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What the Heck Is SNUBA®? And Why It’s the Easiest Way to Get Up-Close and Personal with the Underwater World

SNUBA® can be broken down a few ways:

  • By name: SNUBA = snorkel + scuba
  • In practice: SNUBA = The ease of snorkeling on top of the water + 20 or 30 feet of water

SNUBA gives you an experience like scuba diving, but without the hours of lessons, math, and practice dives. After a 15-minute orientation, you’re ready to get in the water!

Why Not Just Snorkel?

The Pros of Snorkeling

Snorkeling is relaxing and fun. If you do it casually, you’ll splash along on the surface, breathing through a snorkel, watching what’s going on below.

Expert snorkelers free-dive. They hold their breath long enough to get 20 or 30 feet below the surface, aided by weights and long fins. With skill, they keep water out of their snorkel. A good free-diver can dive for 45 seconds—enough time to check out that octopus or garden eel, then return to the surface.

The Cons of Snorkeling

If you’re content to stay at the surface, watching the action below like a movie, or if you’re an expert snorkeler and don’t mind coming back up for air frequently, snorkeling is great!

Most tourists who long to swim with the fish are content to snorkel on the surface. You just need to be able to swim, and a 15-minute session will show you how to wear your mask and clear your snorkel.

But if you want a little more out of your experience, SNUBA could be it…

Why Not Just Scuba Dive?

The Pros of Scuba Diving

Scuba divers can go deep and stay deep, thanks to their self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). The limit is about 130 feet, but the most popular diving is done near 40 feet. That’s where the sun shines, and the colors are brighter. You feel like you’re a part of the underwater world around you!

The Cons of Scuba Diving

As a scuba diver, you have to carry your air tank on your back or sides. A regulator controls the flow of air into your mouth, and you keep an eye on your dive “computer,” so you don’t go too deep, stay down too long, or run out of air. There’s math and science involved, so training is necessary.

Getting certified as a scuba diver can take days or weeks, if you’re busy. There is a book to study and tests to take. You do three or four days of supervised confined dives in a pool or at a shallow beach, then a few more supervised open-water dives. You learn how to keep track of how much air you have left and how to come up carefully to avoid the “bends.”

The bends is a scuba diver’s decompression illness (DCI). Pressure changes can cause nitrogen bubbles to form in the blood stream or tissues, instead of getting exhaled through the lungs. Decreasing pressure too quickly after a period of increased pressure—like ascending too quickly after a dive— causes the bends.

If you love the idea of really exploring the underwater world but don’t have time for the training, SNUBA might be solution…

So What Is SNUBA?

Without the training of scuba diving, SNUBA sets you free underwater—and gives you more than snorkeling can. You get to enjoy the sensation of other-worldliness that scuba divers seek while diving as deep as 30 feet.

What You’ll See When You SNUBA

Most SNUBA divers are content at 20 feet because that’s where the fish are! The first fish to greet you when you SNUBA in Cabo may be the nosy damselfish. Swim away with a school of gold-and-blue-striped snappers, then follow a rainbow wrasse, and try to keep up with a pair of exotic Moorish idols.

The “life zone” of the sea is the top 30 feet of the water. Why? Sunlight grows the invisible plant plankton that provides the basis for the food chain. It’s where the food is! The deeper and darker you go, the scarcer the tropical fish. SNUBA immerses you in the middle of the life zone.

what is snuba

How Does SNUBA Work?

Your SNUBA orientation will only take 15 minutes with Cabo Expeditions, and when you dive, you won’t have to worry about carrying an air tank. Instead, a tank of compressed air on a raft at the surface is your supply. A 30-foot-long hose feeds air from the tank to your regulator. Add a mask, fins, and a weight belt, and you have all you need!

Your certified SNUBA guide calculates the correct amount of weight on your belt, so you’re buoyant in the water. The human body is good at floating at the surface, so just the right count of extra weight helps you get down to the sweet zone.

Great for Families!

Children love the experience of SNUBA, and special SNUBA vests designed just for them make doing it easy. They’ll never forget the experience of breathing and swimming underwater, feeling like a fish!

SNUBA is a simple way to get up-close and personal with the flamboyant fish of Cabo. With just a little training and a few supplies, you’ll be diving deep without a care in the world!