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Regaldive welcomes Mexico to dive portfolio

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UK based diving holiday specialist Regaldive has expanded its dive portfolio with the introduction of Mexico. With warm tropical waters and a wealth of world class diving on offer including the legendary inland Cenotes, Regaldive’s latest addition will no doubt be at the top of ‘must dive’ lists in 2014.

With a choice of two Mexican resorts to choose from, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, this new destination offers the ideal medium-haul option for those looking to combine white sand beaches with plentiful reefs. Both resorts sit on the Yucatan Peninsula, located on the edge of the world’s second largest barrier reef, which stretches south for over 1,000 km’s. Fed by the nutrient rich currents, the reef is a teeming city of corals, sea fans, whips and sponges and is home to over 500 different species of fish.

Experienced divers staying on Cozumel, Mexico’s largest island, can explore the famous Planacar Reef, named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the best scuba diving spots in the world. The area also benefits from exhilarating drift dives and dramatic wall dives for those looking to take advantage of the nutrient rich currents surrounding the island.

For less experienced divers, Playa del Carmen offers a wealth of easy and relaxed dive sites. Divers can explore low walls with overhangs, mini caves and swim-throughs, while enhancing their skills. They can also admire reef tops peppered with hard corals, colourful sponges and sea plumes, as well as schooling snappers, angelfish, lobsters and electric rays.

Cenotes

Both resorts offer access to the world famous Cenotes. The chance to explore this incredible submerged limestone cave and cavern system is the reason so many divers head to this part of Mexico – and these are once in a lifetime dives that live up to their hype. The Cenotes are known as the jewel in the crown of Yucatan diving and allow divers to float in gin clear, fresh water amongst stunning formations of stalagmites and stalactites, bathed in shafts of light filtering through the jungle canopy above. Used as a source of fresh water by the ancient Maya, these distinctive geological formations offer some of the most exciting and unique diving to be found anywhere in the world.

Seven nights’ at the Allegro Cozumel Resort in Cozumel cost from £1,085 per person. Located on San Francisco Beach, the hotel is located just minutes away from Palancar Reef and the best dive sites of the Cozumel National Marine Park – considered one of the top five dive destinations in the world. The all-inclusive resort benefits from four restaurants, five bars, four swimming pools, three floodlit tennis courts, a multi-purpose sports court, fitness centre, Jacuzzi and sauna. The price includes flights, transfers and seven nights’ all inclusive accommodation.

For those tempted by Playa del Carmen, seven nights’ at the all-inclusive Allegro Playacar Resort cost from £1,085 per person. Located on the white-sand beach and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the resort benefits from three swimming pools, two floodlit tennis courts, a basketball court, free non-motorised water sports and a full programme of day and evening entertainment. The lively resort offers the ideal base to discover the wide variety of nightlife and leisure options in Playa del Carmen. The price includes flights, transfers and seven nights’ all inclusive accommodation.

For divers looking for the ultimate in luxury, Regaldive’s new Royal Hideaway Playacar adult only resort offers a highly personalised and attentive service. Located on the white-sand beach at Playa del Carmen, the resort is within walking distance of the popular 5th Avenue, the area’s premier destination for shopping, dining and nightlife. The resort itself benefits from six specialty restaurants, three bars, 24 hour room service, two floodlit tennis courts, six swimming pools, a fitness centre, spa and nightly entertainment. Costing from £1,750, the package includes flights, transfers and seven nights’ all inclusive accommodation.

A six dive, dive pack in all of the above resorts costs from £184 per person, to include guide, air, tanks and weights.

For further information or to book, visit www.regaldive.co.uk or call +44 (0)1353 659 999.

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Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

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Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

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Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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