Many people wonder what is so special about scuba dive travel. Why would scuba divers spends thousands of dollars a year to travel to remote places to experience scuba dive travel? This is something that is hard to describe until you have experienced it yourself. I will attempt to put this into perspective for you!
Experiencing scuba dive travel is like going to the Serengeti in Tanzania to see the big five or it’s like travelling to Peru to visit Machu Pichu. It is an experience unlike any other! Contrary to common belief, it’s not all about scuba diving in crystal clear warm waters.
Think about underwater coral reef systems as a diverse ecosystem with no two coral reefs being identical. As an example, you would have a completely different experience hiking in the tropical rain forests of the Amazon than you would hiking in the Rockies. Both are diverse and are unique in their own ways. This is one perspective of scuba dive travel.
The other perspective of scuba dive travel is the marine life that you would experience. Every part of the world is so unique in the marine life it has to offer. There are many species that are migratory like whale sharks and manta rays, while other have specific places in the world that they can be seen in.
Lets talk about the best places around the world to see a variety of marine life:
- Sea of Cortez, Mexico: Located between Mexico’s west coast and Southern California, the Sea of Cortez is considered the”world’s aquarium”. More than a dozen species of whales visit this area, schools of spinner dolphins, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and sea lions all swim through this watery world that’s named for the Spanish conquistador.
- Utila Island, Honduras: Located 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, this is the home of the magnificent whale shark. These creatures can grow to be 40-feet long, it’s more likely that you’ll find 20-30-foot-long specimens in these waters very close to the shoreline.
- Komodo, Indonesia: Located 230 miles east of Bali, this spectacular region is in a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site with creatures such as the dugong, a manatee-like animal; skeleton shrimp; pygmy sea horses; and the boldly-hued sea apple. The marine life is so diverse that some have been known to refer to the area as the “Galapagos of the Asia-Pacific.” See the blog on muck diving to get a better idea of what it’s like!
- Galapagos, Ecuador: Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, it consists of a volcanic archipelago of 19 main islands and dozens of islets. Galapagos is the home to a variety of sharks especially hammerheads. The Galapagos also has the only iguana type that feeds in the sea. And the Galapagos penguins are the only such birds to live outside Antarctica.
- Beqa, Fiji: Located in the south pacific. This area is named the “world’s soft coral capital.” The reefs surrounding Beqa and its sheltered lagoon provide abundant opportunities to scope out the colorful corals as well as sponges, clown fish and several different shark species.
- Palau: Located where the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, this area has 300 islands pack in some of the greatest number of different marine species in the world, including more than 1,300 fish species and hundreds of different types of coral. Jellyfish lake is a unique spot here where there are thousands of jellyfish that once floated in the open ocean. With no predators, they have long lost their ability to sting.
- Visayas, Philippines: Located in the middle of the Philippines, Garden and moray eels, barrel sponges, black coral and schools of snappers are just a sampling of the rich diversity of marine creatures found here. The most prominent creature in this area is the sea horse.
- Belize: Located along Mexico and Guatemala, the coral reef system here stretches 180 miles resulting in the world’s second longest barrier reef. Belize is the home to a variety of barracudas. This is the spot if you want to see schools of them stacked on top of each other.
- Channel Island National Park, California: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura, you can experience dark sea caves, dense kelp forests, narrow basalt tunnels and stony arches. They all characterize these crystal clear waters that are part of the National Marine Sanctuary.
- Maldives: Located 400 miles off the coast of India, he Republic of the Maldives is a lengthy chain of coral islands and islets. This strong currents in this area result in an immense variety of marine life. The most notable is the giant manta ray with wings that can span up to 12 ft long.
- Brothers Islands, Red Sea: Located 30 miles off the coast of El Quseir, Egypt, this area is filled with marine life vibrant, soft coral and sea fan forests. It’s also filled with sharks: thrasher, hammerhead, gray reef and the occasional oceanic white-tip — named for its white-tipped fins — that provide a real thrill.
- Heron Island, The Great Barrier Reef: Spanning 1,400 miles parallel to the coast of Queensland, Australia, this coral reef system is visible from space. On top of the great fans of coral reefs, this area is home to loggerhead turtles, stingrays and batfish.
If you are a scuba diver then don’t miss out on experiencing these great places first hand. If you are not a scuba diver then take the leap and learn to how to scuba dive so you can join these great scuba dive travel experiences. Many destination are also great for snorkellers to experience. Contact us and we can put something incredible together for you!