Snorkeling in Indonesia

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Snorkeling in Indonesia

Snorkeling is one of my favorite things to do. It gives you an up close and exclusive look into a whole different world. This underwater realm is all yours for observing.

I like snorkeling even more than diving because it’s cheaper, simpler, and I don’t have to worry about the breathing and concentration required of diving. But as a snorkeler, you are bound by your swimming capabilities during one breath. Diving has fewer limitations.

I have been able to see a lot of colorful fish, creatures, and beautiful coral during the past few years snorkeling in the Red Sea (Egypt), Malaysia, Thailand, and Tobago.

Where we went snorkeling in Indonesia

We went snorkeling on two different days in two different locations in the waters around Indonesia’s Flores Island. The first day we went to Kanawa Island. Kanawa was incredible: shallow, clear, warm water, a beautiful secluded beach, and the burning sun above us. The underwater highlight for me was seeing the plethora of gigantic star fish.

Snorkeling in Linca Island

The following day we stopped at Komodo Island’s Pink beach. The beach takes its name from the tiny red bits dispersed along the water’s edge—it gives the sand a slight pink tint when viewed from afar. We stopped for a few hours at Pink beach after seeing the ferocious Komodo dragons on a different part of the island.

Stephen and I underwater

Juno Kim and I underwater off Kinawa Island

Our boat anchored in the deeper water, just off the beach, but still within the tiny bay. I opted to swim ashore on my own rather than taking a smaller boat. After our BBQ lunch we had the remainder of the afternoon to enjoy the beach and enter the underwater world with our snorkeling gear. The fish and coral were good here, but there weren’t the star fish of Kanawa.


a underwater view off Komodo Island Indonesia

Overall Kanawa Island and Pink beach were some of the best beaches I’ve ever spent a day on. After talking with those in the tourism industry back in Labuan Bajo, beaches like these are a dime a dozen in the waters west of Flores.

Photographing while Snorkeling

Snorkeling is not something I’m normally able to photograph. During my blogger trip to Indonesia, fellow blogger Cailin O’Neil (of was kind enough to lend me her GoPro camera which I took underwater with Juno Kim (of RunawayJuno). Juno and I took a bunch of photos not knowing how they would come out. Well, some came out alright and others didn’t. I’ll share with you my favorites.

Snorkeling in Linca Island

Snorkeling in the waters around Flores Island was part of an international blogger trip to Indonesia hosted by the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism. All contents and opinions are my own.

the coral off Komodo Island

before going under the water

Stephen and Bintang

me enjoying a Bintang after snorkeling on Kanawa Island, Indonesia

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Stephen Bugno says:

    You got that right, Ash. A lot of mine were perfect….except for a big water spot!

  2. Ash says:

    They can be a bit hit and miss those gopro’s, i ve yet to take mine underwater!

  3. Charu says:

    I’ve heard a lot about GoPro and it’s time to get one…except I’m so dependent on my iphone (been thinking about getting an underwater case for mine). Love the starfish you spotted!! Thanks so much for sharing the joys of snorkeling- I love it!

  4. a very memorable trip

    maybe you should try snorkeling at Cape-Jepun Bali, or enjoy the beautiful coral reefs in Karimunjawa.

    to see the visual, can be found at this URL

  5. I swear by our gopro! It is used more for video footage than photos. In the past I have used my Olympus underwater and shockproof camera for snorkelling. It has taken some nice underwater photos. Nothing beats the experience of diving down and seeing the ocean from the bottom. The water is so much clearer and there are so many more little fish that you don’t see from the surface. For those who are snorkelling I recommend taking a dive down to have a look. But make sure you don’t cut yourself on any of the coral if you aren’t wearing protective gear.

  6. soloflightEd says:

    hope to be invited to an international blogging event. Great experience and in Indonesia at that! Makes me want to ride a bus to the nearest marine sanctuary here in Cebu, Philippines!

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