A certain Cajun animated crab once asserted, “Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter… under the sea!” While I would be hard-pressed to choose a favored landscape among the gorgeous deserts, alpine slopes, agrarian foothills and coastal cliffs that I have enjoyed through my life and travels, I do have to concede that there is a charm about marine life. It is all just so vibrant and strange. With the imposed quiet of undersea diving, you can be alone with your thoughts and the allure of the surroundings. Diving is great exercise, and allows you to discover a whole new world of sights and experiences you just can’t have on dry land. That’s why we’ve decided to preview some of the best scuba diving destinations around the world.
When you travel to certain tropical destinations, such as Aruba, you may be seeking ivory beaches, tall palm trees, and lush jungle scenery. Spending a week lulling by the seaside with your toes buried in warm sands and a fresh tropical drink in hand is certainly not a week misspent. This is especially worthwhile when you consider the numerous crimson sunsets you will watch ignite both sky and sea. However, there are palatial reefs and cute brightly colored fish just waiting to reward the active and curious traveler.
Dip below the sparkling waters, and you will increase the way you have experienced life on our beautiful and generous planet. Between frolicking with curious and kittenish fish, and sizing up stately coral reefs, you start to get a sense of how abundant, yet delicate life can be. Wherever you choose to visit, diving is a guaranteed great way to get up close and personal with the native flora and fauna of the area. The best way to see the beautiful sea life that you love is free from captivity: there’s really nothing quite like the experience of entering the world of sea turtles, dolphins or colorful reef fish. I recommend taking some dive classes before embarking to get the most independence that you can, and learn basic aquatic safety.
Hot and Cold Scuba Diving Destinations
This surface of Planet Earth is approximately 70% water, which means that there are a lot of different locations and environments from which to choose, ranging from tropical sea waters to arctic wonderlands beneath the ice caps. The primary difference between warm and cold diving is the type of equipment you will require. It stands to reason the less habitable the environment you enter, the more gear you will need to stay comfortable. If you are looking to explore deep into the very cold seas, you will need to purchase or rent very specialized wet suits or dry suits. In any environment, it’s important to keep a mind toward safety. Only dive with a clear head, have a back up plan for how you will return to land, and make sure your gear is in good condition before you embark.
Great cold water dives can be found in Northern Europe. Coastal Scotland isn’t just a cultural treasure trove of Celtic wonderment; its sea floors also offer fantastic rock formations and several sunken ships dating back to World War II. The Lofoten Islands of Norway, on the other hand, allow very lucky explorers to meet beautiful killer whales among its clear clean seas.
If you find the added challenge of staying safe in an excessively cold environment less than appealing, there are plenty of warm water destinations to delve into. There are many reasons to head toward the equator for a good, deep swim. The fish are brighter, the gear is lighter, and you can enjoy the tropical sights and sounds when you return to land. Costa Rica, the epicenter of eco-travel offers plenty of natural wonderment both on shore and off. Caribbean islands, like the Bahamas are enchanting. If you’re looking for an exceptionally exotic vacation, try diving Thailand. Off the coast of Phuket, there is a myriad of enigmatic stingrays and limestone caves. Thailand also provides visitors with the opportunity to indulge in some of the most flavorful cuisine on earth, as well as incredible post-dive massages.
Wrecks and Ruins
One of the great things about diving is that it often presents vast landscapes that appear relatively untouched by human influence. Under the water, you can see the architectural achievements of Mother Nature. However, when you dive among wrecks and ruins, you can see the work of Mother Nature as a skillful redecorator.
Diving the ancient ruins of Tortuga, Italy can make a person feel that they are taking an idle stroll through the lost landscape of Atlantis. Beneath the shining turquoise surface of this coastal paradise in Italy, there are a shocking number of archeological dive sites resigned to spend millennia resting among stately rock formations and abundant marine life. This small coastal village is also a paradise on the drier side of the wave breaks, with lovely cliffs, warm Mediterranean beaches and miles of pastoral countryside. Start with a rental car in Alghero and freely explore the Italian coastline!
A shipwreck enthusiast could easily spend an entire lifetime diving in Australia, where there are thousands of crashed vessels to explore. The most famous is the SS Yongala, in Queensland. This navy ship became a part of the Australian seascape during a cyclone in 1911, and is now home to a diverse array of animals ranging from sea horses to reef sharks. Due to a strong current, it’s recommended that only advanced divers attempt to visit this ship, which is an easy rental car day trip from Cairns. A beginner may want to rent a car in Perth to visit the SS Orizaba, a large steam ship from England, which lies only about 20 feet beneath the surface and provides plenty of natural or man-made features and interesting plants and animals to check out.
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