It’s that time of year. Summer, the time when the kids are out of school and all you can do is gaze out the window at work and dream of the weekend (if you are lucky enough to have a window at work!). Odds are you, like most Americans, are planning a family vacation sometime in the very near future. And there’s also a good chance, if you are a fan of SCUBA, that you will be booking a flight for a fun-filled week or two of diving in a beautiful tropical destination. If you are experienced, then you have a world full of amazing dive sites to explore. But if you have only a few dives under your weight belt, or if you plan on taking the family diving with you, then you might want to gravitate toward these great newbie dive locales.
The so called Happiest Country on Earth has a reason to be so jovial. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country with some of the clearest waters on the globe. The country boasts a multitude of spectacular dive sites with something of interest for divers of all skill levels. But beginners will especially appreciate the relatively calm waters with tons of sea life. Many of the dives are not too deep (no deco stops!) which is perfect for those who want a relaxed recreational dive.
This is a special place because, unlike most other islands in the Caribbean, Curacao sits outside of the hurricane zone. As a result, it is ideal for inexperienced divers due to the fact that seasonal weather patterns do not affect it much. Like Costa Rica, Curacao features something for all divers no matter what their experience. However, beginner divers will love the fact that they can explore the Tugboat, a wreck under only 30 feet of water.
Beginner divers need look no further that the Aloha State. Because of Hawaii’s stress-free water access and shallow dive, the state boasts great choices for newbies. You can take an introductory course from one of the many charters and dive companies, and there are also opportunities to get certified on any of the main islands. Sea life is plentiful and the mild temperatures make it a relaxed and enjoyable dive experience. Hawaii’s subaquatic geography varies from deep waters to shallow shore dives, ensuring that new divers as well as experienced ones will keep coming back.
On the other side of the continent from Hawaii, near the southernmost tip of Florida, Key Largo is famous for more than just the Bogart and Bacall movie. It’s also one of the premiere dive destinations on the planet. With the third-largest living reef in the world, the Florida Keys offers gorgeous dive sites and thrilling wrecks. Boat dives are popular on the world famous reefs and wrecks, which run parallel to Key Largo south to Key West. From novice to expert, all scuba enthusiasts will find ideal places to dive.
Last but not least on our list of excellent dive locales for beginners is the largest of the Honduras Bay Islands, Roatan. It’s a small island, less than 8 kilometers across at one point, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural wonders. Stunning wildlife abounds in the surrounding waters, like barracuda, hunting jacks, and even elusive toad fish. Reefs teem with barrel sponges and colorful hard and soft coral. And, like the other places listed in the post, there are dive sites that will thrill both beginners and advanced divers.
Sources: barefootdiversroatan.com | english.scuba-fun.com | scubatravel.co.uk | scubadiving.com