We all know that approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface is made up of water, but did you know about 96% of that water is the Earth’s oceans? Entirely new destinations become accessible once travelers set their sights below the ocean’s surface. We’ve put together a list of five unique scuba trip spots around the globe for the intrepid traveler looking for their next big adventure!
Western Australia, Ningaloo Reef
Many travelers are familiar with Austalia’s famous Great Barrier Reef, Earth’s largest living organism; but the less familiar Ningaloo Reef off the coast of remote Western Australia is also teaming with wildlife! Unlike the GBR, the Ningaloo Reef is a fringe reef and has much shallower water. This scuba trip spot is fantastic for the underwater explorer who has a thirst for adventure but may lack the experience necessary for deeper dives. Access to the reef requires only a short boat ride off the shore. Whale sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, reef sharks, and corals of all shapes, sizes, and colors lie just below the surface, waiting to be discovered. The proximity of the reef to the shore also allows divers to experience a number of different dive sites without traveling long distances.
Looking for the best place to base your diving trip, or potentially extend your time in Australia? our Houston travel agency can help you find the best lodging to maximize your experience. Our favorite is the tented camp at Sal Salis, one of Australia’s Luxury Lodges, with all the safari vibes to get divers in the mood for their underwater adventures.
Many people have never heard of the Marshall Islands, but for scuba diving history buffs, visiting them is a must! The Marshall Islands are famous for wreck dives. The undisturbed waters of Bikini Atoll are now home to many sunken WWII vessels. Clear waters, high visibility, and epic drop offs and crevasses make this American atomic test sight both visually stunning and fascinatingly eerie. These Pacific islands are in the vast space of ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines. The best way to see the wrecks is to hire a private charter with comfortable accommodation and an experienced guide to make the most of these historic sites on your next scuba trip.
Lately it seems as though Iceland is on every adventurer’s bucket list. It’s full of natural wonders, breathtaking scenery, and bucket-list experiences. Travelers looking for epic hikes, drives, and dives can find all three right here. The Silfra Crack is one of the most famous cold-water dive sites in the world. It’s the only place in the world where divers can descend directly between two tectonic plates. The crystal clear glacial water offers an inimitable underwater experience that will wow even the most well-traveled divers. Finish a dive trip by indulging at the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s first five-star resort, and get private access to the geo-thermal pools. What better way to defrost and decompress from all that cold water diving than warming up at a world class spa?
The Pacific Island of Guadalupe (not to be confused with the Caribbean’s Guadeloupe) may sound familiar to anyone who tunes in to Shark Week. This volcanic island is off the coast of the Baja California peninsula and is known for it’s remote scuba experiences with great white sharks. The sharks travel to these waters to give birth and divers have the opportunity to see some of the oldest and largest ones still alive.
Mexican park regulations require divers to stay in their cages at all times and wear wetsuits to protect the pollution of the water from contaminants like sunscreen. There’s not accommodation on the island. Charters and live aboard boats depart from southern California for six night trips.
Travelers looking to add some post-dive rest and relaxation to their trip can jet down to los Cabos and finish their stay at one of the many new resorts opening there this year. (All are fabulous, but one of our favorites is the Montage Los Cabos!)
Scotland’s Wild West Coast
Travelers know Scotland for many things: golf, Scotch, castles, and lakes among other things. However, not many people think of Scotland as a unique diving location. The west coast is home to some of Europe’s best wreck diving: The SMS Karlsruhe and the Hispania crawl with marine life during the summer months. The water of St. Kilda has some of the best visibility in Europe. Friends and family members who prefer to stay above the surface can watch exotic seabirds dive into the ocean while divers can explore the underwater cliffs, caves, and marches in some of the highest visibility water in Europe.
Many destinations boast as having something for everyone, but Scotland truly has it all with so many quaint towns, world renown golf courses, historic castles, and beautiful hotels. Now travelers can add “diving destination” to their list of reasons to visit.
Ready to plan your trip?
Whether you’re planning a bucket list scuba trip or just a family vacation, Houston’s best travel agency can help make the trip of your dreams happen. Contact us or make an appointment with one our travel agents to get started!