If, for you, miles of fine sand, hot sun and transparent water are synonymous with paradise, a diving trip will undoubtedly meet all your expectations. Whether you are already a keen fan or just starting out, you will certainly find a destination suited to your level of expertise and enthusiasm! The seabed is strewn with hidden treasures and they are waiting for you. Here are some of the best places to enjoy this tropical activity, and some tips to apply before and during your trip.
A popular destination for Quebecers for a long time, the land of guacamole is full of attractions to discover: abundant nature, magnificent beaches, historic sites and monuments and, of course, unique gastronomy. Plus, this corner of the world is overflowing with underwater splendor, perfect for a diving vacation.
In the northeast of the Yucatán Peninsula is Cancún, a great resort for sun and beach seekers. Apart from idleness, there are about twenty sites suitable for scuba diving. Cancun's coral reefs are definitely worth a visit, with a diving depth of up to 25 meters on the high seas. Playa Tortugas, Punta Cancun, Punta Nizuc, Manchones, El Tunnel and La Bandera are popular sites loved by divers. all levels of experience.
Cozumel, located to the east of the Yucatán Peninsula, is an island paradise that attracts divers from all over the world every year to discover its seabed of rare splendor. Cozumel is home to some of Mexico's finest dive sites, such as Punta Sur and Devil’s Throat, a must-see.
Then, in the Riviera Maya region, Tulum remains one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. An archaeological site located in an ancient Mayan city and recognized for its countless cenotes (collapsing pits partially filled with fresh water), more and more tourists are diving there. Scuba diving in cenotes is a very impressive unusual experience. Among the best known are Azul, Cristalino and El Jardin del Edén.
Cuba should be on the list for diving enthusiasts since the country is home to some excellent sites. Clean and warm water, good visibility, abundant corals and fish, easy access to sites and the seabed dotted with wrecks make Cuba a very pleasant place for diving. There are 25 clubs spread over 17 diving areas.
The Jardines de la Reina archipelago has an excellent reputation for diving and fishing. Being isolated and protected, the marine park is home to a rich aquatic fauna, including sharks, turtles and a wide variety of fish.
The Island of Youth is a natural paradise where you can find giant corals, caves, galleries and thousands of fish. The Blue Grotto is a gallery that seems to be made for diving, with its three exit doors as well as its sea sponges, its coral formations and its schools of manjúas.
Well known for its 116 volcanoes (active and inactive) and its many national parks, this country, although small, hides great natural beauties. The rare leatherback turtle inhabits it, as well as the Morpho butterflies and macaw macaws.
While many travelers come to Costa Rica for land exploration, the country is gaining more and more popularity for its marine attractions. The rocky volcanic formations are home to small hard corals, sponges and starfish, not to mention all the colorful fish. The diving depth varies from 10 to 35 meters.
Even though the Caribbean coast does not yet have great sport diving facilities, scuba diving off the Pacific coast is still simply fabulous for experienced divers. To the south, it is possible to spot rays, turtles, white tip sharks and large schools of fish as it is a protected biological area.
Regarding the strength of the currents, these can be strong at times off the north coast, but they are normally milder on the south Pacific coast. From December through March, cooler currents lower the water temperature and bring with them large animals like humpback whales, pilot whales, giant manta rays, whale sharks and more.
When you hear about this archipelago of 700 islands, you visualize immense pristine beaches of white sand and crystal clear water. The Bahamian seabed is home to rich pelagic fauna, wrecks, coral reefs and Dean's famous blue holes. The majority of the islands have preserved their original state since they are spared from mass tourism. The Bahamas can be visited year round and is a top destination for family diving. Long Island, Bimini, and Andros are among the most popular destinations for scuba diving in the Bahamas.
For those who adore colorful fish worthy of the finest aquarium, the clear waters and reefs of the Bahamas are a divers dream. Here you can see well-known varieties like clownfish, barracudas and queen conch starfish, and more particular varieties like groupers, blue surgeons and porcupine fish. In clear waters and on sandy bottoms, you will come across a lot of rays, such as eagle rays or stingrays. In addition, one cannot talk about the Bahamas without thinking of the dolphins. They like to have fun in the waves made by the boats and are easily approached by snorkelers.
The Bahamas is also famous for being home to a high density of sharks, and the more adventurous vacationers are often tempted to experience shark-feeding. There are many varieties of sharks you can come across: nurse sharks, black tip sharks, bulldog sharks, reef sharks, great hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, etc. They can be seen near the islands bordering the deep waters.
Looking for a real aquatic paradise? The Indian Ocean is the dream location for any diver looking for an incredible experience. Diving in Mauritius is: thousands of multicolored fish, wrecks lost in the depths of the seabed and brightly colored coral reefs ... What more could you ask for?
Diving in the seabed surrounding Mauritius is a memorable activity, among other things because of the biodiversity of the region and the superb lagoons. Scuba diving in Mauritius allows you to discover worlds unique to this region, including caves and caverns.
There are many diving schools on the island, often affiliated with hotel complexes. These establishments are perfect for diving with the family and offer courses, day trips and equipment rentals.
The scuba diving travel destinations named above are some of the most popular, but note that other breathtaking sites are scattered around the globe. We think of Portugal, Indonesia and Thailand, among others. Consult with one of our travel agents to find the best diving destination for you.
What you need to know
It is a good idea, as with any vacation, to plan your scuba diving trip well and choose your destination according to your budget, your level of experience and your state of health. Indeed, some destinations operate more strict controls on the practice of this activity. In some cases, a medical certificate may be required. It is also recommended, although not compulsory, to take out travel insurance specific to diving (some insurance companies specialize in scuba diving).
If you have your own equipment, it should be checked before you leave to avoid unpleasant surprises at your destination. If you plan to rent your equipment, make sure that it will indeed be possible for you to do so at the chosen location.
As for certifications and all the paperwork, do the necessary checks when you take your reservations (flights, accommodation, transportation, etc.). Check if all the necessary papers and documents, such as your certificates, logbook and proof of insurance, should be taken with you, as you may be asked for them. Also, if you've never dived before, check which schools offer a certified introductory course. Choose a reputable dive operator who will be available at all times and ask to see staff certifications.
A diving trip is an exceptional way to discover new places, for both experts and beginners. The underwater world is full of unexpected splendours and planning a scuba diving vacation gives you access to this hidden universe. Most importantly, don't forget your waterproof camera to bring back some great memories!