The ocean is a magical place. It’s full of mystery and wonder, and it’s home to some of the most amazing creatures on Earth. If you’re looking for an adventure this summer, then why not go diving with a whale shark or swimming with dolphins? Take your pick from these top marine wildlife experiences that will fill your heart with joy.
Swim with manatees in Crystal River, Florida
The Florida manatee is one of the most memorable marine life experiences in the world. Manatees are a type of aquatic mammal that reside in Florida and spend their days eating underwater plants, relaxing on the shoreline or swimming slowly by your boat. Ideally, these animals need plenty of saltwater – which makes them tough to spot in rivers or freshwater lakes. The best way to see Manatees is on a boat where you can keep your eyes open for them and hope they swim close enough for pictures. Swim with these gentle giants at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 500 manatees year-round and thousands during winter months including females and calves. The water temperature stays a consistent 22°C year-round. Manatees enjoy warm water all year round and so do swimmers! Join the Tampa Bay PADI team for a Swim With The Manatee experience to get up close and personal with these friendly creatures.
Dive with manta rays on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Many people know about the Great Barrier Reef, but there are plenty of other wonderful marine wildlife wonders in Australia.
Ningaloo Dive Expeditions was established to provide the opportunity for divers of all levels of experience and skill levels to enjoy a range of marine wildlife encounters with mantas, whale sharks, dolphins and dugongs amongst other specialties.
At Ningaloo Marine Park, manta rays are just one of the amazing marine wildlife experiences you can enjoy. Manta rays are the largest of all reef fish. They can grow up to 20 feet wide and weigh up to two tons, eating plankton (tiny plants and animals that float in the water), crustaceans, and other small fish. Manta rays are best known for their giant wingspans that they use while feeding or swimming against currents, but can also flap them like a bird during courtship dances with females. Dive with these gentle giants and watch them glide gracefully through the water as they feed on planktons in this highlight experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Snorkel with whale sharks in Donsol, Philippines
The best marine wildlife experiences are in the Philippines. The nation is a prime location to see whale sharks up close and personal because of its proximity to the Coral Triangle, an area where some of the world’s most biodiverse reefs exist. Snorkelers can head out on boats from Donsol for as little as $20 for a few hours trip. Snorkelers will be ushered into the water in pairs and given about 20 minutes to have a personal encounter with whale sharks, which often weigh up to 40 tons and measure 45 feet long. The whale shark has a mass the size of a small car, so it doesn’t have to move too much when feeding as there is enough food in one place for quite some time! Whale sharks also don’t bite their prey.
Whale sharks are one of the world’s largest fish and their mouths can extend to a width of over three feet, so they have no problem catching large prey.
Whale sharks congregate near Cebu and one can snorkel with these gentle giants here. There is also a diving experience to be enjoyed, where it’s possible to see many other species of marine life such as large groupers, turtles, giant moray eels, and urchins.
Kayak with killer whales in the Johnstone Strait, British Columbia
There are many other amazing wildlife experiences in British Columbia. Kayaking with killer whales is one of the most memorable!
The best time to see these animals is from May through September, as they migrate north for summer feeding grounds and south for winter breeding areas. The Johnstone Strait near Telegraph Cove offers some of the world’s finest whale watching, with humpbacks, orcas, and grey whales all passing through. Kayaking is the best way to get close-up views of these amazing creatures without disturbing them
The maritime environment also offers many other opportunities for wildlife viewing. The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia hides a wealth of surprises! Coastal BC meadows are home to grizzly bears, black bears and white-tailed deer.
Chat with Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas
Dolphins are a favorite with many people. They can be spotted from boats, but it is even better to swim with them – there is nothing quite like the sensation of these beautiful creatures swimming around you! Similarly, the Bahamas are an aquatic species that live in warm tropical waters and can typically be found in shallow waters close to shore. Dolphins and Bahamas are two of the most popular marine wildlife that people enjoy seeing during their holidays in the Caribbean, Australia or Thailand.
At the Bah, Dolphins are frequently seen and identified by their dorsal fins. The best time to spot one is at sunset when they are playing close inshore. Dolphins can be playful creatures with graceful jumps sometimes exceeding ten feet out of the water. They will often interact with divers studying them or for some reason are curious about us. Dolphins use sound as a primary means of communication and they use clicks, whistles, squeaks and other sounds for echolocation. Dolphins are curious animals that will approach boats or people when excited by something interesting to them such as a fish netted from the water’s surface.
Snorkel with basking sharks in the Hebrides, Scotland
The Hebrides is a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland. Snorkeling with basking sharks and even seeing them from shore, this area provides one of the best marine wildlife experiences on offer in Europe. The waters are teeming with life so you’ll see things like seals, porpoises, and minke whales. The kingdom boasts an impressive coastline and has lots to offer anyone who wants to explore it by land or sea. Snorkeling with basking sharks is one of the most popular marine wildlife experiences in Scotland. There is also a bird-watching hide on one of the islands that offer great snoozing opportunities for keen twitchers. The variety in this archipelago means you can get an experience that mixes sightseeing, wildlife-watching, and even a spot of walking.
One of the best marine wildlife experiences is snorkeling with seals not only in Scotland but also off its coast. One of the best places to do so is at Mull, where seals are often seen around a rocky island called Eilean Mor near Salen (a village on the eastern side of this large Scottish peninsula).
The salmon-rich waters and stunning scenery make Scotland one of the best marine wildlife experiences.
Scotland is a world-class destination for nature lovers, with seals to snorkel and some of Europe’s most beautiful seas.
Hear humpbacks sing at Silver Banks, Dominican Republic
Humpbacks are one of the most iconic marine wildlife experiences. These whales make their way from Alaska to Brazil each year, and they can be spotted in both countries during this journey. The Dominican Republic is a great destination for humpback whale watching. Located in the Gulf of Maine, this conservation area is one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on earth with a diversity of marine life that draws whale watchers from all over North America to hear their haunting melody. The best time for observation is between July and September as they migrate south. The Dominican Republic has some of the clearest water in the world and many exciting opportunities for viewing aquatic life, including whale sharks. The crystal clear waters are perfect for diving or snorkeling with large schools of fish, turtles and dolphins.
Hear humpback whales singing in the wild, swim with playful dolphin pods, and snorkel through an underwater forest of corals.
Dive with sperm whales in the Azores
For your next scuba diving vacation, head to Portugal’s Azores Islands. The Azores are known as the region with the highest concentration of sperm whales in all of Europe. Dive With Whales off Costa Rica From San Juan del Sur, go on a whale-watching adventure. You will be taken to one of three sites where you can observe different types and sizes of whales from just outside their natural habitat – including the elusive gray whale.
Dive with sperm whales in the Azores is one of those exceptional activities, and it is not easy for tourists since they only happen every few years. But when they do occur, visitors from around the world converge on this remote island group to watch these giants swim by or spy on them at close range underwater with scuba gear. Diving with whales occurs more often than diving with sperm whales because there are so many different types of whale species found here- humpbacks, orcas (killer), pilot and beaked – but all offer memorable opportunities for even novice divers and snorkelers who want something special to report back home about their visit.
Fin alongside turtles in the Maldives
The Maldives is a collection of atolls and islands in the Indian Ocean. On one side of your face feeling saltwater from waves crashing against coral while another part of your body feels fresh sea breezes. Swim with curious dolphins or migrating humpback whales, all within sight of pristine white beaches that seem to go on forever. The best way to experience this paradise archipelago is by boat – either hopping aboard an easy-going catamaran cruise or choosing a more adventurous voyage exploring smaller uninhabited islands and secluded lagoons where it’s possible to find some quiet time alone outfitting only nature’s sounds. The long lines of coral reefs are covered in schools of fish that dart between staghorn-shaped structures, there is no better way to spend your vacation time than exploring these incredible underwater worlds.
The islands off Oman offer some equally stunning visits – snorkeling among magnificent corals on Abu Mousa Island gives visitors an up-close view of marine life like never before. And not just dolphins, but whales too! Whale watching tours from Salalah can provide sightings for those eager enough to get above water level themselves.
It’s not just turtles and dolphins that call the Maldives home, however. There are around 20 different types of whales inhabiting the Indian Ocean – humpbacks, blue whales and southern rights among them. Fin alongside turtles in the Maldives as you snorkel for marine life underwater; on one side of your face feeling saltwater from waves crashing against coral while another part of your body feels fresh sea breezes. Swim with curious dolphins or migrating humpback whales all within sight of pristine white beaches that seem to go on forever.