Going to Boracay is always a top vacation destination in the Philippines. It offers luxury hotels, unique establishments, and a picturesque view where you can take advantage of many beach benefits. But while everyone (even in other parts of the world) seem to have a good idea of what to do in Boracay, a first-timer on the island may be clueless.
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Truth be told, whether it’s your first time in Boracay or not, you will never run out of fun things to do! One of the exciting activities you can try is snorkeling. Snorkeling is going to be an easy and fun activity when you start familiarizing yourself with the beginner’s snorkeling guide. This water activity lets you enjoy the beauty of the ocean. Unlike scuba diving, it requires minimal equipment and it is something that you can learn on your own.
But even if it is easy to learn, snorkeling in Boracay can be tough if you don’t know the basics. Water flooding in your snorkel and foggy masks may be some of the unfortunate situations you can get into while snorkeling. Don’t worry though! Here’s an easy snorkeling guide that beginners like you can take note of. From gear preparation to snorkeling do’s and don’ts, you’ll be good at snorkeling in no time.
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Snorkeling gear preparation
Before you buy your own snorkel gear, make sure you have at least basic swimming skills. This list includes a float vest for your gear, but it’s best to know swimming basics so that you can make the most of your snorkeling experience.
Find a mask that fits your face well. To test your snorkel gear’s fit, place the mask on your face without using the strap. Then, look up the ceiling to check if the mask is resting evenly on your face with no gaps.
Your snorkel should feel comfortable in your mouth. Of course, you can’t try putting it on your mouth while buying one because of hygiene reasons. To get the best version of this snorkeling gear, look for a snorkel with a purge valve that lets water out of your mask as well.
For your fins, prioritize comfort and efficiency. Pick snorkeling fins that you are comfortable with. Choose shorter fins since they allow you to change directions easily and move quicker. If you’re thinking about buying longer fins, well, they are best used in freediving because they help swimmers reach deeper water faster.
For this snorkeling gear, think about finding a comfortable fit. Don’t pick loose ones, as they will defeat the purpose of protecting you from ocean particles and even sunburns. Go for wetsuits that have short sleeves and leggings that end at the knee, because they are easy to wear and will let you swim comfortably.
A good mask defogger will help prevent the most common problem in snorkeling, which is fogging. Check the label to make sure that this snorkel gear’s material is non-toxic, biodegradable, and alcohol-free. It’s for skin protection, plus the safety of the marine animals and coral reefs!
The float vest is not necessary, but it’s good to have if you’re not confident with your swimming skills. Plus, it can help you stay afloat and relieve any tension if this is your first time swimming into deep waters.
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Snorkeling skills you need
Now that you got your snorkeling gear ready, up next in your guide is to practice snorkeling skills. These snorkeling skills may be simple but will ensure a fun and safe experience for you.
Breathing through the snorkel
Before you head on to snorkeling spots, take out your gear and practice at the swimming pool in your resort, just like in Alta Vista de Boracay. But if you want to practice at the beach, you can try swimming in shallow waters first. Swim in shallow waters that are enough to keep you afloat, and make sure there are no big waves so that you can practice easily.
Clearing your snorkel
The most important snorkeling tips to follow in clearing your snorkel are to stay calm and to blow firmly and quickly on your snorkel. Doing so will help you easily force the water out of your gear. It also helps to have a purge valve, because this will help water exit below your mouthpiece without any effort.
Clearing your mask from water
First of all, be calm when your mask begins to be filled with water. Simply lift your head out of the water. Then, pull the bottom part of your snorkeling gear to drain the water. If you are underwater when this happens, you can gently blow out air through your nose in the mask. Press the top of the mask while you do this to force the water out of your gear.
Defogging your mask
Before snorkeling in Boracay, spray a mixture of baby shampoo and water on your mask, or purchase an anti-fog spray. Cover the glass completely with the spray, then rinse it quickly with water. If this happens while you are swimming, remove your mask and spit on it. Then shake the mask and rinse it with seawater before putting it back.
Wear your snorkeling fins and practice in a swimming pool first. Learn how to balance with the fins, and make sure that the fins are not overexerting your knees. It is best recommended that you practice finning along with your swimming skills, especially if you’re trying to learn new swimming strokes.
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How to Start Snorkeling
Whether it is peak or off-peak season in Boracay, it helps to find good snorkeling spots first. If you do find a good spot, then it’s time to put your snorkeling skills to test but in a step-by-step manner.
1. Wade in the water first until you reach chest level, then put on your snorkeling gear.
2. Float on the water. Remember to keep your float vest strapped to ease any nervousness.
3. Once you are floating, start finning around the water. One of the most important snorkeling tips to follow is not to kick too fast, as the slightest kick will make you swim farther (and quickly!).
4. Stay horizontal, and place your hands on your side. Keep calm as much as possible so that you don’t scare the marine animals away.
5. Don’t forget to breathe normally. Trust in your snorkel gear and don’t hold your breath or take small shallow breaths, because this will make your breathing difficult.
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You may be an amazing swimmer, or you already have the snorkeling basics memorized. Still, you have to keep in mind the following snorkeling reminders, for your safety and for the marine animals, too.
Stick to a buddy system.
Never go snorkeling in Boracay alone. You never know what might happen. You can get easily carried away by the waves, or swim too far. Having two or three friends around increases your safety while having fun.
Use biodegradable sunscreen.
Apply biodegradable sunscreen before you snorkel to protect your skin and marine life, too.
Just look and enjoy.
This means that you shouldn’t touch, follow or take home anything that you see in the ocean while snorkeling. Feeding, touching or following sea creatures like turtles and fish will cause stress to them, and may even change their feeding behavior which is often more dangerous to these animals. Also, the ocean floor’s system is very complicated that taking home corals or even bits of them might affect marine wildlife. Simply gaze at the beauty of sea life without disrupting it in any way.
Now, that you’ve read through this guide, it’s time to book that flight to Boracay! But of course, snorkeling is best enjoyed in Boracay if you are staying in a great and secure accommodation, with a huge swimming pool for swimming practice, and amazing snorkeling spots nearby like Puka Beach. Book now to get access to all these amazing features during your stay in Alta Vista de Boracay.