So, you’re ready to go snorkeling (awesome!) and are wondering how much snorkeling costs? You’ve come to the right place.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to figure out how much it will cost to go snorkeling (or take up snorkeling as a hobby). Prices do vary a bit depending on what kind of gear you want and what you’ll be doing (we’ll cover all of that in just a moment), but I’ve done a ton of research and compiled bunches of prices to find some reliable ranges for what to expect for everything related to snorkeling costs.
Also fortunately, snorkeling is pretty cheap as far as water sports hobbies go (especially compared to something like scuba diving) and cruising through the gorgeous underwater world alongside beautiful and unique marine life is always one my absolute favorite things to do.
So, how much does snorkeling cost? You can expect snorkeling costs to be between $40-110 to buy basic snorkel gear, $18-42 to rent basic snorkel gear for a week, and $38-160 per person for a half-day snorkel tour, each dependent on quality of gear and trip location.
Some of those ranges might seem kind of wide, so let’s zero in more on what exactly you can expect for prices for you specifically. There are essentially two main categories of snorkeling costs — snorkel gear and then actually going snorkeling — and we’ll start with snorkel gear costs.
How Much Does Snorkel Gear Cost?
When it comes to the snorkel gear portion of how much snorkeling costs, you have two options: either buy snorkel gear or rent it.
If you’re planning to snorkel 3 or more times even over the next 5 years, I really recommend looking into buying your own snorkel gear. You can typically get gear that’s way higher in quality and even a lot safer for less money than paying to rent gear a handful of times. It’s all yours, and it starts saving you money pretty quickly, making snorkeling cost even less. (Plus, snorkel gear usually only costs 5-10% of what scuba gear costs.)
If you’re only planning on snorkeling once or twice over the next few years, or are just looking to try out snorkeling to see if you like it, renting isn’t a terrible option. Keep in mind, though, that most rental snorkel gear is lower quality and may not have some of the same safety features built into better gear, so it’s an especially good idea to learn from a guide how everything works if you’re new to snorkeling.
1. How Much Does it Cost to Buy Snorkel Gear?
First up: how much does it cost to buy snorkel gear? Typical costs to buy a basic snorkel mask average between $20-40, $40-110 for an intermediate snorkel mask, $110-200 for an advanced snorkel mask, $20-70 for a snorkel tube, and $50-175 for snorkel fins.
Exactly where you fall in the price spectrum is going to depend on your goals, but here’s how the general snorkel gear cost data breaks down:
|Snorkel Gear Type||Average Cost|
|Basic Snorkel Mask||$20-40|
|Intermediate Snorkel Mask||$40-110|
|Advanced Snorkel Mask||$110-200|
|Snorkel Set (Mask + Tube)||$50-150|
There are only two basic things that you absolutely need to go snorkeling: a mask and a snorkel, so let’s start there.
For your snorkel mask (also sometimes called a dive mask), you can typically spend as little as $20 and all the way up to $200. It may be possible to spend less than $20 (and the same goes for any of the lower prices in the various gear categories), but at that point I would be concerned about potential quality and safety issues of the mask (or other gear).
Basic snorkel masks are just that: basic. They cover your eyes and nose and keep the water out. More intermediate and advanced masks start to be built with better quality materials, let you see more, are more comfortable, and have more advanced safety features like purge valves. To figure out what type of mask will work best for your wants and needs, check out our full explainer of each level at The 3 Best Snorkel Masks for All Levels: Beginners, Intermediates & Advanced.
Next, there are also different types of snorkels out there: traditional wet snorkels, semi-dry snorkels and dry snorkels. Unless you are a more advanced snorkeler, I always recommend dry snorkels.
Dry snorkels are special in that they have an integrated float valve at the top of the snorkel tube that closes when it comes in contact with water to keep it out, but opens when you breathe to let you inhale and exhale normally. It’s a fantastic invention for snorkel safety.
Dry snorkels are usually in the upper half of the snorkel price range (so, probably $40-70 for a good one) since they have the extra dry valve technology, but it’s worth it. My pick for the best dry snorkel, along with more info, is over at The Best Dry Top Snorkel This Year: A Clear Winner.
For another rundown on dry snorkels and info on the other types of snorkel (semi-dry and traditional wet), check out How Much Do Snorkel Tubes Cost? in our basic gear guide.
Snorkel fins aren’t absolutely required to snorkel, but they really go a long way toward giving you a better experience. You’ll be able to go farther, faster and while using less energy, letting you see more and making the whole swim safer.
Decent snorkel fins that aren’t just stiff blocks of rubber typically start around $50, and you can find a good set with some nice intro technology built in for $50-75 if you want to stay on the basic side of things. If you want the best you can get, fins can climb up to around $200 (but those are typically for really serious snorkelers).
There’s more information on the different types of snorkel fins (there is a lot of new technology now with fins, and they aren’t just simple flippers anymore) over at The Best Snorkel Fins for Beginners, Advanced Snorkelers & Travelers and that guide will help you figure out what you need.
Other Snorkel Gear
If you’re into it, there are also lots of other types of gear that either go a long way toward making your snorkeling a lot more fun, comfortable or safe (or all three) like special sun protection needed for snorkeling, awesome action cameras like a GoPro, special snorkel gear for travel, snorkel gear meant for kids, and plenty else.
The below helpful guides will let you get a handle on other types of snorkel gear, their benefits and what they cost:
- What Snorkel Gear Should I Buy? The Full Guide to Getting Started Affordably
- The Best Underwater Action Cameras for Snorkeling: GoPro & More
- Best Snorkel Gear for Travel: 7 Top Masks, Cameras & More
- The Best Snorkel Gear for Kids: Masks, Flippers & More
2. How Much Does it Cost to Rent Snorkel Gear?
Next, how much does it cost to rent snorkel gear? A snorkel set with a mask, snorkel and fins can be rented weekly for an average of $42 in a high-cost-of-living area, $27 in a medium-cost-of-living area, or $18 in a low-cost-of-living area.
If you’re only planning on snorkeling once or twice (or just want to try it out first), renting snorkel gear can be an OK option if you’re fine with using the most basic of snorkel gear and foregoing some of the safety improvements like snorkel mask purge valves or dry snorkels.
Also, if you go out on a snorkel tour with a guide, typically the price you pay for that tour will include rental snorkel gear. But, that is almost always very basic gear as well.
How much you’ll actually pay for personal rental gear varies a bit depending on how expensive the area is that you’ll be visiting. An expensive area (like Hawaii) should average about $42 for a week’s rental of a basic mask, snorkel and fins, whereas an inexpensive area like Indonesia should be more around $18. Let’s look:
|Snorkel Gear Rental in an Area with a High Cost of Living||Snorkel Gear Rental in an Area with a Medium Cost of Living||Snorkel Gear Rental in Area with a Low Cost of Living|
|Example Area||Honolulu, Hawaii||Barcelona, Spain||Bali, Indonesia|
|Cost of Living Index||95.14||64.41||45.91|
|Average Mask & Snorkel Rental (Daily)||$8||$5||$3|
|Average Mask & Snorkel Rental (Weekly)||$35||$22||$15|
|Average Mask, Snorkel & Fins Rental (Daily)||$16||$10||$7|
|Average Mask, Snorkel & Fins Rental (Weekly)||$42||$27||$18|
You also have daily rental options if you’re just planning to go once or twice, but if you plan to snorkel 3-4 days, it makes more sense to pay for a weekly rental. In either case, it shouldn’t add much to your overall snorkeling cost.
You can find more information on renting snorkel gear along with some things to watch out for over at How Much Does it Cost to Rent Snorkel Gear? Prices & Problems.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Snorkeling?
Now, once we have our snorkel gear in hand, we need to put it to good use!
How much does it cost to go snorkeling? Snorkeling from the shore at public beaches is typically free. If you take a half-day snorkel tour instead, the average cost per person in a high-cost-of-living area is $112, $71 for a medium-cost-of-living area, or $47 for a low-cost-of-living area.
If you want to get in the water immediately, there are usually plenty of decent places to snorkel from the beach at any oceanside vacation destination. If it’s a public beach, it’s typically going to be free. If the beach happens to be in a national or state park, or part of private property that allows access for snorkeling, you might need to pay an entry fee; likely somewhere between $3 and $20. In any case, make sure that you are a strong snorkeler and that conditions are favorable if you’re snorkeling without a guide.
3. How Much Do Snorkel Tours Cost?
My favorite way to snorkel, though, is to take a snorkel tour. Not only is this the safest way for beginners to get started (the guides can teach you all that you need to know), but tour guides will generally know where the best spots are and have the boats to get you there.
Like with snorkel rental gear, snorkel tour costs can vary depending on where you’re visiting.
|Snorkel Tour in Area with High Cost of Living||Snorkel Tour in Area with Medium Cost of Living||Snorkel Tour in Area with Low Cost of Living|
|Area||Honolulu, Hawaii||Barcelona, Spain||Bali, Indonesia|
|Cost of Living Index||95.14||64.41||45.91|
|Average Half-Day Snorkel Tour Cost (Per Person)||$112||$71||$47|
|Half-Day Snorkel Tour Cost Range (Per Person)||$68-160||$48-80||$38-53|
|Average Full-Day Snorkel Tour Cost (Per Person)||$208||$124||$67|
|Full-Day Snorkel Tour Cost Range (Per Person)||$172-249||$80-157||$56-77|
So, I could pay as little as $38 per person for a half-day snorkel tour in Indonesia, or $249 for a super-nice full-day snorkel tour in Hawaii. Snorkel tours are usually the biggest addition to what going snorkeling costs, but I’ve honestly never been on a snorkel tour that wasn’t totally worth it. The knowledge of local guides and the ability to get to better snorkel spots has always made the tour 100% worthwhile and way better than just trying to go at it alone.
There are other factors that determine the costs of snorkel tours like if meals are provided, special transportation needs, etc. For more on specific snorkel tour pricing as well as how to find snorkel tours, check out How Much Do Snorkel Tours Cost? 3 Price Points + Easy Booking Guides.
4. How Much Does Travel Insurance for Snorkeling Cost?
One thing that many people don’t think about when talking about how much snorkeling costs is travel insurance.
Snorkeling is generally considered a safe activity, but things do happen in life and it’s smart to make sure that you’re covered in the event that you need medical treatment as a result of snorkeling (or anything else) on vacation.
Most health insurance doesn’t provide any coverage abroad, and a lot of people are surprised to learn that a lot of travel insurance plans don’t cover active things like snorkeling at all. Medical costs from any incident that happens outside of your home country can get insane pretty quickly, so it’s crucial to find travel insurance that actually does specifically cover snorkeling.
And, since travel insurance isn’t very expensive relative to how much the average vacation costs, it’s a no-brainer for me. Prices vary by destination, by coverage, traveler age, and other factors, but here’s what came of the test research I did on prices for travel insurance that covers snorkeling:
|Destination Region||Average Travel Medical Insurance Cost (per person)||Average Travel Trip Insurance Cost (per person)||Trip Length||Average Traveler Age|
|United States||$81.50||$46.33||7 days||35|
|The Caribbean||$79.81||$69.00||7 days||35|
|Australia / New Zealand||$73.86||$69.00||7 days||35|
|Central America||$95.93||$69.00||7 days||35|
|South America||$98.48||$69.00||7 days||35|
There a bunch of other stuff you should know about finding travel insurance that covers snorkeling (and plenty else), so please read the following helpful guides before your next trip:
- How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost? A Helpful & Clear Guide
- Does Travel Insurance Cover Snorkeling? 3 Critical Realities
- The Best Travel Insurance That Covers Snorkeling & Scuba
The Deep Dive
So, to recap, you can typically buy basic snorkel gear for $40-110, rent basic gear for a week for about $18-42, take a half-day snorkel tour for $38-160 per person, and find good travel insurance that covers snorkeling for somewhere around $74-99 for someone similar to my test traveler.
Like many things in life, there’s a cost range depending on how you want to approach snorkeling. You could rent snorkel gear for as little as $3 for the day in an inexpensive country and head over to a free beach to snorkel. You can also buy awesome high-end snorkel gear and take all-inclusive full-day snorkel tours that would make your snorkeling costs look very different.
No matter what you choose for yourself, though, it’s going to be worth it. The underwater world is incredibly magical, and I’ve been able to make so many unforgettable memories through snorkeling.
Use the information in this guide along with the links in each section to the other related guides with more specific information on each topic to find your way in choosing what kind of gear you want to get your hands on and how you want to snorkel. But, after you decide, follow it through and get out there and snorkel — you’re going to have a blast!
The guides linked throughout this article are fantastic resources on each topic. Or, if you’re just getting started with snorkeling and are looking for more information on how to best do that, check these articles out: