Scuba diving is a holiday like no other. Diving beneath the sea takes travellers into a different world and it’s easy to understand why it can get addictive. Once you’ve experienced scuba diving, it’s hard to imagine a holiday centred around anything else.
Of course, there’s always the decision to be made as to where can offer the best scuba diving experience. Sadly, some of the best scuba diving locations in the world are on the decline, largely as a result of over-development and over-fishing. Places like the Caribbean and the Mediterranean have experienced the biggest declines, prompting divers to search for new spots around the world.
This is just a top three of what the world’s oceans and seas have to offer.
Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean
These islands can be found in the northern pacific, roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii, and boasts some of the least explored diving sites in the world.
It’s an expensive choice, with the flight to this far-flung destination eating up the majority of traveller’s budgets. But any traveller will be rewarded by the unique diving experience that awaits them.
The area was used as a test site for atomic bombs in the 1950s and has remained uninhabited since. As a result, it’s become something of an unofficial marine reserve, guaranteeing a breath-taking vista of wildlife for divers. In 2011, the government of the islands created the largest shark sanctuary in the world. For more information on this, click here.
The islands are also a great spot for divers with a passion for wrecks. Highlights include the American aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Just fifty feet below the surface and longer than the Titanic, the Saratoga is one of only three carrier wrecks in the world which are accessible to divers.
Barrier Reef, Belize
Charles Darwin called it the most remarkable reef in the West Indies. Jaccques Cousteau said it was one of the best diving locations in the world. As if you need any more persuading to don the flippers and head off!
At over 185 miles long, the Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest coral reefs in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. Most of the reef has yet to be researched and scientists have estimated that only 10% of species present in the reef have been discovered.
Divers are likely to come across sea cows (the area boasts the highest population of this species in the world), Jew fish (also known as Goliath groupers – yes, they’re big), sea turtles and more than 500 other species of fish.
As if Egypt didn’t have enough to see above sea level, the country is also one of the top spots for scuba diving in the world. Easily accessible reefs are fantastic for beginners to find their sea flippers and some of the offshore reefs (easily reachable by boat) offer a breath-taking experience for more experienced divers.
The coral reefs of Sharm-el-Sheik form part of the spectacular Ras Mohammed national park. More than 220 species of coral and 1000 species of fish can be found in the waters around Sharm-el-Sheik, including green and hawksbill turtles, starfish and clown fish. I know you’re thinking it, so I’ll confirm; that is the same as Nemo.
Scuba diving is an exhilarating and expensive holiday. And with companies like Very Cheap Holidays offering cheap Egypt holidays from as little as £300, it’s not hard to imagine why Sharm-el-Sheik is a magnet for divers on a budget.
Furthermore, it’s a head-scratcher why people are so eager to book future flights into space, when so much of our own world is yet to be explored.