Picture the Caribbean 30 years ago - deserted palm-fringed beaches with quaint villages nestled into a lush landscape with a majestic volcanic peak as a backdrop. While this might have been any place in the Caribbean 30 years ago, that isn't the case today. Except in Nevis. Only a few discerning travelers have discovered this spectacular destination tucked into the northern corner of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean, and only those few have experienced the happy, easy pace of life Nevisians accept as a matter of course. Traveling divers who know what Nevis has to offer know they want to stay at the Oualie Beach Hotel - a full-service resort and dive lodge. Underwater, Nevis is just as awe-inspiring as it is topside. Explore virgin reefs covered with majestic pillar coral, sea fans and slender tube sponges. Swim with schools of snapper, angelfish chubs, jacks and barracuda, while turtles and graceful southern and eagle rays glide past you. Scuba Safaris, located at the Oualie Beach Hotel, is a full-service dive operation - a five-star NAUI and PADI operation - that is safe, professional and ecologically minded. Three custom dive boats, each running at a 14-diver capacity, will whisk you away to Nevis' underwater world. Scuba Safaris owner Ellis Chadderton has been diving these waters since he was a young boy and knows the area intimately. Here are three of his picks for the perfect Nevis experience. * Monkey Shoal is an incredible stretch of densely covered reef with several different sites. Depth is in the 50-foot range, which allows for plenty of bottom time to check out the numerous overhangs, crevices and grottos where angelfish, black durgeons, octopus and the curious flying gunnard roam. Observant divers may catch a view of sleeping or resting nurse sharks under the area's many ledges. * Devil's Caves is a series of coral grottos and caves featuring underwater lava tubes where divers can take advantage of the ocean's surge for a free ride. Beautiful shoals of squirrelfish and silversides swim with plentiful lobster and turtles in this two-thumbs-up dive. * Nags Head is located barely 10 minutes from Oualie Beach Hotel by boat and provides a cornucopia of schooling big fish. Starting at 15 feet, the reef slopes in steps down to 60 feet. This is the schooling grounds of king mackerel, barracuda, jacks, blue runners and yellowtail snappers. Blacktip reef sharks can often be seen in the distance. The Oualie Beach Resort, Scuba Safari's home, is situated on enchanting Oualie Beach - the prettiest beach on the island - and features a cluster of beachfront and beach-view gingerbread cottages. Each cottage offers either a four-poster queen bed or two doubles, and all rooms have air conditioning, ceiling fan, refrigerator, cable television, phones, screened porch (great for hanging up your dive gear), clock radio, electronic safe and hair dryer. Cottages are within 25 feet of the beach and separated by tropical gardens bordered in conch shells. A full-service restaurant/bar with regular nightly entertainment rounds off the resort. Need a break from diving? Oualie Beach Hotel also offers windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, sailboat and powerboat charters and mountain biking. Nearby awaits golf, tennis, horseback riding and hiking trails as well. General manager Ajit Simha, a keen and experienced diver himself, realizes what a truly great dive experience Nevis has to offer, and he's offering discount packages to divers wanting to experience this unique island. Until December 1, a seven-night package with five days of two-tank diving starts at $675 (per diver, double occupancy). Don't miss Nevis, and don't miss the Oualie Beach Hotel: It's how the Caribbean should be experienced.ADVERTORIAL
Find exclusive opportunities and packages offered to Society members on the member benefits site.