Koh Tao is world renowned for its underwater marine life, and indeed most people coming to visit the island spend at least a few days enjoying the coral reefs. The island is surrounded by vibrant corals, colorful clams, and diverse schools of fish. And with very little in the way of waves or currents, Koh Tao is an ideal place for people young and old to be introduced to or enjoy these amazing ecosystems.
One of the most popular ways to see the coral reef is through SCUBA diving, which will allow you to get up close with the marine life and experience all our seas have to offer. However, we realize that SCUBA diving is not for everyone, and sometimes even the most avid SCUBA divers just want to head out unencumbered by heavy equipment and experience the freedom of snorkeling. Here on Koh Tao there are many options for snorkelers, to fit any budget.
Snorkeling equipment can be rented for about 3 dollars a day, and you can head in the water from almost any beach or shoreline and find amazing marine life. Many of the beaches around the island are easily accessible by walking, bicycle, or motorbike, and for those with just a little bit of time or budget this can be the best way to see the reef.
If you want to visit some of the more special places, or head out to snorkel with Blacktip Reef sharks or green sea turtles then getting a local guide is the best way to go. Most of the local guides are ex-fisherman and long-time residents of the island, who have intimate knowledge of all the areas around the island. From the comfort of a private longtail boat, they can take you and your family or friends on a private trip wherever you would like to go. Most people opt to go for the full day trip, which costs about 2,500 Thai Baht (about 70 USD) for 2-4 people (for 5-10 people the price is 500 THB/person), and includes mask and snorkel. The boat captain will stop at 5-6 locations around the island, and also visit nearby Koh Nagyuan. You can either pack your own food and drinks, or stop at one of the secluded beaches along the way for lunch. Really the day’s plan is up to you and your family.
If you are interested to book one of these trips you can inquire at our dive center and we can put you in touch with the local guide and help make the arrangements. Generally these trips are booked 1 day in advance.
If you want to take your snorkeling experience to a whole new level, you can also ask us about free-diving or Apena courses, now available every day from our dive center. Through these courses you will learn to snorkel properly, hold your breath for over 2 minutes, and dive to 18 meters or more on a breath.