Ever wonder what a dive destination is REALLY like? Here are a few excerpts from sportdiver.com members' blogs compiled from our Travel Forums. See what other divers think about dive sites, operators, accommodations and destinations. Check out your next dive destination before you go!
Roatan First I have to say that Roatan was amazing! The trip was absolutely fantastic. Roatan is one of the most relaxing places I have ever been. Please be aware that power outages on the whole island are common, but it adds to the charm. Who really wants to be inside when you are there anyway. (Ed. note: Take a peek at Roatan's picturesque coastline by Doug Sloss here)
The mosquitos are no joke. Do not try to walk around at dusk without using a bug spray, we used cactus juice. The diving was really incredible and the dive shop at luna beach was great. I would definitly dive with them again.
SD Member: Matt59
Columbia Come to Colombia. Columbia has some awesome flora (and some really cool purple lizards) as well as sharks, whale sharks and whales (Usually ends around August) We also have Mapelo which is much like the Coco Islands but no one goes there So when you go, you will almost never see any other boat. We also have Nuki which, in the spring when the sardines are running, brings in every large pelagic that you can imagine. We have the pacific and the Caribbean. Caribbean side is mostly reef, but they are healthy and you will always see a few barracuda. Once, on a dive near Cartagena, we saw a lobster and a crab fighting on a night dive.. as well as a 2 meter + barracuda.
SD Member: BogataDiver
South Africa Have you considered Africa, and specifically South Africa. The dollar/rand exchange rate is very good so it will be very cheap! We have some of the most awesome diving here! Everything....sharks, wrecks, corals, fish...anything. I would definitely recommend Aliwal shoal for one of the best diving experiences you will ever have! You can book during April for tiger shark diving where you can get up close and personal with a few tigers. In July to August swim among hundreds of ragged-tooth sharks. It is the most awesome dive I have ever done! I got so close I could see the algae growing on their teeth! In Sodwana you can swim with the whale sharks. In Cape Town you can get within touching distance of a great white and go cage diving! WOW! It's a once in a lifetime thing! That's not all...we have many other shark species in fact we have about 180, of which 15 can only be seen in our waters! We also have so many wrecks if that's your thing. Dolphins and whales can also be viewed. SOUTH AFRICA just frankly rocks!
SD Member: madfishy
Indonesia Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands. It is one of the largest archipelagos in the world with at least 80,000 kilometers of coastline. Indonesia diving offers everything. Bali scuba resorts is a famous resort. Bali diving has a rich tableau of reefs, walls, pinnacles and exposed islets, with some adrenaline-pumping currents and fantastic visibility. Bunaken - Manado is another famous one. Lembeh Resort is also a famous resort.
SD Member: sreeja
Belize WOW, what a great dive vacation. We traveled from New Jersey to Belize City on Continental and then took a puddle jumper on Mayan Island Air to San Pedro. The entire experience was incredible. We stayed seven days and dove 16 times. We took the day trip to the Blue Hole twice. The experience of the Blue Hole and the surrounding dive sites, like the Aquarium, are breath taking. All the dive sites off of San Pedro can be reached in a matter of minutes. So, you get on the boat and start suiting up right away. There were several nurse sharks, turtles, and fish of every color and size. We even had a wonderful experience with a loggerhead turtle. The Blue Hole gave us the opportunity to dive deep and see the stalactites and also the Caribbean reef sharks that were circling. No need for a wet suit, just a rash guard. The water was in the 80s for most of the time there, even at depth. If anyone is considering diving Belize, I would especially recommend San Pedro. It is a beautiful little dive community.
SD Member: mvergalito
Bonaire I would recommend Kids Sea Camp Bonaire to all of you teen divers. It is a fun place, and the diving is great whether you have been certified for five years, or if you are still a beginner diver. And to the parents who have never been to Bonaire, it'sa fun place for you too. Don't even worry about your teens during the day, Buddy Dive makes sure we are all safe and having a great time.
SD Member: hockeydiver12
Okinawa My mom had been diving in the Junkyard for two years, but it was only my first time to dive it. We step down the stairs, cautiously, and fin out to descend. Once under I just soaked in the beauty. The sun's rays clearly visible in the crystal ocean water. The corals' colors reflecting off of the light shone on them. It was as if there was an under water laser show right in front of my eyes. There was coral left and right. Maze coral, symmetrical brain coral, sponges, fire coral, finger coral, anemones, I was surrounded! The fish life was abundant. Schools of sergeant majors circled us. The damsel fish, angry and apprehensive that we would disrupt their algae farms. Clown fish aggressively protecting their homes. Sea snakes coming a little too close for comfort out of their own curiosity. The life was endless. All of this off of the sea wall. I love Okinawa. SD Member: ClaireCaillouet
Thailand - Phi Phi Diving I dived 9 times in 4 days in Phi Phi Islands during June/July 2008. Firstly, the diving was amazing despite being in low season with some monsoon rains. Viz will be even better in Jan 2009. Having seen some of the accommodation in the islands I'd recommend staying on the mainland. As I say, Ao Nang has some good and some fabulous accommodation and the best diving shops too, I think.
SD Member: graemeagnew
Bonaire Our vacation life while diving in Bonaire is rough eat breakfast, dive, dive, eat lunch, dive, happy hour, eat dinner, sleep, and then repeat. Our first dive for Wednesday was again a favorite dive spot we had already been to Andrea I. But in Bonaire, every day what you see is different.
This is the first dive that we saw lots of parrotfish, a seahorse, file fish, triggerfish and tons of other neat looking fish. Second dive was Jenny's Reef on Klein Bonaire. This is a beautiful dive spot. The spot has sloping reef but also has some nice shallows to explore. It is a little spooky how far down the reef drops down.
SD Member: agrimaldi
Mexico/Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen Playa offers it's own flavor of diving which is just a bit different than Cozumel's.... not extremely different though. Cozumel diving seemed to be a bit more colorful & adventuresome even though these two sites sit SO CLOSE together. I think I enjoyed Cozumel's underwater sightings even more than Belize's. Cozumel seemed to offer such extreme underwater VARIETIES within its own area as compared to daily redundant sightings I've experienced from my two other dive trips in the past.
Because we were a group of 8 & only 3 of us were divers, a combination of diving and land life was needed for our arrangement. Playa offered perfect solutions for EVERYONE in our group.....a great variety of restaurants, happenin night life, swank condo accommodations, fabulous beach days w/ chair food & drink service, really cool shopping, fabulously tasting food. I think I'll rate our overall trip as an 8 1/2 out of 10. Check it out sometime. I'm SO GLAD we did!
SD Member: Louisvillelucy