Tag Archives: snorkeling

Wendy Perrin snorkeling in Belize underwater with a smiling fish.

Wendy’s Family Trip to Belize: Photos from the Beach and Sea

The best vacations are those where you try something new you’ve never done before. When you learn a new skill or master a challenge or achieve a long-held goal during a trip, it leaves you with intense memories of that trip and a sense of accomplishment that can linger forever.

That’s one reason why I chose Belize for my family vacation: I wanted my younger son, Doug (14), to learn how to dive. Doug is starting high school next month and is fascinated by marine biology, so it seemed like a good moment to get him his scuba certification.

The diving and snorkeling in Belize is world-class, thanks to the country’s position alongside the world’s second largest barrier reef. Belize also has the typical advantages afforded by a location on the Caribbean Sea, yet it’s easier to fly to, more affordable than, and less built-up than, many Caribbean islands.

Doug wasn’t the only one with a goal to achieve. The other reason I chose Belize was so I could road-test Belize trip-planning specialists. Belize has been catching on in popularity among sophisticated travelers. For the past year I’ve received a steadily increasing number of Belize trip requests. So, of course, I wanted to investigate and find a Belize travel specialist worthy of The WOW List.

Here’s a sneak peek at our adventures. Stay tuned for more on the best things to do and see in Belize, where to stay, where to eat… and how to learn to scuba dive in just three days (that’s how long it took Doug). And if you’re looking for the best Belize trip-planning specialist, here’s who I recommend.



















Snorkerling in Fiji

4 Pacific Islands for the Best Snorkel Vacation of Your Life


Hi Wendy,

What’s the best Pacific island for a 10-day snorkel trip?




Dennis, it depends where you’re flying from (some islands will be a lot more convenient to get to than others), what time of year you’re going (it could be typhoon season on some islands), what accommodations you have in mind (beach hut? overwater bungalow? boat cabin?), what island atmosphere you prefer (do you want a dining scene or to be removed from civilization entirely?), etc.

Assuming that money, time, and transport are no object, here’s a list of the top four from Meg Austin, a travel professional who has snorkeled all over the world and specializes in dive trips. These are her Pacific faves, in order of preference:

1. Fiji
“It’s the soft coral capital of the world,” Meg points out. “It’s got consistently good visibility (May – October is best), islands and hotels where the snorkeling is right there, and a local population that can make even the grumpiest traveler smile! Lalati, Koro Sun, and Rainbows End (miles of brilliantly colored corals) are the best reefs.”

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Photo courtesy Tourism Cook Islands.

2. Rarotonga, Cook Islands
“It doesn’t have the infrastructure or resorts that Fiji has,” says Meg, “so it’s important to have the right expectations. This is a quiet place for snorkeling by day and reading books at night. Rumours Luxury Villas has bells and whistles. I like Palm Grove: funky, not fancy.”

3. Palau, Micronesia
“Palau is not for everyone either, but an avid snorkeler would be in heaven. The Rock Islands (especially Rock Island itself) and The Milky Way lagoon are both do-not-miss. Some would love Jellyfish Lake, others would not. Palau Pacific Resort is “water-focused” (diving and snorkeling) and would be my first choice; there is remarkable activity to explore in the sea there. Love the very colorful nudibranchs!”

4. Sipadan, Malaysia
“Sipadan, the only oceanic island in Malaysia, is known for its fabulous diving but is also great for snorkeling: I’ve sent divers with non-diving spouses there, and they’ve raved about the snorkeling.”

Dennis, choosing an island with world-class snorkeling is the easy part. Pulling together a world-class vacation—juggling the complicated logistics of South Pacific travel, getting to the most colorful reefs at the right times of day, sussing out the overwater bungalows with the best underwater creatures below, ensuring you waste no time or money—is the tough part. If you can provide more detail about your specific trip needs, send them to Ask Wendy and I can connect you with the right travel fixer for that world-class vacation.