Scuba diving and snorkeling are the best ways of experiencing the underwater world. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on underneath the surface of the water the only thing to do is to get down there and find out for yourself.
Scuba diving independently does take some training, but instruction is readily available at most popular dive sites and guided dives are usually not difficult to find. Snorkeling can be as easy as buying a cheap mask set and exploring the rocky sections on the nearest beach, so even if you don’t want to go all the way and dive with a tank on your back, you can still get a flavor of what it’s like.
Go in the right place at the right time and you could be rewarded with amazing sites – huge shoals of hundreds of fish moving as one, huge, branching tropical corals, giant clams, sting rays, octopi and squid, sharks, sea turtles and much more. So where to go? There are thousands of places to dive and snorkel, but here are a just a few of the best travel destinations.
4 Locations for Diving and Snorkeling
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The largest tropical reef in the world sees up to 2 million visitors per year, but it reaches for around 1600 miles so it’s not as crowded as that figure suggests. Waters are warm the corals are plentiful. When diving and snorkeling on the reef, you’ll probably see dozens of different tropical fish. You might also catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or reef shark. Most of the best sites are offshore or around the islands, so it’s worth taking a boat tour. Make sure you take a camera with you – underwater photography is great fun.
Egypt’s Red Sea Coast. The reefs and wrecks of the Red Sea have only recently appeared as popular sites for diving and snorkeling, but they are spectacular enough to compete with anything else on the world. If you’re going to see the pyramids and the River Nile, take a few extra days and head for Sharm el Sheik or Hurghada. There are beautiful white sand beaches on the surface and a stunning diversity of marine life underneath.
Kailua Kona, Hawaii. There are plenty of places for diving and snorkeling in Hawaii, but the night dives offered at Kailua Kona are something special. Lights placed on the sea floor bring in tiny plankton, and the plankton attract huge, graceful manta rays. These gentle giants can grow up to 25ft across, and they don’t seem to mind divers at all.
Belize’s Caribbean Coast. Anyone who wants to dive with sharks will find plenty of thrills in Belize’s Blue Hole and Shark Ray Alley areas. There are mako, hammerhead, lemon, and reef sharks. Sometimes divers off the coast of Belize also see the largest fish in the world- the 40ft, 36 ton whale shark. They are completely harmless but seeing one cruising past is a truly unforgettable experience.
Images courtesy of Mozaik Underwater Cameras