Every year close to a million tourists flock to Catalina Island just 26 miles off the coast of southern California. From casino goers to boy scouts and vacationers alike, there is something to do for the whole family while on the island. For the water lovers however you can head out on a glass bottom boat tour to see shipwrecks, marine life and of course coral reef. Here you will notice the underrated beauty of the reefs and a hidden gem activity of the affluent island; Catalina Island snorkeling.
One of the best ways to experience Catalina Island snorkeling is through one of the many guided tours. Head out with local expert guides and check out the beautiful underwater sea gardens and various marine species in Lover’s Cove, a protected marine preserve. With one of the largest population of concentrated fish on the west coast, the guides will help you learn the types of species you are swimming with while snorkeling. A very unique aspect of snorkeling at Lover’s cove is that the fish are so used to being fed and sought after, they are very docile and not afraid of humans. This provides for a very personal yet non threating encounter with some of the Pacific Oceans most beautiful creatures. One of the most beautiful creatures you may encounter is the bright orange Garibaldi fish, which is a local celebrity in the world of Southern California fish and specifically Catalina Island snorkeling. Even if you are an experienced snorkeler, this can often be one of the best ways to experience Catalina Island snorkeling given the guidance of what certain sea life is can be interesting.
Another great spot to experience the very best of Catalina Island snorkeling is Two Harbors at the Isthmus. Voted by Scuba Diving Magazine recently as the “World’s Healthiest Marine Environment”, the water has exceptional visibility stretching to nearly 100 feet in some places. As with Lover’s cove, guidance, lessons and equipment to rent is available here as well. One of the best ways to experience Two Harbors snorkeling is to head out to one of the secluded coves via a kayak and hop out to an underwater world covered in kelp sea forests, home to an abundance of marine wildlife. If kayaking isn’t your thing, some tours offer small power boats to take you out to the hidden coves. Because of its dense sea forest and isolated location, it’s important you have basic swimming skills before heading out to Two Harbors.