Looking for fun under the sun? How about fun under the water? Make the most of your luxury getaway by taking a trip under the sea. Here are some of the must-visit diving destinations for your 2019.
Divers traveling to the Eastern Mediterranean this summer are advised to check out the resplendent coast of Croatia. With its abundance of unique diving sites, each rich with its own local history, you are sure to find an underwater setting for your level of proficiency. Shipwrecks and underwater lakes in Taranto, Dubrovnik and Tomislav (Lorkum Island) offer fascinating vistas for curious—and experienced—divers. For beginners, Bol (Brac Island) provides a sunnier, scenic alternative replete with white sand beaches and friendly dolphins.
Hawaiian diving is famous for its warmer waters and ample sea life. With dozens of dive sites located along the west coast city of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, any of them can lay claim to being the most beautiful in the Pacific region. However, if you are looking for a true one-of-a-kind underwater exploration experience, you will want to try one in particular. The Blackwater site is a relatively shallow dive about three miles off the nearest shoreline—and it all goes down at night. Blanketed in total darkness, divers are tethered to a dive boat and treated to the area’s local bioluminescent marine life—a veritable light show featuring squid, jellyfish and the like are on full display.
Not far from the gleaming beaches of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula lies the equally sumptuous island of Cozumel. Known for its distinctive mix of Caribbean charm, Mexican culture, and historical significance, Cozumel is also one of the top diving destinations in the world. Pristine coastal waters rich with exotic wildlife and flora can be found at any of the islands more than thirty dive sites. Be sure to visit the Santa Rosa Wall, described as one of the most awe-inspiring seascapes in existence. Colorful reef formations and abundant coral lines await experienced divers—look out for grouper, angelfish, barracuda, and turtles!
If you’re feeling adventurous, Mexico has over 7,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula alone, some of which you can dive in. The most famous being Dos Ojos, which has been featured in BBC, Discovery Channel and the Planet Earth. These caves offer an amazing adventure for more experienced divers and the underwater formations and crystal clear water are something you wont soon forget.
Turks and Caicos
The stunning coral islands that comprise the archipelago of Turks and Caicos have always been a major draw for thrill-seeking explorers. Expansive and colorful reefs meet deep diving walls, providing a surreal backdrop to many of the world’s most exotic underwater creatures.
Humpback whales migrate through the Turks Head Passage during peak diving season (January to April). Lucky divers can catch a glimpse of these gentle giants; luckier divers get close enough to hear the melodic reverberations of their communal chatter.
One of the leading ecotourism destinations in the world, Costa Rica is a dream for divers—especially those who make it to the popular Cocos Island. Of the twenty dive sites at Cocos Island, the heavy currents of Bajo Alcyone (advanced divers) and the calmer Dirty Rock (beginners) attract the most attention. Bajo Alcyone features a seamount with an 85-foot summit and plenty of hammerhead sharks and manta rays. Dirty Rock is a similar dive featuring pinnacles and boulders that create a protected channel where divers can come face-to-face with whale sharks.
Though not exactly promoted as a premier diving destination (compared to other Caribbean nations), the Dominican Republic still has plenty of outstanding sites to offer—whatever your skill level. Punta Cana, the popular resort area, has beautiful underwater vistas but is subject to frequent strong currents. Those looking for a smoother dive can head over to Catalina Island. This serene spot has some of the best diving sites, like Juan Dolio, Bayahibe and Boca Chica, which resides near the gateway to the otherworldly La Caleta Underwater National Park. Must see!