Whether you’re looking for a nice relaxing vacation or you’re someone who loves the ocean, snorkeling is a great idea. It can truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you’re well-prepared, especially in terms of how much you can afford to spend. If you don’t get the numbers right beforehand, you might end up spending much more than your budget allows. Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of snorkeling.
A basic snorkeling tour can cost between $30-$50 per person if you are renting gear(mask, snorkel and fins) while for guided tours you can pay anywhere from $50-$150 or more, depending on the duration and location of the tour.
If you’re intending to buy your own snorkel gear, you can expect to spend $100 or more depending on the quality and brand.
There are tons of other factors that can affect the price including, duration, accommodation, food, transportation and other activities.
The following are some of the factors that will determine the overall price of a snorkeling tour.
To make your snorkeling tour more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable, you need some gear. What gear you need depends on the level of your water skills. The more skills the less equipment you require.
Further Reading: How to Snorkel: Beginner Guide + Pro Snorkeling Skills
You can buy your own equipment or rent it. Renting basic snorkeling equipment can cost anywhere from $20-$50 or more per day while buying good quality can cost you at least $100.
Buying or renting will depend on your individual circumstances and how often you intend to go snorkeling. Buying your own gear is ideal if you plan to go snorkeling frequently and want the convenience of easily accessing your equipment any time you want it. It is more cost-effective.
Renting snorkel gear is ideal if you only plan to go snorkeling a few times a year.
Companies have several price ranges for rentals. Here’s an example of the equipment pricing for South Florida Diving Headquarters.
|Gear||Price per day|
|Mask / Snorkel||$5.00|
|Regulator (with computer)||$15.00|
|HD Camera / Video Mask||$25.00|
|Air Tank (50 cu’ – 80 cu’)||$10.00|
|Air Tank (100 cu’ – DIN valve)||$12.00|
|Nitrox Tank (50 cu’ – 80 cu’)||$15.00|
|Nitrox Tank (100 cu’ – DIN valve)||$18.00|
|Gear Package (2 tanks & gear)||$45.00|
You might not need all this equipment, for example, the HD camera, if you bring your own. Also, bear in mind that not all companies offer a full range of rentable equipment. You should check before booking a trip.
Some companies like Key West have great offers that include snorkeling gear and even complimentary beverages. All they ask is that you bring the basics with you: a towel, sunscreen, a bathing suit, and lunch/snacks. The cost of the trip is about $38 for adults and $27 for children.
If you plan on going snorkeling on your own, you’ll need a boat. Of course, that’ll add to your expenditures. You can find rentals for as cheap as $199/day, but the cheaper the boat, the smaller it is. If more than 4 people are going on the trip, you might need a bigger boat, which could cost around $300-$350/day.
Another option you can opt for is a water taxi. It’s a cheap alternative for those who don’t own a boat. The pricing depends on the company you choose, but water taxis generally cost somewhere between $15-40.
The Number of People (Adults & Children)
You definitely have to consider the number of people going snorkeling when calculating the cost. If you’re a family of three, then you’re going to triple the cost of everything including equipment rentals and cruise pricing. Companies usually offer reservations that are $10-15 cheaper for children.
The Duration and Number of Trips
One thing you should keep in mind when choosing a company is duration. For example, Key West might not be that expensive, but at the same time, the entire trip takes only 3 hours. If you want to spend more time out in the ocean, you might want to consider a different company. However, you’ll find that 3 hours of snorkeling can be more than enough time.
This is probably the most important factor to consider. Why? Well, if you’re going snorkeling, you want to actually see something underwater, right?
The ocean is full of wonders just waiting for you to set your eyes on them. There are all kinds of fish and aquatic creatures. Some places house underwater museums, famous shipwrecks, bubbling volcanoes, stinger-less jellyfish, and tectonic plates.
One amazing place you can visit in Key Largo, Florida is the John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park. It’s the first undersea park in the United States.
You’ll also get a chance to see the legendary Christ of the Deep, which is a bronze statue that submerged in 1965 and has since been a home for coral and fish.
The pricing of snorkeling to the undersea park isn’t as high as you’d expect. The 2.5-hour tour costs about $30 for adults and about $25 for children. You can also book an extended 4.5-hour snorkeling adventure for about $39.
If you live in New York and you decide to go snorkeling in Hawaii, then you have to consider the cost of accommodation. Ocean-front hotels are going to be much more expensive than city-based hotels. Look for a place that isn’t too far from your location, but also comfortable and affordable.
Keep in mind that most snorkeling tours happen around 9-10am, unless of course, you book an afternoon trip. If your hotel is 1-2 hours away from the snorkeling location, you might end up missing your trip and losing your reservation. Always think ahead.
When it comes to food, there are two things you want to think about: food for you and food for the fish. If you plan on attracting fish while snorkeling, then make sure to bring some fish food with you. It’s usually not that expensive, ranging somewhere between $5-10.
As for your own food, you generally want to avoid eating 2 hours before snorkeling. After your adventure, you can eat all you want. Some companies offer complimentary drinks and lunch. If your company doesn’t, be sure to bring your own because snorkeling will definitely make you hungry.
If the snorkeling location is not easily accessible by car, you may have to pay for transportation to get there, for example by boat.
Some guided snorkeling tours may include other activities such as island hopping, scuba diving, or wildlife spotting, which can add to the overall cost of the tour.
If you really want to have a good time, plan ahead. Think about everything you’re going to need on your snorkeling trip. Calculate the cost and leave some space in your budget for the unexpected. Choose a fun destination that has historical sites, museums, undersea parks, or interesting aquatic creatures. And remember, snorkeling can truly be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but only if you plan ahead.
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