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Vancouver is the gem city of Canada which is also called the culturally diverse land. A perfect place to indulge in a food spree, see the busy harbours and also experience some adventure activities which are worth a try. While the streets can be quite enduring, there is another thing which makes the city quite a hype. For the people who love to take a dive underwater and want to see the beautiful marine life, there are some spots which are perfect for snorkeling in Vancouver. Here is a handy guide for the adventure junkies to take a dive and have a relaxed day exploring the beautiful marine life while playing with the seals.

Best Time To Snorkel In Vancouver

Best Time To Snorkel In Vancouver

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The most recommended season to experience snorkeling in Vancouver is during winter. The months from mid-November to late February are the best as the visibility underwater is crystal clear. In the summer season, the water is quite warm but the silt and algae reduce the level of visibility.

Snorkelling Spots In Vancouver

Here are some of the best snorkeling spots in Vancouver which one must definitely visit to enjoy this adventure water activity and explore the beautiful marine life.

1. Campbell River

Campbell River

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Can you beat the extraordinary experience of diving into the cool waters of Vancouver island along with the seals? This fascinating thing can be experienced at the Campbell River in Vancouver which is known as the home of friendly seals and salmons. If you visit the right time of the year, you can get lucky to catch a sighting of salmons and also swim with them. This is one of the most famous snorkeling spots in Vancouver. Apart from taking a glance at the throngs of fish, there are beavers, deer, bears who also live on the island.

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2. Gabriola Island

Gabriola Island

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Also called the “Isle of the Arts”, Gabriola Island is known for its dozens of world-renowned artists. There are beaches, waterfront parks, art galleries which make this island a perfect paradise for art lovers. But the island is not just famous for the artistic vibes, but apart from that, the island is also a paradise for divers and snorkelers. The Drumbeg provincial park is the snorkeling spot on the island where the adventure junkies can try their hands on snorkeling and explore the beautiful marine life. The island is just a 20-minutes ferry ride from Nanaimo and collectively makes up the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

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3. Nanaimo


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Nanaimo is an extravagant urban centre which is situated at the east side of beautiful Vancouver Island. But apart from that, this place is also known for an incredible experience of snorkeling with the seals. Whether there are divers or non-divers, nothing can beat the amazing enjoyment of swimming with the seals. From here there runs a ferry ride to the beautiful Snake island which is situated in the wilderness and a home to harbour seals. Not just this, there are also other animals and birds like Bald Eagles, Oyster Catchers, Canadian Geese and Cormorants.

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4. Pam Rocks

Pam Rocks

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Situated just 1Km from the south of Anvil, Pam Rocks is actually a group of rocks which rests in the middle of the Howe Sound. This hidden gem is famous for snorkeling in Vancouver and the adventurers can also experience Kayaking. To start with this multi-activity excursion, one has to take a departure from Horseshoe Bay and then head towards the seal colony to enjoy the view and dive in with these cute creatures. This place gives an actual chance to get along with the Harbor seals and watch them play and survive in their natural environment.

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Tips For Snorkeling In Vancouver

  • Use A Good Kit – Do ensure that you have a good quality kit that fits properly. If in any mask leaks or starts, it can kill all the enjoyment. Check the mask twice and also give it a try before taking the dive.
  • Use Dry Snorkels – Try to pick dry snorkels as there is a special valve at the top which seals down when underwater. Also, check your fins and if they are snug fit and also ensure that the swimsuit is not tight enough.
  • Practice Your Technique – When here try to make the most of your snorkelling techniques by practising well before. This is one of the best ways to brush up your skills and learn some valuable techniques to enjoy underwater.
  • Don’t Dive Alone – It is strictly recommended to avoid snorkeling alone in the waters as it can be dangerous. Try to snorkel and dive with at least 3 people from which one person can snorkel, another person can be a diving partner and the third person can stand at the shore and be at the lookout.
  • Pick Your Dive Sites Carefully – For a relaxing snorkelling experience, always choose a dive site which does not have heavy water traffic and also famous for fast currents and rip tides. Make sure to pick sites which has calm water as it also increases the visibility and gives time to practise and build confidence in the water.
  • Skip Diving If You’re Unwell – In case you’re feeling cold or unwell, then it is better to not to snorkel. This is because it might get difficult to hold your breath easily for long or swim at a far distance.

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So are you excited to see the marine life by taking a dive at these exotic spots for snorkelling in Vancouver? If yes, then don’t wait and start planning your adventurous vacation along with this handy guide and know where to go and what to do. Thus if you’re planning a vacation in Vancouver then don’t miss out on the chance to explore the beautiful marine life.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Snorkeling In Vancouver

Where can I go snorkeling in Vancouver?

There are over 20 snorkeling spots in Vancouver. Some of the famous snorkeling spots are Gabriola Island, Campbell River, Nanaimo, and Pam Rocks.

Which is the largest snorkeling spot in Vancouver?

Nanaimo is the largest snorkeling spot in Vancouver. This spot is situated on the east side of Vancouver Island. Nanaimo snorkeling spot has spread throughout the one-third area of Vancouver Island.

Is snorkeling in Vancouver safe?

The truth is that snorkeling is a pleasurable and easy activity. One can enjoy this sport with some basic skills and knowledge of the sea or rivers. For the first-timers, snorkeling might be a little scary and potentially dangerous. If you fear a large water body, you must take a guide with you under the water and strictly follow his/her suggestions.

Are children allowed for snorkeling in Vancouver?

Children of 5 to 6 years are allowed for snorkeling. Still, your child will be given some basic training before getting into the water. Children below 5 to 6 years are strictly prohibited for snorkeling.

How much does it cost for snorkeling in Vancouver?

For adults, the cost of snorkeling is $30-$35 for about one hour. For children under the age of 12, the cost up to $25-$30. If you want to spend some extra time in the water, you would have some extra charges.

What should I wear for snorkeling?

Before going for snorkeling, there are many fixed costumes which you must wear. These costumes are masks, wetsuit, float vest, rash guard, swimming cap, snorkel, and biodegradable sunscreen.

What is the distance between the Campbell river and Gabriola Island?

The distance of Gabriola Island from Campbell River is about 169.1 km. You can reach there in 2 h 26 min through riding a car. You can also use a bike to reach there.

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