Looking out of the office window and seeing nothing but grey skies is the perfect motivator we need to consider a trip to somewhere totally tropical.
With warm blue waters teeming with marine life, sun-kissed beaches fringed with palm trees and lush tropical rainforests, the Caribbean offers travellers the perfect antidote to those workday blues. Regaldive has a number of gorgeous Caribbean destinations to entice you.
Tobago’s diving has a deserved reputation for enormous brain corals and thrilling drift dives. Mixed with the warmer Gulf Stream, the Guyana current flows along the island’s Atlantic coast, providing some of the most spectacular drift dives in the Caribbean. Divers can expect to see an impressive array of species including barracudas, jacks, tunas, tarpons, different type of sharks, rays including mantas, and turtles.
By contrast the marine life on the Caribbean coast benefits from cooler water temperatures, less current and wind. Sheltered reefs of hard and soft corals, colourful sponges and a thriving fish population make diving the Caribbean coast a rewarding experience, regardless of your level of experience. This coast also boasts Tobago’s finest wreck, the Maverick, a former car ferry that was intentionally sunk in 1997 and lies in 30m.
Bonaire lies just north of Venezuela and is widely recognised as one of the Caribbean’s premier diving destinations. It rarely rains and the waters surrounding the island are rich in nutrients, giving rise to its fabulous marine diversity and beautiful fringing reef.
Bonaire is world-famous for its dive and drive packages, providing divers with complete freedom to investigate this beautiful island above and below water. Dive packages start with unlimited air access, available 24 hours a day. Shore entry dive sites are generally not crowded or exposed to strong currents. Divers often encounter turtles, jacks and inquisitive tarpon. Seahorses, the islands emblem, thrive in Bonaire’s waters, alongside rarely seen frogfish.
Underwater, Curaçao has much in common with its smaller neighbouring island, Bonaire, with a fringing reef running the length of the west coast. The island’s location ensures year round diving in crystal clear waters. Curaçao boasts excellent reefs with an attractive range of wrecks and has been voted one of the top three places for shore diving in the world.
The island has over 60 recognised dive sites, around 40 of them accessible from shore. There are also a number of excellent wrecks adding variety to the underwater scenery. The cargo ship Superior Producer sank just outside Willemstad harbour. Lying in 30m, the superstructure is covered in beautiful corals and anemones. A little further down the reef at Car Pile, old cars from the 1940s lie on top of one another, forming the base to a gently sloping reef.
Grenada offers divers an exceptional range of different dives. They range in character from beautiful coral gardens to adrenaline charged drift dives where encounters with a variety of rays and sharks are commonplace.
Moliniere reef, within the National Marine Park, has been brought alive and transformed by the work of Jason de Caires Taylor. His human form sculptures present fantastic photographic opportunities whilst forming a new home for underwater sea life and give an entirely new perspective to the diver.
Grenada is recognised for its exceptional range of wrecks. In all there are nine stunning wrecks to visit, including the world-famous Bianca C. The Bianca C is a 200 metre luxury liner that sank in 1961. Lying at a gentle angle the wreck supports a huge amount of marine life and has numerous points of interest, including the swimming pool and the bridge.
Sitting north-east of Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis offer a lovely mix of above and below water beauty. The diving is diverse, with a wealth of coral colours on shallow pinnacles, walls, sandy gullies and deeper marine sea mounts. On land, picturesque coves with brightly coloured fishing boats, laid back villages and lush rainforests offer the chance to experience a little Caribbean life.
The marine life provides divers with multiple sightings of moray eels, hawksbill turtles, jacks, barracuda and stingrays and divers will also find frogfish, seahorses and nudibranchs buried in the reefs.
Mexico is one of the most diverse and exciting dive destinations in the world. From the world famous reefs of Cozumel to the once in a lifetime experience of diving the Cenotes, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula really has it all!
Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island, easily accessible by ferry. In contrast with the mainland resorts, Cozumel offers a more relaxed and laidback feel and is in keeping with what one might expect from a true Caribbean island. The southern end of the island is a protected national marine park, and home to the famous Planacar Reef, named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the best scuba diving spots in the world. The island is separated from the mainland by a deep oceanic trench, creating a funnel for the consistently nutrient rich currents that guarantee exhilarating drifts and dramatic wall dives.
Experienced divers will relish the chance to explore one of the longest submerged cave and cavern systems in the world. The Cenotes are justifiably known as the jewel in the crown of Yucatan diving. Float in gin clear fresh water amongst stalagmites and stalactites, bathed in shafts of light filtering through the jungle canopy above.
With so many different islands offering experiences to suit every diver, why not consider chilling in the Caribbean this year?
To find out more, call the Regaldive team on 01353 659999 or visit www.regaldive.co.uk.