and Surf Dive Shop, located in Uvita, Puntarenas.

They will be able to handle all of your snorkeling and scuba diving needs when looking to enjoy the waters around Caño Island, one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica.

Send us a message ! We will be happy to help you !