What are the Factors that Differ Scuba Diving from Snorkeling?


Are you an adventure freak and love going out on adventure tours? What are the activities that you have tried until now? Or have you been among the few unfortunate people who have not yet got a chance to visit any such place or indulge in any such activity? Adventure brings in a lot of fun and excitement. There are many things that you can do or many places where you can visit where you will get the actual feel of what it is.


There are very few places in the world where you can experience some of the most memorable adventurous activities. The Galapagos Islands near Ecuador are among those places where nature has contributed highly towards making them attractive.


Scuba Diving and Snorkeling are among the most famous adventurous activities for people who love being in the water. They can be performed in places where there are clear waters and a favorable climate that allows people to enter into it. The name snorkeling comes from the mask and tube called “snorkel” that is worn when the person enters into the ocean or the sea waters for swimming. Whereas scuba diving takes you right down to the sea bed while you wear a tight swimming suit and an oxygen tank that assists you for breathing.

Although both these adventure sports are performed under water, there are some major factors that differentiate them from each other. Let us take a look at these factors one by one.


  1. Technique:
  • Snorkeling: The main thing that a person needs to concentrate on is that the head and the nose have to be placed under water. The snorkel may at times flood with water, which can later be cleared by the snorkeler simply by strong exhalation, or by returning to the surface or by tilting the head backwards before returning to the surface.
  • Scuba Diving: The diver’s whole body is in the water. The eyes and the nose are covered using a mask. The diver cannot breathe with his nose unless he is wearing a full face mask. He is, however trained to control breathing through a regulator’s mouthpiece.


  1. Duration:
  • Snorkeling: Since snorkeling is similar to normal swimming, it involves holding of breathe. Thus, one can stay under water as long as he can hold his breath.
  • Scuba Diving: Oxygen tanks are already provided to a scuba diver. He is also taught to use the mouthpiece. But, he can stay down in the water only till he does not feel the need to hold his breath.


  1. Purpose:
  • Snorkeling: Snorkeling is usually done for the recreational purpose. One can observe varieties of fish, coral reefs, algae and many different creatures on the surface of the waters that are calm and warm.
  • Scuba Diving: This is an adventurous sport that can be used for the recreational purpose as well as for the professional needs. Activities such as ice diving, wreck diving and cave diving are done just for fun. Whereas the professional needs are seen in projects such as underwater welding, civil engineering, military purposes or offshore construction.


  1. Effects on Health:
  • Snorkeling: Snorkelers are often completely submerged in water with only the tubes rising up. They are often not visible to jet skis and crafts. Moreover the risk of contact with poisonous corals, hyperventilation and dehydration is high. One can even suffer from sun burns if he stays in water for long hours.
  • Scuba Diving: A person who goes in for scuba diving has to breathe in the compressed air present in the oxygen tanks. This might give rise to illnesses such as decompression, nitrogen narcosis, refraction, oxygen toxicity, and unclear underwater vision.

These are the four main differences between these two most adventurous activities. As mentioned earlier, you can take up a Galapagos Island Tour if you are on a look out for the best natural spot that will add on to the experience of these and many more such adventurous sports. The reason why these islands are the best place to perform these is because you might be lucky enough to experience penguins, sea lions or even Galapagos marine iguanas swimming alongside you. But, if you still cannot manage traveling there, there are a number of places around the world where you can opt to go just to experience the excitement in these activities.


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