Snorkelling & scuba diving – the difference between the two

Many people choose their holiday destination based on the marine life and waters as they plan to go snorkelling or scuba diving on their travels.  There are lots of destinations with beautiful clear waters such as Cebu in the Philippines that are ideal for marine life to thrive, making the island an ideal place to snorkel and scuba dive – two activities that allow you to observe and be one with the creatures of underwater world. However, if you are a newbie, you may be wondering what’s the difference between the two water sports?

While they have one major thing in common (they are explorations both done underwater), scuba diving and snorkelling are two different things, mainly depending on the depth of the water.

Snorkelling & scuba diving – the difference between the two


If you snorkel, it means you take in panoramic underwater views without diving deep into the water. You are merely swimming near the surface while still enjoying incredible rock formations, swaying algae and the colourful marine life down below. You won’t need previous experience to be able to snorkel. In fact, you can be taught how to snorkel in just a few minutes. While you don’t have to be a competitive swimmer, you have to have basic swimming skills to ensure your safety.

All you need is a snorkel or a breathing tube, a mask, swim fins and dry suit or a wetsuit. Your snorkel mask has to be a perfect fit around your eyes and nose, ensuring that you are able to see clearly underwater. The snorkel will be connected to your mask and extend above the water surface so that you can breathe even when your face is underwater. The fins attached to your feet will allow you to move through the water. Wetsuits are worn to keep bodies warm in tropical waters, while the dry suit is needed in cold waters. If you’re really up for an adventure and want it for the coming year, you may want to read more about 2020 Cebu whale shark watching.

Scuba diving

When you scuba dive, you dive deep underwater, submerging yourself completely into the undersea. You stay far longer in the water compared to snorkelers.

Snorkelling & scuba diving - the difference between the two

Unlike snorkelling, scuba diving requires a lot of preparation and formal training. It may sound daunting, but you can master scuba diving even in just two weeks, as long as you go to a good diving agency. You learn about navigating and keeping yourself safe underwater and how to use the breathing equipment. You’ll be accompanied by an expert, especially in your first dive. There are different courses for different levels of diving. There are a variety of specialty courses on offer to cater to your needs. There are lots of online companies such as Island Trek Tours inviting you to “visit our webpages and see our Cebu tour packages‎ to find the best itinerary that would fit you” who will arrange scuba diving trips, island tours and they’ll give ideas  or advice on the best places to scuba dive.

Scuba diving requires more complex equipment than snorkelling. The basic gears include a wetsuit or a dry suit, a mask, a scuba tank, a buoyancy compensator, fins, weights and regulators. Just like in snorkelling, the mask allows you to see underwater. The suits are designed to keep you warm. The fins help you move around in the water. The tank and regulators give you air to breathe while underwater. The buoyancy compensator jacket can be emptied or filled with air so you can stay underwater or float at the surface. The weights are needed to offset the buoyancy of their bodies when underwater.

So, are you a snorkeler or a diver? Whichever you prefer, you have to have the necessary skills for such activities. There are lots of professionals ready to teach you when you are next on a tropical beach holiday.  Why not sign up for a snorkelling or scuba diving tour and come home with a new skill and newfound love for the ocean?


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2 thoughts on “Snorkelling & scuba diving – the difference between the two

  1. I’ve never been scuba diving. I think it’s for people more adventurous than me, but it must be fascinating being able to see underwater habitats up close!

    1. Ha, yes sometimes I don’t want to know what is there!! On a recent beach trip I was swimming and my husband was snorkelling by me, then he made a yelp and start swimming away really fast! I didn’t know what he’d seen so I panicked and started swimming fast too… turned out there was a swarm of jellyfish!

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