Whether you want calm clear waters, big animal encounters, love your tiny critters, or want to explore underwater caverns and caves, there is something for everyone in the Scubaverse Dive Travel Guide 2017. So where will you go on your next diving adventure? We’ve teamed up with some friends of ours – tour operators, dive centres, resorts, and boat charters from around the world – to give you an insight into thrilling dive destinations that are just waiting to be discovered by you!
The Cenotes, Mexico with Hidden Depths Dive Tours
We specialise in small groups with a maximum of 4 divers. With larger groups the chances of someone with buoyancy issues is greater and once the sand has been disrupted the visibility disappears and your dive is spoilt. We try to avoid meeting larger mainstream groups hence the location and timing of visits to the Cenotes is key.
Your guide Eric Budgie Burgess has spent the last 10 years as a cave and cavern guide in the Riviera Maya meaning his knowledge of the cave and cavern systems is extensive. All the caverns are unique and offer gin clear visibility with superb light penetration, so those worried about being claustrophobic needn’t. Budgie will tailor your cavern diving programme so that you experience the best possible diving in the time available, whether it be two, three, four days or more.
Further south near the Belize border is the off shore reef of Chinchorro Banks, an unspoilt, pristine and beautiful reef system rarely visited. The bank is a 28 mile long and 9 mile wide oval with an interior lagoon. It is mainly the west which is dived as it is protected from the prevailing eastern and south eastern winds. Here you will find pristine dive sites, seemingly untouched by man… it is a magnificent site. There are swathes of black coral fans, and most impressive of all the Giant Barrel Sponges. If you want to play underwater hide and seek this is the place!
Both the Cenotes and Chinchorro can be combined to offer you a unique diving experience on a single trip. Other seasonal underwater delights include the Whale & Bull Shark and Sailfish. If you have the time the interior can also be explored and a tailored tour of the temples of Coba and Chichen Itza and the historic towns of Merida and Valladolid can be arranged.
The Red Sea with Scuba Travel
The Red Sea will always be a special place for divers. There’s no where else you can go in less than 5 hours that delivers the kind of diving you get in the Red Sea for the cost. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more. But after a couple of trips, haven’t you been there? Done that? Got the t-shirt? In one word – no!
Scuba Travel’s new Shark Quest itinerary was born out of a love for the big fish in the Red Sea. Travel less and spend more time on the big wall dives where the pelagics come out to play. The Southern Red Sea in May and June are the best months for manta sightings and hammerheads. The adrenalin rush of oceanics later in the summer is a spectacle to behold. Threshers and silkies sightings are always better (and shallower) in the winter months. We’ve all travelled much farther to find both shark species… and had less success! Now you can spend days at either the Brothers or Daedalus doing what you love the most… being amazed underwater.
Lanzarote with Safari Diving Lanzarote
Lanzarote is an all year round resort benefitting from good weather and diving conditions all year.
It is a family friendly resort with lots of places of interest, but in particular the National Volcanic Park – Timanfaya – with live volcanoes and a restaurant cooking chicken directly from the volcano! There are many markets weekly selling a variety of bargains and locally produced goods too. Not to be missed, Ceaser Manrique’s home who is the local well known artist who designed many of the ironwork mobiles around the island and managed to secure a law that prohibited the building of high rise hotels etc thus keeping the traditional Spanish feel of the island.
Also various activities including Go Karting, Jetskis, Waterpark, Golf, Crazy Golf, Cinemas, and much more.
Safari Diving is situated in Puerto del Carmen which has 3 main areas – the main strip, which has touristy bars and restaurants; the Harbour area, with traditional Spanish bars and restaurants; and the old town – where Safari Diving is located – which has many lovely international bars and restaurants to suit everybody’s purse.
Why should you choose SAFARI DIVING LANZAROTE?
- Our multiple award winning centre has been operating for over 30 years and has earned a high reputation both locally and internationally.
- Recently approved by the Ministry of Defence – one of only 10 dive centres worldwide!
- The only dive centre in the Canary Islands to have been bestowed a Quality Award.
- Divers welcome from all dive organisations – we teach BSAC PADI and SSI courses.
- An all year-round diving resort with water temperatures Min 17C Max 25C Visibility 12m-30m.
- Located directly on the beach, 15m from the water’s edge, the sheltered bay is ideal for training (with our instructors or your own).
- Open 7 days a week all year round.
- Groups of all sizes welcome. Guided or unguided diving.
- Our team have great knowledge of the dive sites, giving you fun and interesting dives.
- Shore, boat and night dives are all the same price (we have our own hard boat – short trips to sites).
- We will beat any like for like quote for diving.
- We can assist with accommodation locally.
- We have 3 of our own bars locally where divers meet up giving that club feel!
The Maldives with Sportif Dive Holidays
If you’re planning a scuba diving holiday to the Maldives, Sportif Dive Holidays is able to book over 100 islands as a Maldives specialist. Currently on offer is the 3* Andaaran Club Rannalhi. Based at the tip of the South Male Atoll, this relaxed island has a choice of 96 land based bungalows and 34 water bungalows and prides itself on a personal service. The onsite PADI dive centre offers boat and shore diving with the superb house reef ideal for beginners with max depth of 20m. An ideal place to try out one of their new BONEX underwater scooters. You can dive morning and afternoon with trips to Vagali Thila or Guraidhoo corner, from turtles, big Napoleons, to different kinds of Sharks, Dolphins or Mantas with all sites within 45 minutes. There are a range of SSI and PADI courses and free Nitrox for qualified divers. This all-inclusive island offers excellent value with international, buffet style restaurant and café, cocktail bar, spa and other activities including beach and watersports such as water skiing, wakeboarding and evening entertainment. Prices start at £1,295pp including return flights and speed boat transfers. Call Sportif Dive Holidays on 01273 844919 or see www.sportifdive.co.uk.
Check out Sportif Dive Holiday’s latest Maldives offers here.
Grenada with Dive Grenada
‘DIVE GRENADA’ is an Award Winning PADI 5* Scuba Diving Operation located on the small Island of Grenada. Located in the South Eastern Caribbean, this idyllic tropical location allows for diving all year round with average water temperatures of 28 deg. C.
Grenada is becoming the new dive destination of choice for discerning divers from around the world, with over 30 outstanding dive sites to choose from, including stunning coral reefs, more shipwrecks than any other Caribbean Island, including the famous cruise ship wreck the ‘Bianca C’, known locally as the ‘Titanic of the Caribbean’. Grenada is also home to the world’s first ‘Underwater Sculpture Park’ located in our Marine Protected Area, a great environmental project which is still evolving.
DIVE GRENADA’s stunning new dive shop is centrally located at the Mount Cinnamon Hotel on Grand Anse Beach which allows for easy access to all the dive sites, typically 10 – 15 minutes away, so no long boat trips!
We are very proud to be the Grenada Dive Centre that is #1 on TripAdvisor and received the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for the last 3 years.
Come dive with us, we really do ‘Have it All’…..!
Malta with Maltaqua
Malta has long been a favourite family holiday destination for tourists from all over Europe.
Communication is easy as the Maltese are very international and speak many languages. Almost everyone speaks English and Italian and many also speak French or German.
Malta is famous for the friendliness and helpfulness of its people; the freedom to walk out at night or let your kids play by day and feel safe; its lazy “Why worry?” atmosphere; the medieval city of Mdina; the Grand Harbour of Valletta, and its diving.
However much you may feel at home Malta is still very different from home. It is very much a southern Mediterranean island with palms, prickly pears and flat roofs and domed churches and most importantly, the sun and the deep blue sea.
Maltaqua offers a complete range of introductory scuba diving lessons, PADI, BSAC, RAID or TDI courses as well as daily diving excursions around the three Islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino. All of our diving equipment, compressors, vehicles and boats are modern, well-maintained and reliable.
Each member of our enthusiastic, friendly team of professional instructors has been specially selected and trained to care for you. All our excursions and courses are lead by fully qualified Instructors – not Divemaster interns or trainees. Each is totally committed and as we find that people learn best when they are comfortable with their instructor, we do our best to “match-make” in terms of language, age and outlook.
SPECIAL OFFER: 4 Night Dive Break Nov-March €250pp
This package is available for any 4 night period during November through to March 2018 and includes:
- Local Airport transfers
- 4 nights apartment accommodation (2 sharing an apartment)
- 6 guided shore dives
- Tank and weight rental
- Road transport
Same package on single occupancy option (single travellers, or persons wanting individual rooms) is €90 extra per person.
Airport transfers can be arranged at any time of the day and night.
Guests arriving/departing after office hours (Monday to Saturday 08:00 – 16:00), kindly add €20 to the cost of the above package price.
Accommodation is in one of our apartments at Sands. All apartments have a small kitchen and shower room, with washing and storage facilities in the basement for the dive gear.
Dives are all accompanied by one of our qualified Instructors and can choose between wreck, cave or reef dives.
Possible itinerary as follows:
- Day 1: arrival day
- Day 2: 2 dives (option also to do a night dive)
- Day 3: 2 dives
- Day 4: 2 dives
- Day 5: Departure day
Depending on your arrival time, it may be possible to book an extra afternoon dive on your arrival day.
Recommended surface interval with regards to repetitive or multidives is a minimum of 18 hours prior to flying.
Should any of your diving days fall on a Sunday please add €25 to the cost of the package.
The Algarve and the Ocean Revival Project with Hidden Depths Dive Tours
Did you know the world’s largest artificial reef Ocean Revival is on your doorstep?
It was completed on the 21st September 2013 when the 64 mtr Hydrographic ship Almeida de Carvalho was sunk. It joined 3 other ex Portuguese Navy ships and was the culmination of a major 6 year project.
The good news for us wreck lovers is that they are only 2 hours away from anywhere in the UK on the Portuguese Algarve.
Four warships, representatives of the Portuguese Navy Fleet, form the largest single artificial reef structure in the world with the ideal conditions that allow for diving 300 days of the year.
Situated off the Portuguese Algarve coast near the small fishing village of Alvor this marine park offers wreck diving enthusiasts plenty of opportunities. All ships are perfect for a wide range of diving experiences as strategically cut access holes make penetration easy and safe, with a maximum depth of 32 mtrs. The added bonus is that water temperatures reach 24 degrees in late summer and visibility a possible 20 mtrs.
The Philippines with Sportif Dive Holidays
Puerto Galera is just a short 3.5 hour transfer from Manila with access to some of the very best diving in the Philippines. Located on the North east tip of Mindoro island, originally a small fishing village, the resort is one of the most popular diving destinations in the Philippines. Located at the apex of the Coral Triangle, it is renown for its spectacular macro life, over 300 types of coral and over 3000 different species of marine life, wrecks, walls, shallow sites and drift sites, with the Cape Verdes islands a highlight. Stay right in the centre of Puerto Galera with onsite 4* PADI dive centres, you can dive up to 5 dives a day, 7 days a week with 30 dive sites less than 15 minutes by boat and sites to suit all levels of diver. Diving is generally in small groups of six or less, led by an experienced dive guide, from local Bangka (outrigger) boats or small speed boats. A full range of courses are on offer from Juniors, recreational, and specialties including underwater photography to technical and professional qualifications. Prices start at £799 including return flights and transfers. Call Sportif Dive Holidays on 01273 844919 or visit www.sportifdive.co.uk.
Check out Sportif Dive Holiday’s latest Philippines offers here.
Spain with Euro-Divers
PHONE: +32 474 649026
Hotel Cala Joncols
Hotel Cala Joncols is an idyllic property nestled in the midst of a natural park and surrounded by a wreath of olive trees.
The Hotel Cala Joncols is this quaint bay’s unique locale, and the best diving locations of the ‘Cap de Creus’ are merely a hand-throw away.
The convivial hotel is famous for its outstanding homemade Spanish cuisine: may it be either ‘a la carte’ or the full-board menu you will be equally titillated by the exquisite traditional Spanish aromas and flavours.
It is the only hotel in the bay!
Euro-Divers Cala Joncols
As you dive from the beach or from the diving boat, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by, and marvel at, the splendor, variety, and richness that this Mediterranean alcove has to offer. At a mere depth of 10 meters, ogle hermit-crabs, seahorses, red corals, codfish, eels, or dragon-fish: the luscious array is truly mind-boggling to the delight of all divers.
Euro-Divers offers an extensive range of diving lessons and courses: from beginner to expert diver, may it be a trial dive, Nitrox or Rebreather dives, or instructor training, we cater to your diving objectives.
Scotland with Dive St. Abbs
Hello and Welcome to Dive St Abbs!
From this tiny, ancient and picturesque harbour on the east coast of the Scottish Borders, divers explore the sea, fishermen catch fish and everyone can discover the amazing geology, exciting history and wonderful wildlife and seabirds to be found along this spectacular coastline with Dive St. Abbs boat charters.
With the local knowledge provided by Paul Crowe, the skipper of the MV.Shore Diver, his purpose-built Charter boat, your diving, fishing or sightseeing trip will be hard to beat.
All our visitors are welcomed aboard to enjoy their explorations in safety and comfort. But don’t take our word for it – here’s what they have to say…
“Absolutely mint diving location – Paul and Rachel are perfect hosts, couldn’t recommend enough. Everything you need on site.
- Immaculately clean on arrival (cottage for 5 from our dive club).
- Facilities – perfectly good, fridge, double hob kettle, microwave and toaster – all the cutlery and crockery – great! What more do you need!
- Separate Room to hang your wet kit overnight in building at corner of yard.
- Fill station – right on site – 10 metres from boat and in same site as accommodation – fills 230 bar ie a proper fill! No bother for fills at right money – especially handy in between dives – means you only need 1 tank.
Ample space – not too crowded – no nasty steps between kit up benches and lift. Skipper really laid back but knows his stuff – well he would – he also skippers the lifeboat!
The accommodation is right at the harbour – couldn’t be more convenient – I’ve never done so little walking in a dive weekend.
In our 3 night visit we did 7 dives – mostly around 15-20 m but we squeezed in a wreck at 30m.
Between our 6 divers we saw stacks of sea life – I’ve never seen so many lobsters (no take areas) other things – velvet edible hermit crabs ; butterfish anglerfish rock/scorpion fish , gobies moray eel, wolf fish; sea hares nudibranchs loads of common starfish, brittle stars, and sun stars, octopus, wrasse ( very curious)
Once again – great place – we had a 4.5 hour drive and we all thought it was well worth it!”
Ilkeston and Kimberley Sub Aqua Club
‘Had a fantastic stay and 2 days diving! The accommodation was very comfortable, the breakfast was delicious and made a great start to the day. Paul was very easy going and knowledgeable which put me at ease for my first boat and sea dives. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Highly recommended – thank you Paul and Rachel! Looking forward to a return visit.”
Ireland with Mevagh Dive Centre
Your gateway to some of the finest scuba diving in Ireland with some of the clearest waters starts with Mevagh Dive Centre.
We run scuba diving trips for all levels of qualified divers. Divers who don’t have their own equipment can rent equipment from our dive centre. Groups of qualified divers can charter one of our boats on a daily basis. We also run a weekly dive on Thursday evenings at 6pm during the summer period.
We have expert knowledge of sea dive wreck locations off the Coast of Ireland including the Donegal Classics and Malin wrecks. Divers can choose from an excellent selection of wreck, scenic or drift sea dives.
South Africa With Coral Divers
CORAL DIVERS SODWANA BAY is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park & UNESCO World Heritage Site of South Africa. The resort offers world class diving combined with a professionally run dive centre and PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre. We provide close and convenient accommodation in a range to suit all budgets – en-suite cabins (for the more discerning diver), standard cabins with private bathrooms, or the standard cabins and safari tents… we have something for everyone.
The warm and friendly atmosphere at Coral Divers lends itself to a social and relaxed experience for families and scuba divers alike. The lodge is nestled in the coastal forest, and surrounded by pristine bush with an array of bird and small wildlife visitors. A complimentary shuttle service provides our guests with easy access to the beach and the dive kitting-up area, or the wonderfully stocked Beach Shop for equipment hire or purchases.
Sodwana Bay offers exceptional boat diving 364 days a year, and the ancient fossilised sand dunes that form the reefs run parallel to the shore, stretching up towards Mozambique as a vast expanse of untouched coastline. Diving at Sodwana Bay is suitable for beginner to advanced divers, with water temperatures that range from 28°C in Summer to 20°C in Winter. It is one of the nesting grounds for Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles. Humpback Whales and Whale Sharks migrate past this coast and with an impressive number of marine species found in this marine reserve, the area is a photographer’s dream.
Indonesia with Wakatobi Dive Resort
Pristine, protected, dramatic and diverse. These are just some of the reasons why Wakatobi is known as Indonesia’s premier diving destination.
The resort’s private marine preserve encompasses some of the best-protected and most pristine coral environments in the Indian Ocean, providing exclusive access to more than 40 unique dive sites. The underwater landscape is diverse, with precipitous walls that rise to within a meter of the surface, dramatic offshore seamounts, critter-rich inshore seagrass beds and colorful shallow reefs that are ideal for both divers and snorkellers. Wakatobi’s marine eco system is one of the most bio-diverse on Earth, home to more than 400 varieties of coral, 3,000-plus species of fish and an even greater number of invertebrates.
With a fleet of large, custom-built dive launches making three daily excursions, divers can enjoy the freedom of flexible scheduling, along with hour-long bottom times made possible by multi-level profiles on sites that start shallow and run deep. In addition, resort guests enjoy day-and-night access to the House Reef, which has been named one of the world’s best shore dives. These daily opportunities are supported by a service-oriented team that handles all details of gear and logistics, along with attentive and experienced guides who are experts at finding rare and interesting wildlife, or providing support for photo and video work.
Ashore, guests stay in a collection of upscale bungalows and villas, and enjoy gourmet meals in a relaxing oceanfront environment. The resort is equally supportive of snorkellers.
Tanzania with Hidden Depths Dive Tours
Tanzania holds many wonders including Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest point of Africa and the great plains of the Serengeti. Divers will find the treasures of this peaceful and friendly country more than matched underwater.
Most of Tanzania’s renowned dive sites are off the islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia. Diving here is established but there are still huge swathes of the southern coast remaining to be explored. There cannot be a better place to enjoy a relaxing diving holiday. Don’t be surprised if you come up with more air than you went down with!
Pemba offers some of the best adventure diving in the world. Deep water and nutrient rich currents make for spectacular drop offs, densely populated with Indo Pacific species. Wall diving is the speciality here. Out in the blue might be schooling tuna, barracuda, sailfish, marlin, giant trevally, hammerheads, tiger sharks or reef sharks. There’s no shortage of turtles and dolphins either, but Pemba is particularly well known for its manta rays. Whale sharks and whales are not uncommon either. The night diving is also exceptional, with the phosphorescent Indian Ocean adding to the magic.
Exotic Zanzibar is blessed with fantastic powdery white beaches and its sandy shelf means this is the perfect island for less experienced divers. Although there are dives sites all around the island the best are to be found off the north coast. Here the depth of the sites gives greater visibility. Two of the best are the spectacular drift dives at Leven Banks and Mnemba Island. For those with less experience the sites around Stone Town are better suited.
Mafia Island offers some of the finest diving in East Africa. Lying opposite the mouth of the Rufiji River delta on mainland Tanzania, the waters are teeming with marine life and between October and March, whalesharks. The southern region was declared a marine park in 1995 and hosts more than 380 species of fish and more than 45 different types of coral. Green and hawksbill turtles breed here and the endangered dugong still has occasional sightings. Very much off the ‘beaten track’, those that take the time and effort to visit Mafia Island will be rewarded with pristine reefs and plentiful sightings of big game fish.
Whichever island or combination of islands you choose, Tanzania will not disappoint with its tantalising culture, untouched by modern tourism. Each island can be coupled with safaris on the northern Serengeti and Ngoronoro Crater or the lesser known southern of the Selous. An ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro can also be combined with the islands for what could be a well-earned rest!
The Isles of Scilly with Isles of Scilly Dive Charters
PHONE: Moonshadow: 01720 422848 / Dive Scilly: 01720 423162
EMAIL: Moonshadow: firstname.lastname@example.org / Dive Scilly: email@example.com
WEBSITE: Moonshadow: www.scillydiving.com / Dive Scilly: www.divescilly.com
The Isles of Scilly offer some of the finest diving in the UK. These unspoiled and relatively isolated islands have the most gentle climate in Britain, making the Isles of Scilly a haven for many types of flora and fauna.
Diving around the islands is a mixture of reef and wrecks in usually excellent visibility. A variety of canyons, stepped reefs and sheer walls are home to a colourful abundance of marine life. From Jewel anemonies to fan corals and sponges, the stunning scenery and clarity present amazing photographic opportunities. Our resident grey seals make for a very entertaining dive too!
A long history of shipwrecks in the islands has provided a wide variety of wreck diving ranging from the mid 1600’s to more recent years, from wooden sailing ships to steel ships.
Two Charter boats operate from St Marys – Moonshadow, a Lochin 33, is skippered by Jo Williams and Tiburon, an Offshore 105, is skippered by Dave McBride. Both Jo and Dave have over 20 years experience diving and skippering around these beautiful islands.
For more travel ideas visit the Scubaverse Directory…